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Old 07-15-2015, 11:01 AM   #1
MatthewPult
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Exclamation FB20 - Subaru oil consumption test

Hey guys,

I'm having an oil consumption test done to my 2012 Impreza sport, and couldn't seem to find much information as to what the technical procedure for the test is. I know the form used for the test is called NEW FB Engine Oil Control Ring TSB Oil Consumption Test but only Subbie Techs can access it online. Is anyone here a tech that could share a copy of the form, or does anyone have access to the form?

Thanks
-MP
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:08 PM   #2
Zeeper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewPult View Post
Hey guys,

I'm having an oil consumption test done to my 2012 Impreza sport, and couldn't seem to find much information as to what the technical procedure for the test is. I know the form used for the test is called NEW FB Engine Oil Control Ring TSB Oil Consumption Test but only Subbie Techs can access it online. Is anyone here a tech that could share a copy of the form, or does anyone have access to the form?

Thanks
-MP
There is a super long and loquacious thread about the oil consumption issues in a small number of the new generation Impreza's. Go there, find info, it is in the forum dedicated to your make, and model.

Interesting fact: the dude who is plastered all over that thread, who prophesized the mass failure of all that generations engines due to bad engineering and build, and told us all to expect widespread oil consumption, ended up trading in his crappy, oil burning Impreza for a luxurious, non-oil burning Crosstrek, that has the same exact engine.

Not sure if he ever had further issues with oil consumption, or if he recanted his prophesies...as I gave up following that thread years ago, and have traded my non-oil burning Impreza for my luxurious, non-oil burning WRX, but you can ask him there.

BTW: just did a quick search and there were or are pending or completed class action lawsuits regarding the oil consumption issue, last time I checked in Subaru was beginning to offer remediation (repair or replacement, aka Crosstrek trading). So if you are losing/burning oil, likely it will be remedied by Subaru without the non-committal "losing 1 quart of oil every month or two is normal" rhetoric. Dudes who first had the issue had a right to be pissed, but lost their perspective about how many cars might be affected, and as previously noted, my 2012 Impreza Sport showed no visible oil consumption during the 20k test drive before I traded it in.

Last edited by Zeeper; 07-15-2015 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 07-15-2015, 02:48 PM   #3
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Dudes who first had the issue had a right to be pissed, but lost their perspective about how many cars might be affected, and as previously noted, my 2012 Impreza Sport showed no visible oil consumption during the 20k test drive before I traded it in.
So just because your 2012 didn't have any issues you feel they lost perspective? Internet logic at it finest. The issue is far more widespread than you realize.
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:40 PM   #4
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So just because your 2012 didn't have any issues you feel they lost perspective? Internet logic at it finest. The issue is far more widespread than you realize.
OK, prove it. Prove it affects more than 1-2% of the new generation Impreza... back in the day (read my old posts) we argued about this a lot. I think I estimated less than one percent were affected...show me some real numbers...

Many posts by the same few owners, not much evidence of a widespread problem.

I'd do more research, for you, but I sold my non-oil burning impreza already, and have non-oil burning WRX, so I am not inclined to spend more time on it.

PS: there are 7 named plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit filed in NJ, on behalf of all the unnamed plaintiffs. They represent owners of 2011-‘14 Forester, 2013 Legacy, 2013 Outback, 2012-‘13 Impreza, and 2013 XV Crosstreks.

How many total vehicles, in that date range, have been sold, and how many suffer from excessive oil consumption? Give me that info, win a gold star. If you can find even 1,000 unique individuals I would be surprised -- and no, I don't work for Subaru.

Last edited by Zeeper; 07-15-2015 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:33 PM   #5
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Will Consumer Reports do? I give you the thirsty 30;

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/m...tion/index.htm

Notice the Subaru's scattered? If say 12% of CR's sample size says it's consuming oil that's probably an indications that the issue is significant. I realize you will likely be too stubborn to give me my gold star but that doesn't change the fact I earned it with a single post that took all of one quick google search.

Last edited by heavyD; 07-15-2015 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 07-15-2015, 06:37 PM   #6
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I'll be bringing my 2011 Forester in for an oil consumption test within a couple of weeks. I'll ask the service adviser whether or not he can share the full procedure.
It might be new short block time for our Fozzy (or not...).
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Old 07-16-2015, 06:50 AM   #7
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If your car burns oil, it is a major problem. You might even start an extended post on a major forum (this one) that, in 2012, was on top of Google's search engine.

This might even attract others with a similar problem.

I think there were less than 10 people who showed up to say they were affected.

Not very scientific, like the poll on this forum.

The CR article doesn't give any indication of sample sizes for the Impreza (they only indicate total vehicles surveyed, during the model years on that poll, from all manufacturers). Who knows if they got mainly responses from motivated individuals with Subaru's who had oil consumption problems. AKA, a biased sample.

