What You Need to Know About Excessive Oil Consumption in Subaru Vehicles

Subaru is known for designing reliable, fuel efficient, and long-lasting engines, but Subaru engines still may run into a few issues. Many Subaru owners have found that the 2.0L, 2.2L, and 2.5L engines powering some Subaru vehicles built after 2011 consume more oil than usual. The most affected models include:

  • 2011-2015 Forester
  • 2013-2014 Legacy
  • 2013-2014 Outback
  • 2012-2015 Impreza
  • 2013-2015 Crosstrek

Forester engine

A 2.5L engine powering a 2014 Forester

What’s Causing Excessive Oil Consumption in Subaru Vehicles?

While Subaru hasn't made any official statements about this issue, many people have posted explanations online about the cause of oil consumption. According to these posts, the design of the piston rings themselves is the issue. The allegation is that the piston ring tension isn't quite right, resulting in oil slipping past the rings and getting burned up in the combustion chamber. According to these sources, replacing the piston rings will fix the oil consumption problem.

However, according to Subaru, no changes are needed. The oil consumption is within a normal range, and no action needs to be taken.

Whatever you may feel about this issue, the most important thing to remember is to check your engine oil levels frequently if you have one of the models listed above.

Damaged pistion

The pistons can get damaged if the engine doesn't have enough oil to lubricate it, via Phil Sangwell

Subaru's Response to The Oil Consumption Issue

Recently, some Subaru owners filed a class action lawsuit against Subaru over the excessive oil consumption in their vehicles. Subaru settled this lawsuit, and as part of this settlement they have agreed to:

  • Extend the 5-year, 60K-mile powertrain warranty to an 8-year, 100K-mile warranty on all the models listed
  • Reimbursing drivers for certain out-of-pocket expenses related to the alleged defect, including but not limited to car rentals, vehicle repairs, towing, and extra oil
  • Offering a free oil consumption test to help all current Subaru owners and lessees keep tabs on their oil levels
  • Requiring all their authorized dealers to perform any relevant technical service bulletin repairs free of charge (see Subaru’s most recent TSB here)

Take a look at Gibbs Law Group’s website to see if your Subaru is covered by the settlement.