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Subaru issues updated TSB for excessive oil consumption issue

2011-2014 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Impreza and Legacy oil consumption issue gets a new TSB. What will Subaru do now?

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There’s good news for 2011-2014 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Impreza and Legacy who have been experiencing an oil consumption issue. Subaru has issued a new Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) to correct the problem. The problem is, some of these vehicles have been found to burn excessive amounts of oil. The old TSB from Subaru had an authorized dealer replacing just the engine rings if it was determined that an engine exhibited excessive oil consumption. In many cases, this was not correcting the problem and some owners continued to have problems after the rings were replaced. The new TSB issued from Subaru says they will now replace the entire short block.

What models and engines are effected?

2011-2014 Forester (with 2.5-liter engines)
2013-2014 Legacy (with 2.5-liter engines)
2013-2014 Outback (with 2.5-liter engines)
2012-2013 Impreza (with 2.0-liter engines)
2013 XV Crosstrek (with 2.0-liter engines)

What should you do if your vehicle is using excessive oil? Owners can contact their Subaru dealer and go in for an oil consumption test. If the dealer determines the oil consumption is found to exceed normal levels, dealers will replace the shortblock assembly.

Repairs will be made under the new vehicle warranty or powertrain warranty, whichever applies. If your vehicle is out of the new vehicle warranty coverage, and you have an extended warranty, the repairs may be covered, but the Subaru dealer will have to confirm this with the extended warranty company.

Owners should call their local dealer with their vehicle identification number (VIN) on their 2011-2014 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Impreza or Legacy to determine vehicle eligibility for this repair. Owners can also call Subaru Support at 800-782-2783 and reference Technical Service Bulletin # 02-157-14R. Go to the direct link to the bulletin here.

Media source: Subaru Technical Information

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Richard Foy (not verified)    August 26, 2016 - 8:08AM

I am currently having the short block replaced via Subaru. After researching much of the information available, I am suspecting that the materials used to manufacture these engines is what the source of the problems are. Using a "recycled" material, instead of new in metals, often results in a lower quality material. Mixing together a lot of different metals such as aluminum, iron, cast etc. Also, using plastics in a high temperature application, such as the engines internal components, will lead to a problem. Many of today's so called " new" cars are produced with recycled materials.

John Buchspies (not verified)    August 27, 2016 - 7:57PM

. Certified pre-owned 2012 Forester purchased with 17000 miles two years later new motor at 53000 this is my 7-8 Subaru worst one yet still like the car. If consumion of 1 qt between 2500 and 3000 Miles I will return it. if the consumption is less than a qt every 5000 miles I'm good with it . I'll be happy if I 150000 with no major repairs.

Pete D (not verified)    September 6, 2016 - 3:23PM

Have a 2013 Impreza with 62K miles. Recently had an OC test done at dealer. Checked oil shortly after I returned home and noted level on dipstick about 1" above full mark. After ~ 1600 miles returned to dealer and told them along with photo of high fill on their oil change. The actual level at that time was slightly below the full mark on dipstick. To my surprise rather than doing another OC test they ordered a small block assembly to make the change. Now my concern is with the quality of the repair and if we will have more issues by doing this. Warranty on replacement block will only get me about 40K miles of driving.
Also does anyone know if spark plugs are included with this replacement? I was surprised to see the owners manual recommends replacement at 60K. Up until this past December I had a 1997 Chevy Lumina and plug replacement was at 100K.

Catherine varga (not verified)    October 15, 2016 - 10:57AM

I have a 2012 outback which has been consuming oil. We were told it is not in the group with problems. 2 days ago the oil light came on and oil was added, again, and next day was smoking. Dealer said it was overfilled but when they changed oil and let it sit overnight the oil level dropped. They said, after $260 testing, that three pistons are leaking and the short block needs to be changed. $5000
Still not covered under the class action lawsuit.
It is my second outback. The other is hoping in Monday to have its short block changed.

Geoff E (not verified)    October 30, 2016 - 9:17AM

In reply to by Catherine varga (not verified)

I have a 2011 and what seems to have a blown engine and can't except the fact that the engine is failed. No Class action lawsuit for this same engine as the 2011-2014 Forester? They are full of crap Morgan and Morgan will be called on Monday to get some results.