Your best bet is probably to follow the class action lawsuit and see if you can access their research, as I am hoping the lawyers don't plop down that article, or print out the oil consumption poll in this sub-forum, as evidence to support their 7 named plaintiffs.

If you had an oil burning engine in 2012 they put you thru the ringer. Then, magically, Subaru started fixing and replacing engines. Since the issue seems to not be that widespread to begin with, and appears to have lessened significantly for newer model years, one can assume they have improved their compression rings or quality control since then.

However, as the CR report kinda hints at, if 2% of cars are affected it is still a big problem. Of course their 2% number is estimated, and includes all the cars on that list.

Subaru Impreza is showing 13% or something ridiculous in that list -- I don't believe that data, that would represent tens of thousands of Impreza's burning oil, and a huge percent of owners who don't know how to google, or are too lazy to actively join a class action lawsuit.
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:09 AM   #8
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Well, this escalated quickly.

So I think I've read through nearly all of the posts and service bulletins I could find on the subject, but they seem to really keep their guidelines procedure for the test hidden pretty good. I did get to read over the form quick when they were setting the car up at the dealer, and it clearly stated that if it burns the 1/3 qt in 1200 miles that is considered excess. And being that I've added 2 qts over the last 5k miles and I was 1.5qt low when I brought it into the dealer, I shouldn't have an issue getting the motor rebuilt under powertrain warranty.

-MP
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Old 07-16-2015, 12:25 PM   #9
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Subaru Impreza is showing 13% or something ridiculous in that list -- I don't believe that data, that would represent tens of thousands of Impreza's burning oil, and a huge percent of owners who don't know how to google, or are too lazy to actively join a class action lawsuit.

You are free to believe what you want but bottom line is that I deserve my gold star because I was right and you were wrong.
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:58 PM   #10
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[...]
If you had an oil burning engine in 2012 they put you thru the ringer.[...]
Actually, if you had an oil burning engine in late 2010 (MY2011 Forester), they put you through the ringer.
They kept putting people through the ringer all throughout 2011 (MY2011 Forester, MY2012 Forester, MY2012 Legacy, MY2012 Impreza).
Then more of the same in 2012 (with MY2013 Outback joining the fray).
That's at least 2 full years of telling people something along the line of "hey, bud, it's perfectly normal, Honda and Toyota engines drink just as much oil if not more".

Quote:
[...]Then, magically, Subaru started fixing and replacing engines. Since the issue seems to not be that widespread to begin with, and appears to have lessened significantly for newer model years, one can assume they have improved their compression rings or quality control since then.[...]
Keep in mind that Subaru shortened OCI from the initial 7,500 to 6,000 miles for MY2014 (at around the same time the first "oil control rings" TSBs came out).
So while I'm sure Subaru engineers have worked on a fix for these oil control rings, it looks like Subaru is not taking any chances and they are sticking with the shorter 6K OCI instead of restoring the original 7.5K OCI.
That's how confident they are in the fix...
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Old 07-17-2015, 02:20 PM   #11
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MatthewPult - The oil consumption test is fairly simple, and the dealer should give you a copy of it when you have your test started. First the car is inspected, they will check for any external oil leaks, they will check to ensure that the PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) system is working properly, if your vehicle is equipped with an oil level sensor they will also check to see if it needs to be replaced and/or the ECM needs to be updated, or both. Then they will change your oil, filter and crush ring and let you leave. You will be required to return to the dealership after you have driven 1,200 miles, or if the oil level warning light comes on (if equipped). If your vehicle has lost 10.3oz (or more) oil over the 1,200 miles you will be eligible to get an updated engine short-block assembly.

Things to note;
If external oil leaks are found, or if the PCV is clogged, or any other oil level issues are found during their inspection, these will have to be repaired before the oil consumption test is performed. There have been several improvements to the FB engines since their release to correct issues that can contribute to excess oil consumption. Powertrain warranty will cover external oil leaks, oil level sensor replacement and ECM reprogramming if necessary. If the PCV is clogged it is considered a maintenance item and would be replaced at your cost if needed.

In regards to the number of vehicles affected I can offer a small bit of personal insight, I am a Subaru Service Manager and have been for 11 years at the same dealership. We have had many vehicles in for inspection over the last several years in regards to these oil consumption issues. The majority of those were well within the 10.3oz in 1,200 mile limits and required no repair, a few needed other repairs (oil leaks, reprogramming, maintenance, etc) and finally this week, after 2+ years of checking cars for oil consumption issues, we are replacing the first engine short block due to a "failed" oil consumption test (on a 2012 Impreza). I personally wouldn't consider the issue to be as "widespread" as many are claiming.

