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.

Your Answer:


Looking for a Used Forester in your area?

CarGurus has 1,200 nationwide Forester listings starting at $3,400.

Postal Code:

Subaru Forester Experts

  • #1
  • #2
    Chris W
  • #3
    Nick Eidemiller
View All

Find great deals from top-rated dealers


Related Models For Sale

Used Subaru Outback
50 Great Deals out of 1,019 listings starting at $3,950
Used Honda CR-V
161 Great Deals out of 6,439 listings starting at $2,995
Used Toyota RAV4
111 Great Deals out of 4,475 listings starting at $100
Used Subaru Impreza
41 Great Deals out of 874 listings starting at $2,999
Used Subaru Legacy
24 Great Deals out of 405 listings starting at $1,495
Used Toyota 4Runner
27 Great Deals out of 833 listings starting at $5,999
Used Toyota Highlander
39 Great Deals out of 1,477 listings starting at $1,885
Used Ford Escape
136 Great Deals out of 7,383 listings starting at $1,500
Used Nissan Rogue
128 Great Deals out of 5,714 listings starting at $1,495
Used Toyota Tacoma
25 Great Deals out of 1,377 listings starting at $4,867
Used Jeep Grand Cherokee
75 Great Deals out of 4,565 listings starting at $2,699
Used Honda Pilot
45 Great Deals out of 1,475 listings starting at $1,900

Used Cars for Sale

2019 Subaru Forester For Sale
7 Great Deals out of 363 listings starting at $26,995
2018 Subaru Forester For Sale
9 Great Deals out of 46 listings starting at $21,995
2017 Subaru Forester For Sale
98 listings starting at $15,992
2016 Subaru Forester For Sale
111 listings starting at $15,495
2015 Subaru Forester For Sale
5 Great Deals out of 140 listings starting at $11,500

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use. Content will be removed if CarGurus becomes aware that it violates our policies.