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Drivers Upset Over Subaru Oil Consumption Issues

February 27, 2013 By: LemonLaw Category: oil consumption, Subaru

There is nothing more frustrating than having a light pop up on your dashboard illustrating that your car requires immediate service.  It can happen at any place, any time.  The oil light is one of those lights that is especially frustrating, especially if your car is not due for an oil change.  You look at your dipstick to find that your car is low a half quart, a quart, even over a quart, and you have no idea why.  We have represented a number of folks over the years with oil consumption issues, but we are seeing a specific increase in the number of folks complaining of Subaru oil consumption issues.

subaruIf you see that your oil light is on, and you are not due for a service, it is essential that you make an appointment with a Subaru authorized dealer at your earliest opportunity.  When it comes to this problem, time is of the essence.  Make sure that every time you are at the dealer, you receive a new invoice which illustrates that the problem is still existing. Chances are the dealer may start performing oil consumption tests and ask you to return every 500-1000 miles.  Please follow the dealer’s directions carefully with the hope that they will be able to duplicate and fix the problem.

If you are in three or more times for Subaru oil consumption issues, it is important for you to look at your rights under State Lemon law and Federal Warranty law.  You could possibly be entitled to significant recourse, including a new vehicle, a full repurchase or a partial refund and continued ownership of your car.  If you are suffering with a Subaru oil consumption check oilissue with any of the models including Forester, Legacy, Impreza, WRX, or Outback. fill out our Get Rid of Your Lemon form so we can assess the situation and see if/how we can help.

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89 Responses to “Drivers Upset Over Subaru Oil Consumption Issues”

  1. #1 John Manson says:

    Keep talking to your dealer, I’m hearing rumours of a recall about to be issued (as of mid Oct 2013) for defective rings on some models of Subaru – including 2011 Foresters…

  2. #2 Rob Gurnee says:

    Finally traded our 2012 Impreza. Had brought it in 14 times in 25,000 miles for oil problems. I had equity on my loan and Kimmel and Silverman got me a cash settlement from Subaru. Glad to be rid of the headache

  3. #3 LemonLaw says:

    @Rob: I hope you filed a claim and received compensation first. Consumers are receiving thousands for the issue.

  4. #4 Rosa says:

    Love my 2013 Outback and how it handles.. Hate the oil consumption issues. My Outback just completed an engine oil consumption test, and had the recommended service performed which was to replace the engine oil piston rings. Now, 1400 miles later, the oil light is back on. What a freakin’ surprise. I asked Subaru Corporate for a new car, to which I received this reply, ‘Well, you’re not going to get a new car without a lawyer.”
    I’m taking that as a recommendation.

    They did reply that the new rings need 3000 miles to make a final determination if the fix worked. Possible, but disappointing.

  5. #5 Scott Porter says:

    I purchased a 2013 Impreza in November 12. I like the car so well I just bought my second Subaru. The car has about 22,000 miles. I’ve documented low oil (level, not pressure) lights twice (Last two service visits). I believe they’re documented as “customer states the oil light came on…” In both cases, the oil was down approximately 1 quart after about 7000 miles. The car uses a very lightweight synthetic oil, I believe it’s 0–20. My Powertrain warranty is good until 60,000 miles. My service interval is 7000 miles. I just purchased a new Forester for my wife, and they recommended bringing it in every 5000 miles. A friend of mine suggested that I should demand to have the oil consumption fixed, And after the third refusal I would be able to invoke the lemon law.

  6. #6 LemonLaw says:

    @Scott: First, you need to esbalish there is a problem before you can file a claim.

  7. #7 John Manson says:

    As an update on my 2011 Forrester, Subaru Canada pulled the engine and put in a replacement short block. Oil consumption problem is gone. Thanks to Subaru for following through with this customer!!


  8. #8 Katrina says:

    I am leasing (thank god) a 2012 Subari Impreza. I’ve had this same problem twice now. Unfortunately, I didn’t report it the first time. One of the dealer’s selling points was that, although the car uses synthetic oil that’s more expensive, I only have to come in 2-3 times a year since I can go 6,000 miles on 1 oil change. I got an oil change 04Nov13. I looked at the sticker inside my windshield in January and it said i was due for service in Feb14 after 3,000 miles. I looked at my receipt and it said Synthetic oil was used so I figured the mechanic made a mistake. Sure enough, 20Feb14 my oil light comes on. I check the oil and there’s barely anything on the dipstick. I contact them immediately inquiring if they may have put the wrong oil in. They assured me that they didn’t and that it was normal. “[We] Suggest you change oil ,even though it is synthetic,every 3,750 due the north east falls under severe driving
    Conditions.outlined in your owners manual. Synthetic motor oil will break down after 3,000 miles of driving and the engine will burn oil off and eventually Trip the low oil light.” This is the exact email I received (punctuation and all). I replied that this had never happened to me before, especially last winter, and again inquired about why the sticker read 3,000k/3 months instead of 6,000k/6 months like it had in the past. My car is at @26K now. I also mentioned that after it snows my car shakes feverishly when I drive on the highway (60mph+). He replied by again avoiding talking about the sticker and suggested I come in for an oil consumption report that, undoubtedly, they will ask me to pay for. He also said that “In response to wheel vibration we have been getting a good amount of complaints about this issue. What is happening is snow builds up inside your vehicles rims and like a spin dry in your washer cloths stick to rim same happens with snow sticking to the inside of The rims on your car, then the snow freezes and becomes a giant wheel weight thus the vibration from an out of balanced wheel or Wheels.” I’ll see if my wheels need to be balanced (New England has a lot of potholes) but if the problem doesn’t resolve after that they should probably think about fixing their AWD vehicle that I now do not want to drive in the snow.
    Anyways, long story short I suppose, how do I go about establishing and documenting this problem so that if this issue continues I can inact the Lemon Law and walk out of this lease without too much regret?

