Did Subaru fixed the oil consumption problem on its new 2017 Forrester?

30

Asked by Jan 23, 2017 at 12:46 PM about the Subaru Forester

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I own a 2011 Forrester and the it burns a lot of oil.

88 Answers

85,675

You should hit up SOA for a new short block but the 2017's have not been out long enough to know. As far as I know Subaru has not changed the engine design so I personally doubt it. I own a 2015 and am now on my THIRD engine!

7 of 7 people found this helpful.
30

Thank you.

6,110

Subie's been experimenting with various ring constructions for years, but I don't know the end result.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
125

2011 was also the first year of that horrible, horrible engine in the Foresters. I would HOPE it's fixed for 2017. The last bulletin I remember seeing before I stopped working for Subaru late last year was that the oil consumption bulletins were only applying UP TO 2015 MANUAL transmission Foresters. Anything with a CVT, you should be ok.

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
30

Thank you all. After spending hundreds of dollars on oil for my Forrester during the past 6 years, I've decided to buy Toyota.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
70

Results of the class action: http://jalopnik.com/subaru-settles-lawsuit-over-oil-burning-cars- 1752805682

6 of 6 people found this helpful.
6,110

Link doesn't come up. Try again? Thanks.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
30

I have a 2015 Forester with 24,000 miles and I get regular oil changes. Three times in the past year, my oil light has come on and when I check, the stick is DRY. The dealership mechanics can't find any problem. What the hell, Subaru??? This is my third Subaru and I have loved them but I'm starting to wonder what the problem is and if they are ever going to fix it.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
6,110

Sounds like your rings are probably passing oil. Have Subie perform their documented oil consumption test. If you can't get any resolution and have to eat it start by switching to thicker 5w30 Mobil1 or similar synth. OTOH if you're consuming 4 qts (to the light) in 7000mi intervals you'll have to accept that as "normal" for a flat boxer on 0w oil, I'm afraid.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
85,675

My third engine uses about 1/2 quart with 5,000 mile oil change intervals and 0W-20 oil. Interestingly (at least to me), the first engine we babied during break in and it started using drastic amounts of oil at 5,000 miles and two oil changes. The third engine we drove like we normally do (due to advice from a top notch Subaru service manager) and no serious oil consumption after 30k miles.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
60

F_O_R - not to burst your bubble but my third engine went to about 35,000 miles before a drastic increase in oil consumption. Thought I was in the clear. Just finishing up the oil consumption test that will make the way for engine number 4 (replacement #3). I hope your story is different as it is so disappointing.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
85,675

Don't worry, I don't have any illusions.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
6,110

Combined with weakening memory I'm now in my senior years WANTING to have more illusions!

70

I have a 2017 forester with a 6 speed transmission. At 5300 miles the low engine oil light came on. Had to add 2 quarts of oil. Oil change not due until 6000 miles. NOT HAPPY...

7 of 7 people found this helpful.
85,675

Danny - this is my exact same experiacne. At 5,000 miles it started drinking oil. Go to your Subaru dealer and have them do an oil consumption test. Make sure they do not overfill the engine as a lot of people here have complained of this practice. Subaru's standard is no more than 1/3 quart in 1,200 miles.

85,675

By The Way - the test does not cost you anything and you get a free oil change out of it.

6,110

Danny, a quart of 0w/20 each 2700 mi in a flat four (horizontally- opposed) motor isn't that egregious. Try using 5w30 synth to reduce consumption.

85,675

Ernie I agree but Subaru's standard is no more than one quart in 3,600 miles.

30

I have a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek 5 speed. Oil light came on @ 2500 miles. It needed a quart. Light kept coming on, with at least a quart+ low every 2500-3500 miles. Subaru put in a new short block at 18,000 miles. At 22,500 we did a recommended per Subaru O/C on the new motor. 4800 miles later, guess what?!? 1.2 Quarts low again. Another oil consumption test happening as I type this. Subaru, I want to love you, but you are heavily pushing me away, as we are (were) in the market for a Forester.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
85,675

1.2 quarts in 4,800 miles is not that bad, certainly not a reason to dump a car.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
6,110

Again, if you're sick of monitoring what is indeed low consumption for a flat four, use 5w30 synth instead of 0w20. To hell with slight t- chain rattle upon cold starts below 0F!

