Subaru Forester - What would cause sudden engine failure low oil?

Asked by Apr 02, 2019 at 11:29 AM about the 2011 Subaru Forester 2.5 X

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

2011 Forester. low 60s mileage. current state inspection and due but not
overdue for an oil change when without warning car began making loud
noises my husband calls 'knocking'. no oil on parking pad, no smoke, no
smells, no lights or changes in drive - one day a working vehicle we
anticipate owning for another 10 years - the next its on life support. Local
shop advised needs engine replaced. adding oil lowered the noise but its still
present and car can not be driven reliably (wants to stall out). Local Subaru
wants us to tow it there to have an oil consumption test. SOA saying if
engine already damaged they might not be able to do that. Can anyone
provide any insight into what might have caused this? No history of
excessive oil use but the car has been mostly a grocery getter for 8 years.

5 Answers


Sounds like either the oil pump failed or the oil pickup in the pan is clogged. Unfortunately, if the engine is making a knock, the damage is already done. The key would have been to turn off the engine as soon as the oil light came on or the oil pressure dropped.

Unfortunately no lights came on and there was no indicator of any issue until the knock.


Subaru FB engine are known for oil consumption which is why all Subaru owners need to check their oil at every gas fill up.


Since your car is older but has low miles I would call up Subaru of America directly and make a stink. They may not pay for a new engine but they may pay for part of it.

Did you get an answer?? This is what sounds like is happening to mine. Same year but 107k miles.... Started knocking a few days ago... But no lights on, no oil slick in my garage. Was told by local Subaru today that my engine needs to be replaced. $5300... So I drove it home. On the way home, the oil light would come on when stopped at lights and starting to turn.

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