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Old 12-26-2010, 03:08 PM   #1
This Is Not Mike
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Default No Oil Consumption Ever, Then Massive Oil Consumption - Where to Start?

Hi all,

I apologize for the n00b questions, but I when I searched, I haven't found anyone that had the exact same problem as mine, and I'm just looking for where to start. I'm stuck in the 20"+ of snow they're predicting for the Northeast, so I just wanted to get my ducks in a row before I start my plan of attack.

My Car:
2006 STi
- ~47,500 miles
- German Castrol Syntec 0w-30 for the past ~10,000 miles, Quaker State "Q" 5w30 for the the ~15,000 miles prior to that.
- Cobb Stage 1 tune for approximately 7,000 miles
- SPT Catback
- SPT Intake
- Stock otherwise

I only drive my car maybe 100 miles a week and usually only on the weekends. I also make an effort to warm the car up to full operating temperature before I shut it off for the first time, even if I was planning on going on a short trip.

I check my oil religiously, and have never noticed any real consumption. This past oil change, I have noticed that the oil level went from about 3/4 between the high and low marks to about 1/3 between the high and low marks about 2 days ago. I drove about 50 miles and then went to check my dipstick before my Christmas trek, and I noticed no oil on the dipstick @ all. I figured something might be up since I always check my oil level cold and the car was warm. I didn't drive it once I checked the level. I then checked it today and noticed again no oil on the dipstick. I dumped a quart in and it came back up to the 1/3 level between the marks.

Two days ago before my 50 mile trek, I warmed the car up to clean the snow off of it and noticed no smoke @ all outside of the normal condensation. I drove the car hard for the day I had it out, but I normally do baby the car (I know that sounds very cliche, but I do). I have never noticed any excess smoke coming from the car on idle (outside of normal condensation while warming up) and have never had my friends comment on smoke during acceleration. The car makes no engine noises that it hasn't since the car was purchased at 16,300 miles.

Prior to reflashing to Stage 1 at 39,900 miles, I had a compression test run and the results were as follows:

Cyl 1 - 149 psi
Cyl 2 - 149 psi
Cyl 3 - 150 psi
Cyl 4 - 149 psi

I know that it's not recent enough, but that's the last piece of information I have in that regard.

I also do regular UOAs and haven't had any odd results in that respect. My most recent UOA at 44,307 was completely clean.

The car has been running pretty well up until this (I wouldn't have even noticed if it wasn't for the oil level). I have oil pressure that is about 95 psi at startup idle and runs approximately 95 psi during normal warmed up cruising and down to between 25 and psi at idle. The car was hitting target boost and was smooth. It had a slight stumble during partial throttle one or two times when it was 8-10 psi of boost.

What are my next steps? Is the car safe to drive to the dealer to get checked out? I don't even want to run the motor at this point with the oil consumption. I have seen the oil cap test, which I will do the next time I get to the car, as I left it at my Mom's for the storm. I will also have another compression/leakdown test completed.

Does it sound like a ringland issue? It just surprises me as I have never smelled any oil driving the car, and never seen any oil burning at idle.

My powertrain warranty just ran out a month ago...figures. I really don't want to spend 5-6,000 to replace the motor.
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:22 PM   #2
n2oiroc
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i would say a compression test on the drivers side would be a quick effective check.
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:26 PM   #3
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if it's ringlands you can check for smoke out of the oil fill tube while the car is idling.

do a compression and leak down test.
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:31 PM   #4
This Is Not Mike
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Is it okay to even start and let the car run @ this point? I don't want anything to be more damaged. Had I not checked the oil level I wouldn't have even known anything was wrong.

I'm gonna do a compression test/leakdown this week most likely once the snow clears out.
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:34 PM   #5
pluton
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check for the obvious oil leaks.

check your intake track for oil. check the intercooler for oil.

if you're feeling frisky. pull the downpipe and check the hot side of the turbo for oil. you could have a blown seal.
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:38 PM   #6
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is your car knocking or anything? any ugly sounds?

do the oil filler tube check.
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:38 PM   #7
n2oiroc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by This Is Not Mike View Post
Is it okay to even start and let the car run @ this point? I don't want anything to be more damaged. Had I not checked the oil level I wouldn't have even known anything was wrong.

I'm gonna do a compression test/leakdown this week most likely once the snow clears out.
as long as your oil level is ok go ahead and run it. not running it sure wont diagnose/fix the problem.
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:15 PM   #8
This Is Not Mike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pluton View Post
is your car knocking or anything? any ugly sounds?

do the oil filler tube check.
No bad sounds @ all. The car feels identical to when I first bought it pretty much. Had I not checked the oil level on my way to visit relatives yesterday, I wouldn't have suspected ANYTHING was wrong with the car. I will have to do that check filler check tomorrow.