  9. #9 Matt says:

    I purchased new a 2012 Impreza in March 2012. At 25,000 miles I started having issues with the oil light low light coming on every so often. At approx 33,000 miles I took it to the dealer to check for leaks or any other viable solution to the oil low light coming on. The leak test came back clean, but the car was down 2 quarts of oil after about 3000 miles since last oil change. Now at 34,800 miles my oil light has come on again. I called the dealer and they are asking that I come in and do an oil consumption test every 1000 miles. If the car does not pass the test, supposedly there is a TSB out that has the dealer tear apart the engine and rebuild it with new rings and such. I guess it goes without saying, to keep everything documented going forward. I am curious what are my options from a lemon law perspective? I’m not so sure I want to keep a car that is having the engine rebuilt after 34,000 miles, and Im certainly dont want to keep a car that burns through 2 quarts of oil every 2000 miles. Thanks so much, I look forward to hearing from you.

  10. #10 LemonLaw says:

    @Matt: I think we can help you. Call us at 1 800 LEMON LAW (1 800 536-6652).

  11. #11 Rosanne says:

    Katrina, I’m not leasing, but I own.. My car went thru the oil consumption test, and the dealer may not have the authority to pay for the oil during these tests, or that’s what they’ll tell you. My suggestion is that you demand they pay for the oil during the consumption testing, and create a new case file with Subaru corporate. They can ask Corporate for reimbursement on the oil.

    Doesn’t seem ethical to deliver a problem vehicle and then ask the consumer to spend their own time & money to help debug the problem.

  12. #12 Kristi says:

    I have a 2013 Subaru Impreza that the oil light came on early. This was about a week after my fuel level droped 1/8 a tank every 3 miles or so (though not leaking fuel, just the sensor was messed up). I did the oil consumption test, coming back every 1000 miles for 4000 miles total. They told me that although I lost a little oil, just short of 1/4 quart, it didn’t fall within their levels of taking apart the engine or whatever to find a problem. Seriously, 3 days after that last visit, LIGHT CAME ON! Contacted the service people who told me I should be ok waiting until my next oil change, but to keep an eye on it. Being that I drive approximately 90 miles a day, it took about another 5/6 weeks until I was due for my oil change. They did the works for me (I’m at about 23k miles) checking brakes, rotation, fluids, etc. I hit about 1200 miles and TADA! There’s my oil light coming on! Now, the techs told me that this is “common” with Imprezas, and that the sensor is just extra sensitive and the light will go off even if it’s just 1/4 quart low. They said I can add more if I want, but then I was also told when I got my oil changed elsewhere one time, the car registered it as “overfilled”. I don’t feel qualified to pour some oil in knowing if it’s the right amount, and I’m not paying to have someone do that every 2 weeks! And I refuse to check my oil level EVERY MORNING for the next 5500 miles! (they get oil changes every 7000) Does my vehicle qualify under this lemon law, because I’m ready to trade mine in.

  13. #13 LemonLaw says:

    @Kristi: DO NOT TRADE IN. Call us at 1 800 LEMON LAW (1 800 536-6652) or send us info through so we can review first. You may be losing out on thousands of dollars by doing nothing.

  14. #14 Kristi says:

    @LemonLaw, what about the cost of lawyers to handle this lemon law? It seems easier to just trade in after all I’ve been reading….

  15. #15 LemonLaw says:

    @Kristi: There is no cost. Under the law, you are entitled to completely FREE help. Most people in your situaiton who have contacted 1 800 LEMON LAW have received thousands of dollars.

  16. #16 Matt says:

    Update to post #11

    I have continued to be plagued by this oil low light, however it appears Subaru is doing what they can….

    I finished the oil test just a couple of weeks ago. It’s no longer the, “bring it in every 1000 miles 4 times.” It’s now bring it in after 1200 miles. When they first began the oil test every thing was going smoothly. However, after 600 miles I decided to check the oil to see how much it had gone down. What did I find……The oil was OVER FILLED! I must have checked it 20 different times to confirm, in different scenarios (hot, cold, after driving a little, Ect.). Same result every time. I took the car back to Subaru and told them. To my surprise, they said “yep it’s overfilled by half a quart”. They then re-started the test. It’s hard for me to give them the benefit of a doubt on this, being it seems like a conspiracy to keep the oil from going to low, but I did. 1100 miles go by and there goes my oil light again. After taking it to the dealer they determined it used about one quart in 1200 miles. They currently have the car and are either going to replace the piston rings or the whole motor….not sure which one just yet. Either way I am very concerned about keeping a vehicle that has had its engine repaired or replaced after 36000 miles. Not sure what I will do with it yet, time will tell. But hey….At least they are doing something about it. Hope this helps….

    And Kristi….don’t hesitate to call these folks at lemon law….they were very helpful to me and I look forward to discussing this matter further with them. Just simple advise from them….like….take a picture of the oil light and dipstick….made me appreciate what they are doing here

  17. #17 LemonLaw says:

    Thanks Matt. :) That’s why we are here. Driving a lemon? Make the call to 1 800 LEMON LAW.

