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Old 12-09-2001, 05:53 PM   #1
jayded6
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Question Low oil question

Hello all,

I was just wondering if any other WRX owners are having to add a quart of oil every 3,000 miles or so? I've searched other posts and understand that this is within "normal" limits, but is uncomfortable for me (haven't had to do this on any of my other cars). Thanks for any input.
Jay
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Old 12-09-2001, 06:26 PM   #2
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I have never had to add oil between changes. I hear it is common with those who choose synthetic oil before the engine is broken-in.

If you are having to add oil you should determine where it is going. Leaking or burning? Burning - rings or valves? None is acceptable.
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Old 12-10-2001, 06:57 PM   #3
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You should not have to add any oil to your car in between oil changes, regardless of what type of oil you're using. Do a visual check for obvious leaks, and be sure that you started off with the correct amount when the oil was changed (4.8 quarts). If that checks out ok, then it's time to bring it to the dealer for a check up.

Just as an FYI, burning oil from bad rings or seals would produce noticeable smoke from your tailpipe in most cases.
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Old 12-10-2001, 08:27 PM   #4
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I've never used a drop between changes in any of my Imprezas.
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Old 12-10-2001, 11:45 PM   #5
jayded6
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Well, this doesn't sound good...I haven't switched to synthetic...and it's not leaking as far as I can tell...
Looks like another trip to the dealer (just about worthless so far btw..).
Thanks for the input
Jay
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Old 12-11-2001, 03:05 AM   #6
Richard L.
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Since burning oil from bad rings or seals would produce noticeable blue smoke, is there a case where burning oil doesn't produce any smoke at all?
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Old 12-11-2001, 02:00 PM   #7
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i don't know about subarus, but my m3 sometimes burns a quart of oil every 1000-3000 miles and that is within specs for the motor.
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Old 12-11-2001, 03:03 PM   #8
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I've heard that a quart per oil-change is fairly normal for an older motor, but a brand new one? I don't have to add any oil in my RS. My Legacy required a quart per change, until the end where I went through 4 quarts in 3 weeks. Somehow it's fixed though, the new owner hasn't had a problem.
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Old 12-13-2001, 07:55 PM   #9
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Just wondering if anyone else has had any experiences with this..
Thanks
Jay
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Old 12-13-2001, 08:55 PM   #10
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Question

Just curious,
have you put 4.8 quarts in your WRX then taken a dipstick reading? I've read that some of the dipsticks read inaccurately with the proper amount of oil in the car. My dipstick is right on but I would suggest that you check yours. If you don't have visible leaks and are not noticing smoke out the tail pipe, maybe you are not using oil?
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Old 12-13-2001, 09:25 PM   #11
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After my last oil change (at the dealer), went home and checked the dipstick and the oil was right at the full dot. Checked periodically over 2500 miles and noticed the level drop slowly. After a 600 mile trip this past weekend, checked the oil and it was below the low dot. I added a full quart and it's now back to the full dot. So, its either burning or leaking slowly somewhere that I can't see. I'll have it looked at on Monday at the dealer.

Jay
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Old 12-08-2002, 01:04 PM   #12
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I'm having a similar problem. I did my first change at 3000 as recommended (4.8 qts dino 5W30). Now at 4000 it is down a full quart. I have no leaks, no blue smoke, and I drive pretty conservatively.

My 95 Legacy didn't start losing oil between changes until it was past 100,000 so this seems pretty odd.

I also noticed something in the manual: It says the 4.8 qts is only a guideline and depends on temperature, how long you let the oil drain, etc. I like to let it drain for at least 10 min so maybe that's why I didn't have enough oil. Still seems odd, though ...

Last edited by Mike Wevrick; 12-08-2002 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 12-09-2002, 02:00 PM   #13
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This may be apples to oranges comparison but my EJ22 has close to 150k miles and is using Mobil 1 10w-30 synth and after 4k miles my oil level drops 1/4 inch MAX. Sometimes less.

I could see a forced induction using more but what some of you have posted seems abnormal.
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Old 12-09-2002, 03:31 PM   #14
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Update: I was down to the low mark, added 1/2 qt, drove around, checked again, now it is just above the full mark. This is just weird. (and yes, the car was on flat ground both times)

I guess from now on I will have to check it a lot more often, which should not be necessary in a new car.
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Old 12-09-2002, 07:56 PM   #15
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i had the same thing as jay, drove to and from school 400 miles total, checked oil and it is below the L dot. Has been 2.6k since last oil change. Have to get it changed tomorrow with some 5w-30. This is really odd and is kinda freaking the crap outta me the car doesnt even have 6k on it.
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Old 12-27-2002, 05:38 PM   #16
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Does anybody think driving condition could affect consumption of oil? Going through my first couple of oil changes i went through about a quart of oil. I was concerned and took it to 2 dealers and they said that this is okay.
Within my first 2 oil changes i did a lot of hard driving (about 60 miles a day of stop and go traffic on San Diego freeways getting to work). Anyways, i got laid off from work and i have not hand to endure that horrible traffic. Since then my car has not consumed much oil (until now again).

