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Subaru FB 2.5 - Change in Oil = Consumption? #5127639 06/07/19 07:31 AM
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Clarkbug Offline OP
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Hello all.

I have a relatively new to me Forester with the FB 2.5. I know its the one thats a potential oil burner, so Im a little paranoid.

I picked it up with a little over 60k miles, and had a fresh oil change from the dealer. I went to just a little over 65k and did a change and put in some PP 0-20. Just about 1600 miles later, the low oil light came on when going around a curve and up a hill, even though I had been checking on a weekly basis.

So in the past I have heard that when you change oil brands it can temporarily increase consumption, and then levels out, and for me it seems some oils tend to be burned more than others. (I had an old Ranger that would consume Mobil quickly, but did just fine on Castrol GTX)

Ill wait and see if I have to add more before my next planned change at 70k, and then consider taking it in for an oil consumption test.

My question is that Im curious if the oil brand would really impact the oil consumption so drastically. The dealer did add the BG additive to the oil, but my guess is more that they overfilled it and so it didnt trigger the light.

Any thoughts?

Re: Subaru FB 2.5 - Change in Oil = Consumption? [Re: Clarkbug] #5127640 06/07/19 07:39 AM
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krismoriah72 Offline
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Re: Subaru FB 2.5 - Change in Oil = Consumption? [Re: Clarkbug] #5127641 06/07/19 07:39 AM
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Bjornviken Offline
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Put mobil 1 0w-40 (dealer oil in Finland)

Re: Subaru FB 2.5 - Change in Oil = Consumption? [Re: Clarkbug] #5127654 06/07/19 08:06 AM
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addyguy Offline
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You say the oil light came on, did you check it, and it was actually low?

If so, how low was it? Must have been pretty bad/low for an oil light to come on.


2010 Kia Soul 2U - 2.0L I-4, auto; 153k miles.
Castrol GTX 5W-20; Motomaster MPH 9688

2009 Pontiac G5 - 2.2 I-4, auto, 121k miles.
Oil/filter TBD
Re: Subaru FB 2.5 - Change in Oil = Consumption? [Re: Clarkbug] #5127658 06/07/19 08:09 AM
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bluesubie Offline
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Does this car have a powertrain warranty or any type of dealer warranty?

Yes, consumption can change due to switching oils but I believe the low oil light is supposed to come on when you're 1 quart low?? That seems excessive for only 1,600 miles. I would probably switch to a High Mileage oil, and maybe a 5W30, although that may just be a band-aid if there is a real problem. Not sure how it works on a used car, but I would be curious if you could see previous trips to the dealer by the previous owner for oil burning if you sign up at mysubaru.com.

Last edited by bluesubie; 06/07/19 08:17 AM.

'20 Subaru Outback Onyx XT | Idemitsu Zepro 0W-20
'04 Subaru Forester 2.5XT | Castrol Edge 0W-40
Re: Subaru FB 2.5 - Change in Oil = Consumption? [Re: Clarkbug] #5127661 06/07/19 08:12 AM
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PimTac Offline
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Do you know what oil was in the sump before you changed it?


2017 Mazda CX5
Mobil 1 Annual Protection 0w20
Roki OEM filter.
Re: Subaru FB 2.5 - Change in Oil = Consumption? [Re: addyguy] #5127675 06/07/19 08:31 AM
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Rand Offline
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Originally Posted by addyguy
You say the oil light came on, did you check it, and it was actually low?

If so, how low was it? Must have been pretty bad/low for an oil light to come on.


These cars have a low oil level light at 1quart low.

Most dealers overfill by at least .5qt to .75qt

To The OP:
What year is the forester, the worst were MT equipped 2011 to 2015.

I doubt the oil is the issue, I did have an issue with M1 in a 2.4L equinox where it consumed when I switched from using pennzoil, So it is theoretically possible.

I find it likely the dealer put an extra quart in previously(unless you checked it)


How many quarts did you use for your oil change and was it on the full mark or higher when you were done changing the oil?