20

I have a 2017 basic model Impreza w a manual trans. At 4600 miles the low oil light came on. They checked & I checked for obvious leaks & nothing. They told me to watch it closely. 4200 miles later, the oil level is at low level on the dip stick. We are now in the middle of a oil consumption test. I was told to bring the car back to the dealer in 1500 miles. Honestly I feel like this is all just a waste of time since apparently they haven't changed the engine since the class action suit in 2016 due to this issue. Has anyone had their engine replaced under the warranty by Subaru?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
6,110

Seriously...you're complaining about consumption of 1 qt of low viscosity synth in over 4k miles? I doubt SOA will trash tour short block because of that. If you're concerned use 5w30 synth instead to lower consumption.

10

Those of you that are on your 2nd or 3rd engine, did you have to pay for that or was it covered by Subaru? i am currently experiencing this problem and just had an oil consumption test done. i was down 2 quarts in 1250 miles. i am waiting to hear back from the dealer to let me know what the next step is. thankfully I am under warranty right now but am curious what happens if the problem continues as it seems to be the case. Thanks

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
85,675

I am on my third engine. Subaru paid for the two replacements. One engine at 10k miles due to oil consumption. The second because the dealer destroyed the second engine due to poor workmanship when assembling it. Third is working well so far.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
10

Thanks, good to know.

10

My daughter's 2014 Crosstrex has been burning since the light came on at 2000 miles. She was in college (Vancouver BC) and the first oil consumption test done in Van they told her it was "normal." She just kept adding oil. I took it in last January for a oil consumption test in San Francisco (where the car is registered) and they said yes, you will go on the list for a new short block. They were nice as could be. I got home and googled, the class action suit had been settled. I was on the "list" as I spoke with the attorneys in PA about two years prior to this. I also contacted CA lemon law attorneys. Still haven't received the new short block and they said this may not "fix" the problem. Sad. My 2013 FIAT 500, a wonderful car, was totaled two weeks ago (I had bruises and a sore low back, the car did great) I'm looking for a small SUV but I have ruled out Subaru

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
85,675

You need to contract Subaru of America (SOA) and demand action.

6,110

If you can't stomach a new Imp get a CX-3.

30

Pretty much the same experience I have had with my 6 speed manual forester. My wife and I purchased a 2017 forester in october of 2016 and it has burned oil from day one. When the car had about 4500 miles on it the oil light came on before the first oil change. I have driven manuals all my life and was going very easy on it breaking the engine in per the dealers recommendation. Going to talk to the dealership soon and see what can be done. I am glad to see this isn’t an isolated problem, hopefully subaru has to issue some kind of recall to fix the problem or we can all join together and sue subaru like they did for the 2011-2014 forester.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
6,110

o1L, remember that Subie uses a 1L loss to trigger that warning light; if that took 4500 mi to occur thenI doubt that you currently have abnormality. Did it take more than 1 qt to top off?

30

The first time it needed a little over a quart of oil to fill it up. This morning when the light came on I had to add almost 2 quarts of oil to fill it up. The car has 20,000 miles on it. A few years back when i was in college I had an old 1995 saturn SC2 that has 150,000 on the clock, it burned an equal amount of oil as the forester does. If this is normal oil consumption, the car designers over at subaru headquarters should make an oil bottle holder in the car much like a cup holder. They could even give a complimentary bottle of oil in it when they sell the car new, because the owner no doubt will have to add oil before the car is back in for its first oil change. This would also conceal the oil to a small area so it won’t spill all over the car when going around corners and hard breaking and such. The Subaru engineers could build in drains for the inevitable spills that will happen carting around oil all the time. They should put a little rag and flash light with it too, incase the owner has to pull over to add oil in the dark or in inclement weather conditions. Finally the extra oil container holder would signal to people like me you have a poorly designed product and I can then buy a different car.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
85,675

Maybe Subaru should go with dry sump engines with a 20 quart reservoir.

6,110

Took the woids otta me mouth....

40

Just want to add, 2017 2.5 Forester Manual 2200 miles on ODO. Burned 1.75qts according to a Subaru dealer. I am supposed to come back in 1200 miles for a an oil consumption test. That's awesome... New car and 2qts of oil every 2.5k miles. How come this info never appeared anywhere in reviews of Subaru foresters when I was shopping around?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
85,675

They are half way there. Dry sump, no reservoir. ;)

35

I have 2017 Impreza Sport w manual transmission. 2500 miles oil light came on. Rebuilt engine @ 5500 miles. Second engine continuing to use oil at about same rate. Subaru customer service says this is normal. First and last subaru.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
6,110

Again: the oil warning light engages at -1 L. That rate of consumption for a flat four (2.5k) running skinny 0w20 just isn't egregious. Try running 5w30 synth and see if consumption halves.

