My '97 Subaru Legacy 2.5 GT is burning oil, about a quart every 500 miles, so I recently asked my mechanic for a compression test. All four cylinders have loss of compression, 30-50% of normal - with the difference between each cylinder being within spec. (between 5-20psi). The spark plugs also show signs of burning oil on the electrodes.
This car has 244K on it. I would love to postpone the purchase of a new car and drive this old, beloved Legacy until it dies completely. It drives fine for me in its current condition. It has had the heads serviced not that long ago, timing belt replaced, suspension is good. Except for the fact that I have to add oil, I have no complaints. Since I added an oil stabilizer to thicken the oil, I no longer notice much smoke or smell and I suspect I’ll be adding less oil. I’m in a temperate climate and I don’t have to submit to emissions checks.
However, the car needs some safety work, such as brake pads, rotors, tires. I’m trying to decide how much longer it will reasonably run like this, so I can amortize the cost of those repairs. If I can get another 60K out of it, I’m all for it. But if it’s only going to be running another 6 months, I’m not putting any more money into it.
If anyone has any experience driving a vehicle with low compression (keeping the oil topped off, of course) I’d love to hear it. How much longer would you guess this engine has? Thanks, in advance!!