2013 Subaru Legacy - Short block

I have a 2013 subaru legacy with 86,000 miles on it that just flunked the oil consumption test at my dealer. They will install a short block. Do you have any advice and will this fix my oil consumption issues ?

It should fix the problem. Advice: Follow maintenance schedule.

It usually resolves the problem. Only in rare cases do owners report having the second engine also have oil consumption issues. That car will be six years od after you get it back. Maybe a good car to trade or sell on. Just a suggestion. From a fellow owner of a Forester with the exact same engine yours has.

Going by your mileage on the car it seems way too early to have an oil consumption problem. Replacing the engine will fix the issue all right, at a very significant cost to you. It would be good to know how much oil is being consumed each one thousand miles.

If the PCV valve hasn’t been replaced yet I suggest you try that first before doing the repair. Hopefully that simple replacement will fix the problem. If that doesn’t work I would then try using some Auto-RX to clean the piston rings and hopefully clear up the issue.

For anything that expensive, I suggest you get another opinion or two. Try a couple of independent shops that you or your friends and family know are good mechanics. Dealers are often interested in replacing stuff instead of trying other cures, such as the ones cougar recommended. The dealer may well be right, but it’s worth checking out before you go with the short block replacement.

The engine is covered by warranty for 8 years/100,000 miles for oil consumption problems, no need for a second opinion.

If the solution were as simple as a new PVC valve, manufactures wouldn’t be paying for engines and piston replacements.


Yes, it should fix the oil consumption problem. But make sure they make you whole through the process. IMO they should supply you gratis a similar vehicle – fully insured — to drive while yours is under repair. And they should supply a warranty for the replacement engine, at the minimum it should be the same as the full warranty period for the existing engine, 8 years, 100K from when you purchased the vehicle per the post above. And they should warrant the acceptable oil consumption rate in the replaced engine, somewhere in the neighborhood of not more than one quart in 1000 miles. Before accepting the vehicle after the repair is done, make sure nothing is leaking, the oil level on the dipstick, coolant level, transmission fluid level are all correct, and that the check engine light turns on with the key in on, engine not started, and that is turns off immediately after starting the engine. You might also want to pay your own mechanic an hour or two’s inspection fee to assess how well the job was done.

George, I believe you are on a little bit overly cautious side here.

The remainder of 8yrs/100K miles warranty will apply, plus most likely something like 12 months / 12K miles work warranty, in the end this is an official Subaru dealer who would do the job.

Yes, it would make sense to stick the nose under the hood and around and keep an eye on oil level and other items you listed, but I’m not sure OP needs to have a guilt presumption applied here.

1 Like

Replacing a short block is a complex job and there’s a lot of places where things could be done incorrectly. I wouldn’t pose the strategy as a guilt presumption, but rather a better safe than sorry approach.

For those who are not aware of the Subaru oil consumption 2.5L engine defect and the settlement to deal with it at no cost to owners, here is some background. This owner will not be paying anything for this remedy and Subaru typically supplies loaner vehicles during the days the vehicle is at the dealer. The oil consumption defect in this generation Subaru cars (and many from prior years) is unrelated to improper maintenance.

1 Like

I presume they re-use the short block that they remove, replace the parts causing the oil-use problem, and install it back into another customer’s car. One that has the same oil-usage problem. The short blocks get recycled into another car, not tossed in other words. So OP will most likely end up with a used, but oil-use corrected short block , right?

I would bet the labor to rebuild the short block that is removed would cost more than a new block.
I had a new engine installed under warranty on a 1990 Ford Aerostar that I once owned. A cylinder head had a hairline crack-- factory defect. One cylinder wall was scored. I asked the service manager why they didn’t just hone out the cylinder. He told me that on warranty issues, Ford just replaced the engine with a new one. I thought that was great.
I can sympathize with the OP. I didn’t overheat the engine and kept up the maintenance. The Aerostar was still under warranty at 35,000 miles and I got a new engine.

Thanks for the informative post @GorehamJ. I wasn’t aware of this issue until now. It seems Subaru is addressing the problem though it took some persuasion for the company to step up to the plate. I still think they are great cars and have had owned them since 1983, when I purchase my first new car. A new GL-10 model wagon was around $10.2K back then. I had the car for about 11 years and I think I spent about a total of around six hundred dollars in repairs during that time of ownership.

1 Like

George- Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth. Subaru is under no obligation to warranty the car past the 8 years or 100,000 miles it has already agreed to. To even bring it up to them would seem ungrateful to me. The OP said nothing about not getting a loaner car and to throw that in just clouds the issue.

This car did not come with an 8 year 100,000 mile warranty, it was only extended to that because a significant number of them were defective.

I am amazed at peoples post warranty expectations of free repairs ad infinitum.

1 Like

My perspective is that the dealership/manufacturer agreeing to resolve the OP’s problem under warranty isn’t a “gift horse”. The warranty is not a gift to the OP. The OP fully paid for it as part of the purchase price. The OP should reasonably expect the warranty to cover problems of the manufacturer’s making, even if the problem was inadvertent. You are correct that there’s no fundamental reason to expect the warranty to cover past the original extended 8 year/100K terms. This is consistent with my post above: "at the minimum it should be the same as the full warranty period for the existing engine, 8 years, 100K "

Not disagreeing that this is an extended warranty, but that seems irrelevant. Once it is extended, it becomes part of the original warranty.

Here’s an interesting question: If a problem later develops, past the 8 year/100k, that is clearly due to the short block replacement procedure, for example the short block replacement pinched & damaged an engine mount, should the warranty cover that?

I thought you were advocating the warranty to be extended another 8 years, 100k from the date and mileage of the new short block installation.

THE ENGINE REPLACEMENT IS A GRAND AND WONDERFUL THING IN MY BOOK. DOT PERIOD END. :smiley::smiley: PS I could not post this until added 2 smiley faces @whatever the administrator name is! Tried cd cq damn senile already!

The short block was replaced in my 2014 Forester at 62,000 miles at no charge. I’m now at 86,000 miles with no consumption. They did provide a loaner. No complaints here!


Reply to Old Timer) In fact, they are. Subaru agree to resolve a class action suit related to this very issue. They are legally bound to solve this issue.

No, that’s not what I meant. Sorry for the confusion.