6,110

Remember also that the manual trans always uses more fuel (higher revs) than the CVT; hence a bit more oil too.

85,675

Subaru's standard is one quart in 3,600 miles, NOT 2,500.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
6,110

Even w' 0w20? Cool. That's a stiff bar.

30

I just bought a 2018 Forester. My oil light came on and I'm just around 3000 miles. Not a pleasant surprise.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
40

Welcome to the wonderful land of Subaru Foresters! I am still waiting to hit 1200 miles to get re-tested for oil consumption, but I have been checking and it doesn't seem like it's burning a whole lot after 600 miles.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
85,675

Ernie - yes with the oil they specify. They tried to tell people that a quart in 1,200 miles was normal but the backlash had them change it to the current standard. Dealers are quite insistent that you use 0W oil even after this debacle.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10

OK I must put in my 2 cents. I have owned a Forester for 13 years. Driven for 60 yrs. Subaru engines burn oil like a qt every 2000 miles. My Toyota burns no oil but that is a different engine design. Long ago cars burned like a 1 qt every 1000 miles. It was routine for the service station attendant to check oil at every fill-up and show you the dipstick. Not many remember that right! I check the Foresters oil (5w30) like weekly or every 2 weeks. And change to thin 0w20 oil and you might burn more oil right. Where did the idea come from that you do not need to check your oil between changes. Sorry but that is fuzzy thinking as one of my bosses would say. I carry oil in the Forester. I know 0w20 costs more so might make sense to go back to 5w30. Apparantly the change to 0w20 was to gain a few 10ths % of gain in MPG. Now the Subaru situation on carbon buildup is another and maybe more serious story.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
40

@GuruZZFSW, your consolation is inadequate. 100 years ago people used to ride horses that took a dump on a street and then ate oats for 30 minutes. With your reasoning it is normal for a car to dump half the oil and coolant in a middle of a street and then rest for half an hour while sipping on coolant and oil. Burning some oil is fine, but not having your oil light turn on 4k before the oil change. Maybe the design of the engine is flawed, you ever thought about that? I have had 2 Toyotas that went to 200k miles and both did not burn nearly as much oil. If upon me purchasing the Forester, dealer said "look, it's a superior engine but you might get an oil light every 2k miles and have to pour a can of oil", I would have said HELL NO! No one in their right mind buys a car nowadays to be checking oil every time they refuel, unless it's some high end performance car. I bought a Forester 2.5, not even a 2.0 Turbo! That car goes from 0-60 in like 10 seconds! Why should I be suffering for a family small/mid size SUV?

85,675

Next year there will be a whole new engine so we shall see how that works out. Reports are it will be direct injection.

10

Our 2012 Forester blew up last week. I've NEVER had the oil light come on. I've always done my own oil changes and because of that, Subaru will likely tell me to pound sand without documentation. FWIW, I saw the engine after it was torn down and there was oil everywhere. I just bought a 2017 Outback in July. This sucks!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
85,675

Define "blew up".

6,110

Direct injection is just about the only positive technical addition Toyota brings to Toyoburu, as eliminating Subie's excellent diesel, forcing its old hybrid scheme on CTs, as well making the OB too tall in North American distribution were all really poor schemes. Direct injection should have had higher priority, IMHO.

10

I'm on my 5th Subaru, and none of the previous cars used oil. Current vehicle is a 2014 manual Forester 2.5i, with 48k miles. It started using oil after about 30k miles, and i thought it was just at highway speeds. Then it started using about 1 qt per 1000 miles, including around-town driving. I am now starting the SOA oil consumption test, which my dealer says is based on 1/3 qt (10.7 oz) per 1200 miles. However, i'm supposed to come back at 1800 to 2000 miles, so i guess they extrapolate to 1/2 qt per 1800 miles. Aside from the oil issue, i'm happy with the car.

