Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

Oil consumption at 9000 miles?


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 jseabolt

jseabolt

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 54 posts
  • Tri-Cities, TN.

Posted 24 April 2004 - 01:42 AM

Hello. This is my first post. I bought a 2003 Subaru Baja and love it. I think it's a well built vehicle but so far I have noticed two problems and not sure if I can convince the dealership that I actually have a problem.

First problem. The clutch shudders when cold so in the mornings I have to rev the engine to 3000 rpms before letting out on the clutch to prevent it from jerking. The funny thing is when the engine warms up the problem goes away. I've asked some other Subaru owners about this and they say they have had the same problem and to have the dealership to replace the clutch. I figure they would tell me I didn't know how to drive a stick shift and I should work on my driving. Is this a common issue with Subarus?

Second problem. I own several old cars so I routinely check the oil in them. I figure I shouldn't have to on my Subaru. After all it's a new car built to 21st century specs and shouldn't consume oil "when new" like cars built back in the days like my dad's 76 Chevy 454. The owner's manual says to expect to add a quart every 1000 miles and sure enough it has since the day he bought it.

During the first 3000 miles my Baja did not consume any oil. After the next oil change at 6200 miles still no oil consumption. But at 8200 miles I checked the oil and it had dropped about 1/4 quart. HMMM.

After I change the oil (I have been doing my own oil changes), I normally let the engine run for about 10 minutes to check for leaks, let it sit overnight and check it the next day. Usually I have to top it off so perhaps I forgot to last time.

Well I topped it off and before assuming I had a problem decided to monitor the level. After putting 700 miles on it this past money on a recent trip hitting speeds of 90 mph at certain times, low and behold, I've lost 1/8 of a quart!

What gives? This car has only 9000 miles on it and it's already starting to consume oil? My 94 Jeep Wrangler didn't start to consume oil until it had 30,000 miles on it. And I would rate the Subaru much higher in build quality than my old Jeep so I'm a bit confused.

I did a search on these two issues on Yahoo and one "expert" says that oil consumption on Subarus is acceptable at 1 quart every 1500 miles!!!

I find that hard to believe. My old Fiat Spider has 50,000 miles on a rebuilt engine and only uses a quart every 2000 miles and it's engine was designed back in the 1960s.

So is this something I should complain to the dealership about? Right now I'd say my Subaru is averaging a quart every 4000 miles. I don't find that acceptable on a vehicle with only 9000 miles.

When this car has 20,000 miles on it, how much oil is it going to consume them? Is the oil consumption going to double?

If the car had 50,000 miles on it, I wouldn't have a problem with using a quart every 4000 miles.

I paid $25,000 for this car after all was said and done and shouldn't have to check the oil on it as often as I do my 68 Ford, 80 Fiat or 76 Chevy pickup truck.

If it doesn't get any worse, I'll accept it. But if this is not normal how can I convince the dealership I have a problem?

Other than that, I love my Baja. I think it's a great car. Or is it a truck?

#2 Setright

Setright

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 3,176 posts
  • Denmark

Posted 24 April 2004 - 02:18 AM

The clutch shudder is a known production fault, don't let the dealer BS their way out of replacing it. There's a technical service bulletin floating around on this, unfortunately, I don't have access to my copy right now, so I can not post it.

Oil consumption does sound high, but there is something you may have overlooked: It might not be consuming all that oil. The boxer engine needs a long time to let the oil drain down into the oil pan. You must leave it at least thirty minutes before checking the oil level, preferably longer so it has cooled down too.

This same aspect makes it a pain to replace the engine coolant, air gets trapped everywhere and you need to purge the system regularly for the next 300 miles.

#3 jseabolt

jseabolt

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 54 posts
  • Tri-Cities, TN.

Posted 24 April 2004 - 02:30 AM

The clutch shudder is a known production fault, don't let the dealer BS their way out of replacing it. There's a technical service bulletin floating around on this, unfortunately, I don't have access to my copy right now, so I can not post it.

Oil consumption does sound high, but there is something you may have overlooked: It might not be consuming all that oil. The boxer engine needs a long time to let the oil drain down into the oil pan. You must leave it at least thirty minutes before checking the oil level, preferably longer so it has cooled down too.

This same aspect makes it a pain to replace the engine coolant, air gets trapped everywhere and you need to purge the system regularly for the next 300 miles.


I'm checking the oil while the engine is stone cold. Like after the engine has sat for 12 to 24 hours.

I hope burping the cooling system on a Subaru isn't as bad as a Fiat. I own a Fiat Spider and it's a real pain having to burp it. I purchased this neat funnel made by Lisle and it works great. It's a funnel you stick in the neck of the radiator. You over fill the funnel and let the engine idle until the thermostat opens. I can also open the bleed screw and it will relieve the vacuum on the system.

I haven't tried it on the Subaru but so far it works great on the Fiat.

if anyone is interested, I'll post a link where I got it. I think I paid $20+ shipping for it.

#4 Setright

Setright

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 3,176 posts
  • Denmark

Posted 24 April 2004 - 11:11 AM

OKay, but even so, there may still be oil just hanging around in the valve tappet covers. Next time it reads low, add a very small amount. This usually starts a chain reaction in the valve cover with the filler neck and the oil makes a dash for the pan.
Or try bouncing the car a bit on the suspension, to get the oil to flow back down.

Of course it could actually be losing that oil, which is outrageous in an brand new car. I expect the dealer will give you some sort "during run-in....sudden oil consumption...blah blah blah..."