  18. #18 Kristi says:

    Matt, I unfortunately don’t qualify for the LemonLaw. I drive a very long distance to work, and unfortunately this didn’t all happen to me until I was out of the mileage range! It has to all be discovered under 12k miles. It wasn’t until about 15k miles this all started happening to me. But good luck to you! My car is bad luck. I was in 3 accidents (none were my fault) in a year, and this oil light thing. I’m ready to trade lol

  19. #19 Jeffrey Reese says:

    Bought a 2013 Subaru Crosstrek new from a local dealer. Had 2 oil changes done with no problems. Had the third one done and after about 2000 miles the oil light came on. I brought it back to the dealer and they changed the oil and said return it in 1200 miles. They said no problems come back when we should for our normal 4th oil change. We went about 2500 miles and the oil light is back on. They say it is normal. I have a 2002 Ford Ranger with 227000 miles on it that does not use a quart of oil in 2500 miles. They say it is due to the synthetic thin oil that makes this Crosstrek use the oil. If thats the case why use it.

  20. #20 LemonLaw says:

    @Kristi: You qualify for Magnuson Moss Warranty Act, compensation to reflect the diminished value of the car as a result of your problem. Looking at thousands to reflect the diminished value of the car, plus you get to keep the car. This does not affect trade in value either and the legal help is free. To file a claim, visit

  21. #21 CJ Shank says:

    My 2012 Impreza has had the oil light come on twice in between oil changes. Manufacturer recommends 7,500 miles between changes and use synthetic oil. The first time it happened was around 13,000 when I only had 2,000 miles til next change. Of course I was on a trip away from home on a Saturday but was able to find a dealer who added 2/3 of a quart. The second time, again, away from home, happened just 3,850 after the last oil change. Added 1/3 of a quart and have been okay. Now have not quite 3,000 til next oil change where I will request an oil consumption test. I see this seems to be a problem in the 2012 Impreza and am sorely disappointed. This is my third and last Subaru purchase. However, I would like to get some satisfaction from the dealer other than to have more frequent oil changes.

  22. #22 jerry says:

    2013 Subaru Impreza: I will not trust Subaru nor will I ever buy again. I was having the same issues as many with the oil consumption and got the BS excuses with the service dept. The service dept stated it is normal to burn 1quart of oil, unless you have less than 1,200 miles, then the light shows up. Unfortunately, I had about 1,450 miles. I loss 1 quart of oil, which is too much oil burning as for a conservative driver.
    Fast forward, I traded in the car and got a Honda, which is my 3rd Honda, with no issues. Also, when honda issues a recall, they voluntarily do the recall before the problem spirals worst. Subaru should have issued a recall on this oil consumption problem than hide away.

  23. #23 Kristi says:

    Jerry – I’m actually planning on trading mine in for a Honda CRV as well! Grew up with Hondas/Acuras, know they’re fantastic cars that will drive for 12-15 years! When talking to the sales manager at my dealership (sort of a friend) he suggested the Crosstrek, which I told him I read some issues with those too online, and don’t trust another Subaru, and he said “They fixed that problem with the 2015s” Interesting, because it was never admitted to me that it was a “problem” but a comment trend seen in Imprezas. Yea, I won’t trust Subaru again. Nice car, but not worth the hassle of maintenance! I will miss my 32mpg though….

  24. #24 CJ Shank says:

    As an update to my previous post – oil light on a third time about 4.200 miles after last change – This always seems to happen when I am on an extended trip (longer than my 25 mile one way commute) and then it is heck to find a Subaru dealer. However, this last time, it came on right when I came home so went right to the dealer where they said it was down a quart. I got the run around that it is not unusual for a car to use a quarter every 4,500-5,000 miles and that these cars have more sensors than older cars have. They filled it up and also gave me a quart to keep in the car. When I get to the scheduled change at 22,500 I am going to request the oil consumption test. I would love to get rid of this car but hope there are some options to recoup some of the costs.

  25. #25 Roy Guercio says:

    I just bought the new 2014 crosstrek 5 speed manual and with only 2500 miles the low oil light came on. Should i go and ask right away for the oil consumption test?

  26. #26 Jennifer McCarthy says:

    Hi, I have a 2011 Subaru Outback that has had oil consumption issues since the very beginning. I now have 62,500 miles on it and the low oil light is coming on every 1700 miles. I was at first annoyed the low oil light came on after 5K miles, then 3k, but now that it’s under 2k before it needs a quart or 1.2 quarts I’m concerned. I’ve had every oil change and top off done at my Subaru dealership so that it’s well documented. They always blow me off when I ask about it being an issue. Do I need to be assertive or is it too late now that I’ve passed the 60K warranty?

  27. #27 LemonLaw says:

    @Jennifer: Being that you are outside of the warranty, you need to make sure you keep updated records in case an issue occurs “down the road.”

  28. #28 LemonLaw says:

    @Roy: I would certainly inquire as to why the oil light came on so early.

  29. #29 Roy Guercio says:

    They said it sometimes happens during the engine breaking in period. They showed me the oil level and said it was fine, but it sure looked low on the dipstick. They did an oil change and on the svc ticket it stated could not duplicate oil light coming on even though the vehicle was returned to me with the same mileage as when they serviced it! I checked the oil stick and it definitely showed it was full and not the level when i brought it in and they said before the service it was fine.
    I did get them to document on svc ticket customer reports the low engine light came on.

  30. #30 Jeff says:

    Wow.. I really feel violated.. My ’13 outback has all of the above issues.. My first year they blew alot of smoke, so the first year was not documented. BUT.. I do have records of the last several months of “over filling the oil by 1.5 quarts at the oil consumption test” the “replacement of the rings”, top off of over a quart of oil post replacement, I did write in a note book some of the conversations I had with the “service dept. lead” regarding the “just carry a quart of oil with you at all times”, and the “oil consumption tolerance of 1/3 quart every several thousand miles”… I have been in touch with them regarding exchanging the vehicle which will cost me another several thousand dollars.. But what guarantee is there that I won’t have the same issue?? UGH.. This is crazy!!! First new car..

