WRX burning oil?!?!
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This is a discussion on WRX burning oil?!?! within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I had a big issue today and I am pretty concerned. I checked my oil (I admit I haven't done ...

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    WRX burning oil?!?!

    I had a big issue today and I am pretty concerned. I checked my oil (I admit I haven't done this enough at all) and the dipstick had no oil on it at all. There have been no signs of my oil leaking and no light came on to let me know that my oil was so low that it wasn't even on the dipstick. I took the car in and got it serviced early. They were pretty dismissive to my questions and weren't even able to tell me if there was any oil in it at all when they drained it. I have no idea how long I have been driving my car this way. It has not been driving weird or doing anything out of the ordinary, no funny smells either. I know this could potentially damage a lot of stuff in my car but I have no idea how bad the damage could really be. My car is a 2011 and I bought it brand new so it also should not be burning oil like that (assuming it is burning oil cause there is no sign of leaking seen by me or the service department). Lastly, the lights should be coming on to warn me about that stuff and they aren't. I talked to two people working at either the dealership or Subaru customer service and they haven't been very helpful in regards to talking about fixing my light or checking my engine for possible damage. I am lucky that my warranty for the engine doesn't run out for another three years but it would really suck if when the warranty was out I had a major issue, or if I was on a road trip and had a major issue. I was seeing what anybody else would do in my situation...I obviously do not know a lot about cars but I take good care of mine in ways I know how and want to learn other ways to take better care of my car. I'm developing some major trust issues with trusting anybody with my baby. I know my fellow WRX owners have my back though. Please help.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Check the oil weekly, parked in the same spot, and with the motor at the same temperature. I prefer stone cold.

    There is no low oil level light.

    There is a low oil pressure light. It is not useful usually; by the time it comes on I feel it is unlikely the motor has not experienced significant wear.

    I would not develop trust issues towards others, at least not yet, as it is your responsibility to make sure the car has adequate oil. Keep the oil topped up.

    Read the manual cover to cover. It indicates when and how to check the oil, and what warning lights are available. It also indicates how to know whether those lights are actually working (by observing them during the turn-on sequence).

    The best way to determine whether the motor was damaged is to tear it down. This doesn't make sense though, it's more of a hassle to find the answer than anything else. I'd keep oil in the car and drive along.
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    Registered User WrxPower's Avatar
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    How many miles was your last oil change? What type of oil?

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    I use synthetic oil. I go to the dealership so I think they use a specific subaru oil. I'm not positive. But since it is synthetic I only get my car serviced every 7,500 miles. For this I know I need to be better about checking the fluids myself. I will now for sure. I'm still wondering why my oil would be gone after 6,000 miles (cause that is when i took it in instead of 7,500 cause i noticed the oil was gone) in a 2 year old car. I never thought this would be a concern with a brand new car... That's why I bought brand new.

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    MAINEiac 11blackSTi's Avatar
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    Even though they say 7500 a lot of us change the oil at 3750. If you are going the full 7500, it is def worth it to pull the dipstick occasionally to check it (as you know now). Might be worth it to have an oil analysis done on your next change to see how the oil is holding up over that many miles in between changes. If it were me I would get a good quality oil and bring it in with me to the oil changes (which I do). They won't charge you as much for your change obviously.

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    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onca View Post
    I use synthetic oil. I go to the dealership so I think they use a specific subaru oil. I'm not positive. But since it is synthetic I only get my car serviced every 7,500 miles. For this I know I need to be better about checking the fluids myself. I will now for sure. I'm still wondering why my oil would be gone after 6,000 miles (cause that is when i took it in instead of 7,500 cause i noticed the oil was gone) in a 2 year old car. I never thought this would be a concern with a brand new car... That's why I bought brand new.
    The owner's manual specifies how frequently to check the oil (in mine it says at every fuel fill; I don't do that but by rights that's what I'd have to do if I were to follow the manual written by the people that actually build the cars). It also states how much consumption is considered normal.

    Consumption, up to a point, is normal. Let's say for the sake of discussion that your car consumed 4l or oil in 6,000 miles. That's 1l every 1,500 miles, and I'd be shocked if that's considered abnormal. Since your actual consumption is likely less (the entire sump usually has ~4,5l of oil, and I'm guessing you didn't run the car without any oil at all), then your consumption would be less than my estimate.