#5 Suzam

Suzam

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,193 posts
  • Wilmington, Delaware

Posted 25 April 2004 - 09:02 AM

Another idea, if you do have a problem...I'd let the dealer do your oil changes for you so there is a record. Then drive it back as soon as you read the dipstick as being low, have the service manager look for himself (herself?!?). Keep on doing it, maybe it will convince them that there may be a problem. Otherwise, if you do the oil changes, that could be the excuse for ignoring your potential problem.

#6 myles

myles

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 169 posts
  • New York

Posted 25 April 2004 - 09:34 AM

As for the chattering clutch, be prepared for the dealer's inability to reproduce the problem (denial is the word of the day). Later on I'll post a copy of the TSB for this issue, if you like. It may help your case (I didn't in my case).

As for the oil consumption, my '02 Legacy (same mill as in yours) burns as much oil as your ride does when I drive it hard (frequent trips at WOT to the red line). If I drive it like the proverbial "little old lady", it uses hardly any. What oil are you using? I'm running Mobil1 10w30, but I'm going to try Mobil1 15w50 as soon as it warms up a bit.

#7 Commuter

Commuter

    Subaru Master

  • Members
  • 1,857 posts
  • Niagara area, Ont Canada

Posted 25 April 2004 - 09:56 AM

Oil consumption can vary considerably.

The original engine in my car (97 OB, 2.5L Phase I) consumed about 1L per 7500 km. The replacement engine (also a Phase I) consumes about 1L per 15,000 to 20,000 km.

What I've heard over the years is that you probably won't have any success with a warranty claim unless the consumption is greater than 1L per 1500 km / 1 quart per 1000 miles. By most standards, that is excessive, but that seems to be the cutoff point that manufacturers use.

Different brands of oil will vary as well. You might try some alternates. Also a (good) wider ranging oil might help. Eg a 5W40 or 5W50. I personally prefer synthetics.

Did you know that if a piston used just one drop of oil for every stroke, you would burn up a quart in about 2 miles! :eek:

Commuter

#8 blitz

blitz

    Banned

  • Banned
  • 1,091 posts
  • Warren, Michigan

Posted 25 April 2004 - 10:50 AM

I hope burping the cooling system on a Subaru isn't as bad as a Fiat. I own a Fiat Spider and it's a real pain having to burp it. I purchased this neat funnel made by Lisle and it works great. It's a funnel you stick in the neck of the radiator. You over fill the funnel and let the engine idle until the thermostat opens. I can also open the bleed screw and it will relieve the vacuum on the system.

I haven't tried it on the Subaru but so far it works great on the Fiat.

if anyone is interested, I'll post a link where I got it. I think I paid $20+ shipping for it.


Yeah man, I'm interested in the link. I've been looking for this tool locally for about a year and all I get is strange looks. I just visited Lisle's website and can't seem to find it there.

#9 jseabolt

jseabolt

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 54 posts
  • Tri-Cities, TN.

Posted 25 April 2004 - 01:11 PM

Yeah man, I'm interested in the link. I've been looking for this tool locally for about a year and all I get is strange looks. I just visited Lisle's website and can't seem to find it there.


Here it is:

http://www.drivewerk..._toolsG_pg2.htm

I should have posted it when I mentioned it but i was getting sleep and couldn't remember what I bookmarked it at.

#10 jseabolt

jseabolt

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 54 posts
  • Tri-Cities, TN.

Posted 25 April 2004 - 01:17 PM

As for the chattering clutch, be prepared for the dealer's inability to reproduce the problem (denial is the word of the day). Later on I'll post a copy of the TSB for this issue, if you like. It may help your case (I didn't in my case).

As for the oil consumption, my '02 Legacy (same mill as in yours) burns as much oil as your ride does when I drive it hard (frequent trips at WOT to the red line). If I drive it like the proverbial "little old lady", it uses hardly any. What oil are you using? I'm running Mobil1 10w30, but I'm going to try Mobil1 15w50 as soon as it warms up a bit.


I've been using Castrol 10W 30 year round. I was a bit worried after I did my first oil change when I saw on the cap to use 5 weight oil but after reading the owner's manual 10W 30 is what my climate calls for year round.

When the car is due for it's next oil change I think I'll let them do it and keep an eye on the level and when it drops half a quart, I'll bring it back and show the service manager.

I can't remember if it was here or on the Yahoo Baja list that someone's Outback was using oil and the dealership had a simple fix for it.

I would imagine if an engine is burning oil it's one of three things. Either the oil is getting past the rings, the valve seals or something is messed up with the PVC system. I can't think of any other way oil can get into the combustion chamber.

#11 blitz

blitz

    Banned

  • Banned
  • 1,091 posts
  • Warren, Michigan

Posted 25 April 2004 - 02:05 PM

jseabolt, thanks for the link.

I'm looking at my '02 manual, and for temperatures down to 0*F, 10W-30 & 10W-40 both are listed. Also directly below that is a little section which is easy to overlook called "severe driving" where it gives the blessing for the following grades:

SAE 30
SAE 40
10W-50
20W-40

Clearly Subaru has no problem with the use of oils having a viscosity thicker than water if the situation warrants it. If the consumption persists or worsens and you get no satisfaction from either the dealer or SOA, your surest bet would be to go with a 15W-40 HDEO fleet-lube like: Pennzoil Long-Life, Delo 400, Delvac 1300S, etc. for summer. This'll drop your consumption and keep the motor clean. Might have to switch to something a little thinner for the Tennesee winter tho.

#12 mattocs

mattocs

    Subaru Legacy Lover

  • Members
  • 1,312 posts
  • Pittsburgh

Posted 25 April 2004 - 04:47 PM

When my cam seals leaked I used 20w50 until it could be fixed...thicker oil seemed to leak less.

215,000 miles on that car and it consumes no oil between changes.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users