Subaru forester 2004

In January 09 I took my Subaru to get oil changed. The mechanic called after a little while and said that the oil was loaded with gas and that this could be a serious problem. When we went to pick up he repeated that and also said that this could be a power train problem and he certainly does not work on those problems. I took my car to the dealer and also called Subaru, as my warranty was just on the verge of expiring. Of course, the dealer could not find gas in the oil, but again the oil was fresh. The Subaru instructed me to get my next change in the dealer and if the problem is present again than we will proceed with warranty. The oil is getting changed today. I checked the dip stick and it does smell like gas and also it is a little above the full line. So, is this really a power train problem? I use the car mainly in the city, short trips and we are in Wisconsin. The mechanic also said that doing a lot of small trips could cause it. Thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks!

Yes, a lot of short-trip driving could have something to do with this situation. It could also be the result of a problem such as a bad fuel pressure regulator, or a defective fuel injector.

Whether a mechanical problem is found, or not, you need to maintain your Forester according to the Severe Service guidelines in the Subaru Maintenance Schedule, because your urban, short-trip driving pattern is subjecting the vehicle to severe service. That means that oil changes need to be done at least every 3 months, regardless of odometer mileage, and other maintenance procedures need to be accelerated also. Read the maintenance schedule for details.

Thank you for the reply. So, in the event that they find that it is a bad fuel pressure or defective fuel injector, are those covered under the power train? I sure hope this to be nothing, but I am dreading it.

Thanks again. Be well


I second VDCdriver about the fuel pressure regulator.
Gasoline diluted engine oil will ruin an engine and based on the comment about the oil being loaded with gasoline I’m of the opinion that some engine damage has already occurred.

Diluted oil will cause excessive wear of the piston rings and will do what is called “washing out” the crankshaft bearings. The engine may still run fine but generally the engine lifespan is shortened.

The power train is the engine, transmission, differrentials, and axles; everything that makes the car go. Since the pressure regulator and the injectors are part of the engine, they should be covered.

Causes of gasoline in the motor: an overly rich running engine, a misfiring engine; high fuel pressure and fuel injectors which leak after the engine is shut off.
The fuel pressure regulator can be checked with a fuel pressure test gauge. The fuel injectors can be checked for leaking by leaving the fuel pressure test gauge in place after the engine is shut down. If the fuel injectors don’t leak, the fuel pressure will remain and will be indicated by the fuel pressure test gauge. I’ve seen the fuel pressure stay up for hours. When the fuel pressure goes down in a few minuets, it’s probably because the fuel injectors are leaking gasoline into the engine.

So, if they run a diagnostic test in the car, would such pressure changes appear on it? The oil got changed and they said that it was all normal. So, I have only that to believe.

As for any potential damage, would the engine light come on? The car run perfectly and the light never came on or anything. I am really confused and trust me I really love the car!

Often, the word “diagnostic” really only means that they used a scan tool and checked the engine computer for trouble codes. It sounds more comprehensive than it really is.
The fuel pressure tests, and fuel pressure leakdown tests, aren’t done often, or well, I feel. It’s not as though they were complicated, or complex, tests. Try to find a mechanic or shop who will do the tests in a satisfactory manner.