I am now at 18000 miles and within the last month i put on 2,000 miles and some of those were a lot of stop and go trafficing again. Again i have noticed that i am quart low. Everytime i have used the same procedure to check my oil.

My previous car i noticed the same thing about oil consumption. I even had a new engine put in and it still consumed some oil. Just wondering what kind of conditions people are driving in. Do you drive 100 miles everyday in congested traffic? Is the weather hot or cold?
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Old 12-27-2002, 05:56 PM   #17
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I have been doing mostly hiway driving at 30s-80s temps. Very little stop-and-go or other conditions that would be hard on the engine. Recently it seems not to be using oil so maybe it is OK and I just did not put enough in. If it really is losing oil I am going to take it in.
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Old 12-28-2002, 10:01 AM   #18
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Mike Wevrick- The Subie dipsticks are ridiculous to read. I find checking it in the morning before driving is the best way to do it.
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Old 12-28-2002, 10:07 AM   #19
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To throw a little "oil" into the thread:
I bought my WRX with 7 miles on it, followed manual advice of breaking in, and changed the factory oil out at 1k miles with Mobil1 10w30 with factory filter. I change my oil regularly at 4k to 5k miles interval, with Mobil1 10w30 and factory filters. Now, the car has 28k miles and I never had to add any extra oil. I submitted the last two oil change samples to Blackstones lab and reports showed my engine was wearing fine. No excess amount of any elements and no fuel nor coolant found.
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Old 12-28-2002, 09:04 PM   #20
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My old '86 Mazda w/120k miles burned about 1 quart / 1000 miles driving across the country (high rpms!). Such an amount will not be visible as smoke coming out the exhaust. The reason the manual recommends checking the oil level, etc., every time you get gas is to check for unexpected changes in oil level (or other fluids, for that matter).
That oil usage wasn't unreasonable for my old Mazda, but any car that's only a year or two old, with 10, 20 or even 30k miles on it should not be losing *any* oil. If it's not leaking (which you should be able to spot on the floor), it's getting burned up. All the dealers say it's "acceptable" because they don't want to deal with it, and technically using a quart/1000 miles probably is "acceptable". In fairness, the root cause is often improper break-in or other "overly spirited" use, in which case it's not their problem (this probably happens a lot more often for WRXs, given the excess rate of transmission problems).
Be that as it may, I certainly wouldn't touch a "new" used car like that that is already using oil, because somehow, somewhere, it just wasn't treated right.
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Old 12-28-2002, 11:38 PM   #21
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I found an interesting article on engines burning oil. It talks about the difference between "using" and "burning" oil.

The last few paragraphs talk about new cars using oil due to higher operating temps and high compression ratios.

Why Engines Burn Oil
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Old 12-30-2002, 08:32 PM   #22
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i know mine goes down a bit betwee oil changed but not that much. as doe the guys in grand praire that was at teh dtrag races with me.

i think nothing of it because its not burning it. after the break in period i switched to synthetic oil
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Old 12-30-2002, 11:48 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Barry
Mike Wevrick- The Subie dipsticks are ridiculous to read. I find checking it in the morning before driving is the best way to do it.
Yeah, I've heard that. This is my 4th Subie, though, and the first one that seems to have this problem. So far I have put 5 litres into it and it should only take 4.5. We'll see I guess ...
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Old 12-31-2002, 12:19 AM   #24
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When you change your oil do you fill the filter with oil before screwing it on? If not, the oil level is going to drop drasitcally the first time you run your car after a change as oil gets into the filter.
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Old 01-01-2003, 12:30 AM   #25
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Quote:
It talks about the difference between "using" and "burning" oil.
Unfortunately, the guy in the article is wrong. Even if oil evaporates or breaks down, *where* does the evaporated or "broken-down" oil go? It either stays in the oil system, in which case the oil level won't go down, or it ends up getting burned and goes out the tailpipe.
Since there are plenty of people with almost-new WRXs who aren't losing oil, any car that does lose oil has some kind of problem, whether a leak or the burning described above.
As I mentioned a few posts up, my 120k mile Mazda used up about 1 quart every 1000 miles at continuous highway speeds, which was not abnormal given its mileage and the constant 70-80 mph, but the oil definitely (but not visibly) ended up going out the tailpipe, not mysteriously vanishing without a trace.
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