Subaru Oil Consumption Class Action

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8,029
Location
MI
It looks like the current Subaru oil consumption controversy has resulted in the initiation of a class action lawsuit: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2014/07/18/subaru-oil-burner-lawsuit/12859865/ The ongoing 250+ page thread at the Forester forum was recently put on hiatus by the moderators due to numerous "passionate" arguments going awry. http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/...2/index240.html I used the word controversy above because it's very difficult to gauge the extent of this problem and if Subaru's handling of the situation is genuine. Comments?
 
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147
Location
Ft. Collins
What oil consumption is considered too much? My 2011 Chevy Camaro 3.6L GM High-Feature V6 annoyingly burns a quart every 1800 miles. From the USA Today article: "...and identified unanticipated wear of the oil control piston rings as the root cause of the oil consumption defect, the lawsuit added." ----> Was it a bad ring coating process or awry heat treating?
 
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15,879
Location
NE,Ohio
my 2011 forester 1qt in 3000-4000 miles the 2013 outback 1qt in 1800-2500mi They changed the rings a few times (between 2011 and 2014)and the newer ones IMO were worse. Hopefully the latest revision fixed the problem.
 
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3,203
Location
Southeastern, PA
I saw that a couple of days ago. I just happened across this old ad for Hastings rings on the back of July 1936 Motor magazine: In 1936 they were pleased with "In about 500 miles the car has used less than one quart of oil." How things have changed.
 
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147
Location
Ft. Collins
Originally Posted By: Rand
my 2011 forester 1qt in 3000-4000 miles the 2013 outback 1qt in 1800-2500mi They changed the rings a few times (between 2011 and 2014)and the newer ones IMO were worse. Hopefully the latest revision fixed the problem.
What ring changes were made? BTW, a 2013 Subaru Legacy owner's manual says 1 quart every 1,200 miles is the worst it should ever be. I think thats about what most manufacturers say.
 
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10,110
Location
Nut farm
My old Cherokee, with >200,000 miles, used less than half a PINT of oil in 5K miles. My Dak uses about a quart in 5K. My friend's 280,000+ mile Impreza Outback used a quart in 5K. A quart in 1200 miles on a new car is truly bad.
 
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948
Location
st. Louis
Originally Posted By: Jarlaxle
A quart in 1200 miles on a new car is truly bad.
True. I've only bought two cars new. 2002 and 2013 Volvos. No oil consumed at all. I thought that was the norm since this isn't 1936. I was raised expecting a break in period. I checked oil daily and changed it early, but the new cars I have delt with just do the job from day 1.
 
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211
Location
Sta Catarina, Br
Cars using thinner oils, consume oil. That's very contradictory about conservation. You could ruin the engine faster and waste a lot of oil in the long run, but save a little gas ... IMO
 
Messages
702
Location
Portland, Oregon
Originally Posted By: Rosetta
My 1993 Subaru Impreza doesn't consume 1 drop of oil in 5k miles, but I run thick. All put in gets out.
Ridiculous lawsuit. These numbnuts should stop using thin 0w and 5w oils. Don't add grades intended for winter for the summer or in places like florida or so cal. My experience is about the same in my 1995 imp. I check oil level and color at 3k miles and add around half a qt to at most 1 qt to top off. When I do it's often overfilled and I worry about that. I've had an older 93 subie temporary driver that did burn oil; I only found out after driving it across the country and hearing a malfunctioning drive belt like sound--which turned out to be metal on metal sound or some other sound associated with the oil pump not pumping solid oil (I added 3+quarts and it survived but it was surely more added wear). Amount of wear all depends on the wear from the previous owners and mileage. If it burns oil use 10w40 or some other 40 weights, or blends between 30 and 40; no need to be absurdly litigious and involve lawyers.
 
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468
Location
Eleanor, West Virginia
What makes the oil burning so maddening is that some have real guzzlers while others have zero issues at all. That's why some are pointing to the break in period for these engines as the possible culprit. I was told at purchase for my '14 Impreza to break it in under load, i.e. get to about 4000rpm the first 1000 miles under a heavy accelerator, but not WOT. Avoid rapid accelerations and decelerations. I was then told between 1000 and 3000 miles to be a bit harder on it and get it to 5500rpm a few times. "Drive it like you stole it" he said. I was also warned about the 0w-20 oil and some consumption is possible. I subscribe to the need for a solid break in phase, but I certainly can't prove anything. So far so good for my car. No consumption here and I'm approaching 18k miles.
 
