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Old 12-02-2001, 08:45 PM   #1
HudsoN456
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Angry Losing Oil

Hey guys,

I've got a slight problem with my 2000 2.5RS. For awhile now I've been noticing that I'm losing a bit of engine oil every couple thousand miles, about 1 quart every 2k miles. I've been using Mobil 1 Synthetic, and the car has about 39K on it. Checking under the car, no leaks can be found. I use fresh crush washers every time I change the oil, and I'm certain that I'm losing oil because I check the level when the engine is cold.

What is happening here? Am I burning oil in my engine? It doesn't look like there are any leaks from what I can tell.
I've checked my plugs, and there are no carbon deposits or black tips. They look tip-top.

While I don't mind adding a little oil every once in a while, I'd like to get to the bottom of this.

Suggestions/ideas are welcome.

-Adam
2000 2.5RS
Ganzflow
Apexi N1 Cat-back
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Old 12-02-2001, 09:43 PM   #2
RawCode
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I hear it is normal for Subarus to burn a little oil... I guess it is Subaru's way to give us ultra trick carbon coated pistons?

RawCode
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Old 12-02-2001, 11:07 PM   #3
yamarocket630
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slight to moderate oil consumption is normal for Flat engines, the oil doesn't drain from the cylinders as well. and some gets burned. Don't worry about it uless it gets excessive ie, a more than a quart every 1000 miles.
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Old 12-03-2001, 05:22 AM   #4
HndaTch627
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normal oil consumption by most companies is 1.5 qts every 3k miles...this is especially true on Alumnium block engines. I wouldn't worry but you might want to have it documented. How soon did you start running full synthetic?? And yes it's normal for our cars to burn a little bit of oil.

jeremy
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Old 12-03-2001, 08:41 AM   #5
Subie Gal
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how many miles are on the car?

it's not unheard of... and if it's never had and is not currently overheating, it's probably just normal oil consumption as described by the others...

jamie
www.subiegal.com
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Old 12-03-2001, 12:01 PM   #6
HudsoN456
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Thanks for the posts guys, I guess I won't worry about it since it seems to be normal.

To answer some of your questions:

My RS has about 39K miles on it.

I'm unsure of when the car was switched to synthetic, because I bought it used. The dealership said that the previous owner had used mobil 1, so I continued using this oil.
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Old 12-03-2001, 12:50 PM   #7
RaceCarRiot
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do you ever smell any burning? if you smell it, and can pinpoint where it's coming from, we might be able to let you know if it's normal or serious...

as someone who's spent a lot of time around flat BMW & VW engines, yeah, some consumption can be expected, especially in hot weather...
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Old 12-03-2001, 01:08 PM   #8
Penphoe
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Default something else to check..

Check around your drain plug and filter for leaks.

Perhaps you forgot to use the crush washer or the crush washer you recycled didn't seal well?

Maybe the old oil filter gasket stuck on the engine which caused the leak? Or the new filter came loose?

LaterZ!
Darren!!
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Old 12-03-2001, 02:20 PM   #9
HndaTch627
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if it was a filter/drian plug/crush washer there's be a visible leak but he says he has none.

jeremy
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Old 12-04-2001, 10:51 AM   #10
Squeege
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Default Oil consumption

Hey guys,
I recently developed the oil consumption as well. My car is a 99 RS with about 87000k (54000miles) on it. Until about a month ago I rarely had to add any oil between changes. But a few weeks ago I found the oil level down and added a quart to bring it up to full level. Just the other day I added another 1/2 quart. I have gone from an insignificant amount of oil consumption to very significant consumption in a short time. It's sudden really and I don't know why.

Here's what I have done:
PRM intake (the one Cobb resells)
UR underdrive pulley
Borla header, gen III
Stromung SS mid-pipe and dual-tip
APEX-i S-AFC, gen II
NGK iridium-tipped plugs
Knock-sensor mod


I have been running Mobil1 since first change. I didn't really baby the car during break-in. I have eyeballed a plug or 2 and they look fine. I will need to do a compression test to see if all cylinders are equal and check all plugs. I have seen no leaks and the car runs like new.
Any ideas?

Thanks
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Old 12-04-2001, 12:53 PM   #11
Richard L.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Squeege:
I didn't really baby the car during break-in.
Ah ha! There you go.

Seriously though, I think your valve stem seals might have gone bad and let oil seep into the combustion chamber. Also, your oil control rings might be shot or your PCV valve might be clogged. Do you get a puff of blue smoke at start up?

--
Richard
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Old 12-04-2001, 01:00 PM   #12
Squeege
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Richard,
no, I haven't noticed any puffs of smoke at start-up. I will pay closer attention, though. I should also swap the PCV valve, never did that yet. That could explain it.

Thanks
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Old 12-04-2001, 01:17 PM   #13
Richard L.
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Squeege, a clogged PCV valve should not cause you to burn that much oil though. Do you smell burning oil coming from your engine bay?