Of course my warranty ran out in Nov 2010. I babied this f-ing car, GC 0w-30 every 3500-3600 miles with UOAs each time, with excellent results...all OEM service, everything. I never launched it, saw redline maybe once a month, never shifted hard, nothing. I have oil pressure and EGT gauges to keep tabs on motor and everything.

I even had a compression check done less than 10,000 miles ago "just because" which came back perfect.

Now I'm gonna have to sell it b/c I can't justify spending the 5,000+ to fix it. Awesome. Thanks Subaru.
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:31 PM   #9
Badler
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Frozen pcv valve?
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:44 PM   #10
mapleleaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by This Is Not Mike View Post
No bad sounds @ all. The car feels identical to when I first bought it pretty much. Had I not checked the oil level on my way to visit relatives yesterday, I wouldn't have suspected ANYTHING was wrong with the car. I will have to do that check filler check tomorrow.

Of course my warranty ran out in Nov 2010. I babied this f-ing car, GC 0w-30 every 3500-3600 miles with UOAs each time, with excellent results...all OEM service, everything. I never launched it, saw redline maybe once a month, never shifted hard, nothing. I have oil pressure and EGT gauges to keep tabs on motor and everything.

I even had a compression check done less than 10,000 miles ago "just because" which came back perfect.

Now I'm gonna have to sell it b/c I can't justify spending the 5,000+ to fix it. Awesome. Thanks Subaru.

Maybe you should chill and take all the advice to see whats wrong, which will most likely be:
A. Ringlands
B. Turbo seal
C. PCV
D. Leak

If you have a good relationship with your dealer they might good will you and help you out.
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:39 PM   #11
KillerBMotorsport
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Lets not forget the drastic differences you can have ue to the horrible dipsticks/location on these cars. ALWAYS check the oil under consistent conditions, otherwise you can see drastic differences in oil level. For reference here's the factory service procedure for checking the oil...

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Old 12-26-2010, 11:35 PM   #12
Impreza541
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This might sound hella stupid but on my 06 when the motor is warm it is really hard to check the oil level, the dipstick looks almost dry. But whenthe motor is cold oil level reads normal and full.
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:07 AM   #13
jutes85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by This Is Not Mike View Post
Now I'm gonna have to sell it b/c I can't justify spending the 5,000+ to fix it. Awesome. Thanks Subaru.
Who is going to buy an STi with a motor that eats oil?
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:10 AM   #14
This Is Not Mike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapleleaf View Post
Maybe you should chill and take all the advice to see whats wrong, which will most likely be:
A. Ringlands
B. Turbo seal
C. PCV
D. Leak

If you have a good relationship with your dealer they might good will you and help you out.
I know, I know...it's just immensely frustrating not to be able to do anything right now...and they know I have the Stage 1 tune...they sold me the AP. I did had them do the compression test for me the day I picked up the AP. Murphy's Law I suppose. Hoping it's not a huge repair bill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerBMotorsport View Post
Lets not forget the drastic differences you can have ue to the horrible dipsticks/location on these cars. ALWAYS check the oil under consistent conditions, otherwise you can see drastic differences in oil level. For reference here's the factory service procedure for checking the oil...
That's why I wasn't fretting all that much as first when I checked it and it was low. The car had been driven that morning, and typically I always check it cold. I know that the recommendation is that you check it warm, but I consistently check it before start up (just to convince myself that there's oil in the motor). I checked it after letting it sit overnight and the oil was VERY VERY low...only the tip of the dipstick had any oil, so I dumped in a quart and it came back up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Impreza541 View Post
This might sound hella stupid but on my 06 when the motor is warm it is really hard to check the oil level, the dipstick looks almost dry. But whenthe motor is cold oil level reads normal and full.
See above. Thanks for the input though.

(Sigh) Sorry to repost something everyone has always heard with these cars. I just needed to rant. You play everything by the book and then this.
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:10 AM   #15
WRX06TR
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That's okay mine is just the opposite. Cold motor shows almost none, but after letting it get warm and then sitting for a few min it will be just under the full dot.
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:12 AM   #16
This Is Not Mike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jutes85 View Post
Who is going to buy an STi with a motor that eats oil?
I've seen STis with blown motors going for 12-14k...faced with a $6,000 repair bill when I have a 2nd car...it might be better to cut my losses. I will have to weigh everything out. The car's paid off, but at what point is it no longer cost effective to do repairs?

If I sold it, the purchaser would know full well what was going on.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:11 PM   #17
This Is Not Mike
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UPDATE:

Dug out the car today, and rechecked the oil. The level was approximately where it was when I left it yesterday.

