Subaru's New FB and FA motors

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I'd like to get some feedback on these motors because the new WRX and Forrester XT are full of problems. My take on Subaru is that when Toyota came in, they saw Subaru as a company that utilized DECADES old engines, which was fine because they worked, but I have a feeling Toyota gave Subaru a strict time frame to release all new motors that were significantly economical. I have searched and searched about the FB motor found in the naturally aspirated motors and they seem to be holding up just fine. The BRZ/FRZ FA20 initially had problems with ECU programming, which is reminiscent of the 2015 WRX ECU issues. I also have seen the nightmare of servicing the Toyota D4S GDI system in the BRZ/FRS, which makes me question the longevity of the BRZ/FRS. Lastly, I find it a bit odd that the new Boxer engines use 0w20 from the factory. When I has my old Impreza I would put Rotella 5w40 during the summer because it would vaporize 5w30 oil.
 
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Some are having oil consumption issues with their FB20 engines in the Imprezas. This is discussed at length at NASIOC. You name it, it's been postulated, from break in, to transmission (MT/CVT), to oil grades and everything in between. So far, zippo in terms of anything to go on from the consumer perspective. I'm a lucky one... no consumption to note and I'm using the 0w-20 oil in it. I would think that a few of the '12s at this point are getting towards 100k miles, and I'm curious as to how the 0w-20 is doing long term. Until I hear differently, I'm going with the 0w-20 oil.
 
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Originally Posted By: thunderfog
...I would think that a few of the '12s at this point are getting towards 100k miles, and I'm curious as to how the 0w-20 is doing long term. Until I hear differently, I'm going with the 0w-20 oil.
I will be hitting the 80K mile mark this week on my 2012 Impreza(October 2011 build date)with the FB20 motor. My last drain interval was just over 10K miles and there was zero consumption. These Subarus are extremely easy to do simple maintenance on (Oil changes, differential fluid changes, CVT fluid changes, spark plugs, etc.).
 

gathermewool

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I had two issues that,so far,have been 100% corrected by two respective ECM reflashes. 1. Hard/long starts, in which the car would crank for a second or two too long or continue to crank for 5+ seconds and either run normally from then on OR start and run terribly for another couple of seconds and then run smoothly from then on. No issues since 1st ECM update. 2. Random misfire that cleared and came back, twice. ECM updated an no recurrence. I consume no appreciable amount of oil and, and the engine and CVT have operated peperfectly since. I purchased a brand new, completely redesigned vehicle,knowing full well that there might be bugs. I experienced similar, minor glitches with my first-off 08 STI, which gave me confidence in the FXT. Had my STI not been hit severely and caused me a year of issues afterward that weren't able to be resolved I'd still be driving it and would have waited for the new FXT to mature for a few model years. As it is, I'm a tinkerer who is only annoyed when issues arise that aren't resolved. The only two issues I've had were quickly resolved by Subaru, so I'm happy.
 

pbm

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I avoided a 2014 Impreza because I had heard about the oil consumption issue. Is this something that we can expect they will correct?
 

JTK

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My 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek 5spd, with FB20 burned over a quart in it's first 2Kmi which scared the heck out of me. I'm currently at ~15K miles and it seems to have leveled out to 1qt in 4-5K miles. I've used nothing but Napa synthetic 0w20 and OEM filters. 6Kmil OCIs. It rattles like a mofo on cold start, but runs smooth and quiet once underway. My 2012 Legacy CVT w/ EJ20 rattled on cold start too, but never consumed any noticeable amount in ~7500mi OCIs with 5w30. If oil consumption ever picks up or gets crazy with my 2014, I'll change oil with the least expensive 5w30 I can find, and top up with inexpensive whatever. 15yr/150K mile PZEV emission warranty be [censored]. LOL.. Prove I don't have 0w20 in there.
 
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gathermewool

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Originally Posted By: JTK
My 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek 5spd, with FB20 burned over a quart in it's first 2Kmi which scared the heck out of me. I'm currently at ~15K miles and it seems to have leveled out to 1qt in 4-5K miles. I've used nothing but Napa synthetic 0w20 and OEM filters. 6Kmil OCIs. It rattles like a mofo on cold start, but runs smooth and quiet once underway. My 2012 Legacy CVT w/ EJ20 rattled on cold start too, but never consumed any noticeable amount in ~7500mi OCIs with 5w30. If oil consumption ever picks up or gets crazy with my 2014, I'll change oil with the least expensive 5w30 I can find, and top up with inexpensive whatever. 15yr/150K mile PZEV emission warranty be [censored]. LOL.. Prove I don't have 0w20 in there.
Your '12 Legacy uses an EJ25 H-4. Out of the 4 Subarus that I've had, only the '97 EJ25 in my Legacy made any noise, but it had over 200k miles and was piston slap, not valve rattle. I know my sampling is limited,but if I experienced any rattling at startup, I'd be taking it to the dealer for inspection and documentation. Heck, I don't even hear any rattling after an oil change, after initial start-up with a dry filter. // While I don't believe the oil-consumption problem affects all new FB20 and FB25 engines, it will definitely be a consideration when we look for a new car to replace our 08 civic in another 4-5 years. Hopefully Subaru will have installed revised piston rings (if that is the sole cause) or whatever is causing the issue. Off-topic: I'd really like to see a 2.0 boxer diesel Crosstrek come to the states in a couple of years,just in time to have the kinks worked out for when I'll be looking for a replacement. I may have been adventuruous buying my previous first-year STI and FXT, but I don't have the guts to try Subaru's first attempt at an EPA-friendly diesel (if one is ever made available!)
 
