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2009 Subaru Forester - Consumes Oil

Is it normal for my Subaru Forester to be consuming oil between changes? I am told it is completely normal and I am seeing in your blog it is not. There is also not a leak.

Yes it is normal for ANY vehicle to consume some oil between changes. It’s the volume of oil it consumes tells you whether or not you have a problem.

That, I know. I am used to Toyotas, where when I checked the dip stick, there was hardly any difference. In this Subaru, I am having to top it off halfway between changes. I took it back to the dealership where I bought it and they showed me underneath… no leak. It just seems weird to me.

I don’t know what blog or whose it is but oil usage is not uncommon with any vehicle.

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Yeah, I may just be used to a Toyota, but it seems my Subaru uses a lot more in between changes than my Toyota did. I could just be being extra paranoid.

How much oil are you having to add? And how many miles between oil changes ?


About 1/3 of a quart between. And I’ve only owned it for one oil change, so I’ve been doing 4k miles. The car has about 90k miles.

A 10 year old car that only burns 1/3 of a quart in 4k miles is nothing to worry about.

Most people would be bragging about burning that small amount of oil on a car with 90k on it.


I have a different view of this issue than my fellow members (4-time Subie owner, current Forester owner). While many cars do consume oil, the Subaru 2.5-liter engine has a long history of excessive oil consumption. Many Subarus afflicted with the defect eventually fail. The problem was so widespread, and Subaru tried so hard to hide from the issue, that there was a class action lawsuit, which Subaru settled by agreeing to extend the warranty on pretty much every model it makes. The class-action suit settlement does not cover your year, unfortunately. CarTalk has tried to warn Subaru buyers of this issue with our story, “Used Subarus, Buy This One Not That One.” You can read about the problems in the words of actual owners on CarComplaints, our partner site. Here is the link to your year, model, and this defect. The good news for you is that a ten-model-year-old car of any type has fully depreciated. Your financial exposure is limited. Many owners of Foresters in the worst years, 2011-2015 ended up with cars that had failed engines while they were still relatively new. Also, 1/3 quart over 4K miles is at the low end of the consumption rate. Some owners end up with cars that consume the whole volume between oil changes. Best of luck. If you have just recently bought the car from a Subaru dealer be sure to post on Google, Dealer Rater, and the dealership’s own site a post that says that they sold you a vehicle with a well-known defect.

Not sure if I go along with this thinking. 2009 is at least 10 years old and the complete service history is unknown . The vehicle was sold as is and you can’t expect a dealer to just wholesale every vehicle they take in trade. Also how does one know if the defects have been remedied or not . That is why the phrase ’ Buyer be Ware
exists. This persons oil usage is only a 1/3 quart every 4000 miles on a 90000 mile used vehicle.

I think you make a good point. Maybe I am overly sensitive on this issue.

Understandably so! :grinning:

My Subaru uses–at most–1/4 of a qt between its 4,000 mile oil changes.
By comparison, my best friend’s Toyota Rav-4 uses ~1 qt every 1,000 miles, and he has decided to consider buying a Subaru next time, instead of another Toyota.

I know that Subaru’s oil consumption is everybody’s famous debating topic, but how is it a dealer’ fault that Subaru makes such engines?
Unfortunately, Subaru (same as some other makes like BMW and Chevy) did not learn how to build engines with less oil consumption by 21st century.
Yes, shame on these manufacturers, but how is it dealer’s fault?
From this standpoint, dealer is not doing anything bad here, as 1/3 quart in 4000 miles is absolutely “normal” for Subaru, especially of 90K miles on odometer.
I used to have such consumption from new, and it happily stayed the same until 100K, so I see no reason for OP to worry about it, just to check the oil level periodically and add as needed.

Good comments above. I don’t think you have any oil consumption problems to worry about there, other than to keep it topped off between changes. Newer cars are designed to have better mpg’s than in the past, due to gov’t requirements and that good mpg ratings help sell cars., Towards this end the newer engines tend to use thinner oils for reduced internal drag, and one downside of the thinner oils is that a little more gets past the piston rings and burned in the engine compared to the older engine designs. For example my 90’s Corolla uses 10W-30, but newer Corolla’s use 0W-20.