2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2.0T
2020 Hyundai Elantra "Value Edition"
Re: Subaru FB 2.5 - Change in Oil = Consumption? [Re: Clarkbug] #5127684 06/07/19 08:38 AM
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ChemLabNL Offline
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If you are going to use a 0w20, use a high moly oil like OEM Toyota or Mazda.

Hopefully the rings aren't damaged.

Re: Subaru FB 2.5 - Change in Oil = Consumption? [Re: Clarkbug] #5127725 06/07/19 09:45 AM
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Being over 65k miles and unknown history, there is no telling what the issue is by guessing. Start with replacing PCV with an OEM one. I know they came with 0W20s from the factory, but there is no real downside to stepping up to a 0/5W30. However, do understand that flip-flopping oil brands every change will keep your engine in a constant state of flux and will not help you determine what is "normal" for your engine. Since you've already used PP (which is a fine oil) I'd try a change with PP 5W30. Keep it that way for 2-3 changes and stick to factory recommendation of 6k OCIs. Monitor oil level at every fill up, but do not top off until the level shows at the L mark.

Also make sure you are waiting at least 5 minutes after shutting the engine off to check the level, it can change a good bit when measuring just after shutoff to waiting until it's completely cold. Until you figure out your "normal" I would avoid using any oil additives so you can pin down exactly what the engine and oil themselves are doing. You can also run a compression test which will identify if one cylinder (or more) may be your culprit. Is there any black residue around the exhaust pipe or on the bumper? Can you smell burning oil? Have you removed the belly pan and checked to see if it's leaking from the underside of the engine?

I know on my EJ251 it would not consume any oil until I had it on the highway at speeds of 70+ for significant travels, and then it would use about a quart every 3k (which is insignificant IMO). Is most of your driving at highway speeds?


De omnibus dubitandum.
Re: Subaru FB 2.5 - Change in Oil = Consumption? [Re: Clarkbug] #5127729 06/07/19 09:47 AM
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Clarkbug Offline OP
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Thanks for all the replies everyone. Ill give some additional info.

its a 2014 Forester with the 6MT, so its one of the ones that is in danger of being an oil burner. The current program covers the engine out to 100k for oil consumption, so Im still able to get it tested.

I have checked the oil at every fill-up since I purchased it, and it was overfilled previously (Im not sure how much), and did burn some previously. I dont know what the dealer used for oil, only that they put in the BG additive.

In this particular instance, I had added 5 quarts when I made the change. It was very close to the full mark.

When the oil light came on, it was while driving, and around a fairly sharp corner up a hill, so that may have caused enough movement in the sump to trigger the light, but its the first I have seen it. When I checked it, the level was still above add on the dipstick, so I put in 0.5 qt. Its not up to full, but on the higher side of being between the dots.

Mostly Im wondering if the change in oil manufacturer is a large impact on consumption. Otherwise, I may just go get the consumption test done when I need to do my next change and see if I am eligible for a new shortblock...

Re: Subaru FB 2.5 - Change in Oil = Consumption? [Re: Clarkbug] #5127743 06/07/19 10:05 AM
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krismoriah72 Offline
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Its most likely the oil control rings worn prematurely. Oil wont fix faulty parts.

Re: Subaru FB 2.5 - Change in Oil = Consumption? [Re: SubieRubyRoo] #5127814 06/07/19 11:30 AM
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ka9mnx Online Content
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Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo
Being over 65k miles and unknown history, there is no telling what the issue is by guessing. Start with replacing PCV with an OEM one. I know they came with 0W20s from the factory, but there is no real downside to stepping up to a 0/5W30. However, do understand that flip-flopping oil brands every change will keep your engine in a constant state of flux and will not help you determine what is "normal" for your engine. Since you've already used PP (which is a fine oil) I'd try a change with PP 5W30. Keep it that way for 2-3 changes and stick to factory recommendation of 6k OCIs. Monitor oil level at every fill up, but do not top off until the level shows at the L mark.