Personally I wish it were more widespread so we had more work in the shop...
My 2 cents.
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Old 07-19-2015, 03:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neg_matnik View Post
I'll be bringing my 2011 Forester in for an oil consumption test within a couple of weeks. I'll ask the service adviser whether or not he can share the full procedure.
It might be new short block time for our Fozzy (or not...).
my wifes 2011 forester has the oil issue also. its weird though. sometimes it will use a qt every 1000 miles. sometimes it goes a few thousand and needs no oil.it has about 59k on it soo far. weird consumption i think. she drives the same route to work every week. i hate the 4 speed auto tranny though. my dd 14 legacy has the same engine with the cvt and i love that combo. its much more responsive and better driving experience i think.
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Old 07-19-2015, 04:16 PM   #13
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my wifes 2011 forester has the oil issue also. its weird though. sometimes it will use a qt every 1000 miles. sometimes it goes a few thousand and needs no oil.it has about 59k on it soo far. weird consumption i think. she drives the same route to work every week. i hate the 4 speed auto tranny though. my dd 14 legacy has the same engine with the cvt and i love that combo. its much more responsive and better driving experience i think.
Ours is at 57K and I don't have much love for the 4EAT either :-).
But we would have had to wait an extra 3 years to get a CVT in the Forester. Besides, I'm not convinced my wife would have actually liked the CVT; back in December 2010, she test drove a MY2010 Outback and she didn't like the CVT (it was mated to the older EJ253/4 though).
Strangely, she immediately liked the good 'ol 4EAT...
Anyway, I just want to find out whether or not our FB25 has acceptable oil consumption.
It would make it easier in case we wanted to sell or trade in.
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:20 PM   #14
MatthewPult
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Update:

So after driving the car for about 1k miles the low oil light came on. Which would mean that I am burning oil at over 3Xs the acceptable rate. So, I brought it back to the dealer and they are installing a new shortblock. Can't wait too get her back!

-MP
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:44 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Opie View Post
MatthewPult - The oil consumption test is fairly simple, and the dealer should give you a copy of it when you have your test started. First the car is inspected, they will check for any external oil leaks, they will check to ensure that the PCV (Positive Crankcase Ventilation) system is working properly, if your vehicle is equipped with an oil level sensor they will also check to see if it needs to be replaced and/or the ECM needs to be updated, or both. Then they will change your oil, filter and crush ring and let you leave. You will be required to return to the dealership after you have driven 1,200 miles, or if the oil level warning light comes on (if equipped). If your vehicle has lost 10.3oz (or more) oil over the 1,200 miles you will be eligible to get an updated engine short-block assembly.

Things to note;
If external oil leaks are found, or if the PCV is clogged, or any other oil level issues are found during their inspection, these will have to be repaired before the oil consumption test is performed. There have been several improvements to the FB engines since their release to correct issues that can contribute to excess oil consumption. Powertrain warranty will cover external oil leaks, oil level sensor replacement and ECM reprogramming if necessary. If the PCV is clogged it is considered a maintenance item and would be replaced at your cost if needed.

In regards to the number of vehicles affected I can offer a small bit of personal insight, I am a Subaru Service Manager and have been for 11 years at the same dealership. We have had many vehicles in for inspection over the last several years in regards to these oil consumption issues. The majority of those were well within the 10.3oz in 1,200 mile limits and required no repair, a few needed other repairs (oil leaks, reprogramming, maintenance, etc) and finally this week, after 2+ years of checking cars for oil consumption issues, we are replacing the first engine short block due to a "failed" oil consumption test (on a 2012 Impreza). I personally wouldn't consider the issue to be as "widespread" as many are claiming.

Personally I wish it were more widespread so we had more work in the shop...
My 2 cents.

Yeah, we've replaced perhaps a dozen short blocks since they made the switch from re-ringing. It's not as widespread as some would have you believe, but it is a fair number of vehicles.
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:03 AM   #16
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The low oil light has been intermittent since I bought it in Feb 2012. At first it was during long road trips when going 70mph+. I had the low oil light twice during my last OCI (actually it was just under 6k miles). I took it to the dealer, did the 1200 mile test, and they say there was no consumption issue since the dip stick didn't show 1/3quart(10.7oz) lost. The light never came on during 1200 miles. So, I'm waiting to see if the light comes on during this 6k OCI and will take it to the dealer then.
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Old 08-10-2015, 04:48 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by hemophilic View Post
The low oil light has been intermittent since I bought it in Feb 2012. At first it was during long road trips when going 70mph+. I had the low oil light twice during my last OCI (actually it was just under 6k miles). I took it to the dealer, did the 1200 mile test, and they say there was no consumption issue since the dip stick didn't show 1/3quart(10.7oz) lost. The light never came on during 1200 miles. So, I'm waiting to see if the light comes on during this 6k OCI and will take it to the dealer then.
Yours sounds more like a faulty oil level sensor, has yours been replaced and the ECM updated with the new sensor logic?
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Old 08-12-2015, 03:07 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Opie View Post
Yours sounds more like a faulty oil level sensor, has yours been replaced and the ECM updated with the new sensor logic?
I suppose I forgot to mention that every time the low oil light comes on, I check the levels, it is actually low, and I add oil.

That sensor and ecm update is new info to me however.
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