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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Currently, thanks to Club Crosstrek member kurthb, I've realized the technical service bulletin on FB engine oil consumption has in fact been updated recently to apply to more vehicles than I initially believed it to pertain to.

I will transcribe, take pictures of, and attach pictures of the TSB kurthb shared, which is linked here:
http://www.revbase.com/BBBMotor/TSb/DownloadPdf?id=192139

Album of pictures of ALL PAGES here:
Subaru FB engine oil consumption TSB - Album on Imgur

First two pages as transcribed are also attached as images on this post.


[page 1]

Subaru Service Bulletin
Number: 02-157-14R
Date: 08/28/14
Revised: 11/19/15


APPLICABILITY:
2013-14MY Legacy and Outback models with 2.5L FB Engines
2011-14MY Forester Models with 2.5L FB Engines
2015 MY Forester (Manual Transmissions Only) with 2.5L FB Engines
2012-2013 MY Impreza and XV Crosstrek Models with 2.0 FB Engines
2014-15 MY Impreza and XV Crosstrek Models (Manual Transmissions Only) with 2.0 FB Engines
SUBJECT:
Surface Treatment Change To Oil Control Piston Rings

INTRODUCTION:
This bulletin announces information regarding a major change to the repair procedures previously outlined in Service Bulletins 02-143-13R, 02-144-13R and 02-145-13R. These bulletins provided a repair procedure for the replacement of the piston rings to address verified concerns of unusual engine oil consumption. Vehicles confirmed as having this condition which are within the supplied VIN ranges will no longer be repaired with piston ring replacement. The revised repair procedure to address verified unusual oil consumption concerns on these specific vehicles will consist of replacing the engine short block assembly.
It is critical to understand the nature of the concern as reported by the customer and to confirm the actual condition prior to attempting repairs. Some oil consumption can and should be expected as a by-product of engine operation even where no concern exists. Failure to recognize this along with incorrectly diagnosing the condition presented can result in unnecessary repairs. For example: a vehicle which is presented with a report of low engine oil level (as read on engine dipstick/gauge or indicated by illumination of the low engine oil level warning lamp), which is at or near the time / mileage of the next service interval (based upon the date / mileage of the most recent oil change), is not representative of unusual oil consumption. The information supplied in this bulletin is only applicable to vehicles within the specific production ranges of this publication exhibiting the condition(s) previously described. Additional production enhancements have been incorporated to the piston rings used in engines mated with manual transmissions. In a limited number of cases, it has been found that certain driving styles specific to manual transmission operation such as: extended higher engine rpm operation and / or extensive use of engine braking may create conditions under which higher than expected oil consumption may occur. These additional production enhancements are designed to compensate for the engine conditions created under this type of usage.
IMPORTANT: Read and understand this bulletin COMPLETELY before starting consumption test or initiating any repairs.


[end page 1]
[page 2]


Concerns related to a possible oil consumption condition are generally initiated when the customer believes the engine oil level on the dipstick has dropped since the last time it was checked or when the low oil lamp illuminates. These types of complaints by themselves do not directly indicate a concern with the vehicle exists. It is important to understand all the factors involved in order to make a sound decision regarding whether or not a repair is required or if an oil consumption test should even be started. When speaking with customers about a reported or suspected oil consumption concern, always keep the following in mind:

Some engine oil will always be consumed as part of normal engine operation. How much and when it is consumed varies according to manufacturing tolerances, wear, and vehicle usage patterns. With the extended service intervals commonly used for today's engines combined with one or more of the conditions listed below, typical engine oil consumption may require adding engine oil in between scheduled maintenance intervals:
  • When the engine is new and within the break-in period (during the first 1000 miles of operation)
  • When the engine oil being used if of lower quality (other than "Energy or Resource Conserving" API Classification SM or SN or ILSAC, look for the starburst design with GF-4 or GF-5)
  • When the incorrect oil viscosity is used (viscosity other than 0W-20 in the case of these specific vehicles)
  • When engine braking is employed (use of the transmission's gear ranges to decelerate while using the engine to apply resistance)
  • When the engine is operated at high engine speeds (continually or under frequent, hard acceleration)
  • When the engine is operated under heavy loads (frequent carry of heavy cargo, passengers or trailer towing)
  • When the engine idles for long periods of time (may be related to frequent use of a remote engine start system)
  • When the vehicle is operated in stop and go and/or heavy traffic situations
  • When the vehicle is used under severe temperature conditions (cold or hot)
  • When the vehicle accelerates and decelerates frequently
Under these or similar operating conditions, the oil level should be checked more frequently. The engine oil and filter may also need to be changed more often. As per the Owner's Manual, engine oil consumption under these conditions may be as high as 1 quart per 1200 miles.
As related information, the low oil level warning light (on models so equipped) is designed to illuminate when the engine oil level in the sump drops below approximately 4 quarts with the engine not running (engine is 1.1 quarts low on oil) and 2.4 quarts when the engine is running. While this may seem low, keep in mind that oil remains suspended in the engine while running and will not fully drain back until the engine has been shut off for at least 5 minutes. In some rare cases, this light may illuminate with more oil present when the engine is running due to specific road or driving conditions such as repeated hard acceleration/ deceleration, tight turning, driving on undulating roads. In these cases, the light will generally reset on its own once the actual level is determined to be above the illumination threshold. However, this may take some time as certain driving parameters must be met for the system to self-correct. As long as the oil level has been checked and adjusted (if necessary), the immediate concern has been addressed. If the lamp does not extinguish on its own after some time and the oil level remains full, an inspection of the circuit and components should be performed. See Section 3 of the Owner's Manual for more information on the oil level warning system. See Service Procedure to reduce false illumination of low oil level warning lamp (on models so equipped) later in this bulletin for instructions on how to address customer concerns where the low engine oil level warning lamp illuminates when the engine oil level is either full or nearly full.

[end page 2]
 

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I stopped by Quality Subaru in Wallingford CT this afternoon, the service guy says that this is the latest TSB for the oil issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I stopped by Quality Subaru in Wallingford CT this afternoon, the service guy says that this is the latest TSB for the oil issue.
Thank you for the update, I had forgotten to check if it was up-to-date. :eek:
 

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Burning oil

I think I'll have to keep an eye on my oil level more frequently. I have a 2016 M/T crosstrek...
I drove 1000 miles following all break-in procedures and the oil level was still reading full.. I changed the oil utilizing MobIle 1 0w20 and a subaru oil filter. I then drove 2000 miles more and again changed the oil and filter. The oil was still full at this change.
At 5200 miles I changed the oil again, only this time when I checked the oil the level was at the add/low mark. It had used atleast a quart of oil during the last 2000miles. This was a shock. I haven't ever exceeded 4,000RPM, however I did drive in alot of stop and go traffic and I do engine break to decelerate..
I guess I'll check the oil level at every fill up and see if I can monitor better how quickly if at all it is being used.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I use engine braking extremely frequently. I also beat on my engine quite a lot, and my engine oil consumption has been between 1200-1500 miles between 1 U.S. quart top-offs recently.

My current Subaru Outback is exhibiting similar behavior. I guess I really am a harsh driver on engine oil.

When I was still learning to drive and recently learned to use engine braking and heel-toe downshifting, my old Subaru Legacy Outback consumed on average 1 U.S. quart per 3000 miles. For a driver like me, engine oil consumption is simply a normal aspect of car enthusiast life.
 

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I'll monitor the oil consumption over this oil change interval. Now that I am at 5k miles I will change the oil every 5k miles keeping it at a more frequent interval then the manual says but also at an interval that is easy to remember. I would imagine given what I have read so far and what I've seen I can anticipate using 1qt at the 3k mile mark. On another thread I inquired about the use of fuel additives. Knowing that subarus and exp M/T that utilize engine braking use oil I think I'll revisit the use of fuel additives. If after 3k miles an engine burns a quart of oil that is passing the piston rings and burning in the combustion chamber I would imagine the piston crown, cylinder head, and valves would build up carbon as a result of burning oil through them. That said I think it would be benefitial to utilize a fuel additive designed to clean the combustion chamber, piston rings, and valves. Utilizing it in a preventative way such as at every oil change/or when adding the make up oil due to loss would probably help over the life of the engine. I would really like to inspect the combustion chamber of one of these engines that burns oil and one that does not.
 