KT (not verified)    October 16, 2016 - 9:44AM

Catherine Varga, I had a 2013 Crosstrek (purchased new) that had serious EOC issues. VERY long story shorter, after 2 oil consumption tests (a colossal waste of many months of time), a short block replacement (which only made it worse), and a 6-week-long battle with Subaru of America (not my local dealer) leaning heavily on "Lemon Law" principals, I got nearly all my money back. (And bought a Honda CR-V -- I will NEVER buy another Subaru after the crap that was fed to me for 2 years about this issue.) Forget the lawsuit. Fight them as an individual, and if they still refuse to work with you, insist on dealing directly with SOA, but do it ALL in writing. I refused to discuss any of it on the phone with my SOA "case manager." Every single word we exchanged was via email, so I had everything documented on both sides. I'll also say that I didn't pay for one drop of oil over that 2 years. I refused to -- every time the light came on, I drove to the dealership, had them formally document my mileage, and top off the oil. I paid for no diagnostics, and I did not pay for the short block replacement. (I was, however, still under warranty. Not sure if that will be an issue for you.) Good luck. (I LOVE my Honda CR-V....bought a 2013 with very low mileage in May of this year.)

Geoff E (not verified)    October 30, 2016 - 9:12AM

I have owned my 2011 "SCREWDARU OUTCRAPED " since it was new and had the oil test done on it once while living in Wisconsin. Dealership laughed and said there is nothing wrong.. Fast forward to today two years later and 9 quarts of oil @every 2000 miles the engine died no warning came off the interstate and no light or warning engine made a knocking sound and then just died. 109641 miles not impressed or happy and will never buy another one of these cars again. I will keep this updated because it is at the dealership now, Sunday. Class Action Lawsuit anyone?

Anne E. Murphy (not verified)    November 5, 2016 - 10:12AM

I bought my 2014 Forester this March. The car had just 40,000 miles. After 43,000 miles my engine light came on , I took it to the dealer, who told ME they would perform the oil consumption test . I had no clue this was a problem other Subaru owners had make a long story short they will be replacing the engine short block assembly this week AND giving me a loaner car. ....I just feel very lucky as this dealer has done EVERYTHING so far to accommodate me about this issue,,I have not had to ask them for ANYTHING...

Kathryn (not verified)    October 25, 2019 - 12:23PM

In reply to by Anne E. Murphy (not verified)

I am not confident that Subaru mechanics are trained well enough to replace shortblocks. Taking my 2011 Forester in again due to leaking timing belt since they put in the shortblock in late 2016. They can't seem to.put it on correctly and it leaks some and stinks to high heaven. Very frustrating. I do not trust this car now. Bought it brand new and only have 72k on it.

richard foy (not verified)    November 7, 2016 - 6:26PM

Subaru has done a good job with the oil consumption issue. And I'm very impressed with the way it has been taken care of. An honorable thing. When an automobile brand takes initiative. Perhaps other brands will notice and do the same.

Dave P Garrett (not verified)    December 2, 2016 - 4:38PM

Owner of a 2014 Subaru 2.5i Base model with a CVT, So far with 32,000 miles and New Mexico driving no oil consumption to report. I'm a slow driver, don't race, don't go offroading or softroading, and don't do snowplowing with it. I did oil changes at 6,000 mile intervals NOT the 7500. I did so because I thought SOA lowered the oil change interval on the 2015, logic told me since my 2014 has the same engine, it made sense to follow that lower interval. I Purchased the vehicle December 2013 so its been almost 3 years. So far the car has been bulletproof, averaging 26mpg overall as well. Even though I've enjoyed the car immensely with no problems, this will be my last Subaru. Why is it my last? Because I find myself driving tenderly, and walking on eggshells so as to not damage the engine ( which is amazingly unreasonable). I'm honestly considering selling it now before it gets thirsty.

KL Thalin (not verified)    December 3, 2016 - 10:25AM

Subaru fought me at every turn when my newly purchased (in 2013) Crosstrek started sucking oil. My local dealership forced me to go through TWO oil consumption tests, all the while denying that there was anything going on that was NOT normal. I kept telling them that their words were bullshit. (And at times, I politely used that exact word.) My car was a manual transmission. They **suggested** (quite obviously) that MY driving style was causing the problem. (I drove a 1989 Saab for nearly 300,000 miles on the original clutch.) Long, LONG, story short, they finally replaced the short block in April of 2015. The problem got worse. I took my case to Corporate and after about 6 weeks of back and forth (ONLY in writing -- I refused to take any phone calls, and insisted every word be exchanged through email,) I "won" my case. I refused another car, but got nearly all my money back after having the Crosstrek for more than 2 years. Bought a 2013 Honda CR-V with low mileage in May of this year. I LOVE it. Zero problems with oil consumption, and no other problems nearly 7 months later.