60

@GuruZB2GP - I love my manual 2014 Forester 2.5 too ... with the exception of the oil consumption issues. Having my third short block replacement done next week (thankfully all under warranty). A note of caution from experience - if you end up getting a short block replacement after the study, I recommend asking to make sure you are getting a new short block. Apparently my first two failed replacements were done with refurbished blocks (so the ones known to be problematic but allegedly fixed up) rather than blocks made under a different standard. It would be great if this gets sorted because it is an awesome vehicle otherwise.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
40

Very interesting, I finished my 2nd oil consumption test and the car passed with flying colors. in roughly 1400 miles burned no oil. For those who think you get a free oil change that's totally wrong. What they do is mark all the exits/entrances of oil into the engine before they order the 2nd test to prevent tempering with oil and then just simply check amount of oil at 2nd test. I am very skeptical at this point, but what am I supposed to do? If the oil keeps burning I will find out in the next 30k as I am still under warranty.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have owned 3 Honda Accords and put over 200,000 mi on each with no noticeable oil consumption on the dip sticks. I have a 2003 GMC 5.3 with 180 mi and it only uses 8-10 onces every 5000 mi. I stopped looking at Subaru's and bought my wife an Accura RDX and so far with 30,000 miles no oil consumption. Subaru needs to fix this issue.

6,110

Again, the proper comparison is with other horizontally-opposed motors, not upright designs.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
35

Subaru is ordering the third short block for my 2017. First engine rebuilt @ 5500 miles. Second will be at about 12,500 miles. Seeking protection under NC lemon law.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
10

2017 forester w/manual trans. Just checked oil. Approx. half a quart low at 2600 miles. I'm gonna add the 1/2 quart when I get home this afternoon, and keep an eye on it and document it. If it consumes too much oil and Subaru won't fix it, I will definitely switch to the 5w30 and hope that solves it.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
6,110

Half quart at 2.5k? Relax!

10

I had a 2010 forester. I used Mobil 1 from the start but switched To higher viscosity when I noticed needed oil between changes. After that I never had to add oil between regular changes again. Great car. Traded it in for Toyota Venza after 112000 miles tho. I wanted another forester but I wanted manual transmission and the Subaru service manager and told me i was more likely to have the oil consumption problem with a stick than the CVT. Didn’t want the CVT so over to toyota i went.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
85,675

I know Subaru blames the transmission and just about everything else imaginable but my 2015 Forester with a 6 speed does not currently burn too much oil but this is my third engine!

6,110

It's interesting to note from the owner's manuals that 0w20 oil is recommended only for 3 countries, whereas 5w30 is recommended the rest of the planet! Just compare pouring it...you'll see the difference and can imagine the better high temp protection and maintained viscosity under pressure. What surprised me was that 0w40 Mobil1 pours even thicker at room temperature. Just try to find it....

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
10

To the tune of "Lydia, The Tattooed Lady" by Groucho Marx Subaru, oh! Subaru, say have you met 3.6k If so, has the light left off so And a quart or less even more so. Subaru, oh! Subaru, that engine and tranny I loved so Till you broke my heart with your Red Light My hopes were dashed when you did so. Subaru, oh! Subaru, say have I left you now You can cry a lot when I go to Honda or Toyota. La la la La la la La la la La la la

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
85,675

Ernie - I suspect Subaru builds engines to a different spec for other countries that don't have EPA environazi's to appease.

6,110

Nope...doubt it. What I heard is that they spec 0w20 in the US to reduce cold start timing chain momentary chatter. Whoopee....

85,675

I thought it was spec'd for better fuel economy. Every tenth counts.

6,110

In following other manufacturers' moves to 0w20 to squeeze eco you're right, but in Subie's latest chain-driven motors there's no doubt that 0w reduces initial chain chatter. Yet I'll stick to 5w30 for the superior protection at higher temps. It's interesting that manufacturers are reducing piston ring tension...and therefore increasing oil consumption...just to squeeze that fractional +mpg. Is one qt of $8 synth cheaper than 0.1-2mpg over x miles? Interesting curves. And since lubes and fuel prices correlate it may be a silly dance. Have a fine bird, my man.

85,675

Agree- not sure that the expense of the oil plus the cost of the oil consumption is cost effective but fuel economy measures are past the point of diminishing returns in my estimation. I am going to try 5W-20 in my Subaru to see if I can reduce my oil consumption.

85,675

All manufacturers care about is the EPA number, reliability and true economy be damned.