  31. #31 LemonLaw says:

    @Jeff: Before you spend thousands of dollars, you need to contact us to discuss the situation. Call 1 800 LEMON LAW. (1 800 536 6652).

  32. #32 Rosa says:

    After reading all these posts, it seems that the new tack is for dealers to overfill the oil to mask the consumption issue. If so, it is maddening. Drivers, I recommend that you do not waste your time talking with and putting faith in what your dealers are telling you. I do believe that Subaru is working on the ‘problem’, and yes it is a problem, and that perhaps the Honda dealer is correct that they have fixed this with the 2015s. Of course, they have to fix it. Meanwhile, I recommend not trusting the dealers’ words; use them to help you document the exact issues with your car, then make two phone calls. 1. To Lemon Lawyers, and 2. Subaru Corporate in New Jersey, and tell them that you want to open a case file for your oil consumption issue. This is a real problem and you need the law behind you to help you work through it.

  33. #33 Randall says:

    At 15,000 miles it was decided at the service center that they needed to replace my piston rings and that would be the first step in tackling all the oil issues I have had since I bought it brand new with 0 miles. I am now at 19,000 miles and the light came on again as usual. I brought it in and talked to my service adviser and he told me that they were going order me a new engine block to combat this problem hopefully for the last time. There is no out of pocket cost to me at this time…however I am getting a little frustrated bringing it in every 2-3 months instead of every 6 months like I should or every 7500 miles…

  34. #34 dave bellflower says:

    traded in 11 forester oil burner for 13 outback . am at 13 k no oil problems yet. do not trust car .will be getting rid of it . join back to toyota….

  35. #35 LemonLaw says:

    @Randall: Please visit and fill out our Get Rid of Your Lemon form to determine if and how we can help you.

  36. #36 Pang says:

    I’ve just bought a 2012 Subaru Impreza with 13000 miles like about 3 or 4 months ago and between those times I had add oil 3 times and had it changed at Pennzoil once and the light came back on after 3000 miles. Changed it at Pennzoil when it hit 16000 and now it’s only 18 something and the light came back on. So I’m new at this and wanted to know what i should do? I read all other comments and questions but still I’m a newbie at this. Should I bring this topic up with my dealers when I call them?

  37. #37 Sara says:

    I have a 2008 Outback with 80k miles on it. Since our local subaru dealership fixed a cracked cylinder head in October, our car has been sucking the oil. A month ago, my husband checked the oil…none on the dipstick, filled it up. Got back 3 days later, 1 quart low. Checked it last friday…bone dry. Took it to Subaru and they said they would do a consumption test and to bring it back in 1200 miles but that there is probably nothing they can do since it’s no longer under warrantly. Seriously ticked off!

  38. #38 Jim says:

    I just purchased a 2013 Subaru Legacy with 10,000 miles on it. The oil light came on within 1 week of my purchase. I thought that maybe when the dealership received it on trade that they may have not put enough oil in. I stopped at an auto parts store and was told that it the car shouldn’t be losing oil that quickly. Another person working there overheard our conversation and said that he had a friend who owned a subaru and had similar problems. The service department at the Subaru dealership said it is normal for my car to burn a quart every 4,000 miles. My oil light turns on now before I reach 3,000 miles after an oil change. I now keep a 5 qt. container in my trunk to fill up between oil changes. I was surprised to see that this is common. I will start the process of taking the car to the dealership now even though the dealership is an hour from my house. I am very disappointed and hope that Subaru and the Subaru dealership have integrity and work to resolve the issue.

  39. #39 Carol DiCenso says:

    I bought a used 2011 Forester with 38k miles. Paid $18,900 for it. After finding no oil on dipstick took in for oil consumption test . Then after that oil change didnt need any till it hit 5000 miles, 1/2 quart. Next oil change, used 1 quart at 3000 miles, Changed oil at 5000 miles. Then at 3000 miles added 1/2 quart, now at 6000 miles, just added 3/4 quart.
    Question is…..while I am not happy with oil consumption, even more worried about continued problem getting worse or engine failure.
    I have about 45000 miles left on warranty.
    Would like to see this problem fixed. What are chances?

  40. #40 LemonLaw says:

    @Jim: You need to make sure that every time the light comes on, you get back to the dealer to have the matter recorded.

  41. #41 Carol DiCenso says:

    I have contacted Lemon Law people. Car going back in next week for service, oil change, hard starts, and smoking at start from tailpipes. Will be talking with manager this time. In my mind, there are 2 possbile solutions. 1. Pull engine and fix it!!! I know there is a fix, new pistons and rings. 2. Give me what I paid for it and I would consider trading it in on 2015 providing propblem fixed.
    My feeling is, that the dealer misrepresented the car. I just bought it last year, they knew of these problems. I refuse to take this lying down.

  42. #42 shnitser says:

    own a Subaru legacy 2013, lost about 2q. beetwen 16k-17k miles.
    Did not go to dealership. But now i will. thanks for posting.

  43. #43 matt b says:

    I went to the dealer at about 50,000 miles to discuss this issue before my powertrain warranty expired. The dealer told me that the 1-2 quarts was normal. I live an hour from the dealer and with working it is not feasible to do a consumption test, so I just started recoding every time I had to add oil and how much. With this problem I keep a 5quart jug, funnel, and paper towels in my trunk. I go through the 5 quart jug every 2-3 oil changes. Would it be possible to use a local garage or my records? My warranty is now up.

  44. #44 Carol DiCenso says:

    My 2011 has used some oil. But dealer gas been great so far. In shop now for look over and starting new oil consumption test. I have passed one. But this one will be 5 at 1200 miles. Last one was 4. Most of my problem seems to be after 3600 miles. I do consider trading it in before warrant expires however. Maybe by then we will know it they fixed it in 2015.