    The point is all motors will use oil, some measurably so, others not. It's a matter of time and use with each specific product. Expect this, read the manual, and check the oil.
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    Registered User WrxPower's Avatar
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    Depending on where you live and how you drive the car factors in how often to change your oil. I do mine between 4000-4500. I just order a blackstone oil test kit. So when my next oil change is due I will see how the oil is holding up. People will tell you change at this mileage or that mileage. My dealership says every 3750. So pick a mileage get a oil test done and go from there.


    Also depending on what oil is used can factor in how often to change it. I use Amsoil 5w40 euro oil

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    Registered User 06scoobyrex's Avatar
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    Check your oil every week or so, it's normal to to use less then 1/2-1 Q of oil between oil changes... I'd reccomend an oil analsys just to see what's up and if you do have problems you'll probaly have issues with SOA warranting the job just cause dealerships will find any reason they can to not cover it... Good luck!
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    Registered User Ensorcelled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD_GR View Post
    Check the oil weekly, parked in the same spot, and with the motor at the same temperature. I prefer stone cold.

    There is no low oil level light.

    There is a low oil pressure light. It is not useful usually; by the time it comes on I feel it is unlikely the motor has not experienced significant wear.

    I would not develop trust issues towards others, at least not yet, as it is your responsibility to make sure the car has adequate oil. Keep the oil topped up.

    Read the manual cover to cover. It indicates when and how to check the oil, and what warning lights are available. It also indicates how to know whether those lights are actually working (by observing them during the turn-on sequence).

    The best way to determine whether the motor was damaged is to tear it down. This doesn't make sense though, it's more of a hassle to find the answer than anything else. I'd keep oil in the car and drive along.
    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't it best to check oil level at operating temps due to the oil expanding? I check my oil every week in the same spot with the car at operating temps. I just kill the engine and wait around 3-5 minutes for the oil to drain back down to the pan and then check.

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    Registered User Soobvirgin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ensorcelled View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't it best to check oil level at operating temps due to the oil expanding? I check my oil every week in the same spot with the car at operating temps. I just kill the engine and wait around 3-5 minutes for the oil to drain back down to the pan and then check.
    Not really. After 3-5 mins, there's still plenty of oil around the engine. Check it when it's cold each time and you'll know that's as much oil as will ever be in the sump. What's important though, is to always check it in the same conditions.

  12. #11
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Cold is easier too.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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    Registered User Ensorcelled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soobvirgin View Post
    Not really. After 3-5 mins, there's still plenty of oil around the engine. Check it when it's cold each time and you'll know that's as much oil as will ever be in the sump. What's important though, is to always check it in the same conditions.
    Doh! I always check at operating temps. I guess I really badly misread what my manual said.

    Welp, time to change my habit to checking @ cold temps!

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    Pro Manscaper Mikie13's Avatar
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    IIRC as well, just because its not on the dipstick, doesn't mean there's no oil. I had a "dry" dipstick on my 05 STI after going 1000 miles longer than I should have before changing my oil. Drained the pan, still had 3+ qts...It's not abnormal for our turbo'd engines to burn a quart every 1000 miles...which is why it is NECESSARY for you to regularly check your oil...every couple fill-ups, every 1000 miles or so, whichever.

    As for warning lights, yes it's only oil pressure. It lets you know when you've lost it...which basically is an "oh-****" light telling you that your car just bent you over backwards and it's screwed. Nothing about oil being low.
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    Registered User wrx frog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ensorcelled View Post
    Doh! I always check at operating temps. I guess I really badly misread what my manual said.

    Welp, time to change my habit to checking @ cold temps!
    I believe the manual does say check your oil during fuel fill ups..

    Besides the dipstick has two measurements references on it does it not? at the full line there is cut in the side for cold full and a hole above that for hot full.

  16. #15
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ensorcelled View Post
    Doh! I always check at operating temps. I guess I really badly misread what my manual said.

    Welp, time to change my habit to checking @ cold temps!
    The manual says to check at every fuel fill, and that would be a hot check. However I don't like hot checks so... I don't do them. I read stone cold on the same level surface. The only time I'll read hot is if I'm on the road for days and have been driving the car for hours each day.

    It's really crucial to keep the oil topped up.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    Man is a brute.... If you're cruel to him, he respects and fears you. If you're kind to him, he plucks your eyes out. Alexis Zorbas
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

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