Also make sure you are waiting at least 5 minutes after shutting the engine off to check the level, it can change a good bit when measuring just after shutoff to waiting until it's completely cold. Until you figure out your "normal" I would avoid using any oil additives so you can pin down exactly what the engine and oil themselves are doing. You can also run a compression test which will identify if one cylinder (or more) may be your culprit. Is there any black residue around the exhaust pipe or on the bumper? Can you smell burning oil? Have you removed the belly pan and checked to see if it's leaking from the underside of the engine?

I know on my EJ251 it would not consume any oil until I had it on the highway at speeds of 70+ for significant travels, and then it would use about a quart every 3k (which is insignificant IMO). Is most of your driving at highway speeds?
Excellent advice. Every single word.


2005 Ranger 3.0 - SuperTech Syn 0w-20/Motorcraft
2000 4Runner 3.4 - SuperTech Syn 5w-30/Toyota
1997 B2500 Van 3.9 - M1 HM 10w-30/Mopar
1993 F150 4.9 - SuperTech Syn 5w-30/Motorcraft
Re: Subaru FB 2.5 - Change in Oil = Consumption? [Re: SubieRubyRoo] #5127830 06/07/19 11:56 AM
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maxdustington Offline
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Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo
Being over 65k miles and unknown history, there is no telling what the issue is by guessing. Start with replacing PCV with an OEM one. I know they came with 0W20s from the factory, but there is no real downside to stepping up to a 0/5W30. However, do understand that flip-flopping oil brands every change will keep your engine in a constant state of flux and will not help you determine what is "normal" for your engine. Since you've already used PP (which is a fine oil) I'd try a change with PP 5W30. Keep it that way for 2-3 changes and stick to factory recommendation of 6k OCIs. Monitor oil level at every fill up, but do not top off until the level shows at the L mark.

Also make sure you are waiting at least 5 minutes after shutting the engine off to check the level, it can change a good bit when measuring just after shutoff to waiting until it's completely cold. Until you figure out your "normal" I would avoid using any oil additives so you can pin down exactly what the engine and oil themselves are doing. You can also run a compression test which will identify if one cylinder (or more) may be your culprit. Is there any black residue around the exhaust pipe or on the bumper? Can you smell burning oil? Have you removed the belly pan and checked to see if it's leaking from the underside of the engine?

I know on my EJ251 it would not consume any oil until I had it on the highway at speeds of 70+ for significant travels, and then it would use about a quart every 3k (which is insignificant IMO). Is most of your driving at highway speeds?
Known oil burner with an extended warranty that only has 35k left on it and you suggest multiple OCIs? Why would you spend money on a new PCV when you can get a new short block from the dealer for free with an oil consumption test that costs you nothing? I understand the trouble shooting process but this is a 65k mile known oil burner that drinks a qt in 1600 miles, what are the chances it is the PCV?

You're not blinded by the badge on the front, are you?


99 Toyota Tercel CE 5EFE/C151
PUP 5W30/Ultra
Re: Subaru FB 2.5 - Change in Oil = Consumption? [Re: maxdustington] #5127876 06/07/19 01:19 PM
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SeaJay Offline
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Originally Posted by maxdustington
Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo
Being over 65k miles and unknown history, there is no telling what the issue is by guessing. Start with replacing PCV with an OEM one. I know they came with 0W20s from the factory, but there is no real downside to stepping up to a 0/5W30. However, do understand that flip-flopping oil brands every change will keep your engine in a constant state of flux and will not help you determine what is "normal" for your engine. Since you've already used PP (which is a fine oil) I'd try a change with PP 5W30. Keep it that way for 2-3 changes and stick to factory recommendation of 6k OCIs. Monitor oil level at every fill up, but do not top off until the level shows at the L mark.