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My gf has a '15 6-manual Forester Premium with the FB25. At just over 4k miles I've had to add about a quart of oil, 1/2 qt on two separate occasions. I'm hoping the consumption is related to break-in, and that it will level off over time. No OLM on this vehicle. I think we'll stick to 5k oil changes for awhile, which was suggested by the dealership; Subaru has seemed to back off their 7500 mile recommendation. Off topic: how long has Subaru been using the red gauges? I'm not a fan. "Demon car" and "He-11 on wheels" come to mind. They blend in with taillights on the road as well.
 
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Originally Posted By: gathermewool
I had two issues that,so far,have been 100% corrected by two respective ECM reflashes. 1. Hard/long starts, in which the car would crank for a second or two too long or continue to crank for 5+ seconds and either run normally from then on OR start and run terribly for another couple of seconds and then run smoothly from then on. No issues since 1st ECM update. 2. Random misfire that cleared and came back, twice. ECM updated an no recurrence. I consume no appreciable amount of oil and, and the engine and CVT have operated peperfectly since. I purchased a brand new, completely redesigned vehicle,knowing full well that there might be bugs. I experienced similar, minor glitches with my first-off 08 STI, which gave me confidence in the FXT. Had my STI not been hit severely and caused me a year of issues afterward that weren't able to be resolved I'd still be driving it and would have waited for the new FXT to mature for a few model years. As it is, I'm a tinkerer who is only annoyed when issues arise that aren't resolved. The only two issues I've had were quickly resolved by Subaru, so I'm happy.
As for number 1, I've heard that turning the ignition on before cranking the starter for a few seconds will get the fuel pump going and prevents the hard starts. I had a couple with the Impreza, and waiting until the gauges do their dance has solved that issue.
 

gathermewool

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Originally Posted By: thunderfog
Originally Posted By: gathermewool
I had two issues that,so far,have been 100% corrected by two respective ECM reflashes. 1. Hard/long starts, in which the car would crank for a second or two too long or continue to crank for 5+ seconds and either run normally from then on OR start and run terribly for another couple of seconds and then run smoothly from then on. No issues since 1st ECM update. 2. Random misfire that cleared and came back, twice. ECM updated an no recurrence. I consume no appreciable amount of oil and, and the engine and CVT have operated peperfectly since. I purchased a brand new, completely redesigned vehicle,knowing full well that there might be bugs. I experienced similar, minor glitches with my first-off 08 STI, which gave me confidence in the FXT. Had my STI not been hit severely and caused me a year of issues afterward that weren't able to be resolved I'd still be driving it and would have waited for the new FXT to mature for a few model years. As it is, I'm a tinkerer who is only annoyed when issues arise that aren't resolved. The only two issues I've had were quickly resolved by Subaru, so I'm happy.
As for number 1, I've heard that turning the ignition on before cranking the starter for a few seconds will get the fuel pump going and prevents the hard starts. I had a couple with the Impreza, and waiting until the gauges do their dance has solved that issue.
Push-button start. Besides, it started every single time (and has since the ECM update,) with the relatively rare hard/long start anomaly. IIRC, those with keys were experiencing the same thing. On a side note, my wife's Civic was having issues starting that SEEM to have been resolved with new spark plugs and cleaning up electrical contacts (I also had the TCM updated recently, so unless they also updated the ECM, I'll say it's irrelevant.) For both, the real test will be this winter, when both would more frequently exhibit the bad behavior.
 

JTK

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Originally Posted By: gathermewool
Your '12 Legacy uses an EJ25 H-4.
Oops. Yep. Mistype on my part. I'm assuming it's a piston slap noise the EJ25 and FB20 have like so many vehicles I've owned the past 10-15yrs. FB's use direct acting cams with shim/bucket "lash" adjustment, designed to last the life of the engine. They tend to be a tad bit tappy sounding, more so than the previous jamb-nut setup on the EJs
 
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JTK

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Originally Posted By: k24a4
My gf has a '15 6-manual Forester Premium with the FB25. At just over 4k miles I've had to add about a quart of oil, 1/2 qt on two separate occasions.
k24, silly question; How is the 'reading of the dipstick' on your GF's FB25? It's ridiculous on my FB20. If one side of the stick reads between the "add" and "full" holes, the other side of the stick will be at the "add" hole. Almost as if the tip of the stick rests horizontal, at the surface of the oil in the pan. Multiple plunge/pull/wipe/repeats just result in oil streaking 6" up the stick. Same with trying to read the level on a warm engine. I've resorted to relying on what I can see right after an oil change as being full (after multiple annoying re-wipes). One side of the stick at full or slightly above, and the other at the mid-way level.
 