Started it up and quickly ran to the back to check for smoke, if any. No smoke on startup, just normal condensation once the car started running.

I watched the idle and everything seemed normal. Popped the oil cap @ idle, no smoke, just normal noise and smell best I could tell.

I then let the car warm up to warm idle, and blipped the throttle a bit, probably in the 2-3K RPM range and still no smoke from the oil cap.

Off to the dealer tomorrow for a compression test and leakdown test I guess.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:48 PM   #18
Steve.804
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Damn dude I feel your pain with my 07 STI. I can't say I "baby" my car (I did buy an STI damnit!) but I do change oil every 4k-5k miles with royal purple 5w-30 fully synthetic. Same exact oil I used in my 18G equipped bugeye that is still on the stock motor making 310awhp with 130k+ on the odometer (gotta check with the new owner how many miles are on it now...)
Anyway, car never showed signs of burning oil or any issues at all. Idle seems strong, makes peak boost (22psi on stock vf-43, tuned by Dan @ MachV) and still has great vacuum. Only smoke coming out of the exhaust is black and when I floor it but I always thought that was from being 100% catless. Now my car is burning about 1qt every 1250 miles. I already had plans of dropping in a Rallispec block but was honestly hoping my 35R kit (still waiting to go on, sigh...) would be the demise of my stock block. Still have yet to do any sort of compression and leakdown testing.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by This Is Not Mike View Post
No bad sounds @ all. The car feels identical to when I first bought it pretty much. Had I not checked the oil level on my way to visit relatives yesterday, I wouldn't have suspected ANYTHING was wrong with the car. I will have to do that check filler check tomorrow.

Of course my warranty ran out in Nov 2010. I babied this f-ing car, GC 0w-30 every 3500-3600 miles with UOAs each time, with excellent results...all OEM service, everything. I never launched it, saw redline maybe once a month, never shifted hard, nothing. I have oil pressure and EGT gauges to keep tabs on motor and everything.

I even had a compression check done less than 10,000 miles ago "just because" which came back perfect.

Now I'm gonna have to sell it b/c I can't justify spending the 5,000+ to fix it. Awesome. Thanks Subaru.
Since you believe your car is horribly broken I will gladly buy it off your hands for 1k.
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:33 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by This Is Not Mike View Post

Now I'm gonna have to sell it b/c I can't justify spending the 5,000+ to fix it. Awesome. Thanks Subaru.
New shortblock <$5,000. Ive got less than that in my built shortblock and heads. Quit going to the stealership and find a reliable mechanic.

Also, use the correct oil. 0w is garbage, as well as is 5w. I run 15w. 10w should be fine for your application.
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:48 AM   #21
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Also, use the correct oil. 0w is garbage, as well as is 5w. I run 15w. 10w should be fine for your application.
care to elaborate?
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:55 AM   #22
jetski247
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my sti is like yours, cold engine almost reads at the bottom of the dipstick, start it up and let it idle and then check and is normal.

i've never understood that...........and, my car will burn synthetics up like an alcoholic, i have to run standard oil with no problems yet.
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:54 AM   #23
mapleleaf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teesutt View Post
New shortblock <$5,000. Ive got less than that in my built shortblock and heads. Quit going to the stealership and find a reliable mechanic.

Also, use the correct oil. 0w is garbage, as well as is 5w. I run 15w. 10w should be fine for your application.

What are you talking about?
A new SB is not $5000.....I won't bother saying anything about your oil comment

Last edited by mapleleaf; 12-28-2010 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:55 AM   #24
mapleleaf
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Originally Posted by jetski247 View Post
my sti is like yours, cold engine almost reads at the bottom of the dipstick, start it up and let it idle and then check and is normal.

i've never understood that...........and, my car will burn synthetics up like an alcoholic, i have to run standard oil with no problems yet.
If it's burning oil, why would you not try a heavier weight?
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Old 12-28-2010, 09:24 AM   #25
This Is Not Mike
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I based my $5,000 comment on a thread I found where DentSport quoted a member $5,000 to replace his shortblock. The block itself from Fred Beans is $2,050 before shipping, then add in labor and I'm getting up there in price.

It's the dead of winter and I'm not capable of taking on an engine swap myself. Besides not having the experience, I don't have air tools or a garage. I'm not attempting this in my Mom's driveway in the dead of winter.

I've run GC based on the overwhelming positive response on this board, and have UOAs to back up my choice. Why would I run a thicker oil when it's the winter and I can see temperatures approaching 0 degrees F? I can understand going to something thicker in the summer, but not in the winter.

To reiterate, I've always checked my engine cold and the level has never fluctuated up until this past weekend.
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