2016 Subaru Outback excessive oil burn

Burn excessive amounts of oil.
6 months ago my car oil light on and not even reach 4K miles. Added half Quarts of oil.
2 months had my car oil changed. Now the oil light on and reach up 3.5K miles. Add another half Quarts of oil.

Not sure what to do.


First and foremost check your oil level more often. Don’t let the oil light even come on.

If this means you burned 1/2 quart of oil in 3500 miles, this is in NO way excessive! One quart per 7000 miles is great oil consumption and would be expected on a 2 year old car. Even if this car is still under warranty, and it should be, the dealer probably told you the same thing if you took it in.

Drive on, you are fine!

Are you burning or leaking the oil? Take the car in for warranty if it’s still covered. Some on this site claim that a quart every 3-4,000 miles is normal. On a high mileage vehicle it may be so, but not for a vehicle with low mileage.

Sir, would You care to repeat that sentence???

Just so we can be sure that You are describing Yourself.

(No other danes are reading this, so nobody is offended by that word)


My ancestors were Danes, and I am NOT offended! :rofl:

Opinions will differ on that detail, however one detail on which nobody should differ is your ability to calculate. The OP stated that his/her vehicle consumes 1/2 quart in 3,500 miles and that equals the consumption of 1 qt per 7k miles.

Not normal, but not enough to get ANY response from the dealer. Typically needs to be 1 qt/1000 miles, sometimes more.

And 1 qt/3,000 miles, while not desirable, is within bounds.

The OP needs to start carefully tracking oil consumption. Check the oil level immediately following the oil change (they often get it slightly off), then at every fillup. It they want any chance of getting the dealer involved they have to document the problem.


Wheew, I’m a lucky guy :flushed:
But johnznot certainly did a good job of trying to offend the contributors on this forum.

What part of Denmark did they come from? do You know that.

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It’s not the so-called crack pots who determine what’s normal oil consumption, but instead it’s the vehicle manufacturers who make that call.

When you manufacture millions of vehicles, there are going to be some engines that are going to consume more oil than others. There’s no getting around that.

So, the vehicle manufacturers set a spec for what is normal oil consumption. This spec prevents the manufacturer from having to replace engines because of slight oil consumption where the engine otherwise operates fine.

So, you may not like what the vehicle manufacturer considers as being normal oil consumption, but then, you didn’t manufacture the vehicle. They did.

So they’re the ones who have the say on what’s considered normal oil consumption.



I’m pretty sure is NOT leaking. Didn’t see NO oil on the ground past 2 years. Very low mileage and drove 17+K miles.

If it’s “burning” oil the two most likely reasons are rings or valve guides - both are wear issues and usually show up on high mileage vehicles. Head gasket is a possibility. In the past Subaru’s did seem to have an issue that required that the heads came off, but I’m not sure that’s still the case. When I had my import auto parts business Subaru gasket sets were an A mover. Take it to the dealer or a competent mechanic. Spend the money to have it diagnosed correctly.

My car is still under warranty. I will bring to Subaru Dealership soon.


My great grandfather and great grandmother lived near Copenhagen and emigrated to the US in 1909.

You are confusing “normal” with “acceptable”. I don’t think any of the regulars here consider 1 qt every 3-4k miles normal, but according to the manufacturers, it is acceptable so there is nothing you can do about it, except to buy from a different manufacturer next time, and let your friends and acquaintances who are considering your model know about your issues.

Very likely you are right, but Outbacks (at least prior generations I used to own) have a thick “diaper pad” under that engine, capable of soaking many quarts of oil or coolant before you see any trace on the ground, just FYI

What you should do is become educated on the topic of the Subaru excessive oil consumption class action suit settlement and start to document your oil levels and events for a future engine replacement. At a minimum record your oil additions and mileage and keep your service receipts. You should report this to Subaru and ask them to start an oil consumption test (it takes time). That will help ensure you get coverage later. Here are the details you need to get started in a previous CarTalk story. Your oil consumption is likely to increase. As the owner of 3 past Subarus plus being the current 2016 Forester, in your situation, I would trade that car immediately.


The oil light that come on, is it a low level light or is it a low oil pressure light? If it’s the later, it means there is very little oil in the engine and damage is being done. Do you check the level after you add a 1/2 qt. of oil? If it is the oil pressure light the car probably needs 3 to 4 qts of oil added.

If the car only needs a 1/2 qt to bring it back to full then you are okay.

Ed B.

Hi Ed,
I did check the oil leveler (Dip Stick). Parked for a few hours let the oil level down.
Checked dip stick was slightly above Adding point. After poured 1/2 qt of oil, it reached up between Add and Full.
I normally add 4.5 Qts for oil changed and dip stick was between Add and Full.
Am I doing it right?


No, you are not. Forget the capacity number. After an oil change you add enough to have the oil at the full mark and then check it weekly ( pick a day such as Saturday ).

That sounds right. If any concern about burning or leaking oil, I’d fill it to the top of the acceptable range on the dipstick, and check it often to assay the situation.