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Originally Posted By: JTK
Originally Posted By: k24a4
My gf has a '15 6-manual Forester Premium with the FB25. At just over 4k miles I've had to add about a quart of oil, 1/2 qt on two separate occasions.
k24, silly question; How is the 'reading of the dipstick' on your GF's FB25? It's ridiculous on my FB20. If one side of the stick reads between the "add" and "full" holes, the other side of the stick will be at the "add" hole. Almost as if the tip of the stick rests horizontal, at the surface of the oil in the pan. Multiple plunge/pull/wipe/repeats just result in oil streaking 6" up the stick. Same with trying to read the level on a warm engine. I've resorted to relying on what I can see right after an oil change as being full (after multiple annoying re-wipes). One side of the stick at full or slightly above, and the other at the mid-way level.
The reading on my FB25 is the same on both sides of the dipstick. I do get the 6" streaking you're talking about but determining the level hasn't been difficult.
 
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Originally Posted By: JTK
Originally Posted By: k24a4
My gf has a '15 6-manual Forester Premium with the FB25. At just over 4k miles I've had to add about a quart of oil, 1/2 qt on two separate occasions.
k24, silly question; How is the 'reading of the dipstick' on your GF's FB25? It's ridiculous on my FB20. If one side of the stick reads between the "add" and "full" holes, the other side of the stick will be at the "add" hole. Almost as if the tip of the stick rests horizontal, at the surface of the oil in the pan. Multiple plunge/pull/wipe/repeats just result in oil streaking 6" up the stick. Same with trying to read the level on a warm engine. I've resorted to relying on what I can see right after an oil change as being full (after multiple annoying re-wipes). One side of the stick at full or slightly above, and the other at the mid-way level.
Funny you should ask, IMO it is a PITA. I have to do the same thing, multiple pulls, and I do notice that opposite sides of the dipstick are not even. One side does smear. Fortunately, she has a very level garage, but I did have to sample the oil several times before getting a decent read.
 

gathermewool

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Does your dipstick have a full hole? Mine isn't very easy to read, either, but if the full hole is filled in, it's good to go.
 
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The oil consumption issue well documented on several Subaru forums was the reason I did an HG job, timing belt, and clutch on my 08' Forester. It's the devil I know grin You'd think we would know why some are burning oil by now. Some have gone through ring replacement, short block, and more, and still burning. Looking forward to hearing long term reports myself. A new soob will be on my list in 4-5 years, but not until I'm confident they have solved this.
 
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SkyActiveG - I'm aware of the FXT DIT ECU bugs and crazy fuel dilution in uoa's, but what new WRX (2015?) problems are you referring to? The '13 and '14 WRX's and even '15 STI's (old engine) seem to be chewing through bearings at a pretty good rate. So much so that Blackstone now flags WRX/STI uoa's with only 4 ppm's of silver. I don't think Toyota is all to blame either. A huge problem is probably the new CAFE requirements and the push for brand new engines on thin oil. Subaru was just behind on this, with the exception of small Euro engines (<2.0L) a few years ago. -Dennis
 
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emg

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Originally Posted By: pbm
I avoided a 2014 Impreza because I had heard about the oil consumption issue. Is this something that we can expect they will correct?
Supposedly the FB oil consumption was fixed with new piston rings in mid to late 2013, and they're replacing the short block on bad oil burners prior to that. It seems to be rare, but not entirely unknown, in 2015 models. Also seems to affect manual cars more than CVTs... there's some suspicion that higher revs with a manual transmission causes faster wear, in which case it may show up on CVT cars at higher mileage. But, yeah, it's the reason we bought a 2015 Forester, as the discount they were offering on the remaining 2014s wasn't worth the risk. As far as I'm aware, it's never affected the FA20DIT turbo engines, and rarely the FA20 non-turbo. I would have bought the XT instead, but my girlfriend couldn't drive it (and the fuel dilution issue could be a problem here in the winter where the engine never fully warms up).
 
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Originally Posted By: emg
Originally Posted By: pbm
I avoided a 2014 Impreza because I had heard about the oil consumption issue. Is this something that we can expect they will correct?
Supposedly the FB oil consumption was fixed with new piston rings in mid to late 2013, and they're replacing the short block on bad oil burners prior to that. It seems to be rare, but not entirely unknown, in 2015 models. Also seems to affect manual cars more than CVTs... there's some suspicion that higher revs with a manual transmission causes faster wear, in which case it may show up on CVT cars at higher mileage. But, yeah, it's the reason we bought a 2015 Forester, as the discount they were offering on the remaining 2014s wasn't worth the risk. As far as I'm aware, it's never affected the FA20DIT turbo engines, and rarely the FA20 non-turbo. I would have bought the XT instead, but my girlfriend couldn't drive it (and the fuel dilution issue could be a problem here in the winter where the engine never fully warms up).
It definitely happens on the FB20. The worst case of oil consumption I've seen in person was on an Impreza Sport with the FB20.
 
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