  45. #45 Kris H says:

    I’m having the SAME problems with oil consumption as everyone else here! I purchased a 2014 outback and have now been in 5 times for oil consumption issues. The last time I went in, the oil light had come on after 1500 miles and had been on for 1500 miles. I asked specifically that they note how much oil was gone when they wrote up the service report. Not only did they conveniently forget to write down how much oil was gone (definitely over a quart), but they also conveniently forgot to note that the oil light was on. I protested to the manager and they updated the service record to say “customer states oil light is on.” Then they started me on an oil consumption test and OVERFILLED my engine by 1 quart. Shady. I drove to work, let the car sit, tested the oil level, and found out what they had done. I returned to the dealer and it took them an hour and a half to get the oil level just right. 1200 miles later, I returned as requested. I had checked the oil level in the morning on a cold engine, level ground, and had seen it was a quart low. Somehow, when the subaru service department checked my oil, another half quart had magically appeared in my engine (so that they could say the oil consumption was not ‘excessive’, presumably). When I pointed out this anomaly to the service representative, he sneered at me and suggested I bring my car elsewhere. Interestingly, the main Subaru customer service line also recommended I not use Carr Subaru as my service provider. Not sure, but I’m guessing I have to start the whole oil consumption process over again from scratch. For reference, my car burns ~ 1 quart every 1200-1500 miles. For further reference, my previous truck (a 1996 mazda with > 200,000 miles on it) burned half as much oil!

  46. #46 #20 New York says:

    If you car is burning oil, it will cause problems in other areas beside the piston ring. The following items will be damage because of the excessive oil consumption.

    1) the piston will be damage
    2) The catalytic converts are damaged from the oil in the exhaust system.
    3) All the oxygen sensor are all damage from the oil residue.
    4) All the spark plugs are damage.

    If you take your finger and you wipe your tail pipe, your finger will be completely black from the oil residue.

    Subaru needs to replace the engine and the entire exhaust system or you will have future problems. The oil consumptions effects everything.

  47. #47 Stephanie S says:

    I have a 2011 Forrester that is burning oil like no tomorrow. My problem is my low oil light NEVER comes on and the dipstick will have a drop on it or be at the low level. This last oil change I got mobil 1 oil rated for 15,000 miles and it only last 3,000 miles and burned off about 2.5 quarts of oil. I paid $25,000 for the car and feel like I got burned. Is there anything I can do?

  48. #48 LemonLaw says:

    @Stephanie: How many times has it been to the dealer?

  49. #49 Stephanie S says:

    I haven’t been to the dealer because my car is out of warranty. Should I call you guys so you can advise me? If so post your number.

  50. #50 LemonLaw says:

    @Stephanie: If you were in repeatedly while your car was under warranty, please call.

  51. #51 Katrina C says:

    I bought my 2013 Subaru Impreza in May of this year with 23,000 miles. I now how 25,800 miles and my oil light has come on for the first time. I checked my oil just a month ago and the level was normal (just above the second dot), it is now barley above the first dot on the dip stick. When my fiance went to change my oil he couldn’t get the plug undone because the dealer had tightened it to 480lbs of pressure needed to unscrew it, it should only be tightened to about 30 or 40lbs. When I called the dealer they tried to say it was normal to lose that much oil. When I bought the car they boasted that the car should only need its oil changed every 7k miles. My fiance has dealt with this dealership for years because he bought his 08 impreza/wrx here. His parents also service their 2004 baja with this dealership. He was able to convince them to send someone up (we live almost two hours from the dealership) to retrieve my car and leave me with a loner. I am very nervous that I will be stuck with the same problems as those listed above.

  52. #52 Kevin L says:

    In early June 2014 we bought a new outback. Just under 2300 miles and I was a quart and a half low with the light on. On taking it to the dealer somehow the oil cap blew off and puked the refilled oil. Now we are having to do the consumption tests as well. I’m dreading the fight ahead.

  53. #53 Sarah Hogsed says:

    I have a 2013 legacy and it is using oil as well. The dealership says it is normal which I know it is not. I have contacted Subaru of America and now waiting on what they are going to do. I paid over 20,000 for this car and who knows what kind of problems it will have later on after warranty is up. Help not sure if this is considered a lemon or not.

  54. #54 Eric Chalmers says:

    My wife and I own a 2012 Suburu Forester. Great car, however, yesterday my wife, who drives it mostly, mentioned that it was making a sound similar to the 08 outback we used to own. On cold days or first start of the day the outback would sound like a farm tractor until it warmed up. We jumped in to go hiking and when I started the Forester, I heard this horrible rod knock. Popped the hood and checked the level. No oil on the dipstick. Added roughly over 2.5 to 3 qts. I’ve never had a vehicle use this much oil, ever, between oil changes. All oil changes and services are done by the dealership. Adding to the mix is that the oil idiot light never came on. Talking to the dealership today trying to figure out what to do now.

  55. #55 Ben S says:

    I have all of the above issues also – bought a 2012 Impreza used 17,000 miles took it on a trip and the light came on, added 2 qrts. Drove it and 2 more times same thing. now at 36000 miles and the dealer is ‘willing’ to consider there is a problem. Goes in Thursday, hopefully I am not too late since its already 36,000 miles.

  56. #56 Eric says:

    I’m just glad I saw all this stuff now. I was just about to pop on a 2014 Impreza. Missed it by THAT MUCH!

    I wonder how many model years I’ll have to wait for Subaru to fix this.

  57. #57 Gary Delahanty says:

    Bought a 2010 Outback December 23, 2009. Had rain coming through the sunroof when the sunroof was closed.