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Have a 2016 CVT. First oil change the oil didn't move, have 5,800 miles on it so far and the oil is right around the full mark, use engine braking every day.
You drive an auto...so are you saying you cycle the gears in the slush box to slow the vehicle simulating engine braking of a manual transmission downshifting to slow the vehicle?
 

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I drive over a mountain everyday when I go to work so when I go down, I use the shift levers and shift down to 3rd of 4th depending on traffic in front, etc. It keeps me under 55 mph usually, and I touch the brakes here and there, I don't ride the brakes.
 

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Thanks for the post. Appreciate your time and effort. I'm at 4 k, and already have my supplies to do the first change at 5. I always check my levels and so far so good. I also drive a CVT. I broke mine in as specified, and also used Zmax. Some people could claim it's snake oil, but I've used it for years. I'm also going to use Royal Purple with a Subie filter. Somebody replied to one of the posts I also did, and claimed he broke his in like he stole it, and never followed guidelines or even waited for the blue light to go off before thrashing on it. Claims his Trek has been bulletproof so far. That makes me feel confident in our cars, but isn't going to change my habits.


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I use Mobil 1 in my vehicles. I used it since I bought my first vehicle purchase which was back in 1996, and never had an issue with any engine problems. I was told by someone at a Subaru dealer that you can drive with the blue light on, just take it slow and easy because the engine is not up to the normal operating temperature and the heat / air conditioner won't run properly until the blue light goes out. He said it won't harm anything if you turn on your AC or heat and the blue light is still on.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Despite the conditions I exhibit my XV Crosstrek to, I will soon begin my engine oil consumption test. Even though my consumption is less than 1 U.S. quart per 1200 miles, I will take advantage of the extended warranty from the lawsuit.
 

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Just to update the thread, yes I did get a new shortblock, and consumes significantly less engine oil under pretty much the same conditions. The new engine is a massive improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
buy breaks, its way cheaper than a $6k transmission...
What?

If you're implying prioritizing using service brakes over engine braking, that is the wrong answer if on steep downgrades.

Service brakes should be kept cool by minimizing their use during downhill driving. This will improve panic-stop capabilities. Life is priority over monetary savings.


But I have had no transmission issues despite my very-frequent engine braking. But then, I do have the proven-reliable 5-speed manual, and I know how to actually use one (honestly, most American drivers don't know how to use one properly).
 

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Yeah I don't know if this guy posted in the right thread.... referencing braking and transmissions in an oil consumption thread...
 

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I use Mobil 1 in my vehicles. I used it since I bought my first vehicle purchase which was back in 1996, and never had an issue with any engine problems. I was told by someone at a Subaru dealer that you can drive with the blue light on, just take it slow and easy because the engine is not up to the normal operating temperature and the heat / air conditioner won't run properly until the blue light goes out. He said it won't harm anything if you turn on your AC or heat and the blue light is still on.
Buh. Garbage. That blue light is for the cold start emissions burn off. Start the car on a cold day, give it a few minutes, and drive it like you stole it.
On a hot day I don't even let it idle.
 

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I noticed that in my wife’s outback that if I changed the oil at 6k km there wasn’t any oil consumption.
After that something in the oil breaks down and it starts getting consumed.
I change my oil on the Crosstrek every 5k km. I have Zero oil consumption issues.
As a side note I do idle my Crosstrek excessively and this alone doesn’t consume oil, this is just boiler plate.

Break your car in with mild city driving or stop and go country driving.
Change your oil as often as you can during breakin, and always drain it hot.
Hot oil suspends the dirt allowing it to leave along with the oil.
Right now I’m weighing the pros and cons of Mobil 0-20 advanced fuel economy (recommended) and extended performance.
This was mentioned earlier on another post but Subaru has a centrifugal separator for crank case fumes attached to one of the cam shafts mitigating oil vapour in the crank case ventilation uptake. I’m fascinated by this ingenious idea.
 
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