Does Subaru have a oil burning problem?

Does Subaru Forester have a oil burning issue?

My two friends and my son have Forester between 1 to 5 years old. The oil burning light would go on 4-5000 miles requiring adding a new quarter of synthetic oil. That’s pretty costly.

1 quart per 4000 miles is not a problem. But yes, there have been issues with the redesigned engine and oil use.

1 Like

A quart of full synthetic oil costs less than $10. That’s not my idea of “costly.” Manufacturers say a quart in 2000 miles or even a bit more is within normal limits. Keep checking your oil and don’t worry.


On all the other cars I have driven (Lexus, Toyota, Honda, BMW and Nissan) I never had to worry about checking or adding oil in between oil change.

I actually have the oil changed every 10,000 miles on synthetic.

Then you’ve been lucky. Most cars consume some amount of oil. And 10k is a long time between oil changes.

“Oil burning light”?? That would be the low oil pressure light. It means the car likely needs more than one quart to bring it back to full. Your friends and your son need to start checking their oil regularly rather than waiting for the car to cry for help.


Concur w/above advice. One quart per 4000 miles is within the normal range. This may seem counterintuitive, but newer cars tend to use oil at a faster clip than older cars. It’s b/c the newer cars are designed to be highly fuel efficient so they can post good mpg numbers. One way for the manufacturer’s to achive good mpg while still delivering good engine performance is to use thinner oils.

1 Like

On my BMW which had a maintenance free arrangement which included oil changes, the dealer would not schedule a oil change unless is 10,000.

But if I go to a Jiffy Lube and the like, the sticker would say 5,000 miles.

I drive pretty much 85% on highway at 65 mph. I live a suburb. I think the environment and the your driving habbit are factors of how frequently you have to change the oil.

I’ll bet that every Owners Manual of those cars said oil level should be checked every time you get gas.
That’s what I do with every new-to-me car until I learn how much oil it uses.
I’ve been lucky (and careful choosing) to never have owned a car that needed oil added between changes.
But I still check the level every 1000 miles.

An automobile needs more care than a toaster.
After all it’s typically a person’s second most valuable possession


The first is the popcorn maker … :wink:

If you keep using this paradigm, you have quite a good chance of getting your engine starved of oil and damaged beyond repair, the bill will get quite high.
Warranty will certainly be denied as manual clearly states to “check oil level and fill as needed” as a mandatory item.
On positive side, Subaru added a second yellow “add oil” light to safeguard owners from catastrophic damage by warning that oil gets low, but it is still in your best interest to check oil level at least monthly and add as needed.
1 quart in 4000 mile is quite good… for Subaru.
Yes, most other brands do not require that, but only recently a friend of my daughter killed his Nissan as he was not in habit to check the oil and he missed the point where engine started to consume oil… seized engine on a highway, repair bill is higher than car residual value… guess what happened next.

1 Like

You mention Toyota. A direct quote from my 2012 Toyota Camry’s owners manual. Oil consumption of one quart per 700 miles is not considered excessive.

The manual also says to check the oil at least monthly.
Yes, my 2012 requires full synthetic.

If the cost of the oil really concerns you, Walmart’s Super Tech full synthetic oil is $3/12 a quart, ot $14.88 in a 5quart jug,

1 Like

Aha, the oil burning light! (Also serves as oil leaking light and not enough oil put in after draining oil light.) I do admire this belt and suspenders approach.

1 Like

Mr. Coffee! That’s my most valuable possession! A morning without black coffee would result in chaos and catastrophe… Oh, the humanity! :zap: :boom: :fire:
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:


My Pontiacs and Impalas have the “Low Oil” warning light that would illuminate if I ever got 1 quart low. These cars have a sensor in the side of the oil pan.

Mine would never illuminate as I check oil weekly, just because oil is critical and it’s simple to check.
I do like having the extra, “got your back” support, though. And I’d never let an engine ever run a quart low.
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

AKA “what were you thinking?” light :slight_smile:

I know about two schools of thought on this general topic, but still it is better than to get to “It is no oil left, you idiot!” light.


I agree. Coffee is happy juice.


Every morning I prepare a pot of Folger’s regular classic roast at work . . . using a Mr Coffee


no sugar

no cream

Gets me through the morning

:coffee: :smiley:

1qt/4-5K sounds okay to me . . . sure, it would be even better if it consumed no oil between oil changes, but the usage is well within normal parameters

High quality full synthetic . . . such as Castrol or Mobil . . . costs several dollars, if you buy it in 1qt increments. But if you buy it on sale at Costco, the price is very reasonable

I’ve owned several cars that required 1qt every 500 or 600 miles . . . when you think of it in those terms, op is doing just fine

1 Like

Thanks. I said the same thing yesterday. A quart of quality synthetic oil isn’t exactly cheap but if you’re only buying it every 4k it’s not my idea of “costly” either. I keep a quart in my trunk on principle. Certainly cheaper than not adding oil.

1 Like

5qts of Walmart branded super tech synthetic run about $16. Buy that as topper oil.

1 Like