    About 25,000 I experienced violent shaking in the front of the car.The dealer said the rotors were warped. Had to have them turned & new brakes installed. This happened on December 22nd 2013 & I just got a message machine when I called to report it. The dealer didn’t bother to call back until after Christmas so, of course, the warranty had just run out. Didn’t matter that I’d try to take care of it before the warranty was out.

    The catalytic converter went out at 30,000 miles.

    There has been a random intermittant beeping from day 1. Of course it never happens when we take it to the dealer.

    Oil consumption has been excessive from early on. It uses about a quart every 3500 miles. Had the oil light come on a few times. I’ve learned to carry oil with me.

    The car now has 55,755 on it. I’ve bought many new cars. This is the first new car I’ve bought that has had so many problems. The oil consumption seems crazy for a relatively new car. The dealer says it’s normal for a motor with horizontally opposed cylinders. Just their way of blowing me off.

  58. #58 jose cortes says:

    Same issue with Subaru Forester 2013, dealer says 1 Quart every 2k miles is normal ?? any body in this thread could provide some info about lemon law and if it is effective?.


  59. #59 LemonLaw says:

    @Jose: Lemon Law is effective in these claims, but we need the ammunition before we go into battle. Please visit and fill out the form so we can get a bit more detail on your case.

  60. #60 Sue says:

    I have a 2013 Impreza 2.0i sedan. I do not have any of the oil issues yet. I am just about at 15K. From what I read on this the problem seems to be with the new FB engine in the Subaru’s. How does one find out if you have one of these oil sucker engines?

  61. #61 Sang Kim says:

    I have 2014 outback which I bought May. Two weeks ago, I got the oil light on and that day I went dealer and changed engine oil. I asked about the engine oil light on and dealer said “need to check frequently between change engine oil and refill if it is low”. If it happens again, how do I need to prepare for case or get fixed? how many time do I need to get service before file this case?

  62. #62 LemonLaw says:

    @Sang Kim: Once you are back three or more times and a significant repair has been made, fill out our form at

  63. #63 annabelle says:

    Have 2014 Legacy had this oil problem since I purchased car brand new plus noise coming from transmission. They did consumption test and replaced engine R&D & short block. They also stated that took care on noise from transmission. Got car back drove it 2800 mile after above was completed oil light back on half quart low on oil and transmission noise is back. Call dealer service advisor stated since new engine put
    In there 5000 mile break in period and it will use some oil! Was told to add oil and wait until I gone 5000 mile.

  64. #64 Jeremy says:

    2015 Subaru Legacy- low oil light came on at 3,400 miles. Checked engine and it was a full quart low. I bought 0w-20 and added myself… Then started googling and saw this page…. Maybe it’s a break-in period…. Or maybe it has the exact same problems as past model years.

  65. #65 LemonLaw says:

    @Annabelle: Call 1 800 LEMON LAW (1 800 536 6652) to inquire about your rights.

  66. #66 Paul Nappo says:

    I have a 2013 Subaru forester with 37000 miles . It’s in the shop as I wrote this because I was way low on my oil between oil changes. I have already been told they can burn up to 1 quart per 1200 miles. Thats great to know, now. I never had to worry about oil with my ford vehicles until they hit 150,000 miles. Because of the flat motors I’ve been told with the Subaru. Not happy, wish me luck

  67. #67 Fred Johnson says:

    2012 Subaru Impreza Sport Premium 5 door. Bought car new. At 20k miles on odometer low oil light came on in the middle of nowhere in northern MN. Found some 0W20 oil and put it in. Was still a third quart low. Had 4.4k miles since last oil change. I ignored it since owners manual says 1 quart every oil change(3750 mi) is acceptable. Now, car is at 37k miles and about a third qt low 1k miles after last oil change. Dealer told me if one third low after 1200 miles then they will put a new short block in. Have to do a consumption test first. But, think I’ll get rid of this car next summer and buy another Honda CRV. Have had 3 CRV’s and never a drop of oil burned. I do like the handling of the Subaru, but a brand new car burning oil is not acceptable. Subaru engines must somehow be designed to burn oil or rather, they cannot be stopped from burning oil. I would have accepted that back in the 1980’s but not in 2014.

  68. #68 Leonard Amberger says:

    We own a 2013 Subaru Outback that we bought new in May of 2013. We were pleased with our car and did not have any problems until we had approx. 23000 miles on it….We got a check engine light and were surprised to find that we were down about one quart of oil. Since that time, we have filed a complaint with Subaru, and the car continues to use oil between service intervals. We had a “consumption test” done by a local dealer. We were told that the oil use was “normal”…The service manager went so far as to tell me that we should consider ourselves fortunate because our Subaru “only used a quart between services..A small price to pay for such good fuel mileage.” We were astounded by this cavalier attitude. We questioned why the oil use, if normal, is not mentioned in the owner’s manual..We were told that we live in an “extreme service” area. Our rebuttal was the fact that Subaru shows the Outback being used off road in many of their commercials…..We drive on paved roads.

    We also questioned what effect that this “normal oil consumption” was having on the downstream components such as 02 sensors and catalytic converters.

    We were also told to reduce our oil change interval. Oddly enough when I questioned the use of full synthetic oil at the time we were negotiating the purchase of the car, the salesman told us that the added cost of synthetic was more than offset by the increased distance between service intervals. He never mentioned that we lived in an “extreme service” area. He never mentioned that we would get great fuel mileage but use oil between changes as part of the cost of that great fuel mileage.

    We are well aware that Subaru has issued a service bulletin describing the problem and repair procedure for replacing the piston rings on our engine. If this is “normal oil use” then why the need for the service bulletin??

