Do Subarus Burn Oil? An Exploration of Causes, Solutions, and Impacts

Do subarus burn oil – The question of whether Subarus burn oil has sparked curiosity and concern among car enthusiasts. This article delves into the causes, consequences, and solutions surrounding oil consumption in Subaru engines, providing a comprehensive overview for curious minds.

From understanding the design flaws and mechanical issues that lead to oil burning to exploring preventative measures and repair options, this exploration unravels the complexities of Subaru’s oil consumption issues, offering valuable insights and practical advice.

Engine Oil Consumption: Do Subarus Burn Oil

Engine oil consumption is a common issue in Subaru vehicles. It occurs when the engine burns or leaks oil, leading to a decrease in oil levels and potentially causing engine damage if not addressed promptly.

The causes of oil consumption in Subaru engines vary, but some common factors include:

  • Piston ring wear: Over time, piston rings can wear out, allowing oil to seep into the combustion chamber and be burned.
  • Valve guide wear: Worn valve guides can cause oil to leak into the combustion chamber, leading to oil consumption.
  • Oil leaks: Oil leaks can occur from various engine components, such as the oil pan, valve cover gasket, or crankshaft seal, resulting in oil loss.

Certain Subaru models are known to have a higher incidence of oil consumption issues. These include:

  • Subaru Impreza WRX STI (2004-2014)
  • Subaru Legacy (2010-2014)
  • Subaru Outback (2010-2014)

The frequency of oil consumption issues in Subaru vehicles varies depending on the model and year. However, it is generally estimated that around 10-15% of Subaru vehicles experience excessive oil consumption.

Causes of Oil Burning

Oil burning in Subarus is primarily caused by design flaws or mechanical issues that lead to excessive oil consumption. These issues can range from worn piston rings to faulty valve seals and turbochargers.

Subarus have a reputation for burning oil, but it’s not as common as some people think. However, if you’re concerned about your Subaru’s oil consumption, you can check out this article on did subaru discontinue the wrx to see if it’s a common problem for your model.

If you’re still experiencing excessive oil consumption, you should take your car to a mechanic to have it checked out.

Worn Piston Rings

Piston rings are essential for sealing the combustion chamber and preventing oil from entering. Over time, these rings can wear out, allowing oil to leak into the combustion chamber, where it is burned along with the fuel.

Faulty Valve Seals

Valve seals are responsible for preventing oil from leaking past the valve stems. When these seals fail, oil can seep into the combustion chamber, leading to increased oil consumption.


Turbochargers can also contribute to oil burning in Subarus. If the turbocharger seals are damaged, oil can leak into the intake or exhaust system, where it is burned.

The symptoms of oil burning include: – Blue or white smoke from the exhaust – Decreased engine oil level – Fouled spark plugs – Increased fuel consumption

While some Subaru models may experience oil consumption issues, it’s worth noting that the automaker has also ventured into the world of entertainment. Did you know that Subaru collaborated on the production of an anime series? You can find out more about this fascinating project by clicking here . Returning to the topic of oil consumption, it’s crucial to have your Subaru regularly serviced to minimize the risk of excessive oil burn.

If you suspect that your Subaru is burning oil, it is important to have it inspected by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible. Oil burning can lead to serious engine damage if left untreated.

Prevention and Maintenance

Do subarus burn oil

Proactive measures can significantly reduce oil consumption in Subarus. Regular maintenance, using the right oil types, and proper oil filters are crucial. Additionally, adhering to recommended maintenance intervals and diligently monitoring oil levels are essential.

One common question is “do subarus burn oil?”. The answer is yes, some models do. However, it’s important to note that not all Subarus burn oil. If you’re curious about the future of the brand, you might be wondering did subaru stop making sti . The answer is yes, they did.

But don’t worry, there are still plenty of great Subarus on the road, and they’re not all oil burners.

Oil Types and Filters

Using high-quality synthetic oil, specifically formulated for Subarus, is recommended. These oils are designed to withstand higher temperatures and provide better protection against wear and tear. Additionally, investing in premium oil filters that effectively trap contaminants and reduce oil consumption is advisable.

Maintenance Intervals

Adhering to Subaru’s recommended maintenance schedule is paramount. Regular oil changes at the specified intervals help prevent oil degradation and ensure optimal engine performance. It’s essential to avoid extending oil change intervals beyond the recommended mileage or time frame.

Monitoring Oil Levels

Regularly checking oil levels is crucial. Use the dipstick to measure the oil level and add oil as needed. Ignoring low oil levels can lead to severe engine damage and costly repairs.

Solutions and Repairs

Addressing excessive oil consumption in Subarus requires proper diagnosis to identify the underlying cause. Repairs may involve replacing worn or damaged components, such as piston rings, valve seals, or turbochargers.

Piston Ring Replacement

Worn or damaged piston rings can allow oil to seep into the combustion chamber, leading to oil burning. Replacing piston rings involves disassembling the engine, removing the pistons, and installing new rings. This repair requires specialized tools and expertise and typically takes several days to complete.

Costs can range from $1,500 to $3,000, depending on the vehicle model and labor rates.

Valve Seal Replacement

Faulty valve seals can cause oil to leak into the cylinders, resulting in oil burning. Replacing valve seals involves removing the valve cover, disassembling the valve train, and installing new seals. This repair is less labor-intensive than piston ring replacement and can be completed in a day or two.

Costs typically range from $500 to $1,500.

Turbocharger Replacement

In turbocharged Subarus, a faulty turbocharger can lead to excessive oil consumption. Turbochargers rely on oil for lubrication and cooling, and any damage or wear can cause oil leaks or excessive oil usage. Replacing a turbocharger is a complex repair that requires specialized knowledge and equipment.

Costs can range from $2,000 to $5,000 or more, depending on the vehicle model and turbocharger type.

Impact on Engine Health and Performance

Excessive oil consumption can have severe consequences for Subaru engines. The oil acts as a lubricant, coolant, and protector against wear and tear. When oil levels are low, these functions are compromised, leading to premature engine wear, reduced performance, and decreased fuel efficiency.

Engine Damage and Failures, Do subarus burn oil

Prolonged oil consumption can cause serious engine damage. As oil levels drop, friction between moving parts increases, leading to overheating and accelerated wear. Pistons, cylinders, and bearings can become scored or damaged, resulting in reduced compression, power loss, and increased emissions.

In extreme cases, oil consumption can lead to catastrophic engine failure, requiring expensive repairs or even engine replacement.


In conclusion, the issue of oil consumption in Subarus is a multifaceted one, influenced by various factors. By understanding the causes, consequences, and solutions discussed in this article, Subaru owners can make informed decisions to mitigate oil consumption, ensuring optimal engine health and performance.

Whether you’re a seasoned Subaru enthusiast or simply curious about the topic, this exploration has shed light on the complexities of oil burning in Subarus, empowering you with knowledge to make informed choices and keep your Subaru running smoothly.

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