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Old 12-16-2012, 07:10 PM   #1
bruticus
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look like a bitch?
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Default Oil usage/consumption seems to have gone up recently

First: I searched, but couldn't find anything similar-enough to my post to answer my questions.

b/g: I think I'm fairly observant about cars, for example when tires are low, engines don't run properly, etc. And I am very sensitive to "highway odors" as when a semi ahead of us has a cooked brake lining, or somebody is running a rich mix, etc.

My wife has a '12 Forester 2.5 NA with ~28500 miles on it. Per the windshield sticker the dealer put on at the last change, her next change is due at 31000.

Friday night we drove ~220 miles for a holiday visit. When we stopped at the halfway point to refuel, I smelled hot oil, strongly, while close to the car. I have never smelled hot/burned oil near her car; until that moment, her car has done nothing I consider out of the ordinary.

Saturday morning I checked the oil. It was almost a quart low, and the oil on the stick was very black and had an acrid scent. I couldn't see any trace of leak/etc. under the hood, but there was quite a bit of nasty, black sludge at the tip of the exhaust, around the bottom third of the circumference; the rest of the inside of the pipe was clean. The stuff was not oily-water, but a thick oily sludge. It didn't smell of gas, but it had the acrid smell that the dipstick had, and there was enough that it ran/dripped off my finger. Again, this is something I've NEVER noticed about her car before.

I added 0W-20 until the stick showed 1/8" from full, because the engine was still cold and I didn't want to overfill it. My wife called the dealer and they told her the standard "it's normal for engines to burn some oil" blah-blah. I told her to tell them that this engine has NOT used/lost oil before, and there has never been any crud in the exhaust like the engine is just dumping oil straight through into the exhaust.

We drove home today, and at the halfway point I checked the oil and the stick still showed 1/8" from full, so I added a little more, waited a few minutes for the oil I'd added to run down through the engine, and the stick showed completely full. Then I checked the exhaust tip, and the entire circumference, as far inside as I could see, was coated with a solid layer of black, dry soot; I could scratch/scrape some off, and it smelled of oil.

It's going to the dealer Tuesday night, so I'd like to take the pulse of the community and be forewarned/fore-armed when they report to us Wednesday.

DjB

Last edited by bruticus; 12-16-2012 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:40 PM   #2
KillerBMotorsport
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Compression and Leakdown will give you a good indication of the engine's health. For good measure, I'd send the oil out for UOA just to see if anything is starting to breakdown in there.

If eveything checks out, start looking into the PCV system.
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:46 PM   #3
bruticus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerBMotorsport View Post
Compression and Leakdown will give you a good indication of the engine's health. For good measure, I'd send the oil out for UOA just to see if anything is starting to breakdown in there.

If eveything checks out, start looking into the PCV system.
--I'm sensitive to cars, but I'm very n00bian on the tech, so I don't know what UOA is.

Also, we have no money, which is why I'm thanking Jehosephat this happened within warranty.

DjB
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:18 PM   #4
That guy in Maine
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http://www.blackstone-labs.com/

UOA is an oil analysis, blackstone will be able to tell you a lot about what's going on in your engine. You just send in for a free kit, and when you send it back you pay a $25 fee for the analysis.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:41 AM   #5
79letour
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My impreza has an immense buildup of thick black soot just like your forester. It also burns a quart per 1700-2200 miles. Also, the rear of the car gets as black as a diesel after a few hundred miles.
There are many owners of 2011+ foresters reporting oil loss, as well as Imprezas.
There is a long thread for oil consumption in the impreza forum, I'd be delioghted if you chimed in with your account, as we are discussing oil consumption in fb and fa engines.
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Old 12-22-2012, 12:16 AM   #6
pleiad7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 79letour View Post
There are many owners of 2011+ foresters reporting oil loss, as well as Imprezas.
Yup... there's a long thread re: this issue on the Forester forum: http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulle...thread-119562/
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Old 12-23-2012, 05:37 PM   #7
bruticus
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Thanks everybody for your comments!

Dealer told her that a cam seal might be bad, or it might be something further-down (and more serious) inside the engine. She has to do the UOA, 1/1K miles for 3K total miles, before they'll actually open up the engine.

I'm torn between hoping it's something minor, and hoping it's something that will require a completely new engine.

Thoughts?

DjB
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:29 AM   #8
79letour
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I am in a similar situation, but without a competent dealer within hundreds of miles.
I would hope for an engine replacement, since oil issues on a brand new engine are not confidence inspiring. One of the cam position sensor covers on my car has a little residue so im cleaninf it up and watching. since soa and dealers are ZERO help and truly do not care.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:42 AM   #9
faSTI666
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How cold was it when you made the trip?
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:04 PM   #10
2010SubieFoz
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I honestly do not know if this has anything to do with it or not but my 2010 NA was consuming oil. During the 30,000 mile maintenance the dealership changed out the PCV valve. I have since had two oil changes and neither time has it used oil. Is it possible that your PCV valve could be "stuck open"?
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