Also make sure you are waiting at least 5 minutes after shutting the engine off to check the level, it can change a good bit when measuring just after shutoff to waiting until it's completely cold. Until you figure out your "normal" I would avoid using any oil additives so you can pin down exactly what the engine and oil themselves are doing. You can also run a compression test which will identify if one cylinder (or more) may be your culprit. Is there any black residue around the exhaust pipe or on the bumper? Can you smell burning oil? Have you removed the belly pan and checked to see if it's leaking from the underside of the engine?

I know on my EJ251 it would not consume any oil until I had it on the highway at speeds of 70+ for significant travels, and then it would use about a quart every 3k (which is insignificant IMO). Is most of your driving at highway speeds?
Known oil burner with an extended warranty that only has 35k left on it and you suggest multiple OCIs? Why would you spend money on a new PCV when you can get a new short block from the dealer for free with an oil consumption test that costs you nothing? I understand the trouble shooting process but this is a 65k mile known oil burner that drinks a qt in 1600 miles, what are the chances it is the PCV?

You're not blinded by the badge on the front, are you?


Maybe they changed their policy, but when these problems were first appearing in some Gen5 cars, the manufacturer considered a quart down in 1,200 miles to be "normal". If it used a quart in fewer miles they considered it defective and gave the owner a new short block.

Re: Subaru FB 2.5 - Change in Oil = Consumption? [Re: SeaJay] #5127908 06/07/19 01:59 PM
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Rand Offline
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Originally Posted by SeaJay
Originally Posted by maxdustington
Originally Posted by SubieRubyRoo
Being over 65k miles and unknown history, there is no telling what the issue is by guessing. Start with replacing PCV with an OEM one. I know they came with 0W20s from the factory, but there is no real downside to stepping up to a 0/5W30. However, do understand that flip-flopping oil brands every change will keep your engine in a constant state of flux and will not help you determine what is "normal" for your engine. Since you've already used PP (which is a fine oil) I'd try a change with PP 5W30. Keep it that way for 2-3 changes and stick to factory recommendation of 6k OCIs. Monitor oil level at every fill up, but do not top off until the level shows at the L mark.

Also make sure you are waiting at least 5 minutes after shutting the engine off to check the level, it can change a good bit when measuring just after shutoff to waiting until it's completely cold. Until you figure out your "normal" I would avoid using any oil additives so you can pin down exactly what the engine and oil themselves are doing. You can also run a compression test which will identify if one cylinder (or more) may be your culprit. Is there any black residue around the exhaust pipe or on the bumper? Can you smell burning oil? Have you removed the belly pan and checked to see if it's leaking from the underside of the engine?

I know on my EJ251 it would not consume any oil until I had it on the highway at speeds of 70+ for significant travels, and then it would use about a quart every 3k (which is insignificant IMO). Is most of your driving at highway speeds?
Known oil burner with an extended warranty that only has 35k left on it and you suggest multiple OCIs? Why would you spend money on a new PCV when you can get a new short block from the dealer for free with an oil consumption test that costs you nothing? I understand the trouble shooting process but this is a 65k mile known oil burner that drinks a qt in 1600 miles, what are the chances it is the PCV?

You're not blinded by the badge on the front, are you?


Maybe they changed their policy, but when these problems were first appearing in some Gen5 cars, the manufacturer considered a quart down in 1,200 miles to be "normal". If it used a quart in fewer miles they considered it defective and gave the owner a new short block.


When I had the 2013 outback tested it was 1quart in 3000miles.. but they overfilled it by over 16oz on both oil consumption tests.

For my 2015 forester IIRC it called for 5.1 or 5.2quarts but it took almost 5.75 quarts to get to the full mark.. I would just put in 6quart and never had to add any in 5000mile oil changes.

I had 3 MT equipped fb25 vehicles so I was pretty paranoid about oil burning too.

Also highway road trips can double or even triple the oil consumption.. the 2013 outback burned 1quart in 1200miles during a period with alot of highspeed PA mountain driving. Generally it was somewhere between 1quart in 1800mi to 1quart in 2500mi.

It has got new rings and then a new shortblock.. still burns 1quart in 3000miles.


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