Subaru’s Burning Oil Problem: What You Need to Know

If you’re a Subaru owner or an enthusiast, you may be familiar with the burning oil issue that has been plaguing the brand for a while now. While Subaru is a well-known automotive brand that consistently produces reliable, high-performance vehicles, this issue has been a constant thorn in the side of many Subaru owners. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the history of Subaru’s engine problems, the causes of burning oil, symptoms to look out for, impact on Subaru owners, and what Subaru has done to address the issue.

History of Subaru’s Engine Problems

Subaru’s engine issues date back to the early 2000s when they introduced the Phase 2 EJ25 engine. This engine was used across the entire Subaru lineup, including popular models such as the WRX, Outback, and Legacy. The initial production of these engines was plagued by several problems, including head gasket failure, timing belt tensioner failure, and oil leak issues.

Subaru responded to this by updating their engine design in 2003, introducing the Phase 2.5 EJ25 engine. This updated engine was supposed to address the issues of the previous model, but many Subaru owners started to report another problem: burning oil.

Causes of Burning Oil in Subaru

Burning oil in Subaru is caused by a design flaw in the piston rings that allows oil to move up into the combustion chamber. Once the oil reaches the combustion chamber, it burns and emits smoke, leading to the classic “burning oil” smell that many Subaru owners are familiar with. This issue is more common in vehicles with higher mileage, but it can also occur in newer vehicles.

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Symptoms of Burning Oil in Subaru

If you own a Subaru, you should be aware of the following symptoms that may indicate that your vehicle is experiencing burning oil issues:

  • The smelling of burning oil
  • Blue smoke emitting from the tailpipe
  • A decrease in oil levels despite regular oil changes
  • Spark plugs fouling

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s recommended to take your vehicle to a reputable mechanic for a proper diagnosis.

Impact of the Issue on Subaru Owners

The burning oil issue has had significant impacts on Subaru owners. Firstly, it’s an expense that owners don’t expect to incur when they purchase a new Subaru. Most Subaru owners who experience this issue have had to pay for costly repairs or complete engine replacements, which can cost thousands of dollars. This issue also reduces the resale value of the vehicle, as most buyers will be wary of buying a car with a history of burning oil.

Measures taken by Subaru to Address the Problem

Subaru has acknowledged the issue and has taken steps to address it. In 2016, they extended their engine warranty to eight years or 100,000 miles for select models that are affected by this issue. They have also introduced a new type of oil consumption test to measure the oil usage of suspect vehicles. Additionally, starting in 2014, Subaru began using a new type of ring design intended to rectify the burning oil issue.

Possible Solutions for Subaru Owners

There are several things that Subaru owners can do to prevent or mitigate the effects of the burning oil issue:

  • Regularly check the oil level and condition.
  • Use a thicker grade oil during regular oil changes.
  • Install an oil catch can to separate oil from air that may be recirculated.
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Subaru’s burning oil problem is one that has affected many owners, causing them both frustration and expense. However, the company has taken steps to address the issue and provide support to its customers. If you’re a Subaru owner, by being aware of the issue’s causes, symptoms, and possible solutions, you can take proactive measures to protect your vehicle and your wallet. With this in mind, the Subaru remains an excellent choice for anyone looking for a reliable and high-performance vehicle.

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Joseph Weaver

With a background in engineering and a passion for cars, Joseph brings a unique perspective to our blog. He's particularly interested in the technology and innovation behind Subaru's advanced safety features, and his articles on this topic are always insightful and informative. When he's not writing, he enjoys playing video games and spending time with his family.

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