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1,618
Location
Flatlands of Indiana
The oil consumption would be a pain, but I'd also be concerned about the catalytic converter life. It would be interesting to know the root cause of this. It's hard to substantiate that this is due to the boxer engine layout when some don't suffer the problem. Incorrect ring assy, stuck rings, bad bore finish, bad ring design, materials, tolerancing, who knows?
 

Tzu

Messages
363
Location
near Buffalo, NY
I agree that the catalytic convertor could be compromised with burning that much oil all the time. I am not familiar with Subaru vehicles at all, but coming from Japan I would think they would be better about things like this. My beater '91 Camry just turned 300,000 miles last week and it burns 1 qt. every 1,200 miles. Granted it doesn't have much power (never did anyway) but it is also quite old vs a new car with the same consumption. Doesn't GM have a similar oil burning formula that seems excessive too, ex. 1 qt per 1,000 miles is acceptable to THEIR standards?
 
Messages
10,110
Location
Nut farm
Originally Posted By: Rosetta
Cars using thinner oils, consume oil. That's very contradictory about conservation. You could ruin the engine faster and waste a lot of oil in the long run, but save a little gas ... IMO
Even on 5W-30, my Jeep did not burn oil!
 
Messages
34,215
Location
NJ
I think consumers expect modern engines and new cars to not consume oil, and that is where the problem is. Engines today are making more HP than ever, using low tension rings and low viscosity oils. The oils being used are generally low volatility though if they are a good synthetic. Most people don't even want to check their oil. Some are that lazy. What I'd be curious to see is whether a more aggressive engine break-in would have changed the results.
 
Messages
34,215
Location
NJ
Originally Posted By: thunderfog
What makes the oil burning so maddening is that some have real guzzlers while others have zero issues at all. That's why some are pointing to the break in period for these engines as the possible culprit. I was told at purchase for my '14 Impreza to break it in under load, i.e. get to about 4000rpm the first 1000 miles under a heavy accelerator, but not WOT. Avoid rapid accelerations and decelerations. I was then told between 1000 and 3000 miles to be a bit harder on it and get it to 5500rpm a few times. "Drive it like you stole it" he said. I was also warned about the 0w-20 oil and some consumption is possible. I subscribe to the need for a solid break in phase, but I certainly can't prove anything. So far so good for my car. No consumption here and I'm approaching 18k miles.
I just broke in my wife's new 14 3 the same way and the oil hasn't budged in over 1k miles. All of the cars I have had that were broken in this way never used any oil. The two that were babied (Corolla and Accord) consumed 1/2-1qt every 3-4k miles.
 
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11,378
Location
Florida, Cape Coral
I think any engine should not consume more than one quart in the longest OC recommended by the manufacture. I never had any engine I've owned consume more than a pint in 6,000 miles. This idea that one quart per 1,200 miles in an engine is acceptable is something a PR person spews out and not a real engineer. Ed
 
Messages
8,598
Location
Florida
Originally Posted By: Tzu
I agree that the catalytic convertor could be compromised with burning that much oil all the time. I am not familiar with Subaru vehicles at all, but coming from Japan I would think they would be better about things like this. My beater '91 Camry just turned 300,000 miles last week and it burns 1 qt. every 1,200 miles. Granted it doesn't have much power (never did anyway) but it is also quite old vs a new car with the same consumption. Doesn't GM have a similar oil burning formula that seems excessive too, ex. 1 qt per 1,000 miles is acceptable to THEIR standards?
The situation you show makes me think of another car. The early 2.5L Nissan Altima were prone to burning oil, and it would destroy the cat. Next, bits of the cat would be sucked back into the engine during cam overlap, and then wear out the cylinder bores. This might not have happened if the cat was farther downstream, but locating the cat near the cylinder head was needed to meet smog laws.
 
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7,256
Location
USA
I am thankful to not yet own an oil burner. I typically replace car between 170k-250k miles too. This includes 4 Subaru's.
 
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