I hope you are well. I have a 2011 Subaru Forester (silver/5 speed) which has been great since purchase. I have travelled 19K to date and change oil every 6 months or 7,500 miles. I have one somewhat troubling matter, however: I’ve added a quart of synthetic oil prior to each 6 month/7,500 mile oil change.
Is this to be expected? My friendly local Subaru dealer says that “all cars” will use oil over a 6 month period. I’ve stopped in every 1200 miles the past 6 months and verified that it is using some oil.
However, my silver 1990 535i 5 speed with 250K did not use any oil when I drove it daily for many years. It is now in retirement. The local bmw guys tell me that the m30 engine was the best ever built by the Munich folks.
I keep my cars for a long time and would prefer to address this now, prior to the warranty expiration date.
Thanks and best wishes,
Supposedly many (all?) late model vehicles come with a caveat about oil consumption in their owner’s manuals. Just for fun, I looked at my only late model vehicle’s owner’s manual and the 2011 Ford Ranger (modern Duratec or ancient Cologne V6) doesn’t have a penchant for oil consumption. So anyway…
We’ve discussed Subaru’s oil concerns several times before in this series, but I doubt they have relevance here. So I’m not surprised to read your problem. Do I know any details off hand? Nope. Luckily, we have Google searches and the NASIOC. Do more searches there and you’ll see my point.
Odds are your dealer isn’t lying: the Subaru Boxer engine (especially the turbocharged ones) can burn oil, so be okay with it. Kinda like Mazda RX-8 owners! Ditto the V-10 powered BMW M5 and M6. These whips prove that certain engines are designed for performance, consequences be damned.
Unhappy with my answer? Sell the Subie and buy a normal car with owners that’d call for blood if their machines started sucking down oil…and they’d get that blood, too. To wit, a quote from an interesting article I Googled:
“Do cars today consume more oil than in the past? Not according to John Ryder, a master automotive technician and Philadelphia-area manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Approved Auto Repair Network.
Ryder agrees that manufacturers now commonly insist it’s normal for a vehicle to use up to a quart of oil per 1,000 miles. But in real-world experience, he says, such consumption is rare. “You see it in a super small percentage of cars,” Ryder says.”
Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.