6,110

Use 5w30 to lower consumption. I'm curious if 0w40 is even better all around as it's more viscous at ambient temp.

In January, we bought a 2011 Forester with 115k from a guy who sells about 120 to 150 Subarus per year. Within a few months, we pieced together that we were going through a lot of oil. We contacted the guy who sold it us and he said that we should research a class action lawsuit against Subaru for excessive oil consumption. I found the information and sure enough, Subaru knowingly sold vehicles with a short block problem and these vehicles are going through excessive amounts of oil. The original warranty for this issue was 6 years or 60K. Now it's 8 years or 80K. After chatting with some folks, we were told to contact Subaru of America. They tested the vehicle and we went through 64 ounces of oil in 1271 miles. They offered $1.5K on a $5K repair. Ridiculous! They knowingly sold these cars with a problem. We had been told by the local Subaru dealer that they had offered $3.7K to another owner with vehicle also out of warranty (and one that hadn't been cared for). Needless to say, we are furious. #subarusucks PS The guy who sold it to us said the previous owner told him that it was going through a lot of oil. So they allegedly fixed some issue and didn't bother to check to see if the issue was resolved (which of course it wouldn't have been unless they replaced the short block).

6,110

An '11 F with loose rings? They must've been experimenting earlier on in Japan than in Indiana.

60

The current Canadian class action lawsuit includes Foresters from 2011 - 2014, along with a smaller range of years of Imprezas, Outbacks, Legacys and Crosstreks.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
85,675

I guess Canada is behind the times. There was a US lawsuit a couple of years ago.

I don't know if loose rings are the issue with the short blocks that are being replaced for excessive oil consumption. But what I am wondering is will an engine that uses excessive oil fail sooner than an engine that doesn't? We can obviously keep up with the extra needed oil but is the engine a time bomb of sorts?

6,110

Actually it's possibly the opposite, as looser rings result in marginally lower internal temps. Regardless, switch to 10w40 and notice how much less you consume...especially in the summer.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

10W40 rather than 5W30? Also, we live in New England so would that affect the choice of oil? Thank you!

6,110

If you have no oil consumption issues I use 5w30 synth year-round. But with a drinker definitely 10w40...at least down to 0F.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have a heavy drinker (1 qt per 600 miles) so I will use 10W40. Thank you.

6,110

If you're consuming 1 qt/600mi of 0w20 then you'll definitely notice a difference with 10w40. Not sure where 5w30 sits between them.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
6,110

I noted a page in the owner's manual where 0w20 was spec for only three countries, and 5w30 the great majority of the world. Ha! Again, what I've heard is that the 0w20 spec is there both to just squeeze up mpg due to whole-number rounding, as well reduction of cold- start timing chain rattle.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

So I have learned more that folks here may or may not agree with. The dealership and now some others say that 10W-40 would be a big mistake, especially in winter, because the o rings for this engine were designed for a thinner oil. They said at best, 5W-30 could work and the engine would still be appropriately lubricated. Otherwise, there is a chance that oil wouldn't circulate properly.

85,675

I have been told different stories by dealers about using heavier oil. Some say the car may not idle well with the heavier oil but there is only one way to find out. I just changed my oil to 5W-20 and will report back if there is any change in oil consumption or there are any other issues.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
6,110

As long as the min viscosity spec matches ambient temp you shouldn't be having sufficient resistance even at cold idle to affect idle speed. Even 10w is good to 0F. 5w is easily light enough for all domestic use.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.
20

I have a '16 Forester with 30K and the short block is being replaced next month. We fought with our dealer because they didn't believe anything was wrong with our car, just needed another oil change, okay 1st time, we just changed the oil. But what normal car with 30k miles does the oil run dry before their allotted 6k miles? The second time it happened, we went over the dealer's head and went straight to subaru. They took care of our oil change under warranty and they are replacing the block. But I thought this issue was fixed? We do have the extended warranty until 80k miles. Is this going to fix the problem or open up a whole nother world of issues?

2 of 2 people found this helpful.
85,675

I would demand that Subaru extend your warranty out to 100k miles which they should do without argument. To my knowledge no one including Subaru has ever claimed that the oil consumption problem has been fixed. First they would have to admit it ever was a problem.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

The lawsuit was extended to 100K or 8 years.

Excessive oil consumption is 10.7 ounces in 1200 miles.

6,110

i.e., a quart in 3500 mi

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