RT (not verified)    January 9, 2017 - 5:35PM

I have a 2011 Subaru Forester, bought it new and back in september of 2016 I noticed a rattling noise after 2,000 miles. I took it in voicing my concerns and the customer service rep said they found nothing wrong and I paid for the oil change. After another 2,000 miles, same thing. This time I spoke with another guy, sharing with him my previous months experience. He then said they would begin an OC test and once 1200 miles hit, to bring it back in. Returned it and it failed, they did a second OC test just to make sure the results were the same and it failed twice. Was told they would immediately order the parts and would call me when to return my vehicle. Two weeks went by and nothing!
I then went to the dealership and got their tails firing. Customer rep said he needed and ok to start to order of the parts and an ok to grant me a loaner vehicle. Within 15 minutes I was in a 2017 Subaru Outback loaner on November 3, 2016 It is now January 9, 2017 and I still am in the loaner! Apparently it took a month to order the parts, was told they are replacing the engine, and by mid December I was informed that they replaced the engine, started my vehicle and immediately heard a noise. The "specialized mechanics" did not know where it was coming from. Because of that, I was told they now had to wait for a parts representative to come and see if this is a failed product, meaning Subaru will fork the bill or if I somehow had to pay for it. Given I haven't seen my vehicle in 1.5 months. They forked the bill, as they should, and now are again ordering the parts and fingers crossed, should have my ride back by the end of this week, HOPE! Funny thing is the "specialized mechanics" noticed my vehicle needed other "parts" replaced just so I actually have to pay for something, with all the mistakes they were making! So not happening!
Now after hearing about all the newly replaced rings of my fellow subaru owners, Im hesitant to see how my vehicle, that is almost paid off, handles itself. Wish me luck!

Ken (not verified)    January 10, 2017 - 10:28AM

How are you enjoying your 2017 Outback? Maybe you should just keep it! LOL I took my 2015 outback in for a small block replacement on 13 Dec and was told it would be ready before Christmas. Here we are 10 Jan and they still have it. Last I heard they were waiting to get the heads back. Meanwhile I am enjoying driving a 2017 fully loaded legacy except it doesn't have snow tires whereas mine does. The Legacy has 6500Km on it and the engine sounds great. I have driven almost 200km and no oil light on yet!

Susan Delgardo (not verified)    January 12, 2017 - 4:55PM

Had the short block replaced on my 2014 Subaru Forester. Three oil consumption tests later, still consuming. Next short block will be put in sometime in March, after two other people get the same fix. They did loan me a brand new Subaru for 3 weeks. I bought Subaru for reliability and safety. So much for the reliability. I would like a replacement car and am ready to file paperwork with the Bureau of Automotive Repair in California. Has anyone on this site been given/traded/etc a new car because you are sick of dealing with the problems?

Ken (not verified)    January 13, 2017 - 10:30AM

I got my 2015 Outback back on 12 Jan so it took a month to do the short block replacement. It definitely sounds hammering or knocking sounds so time will tell. Subaru has been great in dealing with this problem. If you don't hear form me again it will be because all is well. All the best to Subaru owners.


Raymond E Blais (not verified)    April 21, 2017 - 8:38AM

I have a 2014 Subaru Outback......Started with oil light coming on around 34,000 miles,checked
oil level half a quart down.....Reported this to my Subaru Dealer (Profile Subaru..Conway N.H.) when
I brought vehicle in for servicing Manager stated they checked oil light and everything was fine.I questioned about oil level and was told this was normal......
About 3000 miles on this servicing found oil level down half a quart again,this time oil light did
not come on....Called Dealership and was told to keep eye on level.....When I went back for next servicing.....I mentioned problem again and told Manager this was second time...Oil Consumption Test
was done at 1200 miles....Was told my vehicle needed short block changed at no cost to me...Brought
it in for repairs......Since then when I start my vehicle it has a knocking noise for 5 to 10 seconds
when I start it after setting for 30 minutes or more......Called Dealer and Manager told me this is normal with new Short Block because of noise must be from new chain......NOT SATISFIED WITH

KEITH (not verified)    July 4, 2017 - 10:13AM

Any auto maker that says there is a certain amount of oil consumption is incorrect. Any engine should not consume any amount of oil, if so there is definitely a problem. Engines have a sealed oil system to keep parts lubricated during operation ; no oil should be lossed,burned, or consumed that's it. If so there is A PROBLEM FOLKS.

