Subaru Outback 2004: OIL BURNER ?

Hello!,

I have a Subaru Outback 2004 2.5i (168CV) since 2004-may, I by this car new. I drive with it 50.000 Km in a familiar use (I never execed the 4500 rpm, I drive betwen 2.000 and 4.000 rpm). Since the first day, my Subaru burns 1 litre oil (a quarter) every 4.000 Km (2.500 miles). I try use many oil type: CEPSA 5-40, Motul 8100 5-40, Castrol TXT 5-50, but it burns the same oil. It is normal in this engine? What oil did you recomended?

There are somebody with the same problem? I read in a australian forum that in this country Subaru-Australia has replaced engines for this issue, it is true?

The Subaru service says that is normal !!!!, I never had a new car that burns oil, It is Subaru-engine the worst engine in the world?

Tanks

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If you are in southern Europe (you seem to have a Spanish address) don't be afraid to use a 15-40w, 15-50w oil, or even 20-50w. It may help a lot. I have noticed that my car burns a lot more 5-30w oil than 15-50w, and this is 5-30 in winter time, and 15-50 in summer.

I think these 5-40, 5-50, oils were developed for northern Europe type climates and for the convienience of year round use. In southern Europes warmer climate you should be able to use 15-40, 15-50 year round, unless you are somewhere in the mountains. If you are in some place like Southern Spain, S.Italy, or Greece, 20-50 year round should be OK, and should make a difference in oil consumption.

MN

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Hello MN,

Yes, I live in Barcelona. The syntetic oil 5-40 is the most used in my region for a new cars, and I use this oil in other cars without oil burning (VW Golf III, VW Passat, Honda HR-V).

Using a mineral oil it must change oil in 7500 Km, instead 15000 Km. I trie to use in my Subaru a Castrol RS 10-50, or a Motul 300V 10-40 or 15-40 in the next oil-change.

Thaks

Joan

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Joan Masoliver wrote:

At one time, GM considered a quart in 900 miles to fall within normal useage for big V8s. You should confirm the PCV valve and systems is operational and clean. It is a cheap part if you wanted to change it.

Carl 1 Lucky Texan

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Thaks Carl,

My car inunder waranty, I try to confirm the state of the PCV valve in a Subaru dealer.

Joan

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why don't you use 10-30 oil? I don't like any of 5 weights oil

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Joan Masoliver wrote:

I don't think I'd worry about 1 litre per 2,500 miles. I suspect that you've treated the car very gently and it still hasn't broken in completely.

Subaru (or any other car maker) would not replace engines for this level of oil consumption.

Oil is cheap compared to gas and car payments. I would not worry about it.

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Joan Masoliver wrote:

Sounds about normal. That's about what mine uses. I change my oil every 3000 miles so I hardly notice it. I have right at 12,000 miles on my Forrester.

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Yes, Jim and chip, this isn't a high oil consomation, but it is the first car that I drive burning oil (I drive 750.000 Km):

Seat 600, Peugeot 504 GLD, Peugeot 205 GLD, VW Golf II GTI, VW Golf III GTI, VW Golf IV TDI, VW Passat TDI, Honda HR-V, and nothing burns oil. I test the oil level regulary.

New technology for new cars actually means you need to check your oil more often? , in opposition to the expectation of newer cars being more reliable and requiring less monitoring. I think that if a car need adding oil regulary it is necessary install a oil bootle, like a coolant bootle ..., but the user can't live in a insecurity sensation of leak oil, in front of the sophistication actual tecnology of cars: it has a temperature exterior sensor but it hasn't a exact oil-level sensor and it is necessari check oil manually, like my 1964 SEAT 600.

I think this Outback 2.5i is a "oil-guzzler"

jnm

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If the oil consumption is typical for the Subie 2.5 it probably indicates the engine was designed for demanding use. An extreme example of that is the old Lotus Super Seven (IIRC), which used an engine that was designed to power water pumps in fire engines. The engine had to endure putting out full power as soon as it was started, so the tolerances were left loose and it burned amazing amounts of oil. The same thing applies to engines that are designed for off-road use, but just not as radically. Loose tolerances make for a much more rugged engine if the engine is likely to be lugged a lot and/or pushed hard (like driving through sand.) Oil-sipping street engines don't last long under those conditions.

Mike

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Michael Pardee wrote:

I'm not sure the use of the word 'normal' here by Subaru was correct, or should be taken to mean 'average'. I suspect it is within 'allowable limits'. There is likely a bell curve or somthing that represents typical oil usage and a lower limit. I do wonder how bad it would need tobe for Subaru to consider it a problem - perhaps if it were low in conjunction with a singel cylinder with low compression or some other combination of factors. I dunno.

Carl 1 Lucky Texan

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That is my other thought. In the Honda forum the last couple years there were a number of posts by owners who saw their oil consumption suddenly jump, mostly with a year or two on the engine. They were nearly all under warranty but there was much gnashing of teeth until one dealer went far enough to determine it was a broken ring in one cylinder that was doing it to that car. Others pushed their dealers and it turned out to be the reason that was happening so much. I never did find out if a careful compression test would show it up (I'd think it would).

Mike

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Joan Masoliver wrote:

[...]

I have put over 60k miles into 93' Legacy L and at that moment 150k miles into 02' Impreza 2.5 TS and Outback together and never have noted oil burning. However me and my wife drive rather hard.

Interestingly enough my Yamaha FZ-1 (bike) burns oil somewhat (which is fine) in case I ride it very gently on longer trips - average speed 75-85 mph at 5000 rpm. Heard that the engine takes less or none oil when pushed harder worth frequent trips over to 8+k RPM zone. It matches my observations.

A.

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Andy Leszczynski wrote:

Hi,

One theory that's been advanced concerning your observation is that pushing the engine a little harder tends to "press" compression rings into the cylinder walls harder, thus creating a tighter seal. I won't say one way or the other whether this occurs, but the OP stated she never takes her engine up much past mid-range. Using your observation, it might help if she'd run her engine out to redline a few times a month. It's possible her rings have never properly seated, and this could help a bit.

While a PCV valve problem would be suspected after some miles have piled up, the fact she's experienced about the same oil consumption since the car was new makes me think that's unlikely. It's rumored many Subie engines DO take longer to seat rings than some others. Again I won't say one way or the other, but driving the car a bit harder might show some change.

As for the car in question being an oil-guzzler, I think the OP needs to redefine that term. In the past, and I'd imagine it's still true, you'd enjoy no success trying to convince a car mfr anything's wrong if oil consumption doesn't exceed 1 qt/1000 miles. Some German engines have "allowed" 1 qt/500 miles as "normal." Their philosophy was pretty similar to what another poster mentioned: the harder an engine's gonna be pushed, the more oil it should use due to looser tolerances--too tight and the engine will wear and/or self-destruct more rapidly. Autobahn use at 125 mph is certainly going to be a bit tougher than cruising around at 50-75 mph.

Now, if my calculator's close, I figure the OP's putting on about 2000 mi/month since buying the car. So once every four or five weeks she needs to add a quart. This is a problem? I don't think so. I check the oil in each of my cars once a week, and keep them topped up to the "full" mark on the stick whenever they're down 1/4 qt or more. It's arguably obsessive, but hardly a chore.

Rick

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