2013 Forester - Question

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Jun 8, 2016
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Hey guys, a work friend just called me from the highway in her 2013 Forester (around 65,000 miles, I believe), and asked me what it means that her little oil can light is on. I told her to get off the highway immediately and shut if off, while trying to choose a level spot while she's at it.
Luckily she ended up in front of a gas station. I told her to wait 15 minutes, pull the dipstick, wipe it off, stick it again, and tell me what it says.

She didn't wait the full 15 minutes (more like 7) and she told me it's reading below the "low" line.

I had her buy 3 quarts of yellow bottle 10W-30, and pour one in. She checked it after 19 minutes, and it is now reading completely full.

I'm not at all familiar with these Subie boxers.....is this engine hosed, or is it a false alarm? Seems impossible that a quart low is causing a low pressure light. The light went off when she fired it back up.

She's insistent that she must continue her trip to Houston, so I told her to drive 50 miles and check it again. No way in hell I'd do it, but she's a stubborn woman.

I'm not at all familiar with these Subie boxers.....is this engine hosed, or is it a false alarm? Seems impossible that a quart low is causing a low pressure light. Other factors at play? Gummed up pressure switch? Bad pump?

Insight?
 
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Our car has a separate low oil level light, and a low pressure light. I don't know what year that started. Ours seems to burn maybe half a quart in 6000 miles, the stealership puts it a bit above the full mark and its a bit below after an OCI.
The low level light is yellow as its not critical, low oil pressure light is red and calls for an immediate shut down.
 

WylieCoyote

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Our car has a separate low oil level light, and a low pressure light. I don't know what year that started. Ours seems to burn maybe half a quart in 6000 miles, the stealership puts it a bit above the full mark and its a bit below after an OCI.
The low level light is yellow as its not critical, low oil pressure light is red and calls for an immediate shut down.
Must have started post-2013.

Lights.JPG
 
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How does the engine sound? Knocking is bad. Maybe she can have a mechanic do a pressure test?
 

WylieCoyote

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She hasn't said anything about strange noises. She isn't very maintenance-minded, but she does get hyper-sensitive to issues once they've been brought to her attention. If it was knocking, she would notice it.

The more I think about it, the more I think that the oil wasn't low enough do any damage. With a 5.5 quart fill capacity, at most, it was low by 1 quart. Just can't figure how the pressure sensor was triggered, as there shouldn't be any cavitation at only 1 quart low. But there's a lot I don't know about this engine.
 
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I posted on here a long time ago about a friend of mine's EJ22 that had gone almost 60K on an oil change--and had about 2 qts in there when I changed it. It also was running without an air filter for an undetermined period of time... Long story longer, he got another 100K out of the car (280K miles total), and only gave up on it after it was stolen for a 3rd and final time.

Not sure if subsequent Subaru engines are as tolerant, but based on that experience I'd say all is fine. Maybe do a short OCI, and then change it again? I also told him to run 10W30 (whatever was on sale at Autozone).

original thread: https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/t...y-way-too-much-about-oil.157140/#post-2305954
 
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