You might want to have someone drive your car while you follow behind it. Then have that person accelerate and decelerate your car to see if you get blue smoke coming out of the exhaust.

--
Richard
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Old 12-04-2001, 01:20 PM   #14
Squeege
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Would you guys not agree that if I WAS BURNING oil that it would show on the plugs?
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Old 12-04-2001, 03:37 PM   #15
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no squeege...it would have to be a PRETTY significant oil buring to show on the plugs....if you drive your car hard(which i am assuming you do) it will tend to burn the oil while the car is being run hard. Going to synthetic before the engine has borken in is a BAD idea. You aren't allowing hte seals to swelll, the rings to set...etc. Alot of people have suffered the synthetic dilemma.. I'd say it's getting past the oil control rings. Call the dealer...you've still got 6k on the warranty.

jeremy
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Old 12-04-2001, 04:32 PM   #16
nhalterman
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Thumbs up

This is not a problem that is unique to Subarus. F-bodies (Camaros and Firebirds) have been known to do the same thing once their owners switch to Mobil 1.

I read the same thing over on LS1.com all the time. Nothing to worry about, and yes I would still use Mobil 1 (it's the best).
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Old 12-04-2001, 09:06 PM   #17
Blindeye_03
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I thought that synthetic is comprised of smaller molecules than dino oil. That explains why it finds tiny holes in the seals and gets out.

Thats what happend in my old bmw 325i. I switched to mobil1 at 140000 miles and it leaked EVERYWHERE no lie. It was in the shop twice a month for about 4 months. Then I got rid of it...

-justin
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Old 12-05-2001, 12:23 AM   #18
remarcable
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I have been losing a bit of oil every thousand miles or so too.

Usually around half a quart every 1000 miles. There are no stains or leaks on the skid plate or driveway, no visible oil anywhere (cept where I splashed it when changing the filter).

I'm using Mobil 1 10W30 and the car has 36k miles on it. Been using mobil 1 since around 28k miles (3 oil changes).
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Old 12-05-2001, 02:18 AM   #19
Richard L.
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Here is the reason why my other vehicle is burning half a quart of oil every 1200 miles: cylinder scuffing.



Everytime the pistons move up or down, a little bit of oil gets drawn into the combustion chamber through the scuff marks and gets burned off. I really hate excessive oil consumption. The scuffing was my fault because I romped on the engine when it only had 200 miles on it. An expensive lesson learned. Fortunately, my 2.5RS doesn't burn any oil between oil changes. The previous owner must have broken it in properly.

--
Richard
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Old 12-05-2001, 02:53 AM   #20
HndaTch627
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wonderful piston slap there richard

that'll definitely cause some oil consumption...yes Mobil 1 has been PROVEN to get past rings...BMW had a VERY large problem with this and Mobil would not take the blame but ended up taking it anyways. Well anyhow...anyone run castrol syntec??

jeremy
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Old 12-05-2001, 10:18 AM   #21
Squeege
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Richard,
with that cylinder wall damage, did it or would it show a significant (measurable) drop in compression if tested? I would guess that when the engine is cold/hasn't run for a while and you do a compression test, it will likely show a drop and that might not show (as much) if you test the engine when warmed up (cylinder walls oiled)...
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Old 12-05-2001, 11:19 AM   #22
Richard L.
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Actually, I have done several compression tests when the engine was cold, and all the cylinders were 170 psi across the board. I'm not losing compression in any of the cylinder, so my compression rings might be OK. The vehicle runs fine and has lots of power otherwise.

--
Richard
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Old 12-05-2001, 11:30 AM   #23
Squeege
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OK Richard. Thanks for the info. Is 170psi the spec? According to Subaru, do you know what's the minumum value and the maximum variance between cylinders?

I will be talking to the service dept. at a local Sube dealership which is recommended as mod-friendly. I am planning to get timing belt changed, maybe some other stuff. Will have them check out the motor's health as well.

Luigi
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Old 12-05-2001, 12:57 PM   #24
cakagan
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My original Phase 1 DOHC 2.5 engine was eating just over 1qt every 1000mi. A compression test showed all 4 cylinders within the normal range for my engine. Then it started eating about 1.5qts every 1000mi, so the dealer tore down the engine and found that the walls on cylinder 4 were scored badly. They gave me a Phase 1.5 block and I'm coming up to my 1st real oil change with the new motor (after the 1000mi oil change) and I'm hoping to see zero oil consumption. Some RS owners report zero oil consumption on their cars, so I don't buy the fact that our engines automatically eating 1qt every 1000mi as being "the norm".

-Chris
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Old 12-05-2001, 12:58 PM   #25
jhonas
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Keep in mind that the oil consumption problem and scuff marks Richard has/had isn't for his Impreza.

As far as your problem goes, I doubt the dealership will do anything. I've read quite a few posts about losing oil, and they've all been told that it is within Subaru specs to lose 1 quart of oil every 1000 miles.

As far as when to switch to synthetic or not, that has been debated to death. Some people switch after 1000 miles, some wait till 10,000 or more.
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