Author Topic: Subaru burning oil  (Read 1357 times)

Steeze

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Subaru burning oil
« on: August 04, 2018, 03:37:58 PM »
My mom's subaru 2011 forester with 140k miles is burning 1 qt of oil every tank of gas, just started 5000 miles ago. We have it scheduled for a compression test. Most likely has bad rings or valve guides, maybe a bad head gasket or pcv valve.

Estimates on repair costs are 4000 for a rebuild from their local guy. He suggested buying a certified rebuilt engine and doing a swap instead for 5k, but I think it was just not in his wheelhouse to rebuild.

The car has some minor damage to the hatch as well and would trade for around 4k in current condition. She is considering a few options:

1. Pay for the 4k rebuild (maybe from the dealer?)
2. Trade it on a minivan (20k for <50k miles)
3. Trade it on an economy car like a hyundai (12k under 30k miles)
4. Run it as is, put in oil as needed

I am leaning toward the rebuild, but wanted to hear some othere perspectives. She has a total of 500 saved for repairs and would throw the remaining on a 0% credit card. Otherwise she would finance a replacement vehicle at around 4%.

She drives around 30k miles a year and cleans houses for a living. She also lives in a rural mountain town and can get stuck in the snow occasionally.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Trifele

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Re: Subaru burning oil
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2018, 04:49:52 PM »
@Steeze -- My '12 Forester has also started burning oil like crazy recently.  I read online that there was a class action suit about this, and that Subaru has agreed to cover repairs for certain models.  https://jalopnik.com/subaru-settles-lawsuit-over-oil-burning-cars-1752805682

I called the local dealer and have scheduled an appointment for the test.  They told me that my VIN was covered, and if the test came back positive (can't imagine it won't), then the repairs are covered.  We'll see . . .

Steeze

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Re: Subaru burning oil
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2018, 05:01:15 PM »
Thanks, yeah I read the same, but I thought it had to be under 100k miles no? How many miles do you have on yours?

Trifele

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Re: Subaru burning oil
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2018, 05:07:10 PM »
Thanks, yeah I read the same, but I thought it had to be under 100k miles no? How many miles do you have on yours?

About 85k on my car . . . Ah, did not know about the 100k cutoff.  Rats.

Car Jack

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Re: Subaru burning oil
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2018, 08:53:06 PM »
If the car has more than 100k miles as of the date of notice, it gets a 1 year warranty.  I have not found the official date of notice, but I remember knowing about it when our Crosstrek CVT was replaced under warranty, just about a year ago, so I expect that's passed at this point.

http://www.oilconsumption.settlementclass.com/files/Settlement%20Agreement.pdf

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Subaru burning oil
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2018, 09:03:30 AM »
Those prices for the rebuild and engine swap sound pretty high.  Might want to shop around.  I had a new engine put in my truck for $2,700 last year.  Granted, I live in a LCOL area, but $5k still sounds awfully steep.

CptCool

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Re: Subaru burning oil
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2018, 09:16:21 AM »
A quart of oil is pretty cheap. Why not just add the $2-4 quart of oil every time you fill up with gas? No need to pay for expensive oil if it's all getting burned up.

The downside is your engine may fail. If the alternative is to buy a new engine now, it seems like you may want to just wait it out....you may be surprised how long the car lasts by just topping off as needed. My camry has been burning a quart of oil every 1k miles for the last 5 years (~30k miles). Still going strong and just costs a few extra dollars for the extra oil.


You may also want to double check that you aren't leaking somewhere that's easy to fix. The valve cover gasket is a common failure on many cars that would cause oil to leak out then burn off. It's a cheap part ($10-$25) and takes less than an hour to replace as it's one of the easiest things to find & reach - no special tools or stands required

Steeze

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Re: Subaru burning oil
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2018, 07:06:40 PM »
Thanks, that could be an ok option too. If she drives it another 100k miles it would need around $1000-$1500 in extra oil. Currently she is topping it with 5w30 synthetic, which isn't the cheapest. Wish it was a leak, but there are no signs of a leak anywhere. Have an appointment for a compression test in a few days, we will see.

GreenEggs

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Re: Subaru burning oil
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2018, 07:59:53 PM »
Try using thicker oil.  I'd try 10w40.  Non-synthetic since it's not staying in the engine long anyway. 


It might be a little harder to start on the coldest days of Winter, but probably not too bad.


I'd probably think about trading it in if the thicker oil doesn't help.  Pouring big money into an old car is a losing battle.

pecunia

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Re: Subaru burning oil
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2018, 08:06:37 PM »
Green Eggs:
Quote
Pouring big money into an old car is a losing battle.

So is pouring big money into a new car.  However, you should have far less frustration.

boarder42

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Re: Subaru burning oil
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2018, 08:17:48 PM »
Ditch the Subaru why would you own one

nick_mmm

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Re: Subaru burning oil
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2018, 09:21:44 PM »
Eventually, oil consumption will destroy components, but I can say I had a friend with a 1999 corolla who was adding 1/qt per 100 miles.. the car lasted 50K miles like (to 150K total) that until they donated the car. Keep it full of oil is important; but also push Subaru as much as possible.

I have heard anecdotal evidence that switching to heavier oil might help. I have noticed that both Mazda and Subaru recently have had oil consumption issues; and in some cases the same cars with the same engines sold outside the US/Canada specify using 5w30 conventional oil and speculation is that they have less issues.