Stevyn (not verified)    December 3, 2017 - 11:43AM

I just bought a 2018 Forester and the oil light came on at 2,200 miles. Dealer stated factory did not put enough oil in. They topped it off. Drove 2,000 more miles and light came on again. They sent us out and said drive another 1,200 miles and come back so they can do a consumption test. Seems like they still have the problem with the 2018 models also..NH

Leroy H (not verified)    April 10, 2019 - 1:56PM

I purchased my 2011 Forester and had consumption issues from the start. Kept getting told it is normal to use up to 2 quarts of oil between 3500 mile oil changes. After 2 consumption test and 76,000 miles they are finally replacing short block. Hope this solves the issue but reading other comments it seems this does not solve the issue.

Jim Linderman (not verified)    July 17, 2019 - 10:45AM

2013 Forester short block replaced at 58k miles.
NOW, 90k rings in first cylinder “broke”.
Subaru replacing short block and valves etc. a $6,800 repair. Technically I am out of warranty; I’ve agreed to pay $750. Subaru has always treated me fairly, including loaners.

Britt (not verified)    August 28, 2019 - 8:00PM

My 2014 Crosstrek had its engine rebuilt under the oil consumption program. It has a 6-speed manual transmission and currently 35,110 miles. Ever since the rebuild at 21,140, it is sluggish and hesitates during acceleration, often pausing until approximately 2500-3000 rpm, then it acts fine. The dealer recently replaced the clutch under warranty thinking that was the issue, but the clutch replacement did not cure the hesitation issue. The dealer now states that the engine rebuild used more robust rings and pistons, and that I should drive it more like a sports car. Since I am the computer brain controlling shifting because I have a manual, not CVT, the fly-by-wire action for shifting may not be as smooth (It definitely is not). I'm getting ready to file a complaint with Subaru since they originally provided me with a faulty product that didn't respond well to their repair. It did not have the hesitation issue prior to the engine rebuild. Anyone else experience this problem?

Dan Williams (not verified)    August 29, 2019 - 8:18AM

My daughters 2013 forester had the engine oil burn and replacement re-build-her's is automatic transmission, but was very sluggish and would not respond to acceleration as stated! Took it back several times and they indicated that a tsb was issued to re-flash computer, which causes the vehicle to run at a faster than 850 rpm idle speed and the tranny winds up and is very loud on acceleration up to 65 mph and than the rpm's drop-definately uses more fuel, so where did the 0w20 oil due anything for fuel economy? I still maintain that they don't know what the issues with these engines and probably never will! Still have the public believing that they have the best vehicles on the road??? Just my 2 cents worth-good luck

Patrick Robinson (not verified)    September 7, 2019 - 3:56PM

I failed an Oil Consumption Test September 3, Subaru dealer is replacing the shortblock assembly...I'm 6 years into a 7-year warranty-Thank Goodness! I'm getting a loaner car and I pray the new shortblock assembly will eliminate my Forester oil consumptions...

Samuel Cory Gore (not verified)    January 8, 2021 - 12:51AM

I searched and searched for a reliable car for my daughter who is in college. I do not have a large budget but found a 2014 Subaru Forester with 33K miles. I had it shipped here. After an oil change, she drove it 1200 miles and it burned 1.5 quarts of oil. I am dumbfounded. It has a carfax with a "lemon clause" but bet that will go nowhere. Has anyone had good results with Subaru on a 6 year old car? There is no warranty. Any helpful information would be most appreciated.
Cory Gore
[email protected]

Karen E Kelley (not verified)    November 11, 2021 - 5:46PM

2013 XV Crosstreak starting having oil consumption issues at ~ 123K miles. Did oil consumption test at a Subaru dealership. They said I need to replace the short block. I called Subaru support and they said because I was so far over the 100K cuttoff there was nothing they could do for me. I love my Crosstrek, but wish I had gone with Honda. Very disappointing.

CHARLES OUEIS (not verified)    September 22, 2022 - 10:06PM

2014 Outback. Bought it new. Started consuming about 1/2 quart between oil changes. Now it consumes over a quart about every 400 miles. Mine is a CVT and unfortunately only manuals are covered which is not right as the issue is in the motor Subaru never informed me of the defect and now I'm screwed. Car has no leaks and it does not smoke. Never again will I buy another Subaru. Fraud. Need a class action lawsuit to get them to correct the problem.