    Subaru is doing a really bad job of customer service with regard to this problem. They know they have a problem but refuse to issue a full recall, instead taking it on a case by case basis.

    We bought a full extended service warranty, but that only goes to 100,000 miles. We were told that Subaru “would honor the warranty even if we exceeded the 100,000 miles and our engine failed shortly thereafter. We doubt that. We will probably get a box in the mail with a set of piston rings in it.

    We doubt that we will purchase another Subaru in the future, unless Subaru steps up and take responsibility for their product.

  69. #69 matt says:

    Report all problems to to help force a recall

  70. #70 Marsha says:

    I purchased a 2013 Subarua Forester 04/13, on 12/23/14 driving I noticed the oil on so I pulled to the side and pulled out of my glove compartment where I had taken my car to dealerdhip and had its oil change. My sticker in the window regarding my last visit shows that the vehicle needed to be serviced again 01/31/2015 or mileage 13,407, and I’m looking at my mileage on dash that’s reading 11,117. I called dealership 12/26/14 day after Christmas worried that perhaps something went wrong and maybe that I really didn’t receive the oil change I paid for, as this happened to me with another vehicle some years ago, anyway one of workers I reported this to said that I was responsible for checking my oil, well I really didn’t know that as if I did I wouldn’t have to pay someone to care for my car, I guess now I will learn to do so, but I was so worried driving the car to work seeing that light on I stopped a shell station and the attendant there tried to help me look and looking where the oil goes looked brand new inside we couldn’t see any oil, this guy says to me you need some oil it’s a good thing you stopped so we put 1 quart of oil, later I understood thd car takes 10 W 20 and 10 W 40 was put in, I could not take it to dealer because the light still stayed on and I was concerned of further damages that thd car had no oil and the dealer us 45 minute drive.
    I went to work and after work the light still on so I go back to shell and we look under the hood too see if it’s runing hot and noticed there’s no coolant in the car so I drove the car home parked it looked at th cement floor and no oil on the cement floor. I took pictures with date and time of my mileage/the sticker and pictures of the coolant empty vessel. I called and talk with the manager about all of this and at first he suggest I pay to have vechicle tolled, but then he gave me a toll free number because my car is still under warranty to have their toll pick it up 12/28/2014. IT seems I accidentally stumbled up on all of this that’s scary, I’m worried as I don’t know, but this could be my problem and I’m still paying for this car it’s really a shame that this is a issue with this car while I also, was informed about the recall on the brake problems with the snow getting inside the rim, when I took it in for the oil change in the summer I was also responding too the problem of recall, they told me I didnt have to worry about it. I don’t know how they put this kind of danger and serious problems still continue to sell defective products. Please anyone who can help educate me more on how to handle this i welcome and thank you so much.

  71. #71 Marsha says:

    My oil light is coming on my 2013 forester please any information you can give i thank you.

  72. #72 Dennis says:

    Just bought a 2013 with 33,000 miles- should I return and get my money back?

  73. #73 LemonLaw says:

    @Dennis: Sadly, you cannot return a car.

  74. #74 LemonLaw says:

    @Marsha: Get it to a Subaru authorized dealer as soon as possible.

  75. #75 Michla says:

    I’v had my 2012 Subaru STI since day 1. I noticed it burnt oil before the first 5000 km, about 1 litre.
    When I went to the dealer on my first oil change around 5000km I asked them about it, they stated it was normal. Me new to Subaru they sold me on the idea that this car burns oil.
    I kept an eye on the oil level for the next interval, again another litre before 5000km.
    I am currently at almost 40 000, and I just did an oil change 1000 km ago and burning of the oil seems to be getting worse. So I googled this and found this website and a bunch of other sites stating Subaru is being sued over this issue.
    The vehicle is leased and I was planning on buying it out, but now I believe my engine is probably maturely failing on me, and Subaru dealer from where I bought it made me think that this was ok.
    Am I too late? I would love this issue to be resolved before having to spend money down the road on a very expensive engine.,

  76. #76 Allen Lish says:


    I bought this car as a second owner through a third party. It has 32000 miles on it when it was bought in December 2013. It is a year later now and we have a huge problem. On Tuesday this week we were on the freeway and out of nowhere the car just shut down. We got it to a gas station nearby by pushing it. Once there we looked around to see what was wrong, and it was out of oil. This was strange because we had just put a whole quart of oil in it two days before. The car when started has a knocking noise now, but it kept trying to die out. Towed it home and started opening the car up, there are huge metal shavings in the oil. This is going to cost tons. I put oil in it every couple weeks at least, it’s losing in insane amount of oil and is now stuck in my garage unable to run.

  77. #77 Moriah says:

    I just traded in my 2007 subaru impreza because it was using a quart of oil every 1000 miles. I bought a 2014 crosstrek thinking it was an old car problem and here I am with 2000 miles on the car and the oil light came on and it has already used a quart. Ive only had the car a month. Im bringing the car to the dealer tomorrow. I’m not sure what I should do.

  78. #78 Dee says:

    I am just starting with the problems with my 2013 Crosstrek. have 36,000 miles and dealer told me some consumption is normal. 4 quarts in 6,000 miles? No wonder they feel the need to guarantee a trade in value

  79. #79 Sue says:

    (PA) I have a 2013 Impreza I bought new, I had 24000 mi on the car when it started using oil. I commute 120 mi/day. I check my oil after every oil change & every weekend. 3000mi after my last oil change my oil was a qrt. low. On atleast 4 occasions I could smell this burn off inside the car.Went to the dealer yesterday for service & oil change & told them my oil was low. First thing he says to me is you want to start the oil consumption test. I don’t see the point if they are testing at 1200. I did agree & they started the test. Results for the 1st were cannot not duplicate. So they changed the oil, I checked the oil this morning and now its overfilled. I am to take my car back in 1200 mi which for me will be within 2 wks. I am scheduled on 2/28. I will pay the dealer a visit tomorrow 2/16 to let then know the oil is overfilled. Seems a bit deceptive to me when I am to have this test again in 2 wks.

  80. #80 Alex says:

    I have a 2011 Outback 3.6 with 55000 miles. We have started experiencing this issue last year, we’ve had it three times in the last 12 months – taken it to the authorized local dealer each time. They seem to be pretty clueless there’s been no mention of the issues listed here. I’m taking it in tomorrow again and I will ask for the oil consumption test to be run. Very disappointed in Subaru, as our previous Legacy SW ran like a champ for 10 years with nary an issue.

  81. #81 Anne-Marie says:

    I am also having excessive oil consumption for my 2011 Subaru Outback 3.6R, however I don’t see the model listed on other forums as a “known issue” vehicle. Does it matter if there is still an issue?

  82. #82 Bailie says:

    I have a 2013 Subaru Impreza, at first it was fine, but the third oil change the light came on after 2000 miles. Took it to the dealer and they told me it was “normal”. I said, I’ve owned plenty of different cars and different car brands to know that’s not normal. I requested an oil consumption test and when I got to my appointment they said “we aren’t going to do that yet” and I demanded that it be done. They still refuse because it’s normal. I just met someone that has the same issue as me and her car has now broke down TWICE in one week and the dealer won’t do anything. I’m concerned that the dealer and/or Subaru is not looking out for me. What do I do? Do I just go ahead and trade it in for a different car brand?

  83. #83 Brandon says:

    Just purchased a 2013 Subaru Crosstrek 3 days ago with 8k miles. My second day with the car I looked through the glove box and found two arbitration forms for vehicle issues which made me concerned. I did a little searching and found that excessive oil consumption is a potential issue for this car.. even at such low mileage! I still have a long way to go on my lemon law coverage but wanted to find out my current oil level to see if there was an issue it would come up before by car was out of the coverage period. After checking the dip stick numerous times I found the fill level was about an inch over the full line! I’m going back to the dealership tomorrow to pick up my registration and to have an inspection sticker done. Question is, do I have the dealer remove the excess oil in the engine and have it set at the correct level and do I or can I have this work documented?? I have only had the car for 100 miles but I don’t want to wait until it’s too late.

  84. #84 LemonLaw says:

    @Sue: Please call us at 1 800 LEMON LAW (1 800 536 6652) as soon as possible to discuss your rights.

  85. #85 Holly says:

    Have a 2010 Subaru Forester. Went in for an oil change, they told me I pretty much had no oil, (no oil light had come on to tell me this). I asked why my car was burning so much oil, they said I needed my head gaskets replaced, which they did. Time for an oil change again, out of curiosity I checked my oil prior to making my appt. Again, almost no oil, (again, no oil light has come on to tell me this.) Called to make an appt. for oil change and ask why my car is burning through so much oil, this time they tell me, subaru has designed their engine to burn through oil like this. If this is true, why wouldn’t they have told me that last time and why would they have needed to replace the head gasket last time?

  86. #86 Dietrich says:

    Just bought a 1 owner 2013 Forester on 02/14/15 with 41,000 on it. On my drive home from the dealer the oil pressure light came on. pulled over and checked the oil it seemed to be fine. Called the dealer the next day and told them what happened. They came and picked the car up and took it to the Subaru dealer for us and said it was more than likely just a faulty sensor. Got the car back with no oil light on. Then last week i hopped in to go to the store and there’s the oil light again sometimes very dim and sometimes brighter. Went to show my wife and it was gone again. That was about a week ago so we called the dealer they said check the oil and if the light stays on contact us again. Well the light stayed off until this evening when i went to run another quick errand and boom there the light was again very dim and then got brighter at times and then dimmed again. For sure going to take it back in now that im reading all of this. Any suggestions on how i should approach the dealer on this issue since now i know there is an actual problem with this stretch of vehicles? Iv had this car for less than a month and am literally not sleeping at night from worry about what has been going on. I already spent too much on this car and now to see this is gut wrenching. Any advice helps. Thanks

  87. #87 Nicole meyer says:

    I have an 07 Subaru impreza and ever since the dealership put new head gaskets in I have been burning 1 quart of oil per 1000 miles and now my check engine light is on and I need new catalytic converters…. I believe it is all related.

  88. #88 LemonLaw says:

    @Dietrich: Make sure you go back to the shop EVERY TIME the light goes on and make sure you receive a repair invoice for every visit. Once you have three or more invoices, and a repair has been performed, call us a t 1800 LEMON LAW (1 800 536 6652) to discuss your rights, or fill out our Get Rid of Your Lemon form at

  89. #89 cgi5877 says:

    2009 outback 2.5i limited (71k) which I bought new needs a new short block. Dash lights went on and brought in the next morning for my appointment. They told me the car came in with no oil and the head gaskets were leaking. We replaced the head gaskets (along with some other smaller work). 1 month later the oil light goes on. Now they decide to look a bit further and see that the cylinders are scratched up and burning oil and that now I need a new short block. They didn’t bother to look the first time when it came in with no oil? If they had bothered to look the first time and told me I needed a new engine, would I have paid for new head gaskets? No. I complained to the dealership and they took it to Regional rep and they offered to pay 50% of the $5k – $6k repair costs. That is still not good enough. They need to take care of this in full. Just paid 3400 for gaskets and misc and now they want me to pay another $3k. I am about to call corporate but don’t have high hopes. Looking to trade this in and lease something. Not good, not happy.

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