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Q: Losing a lot of oil and not from leaks

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I have a 2011 Subaru Forester that has been burning through a lot of oil for the last couple thousand miles. I am pretty disappointed to be seeing a problem like this in a car with 40,000 miles on the clock. What can I do to stop this aside from some huge invasive inspection of the engine? I need this vehicle to be reliable and if that’s not possible I’ll just sell it!

Hello! Thank you for writing in with this question. Typically, the standard in the automotive industry is that an engine burning 1 quart of oil every 1000-1200 miles is “normal.” Anything else would be excessive. Due to the nature and design of the “boxer” engine, there could be a head gasket problem, crankshaft oil seal leak, or timing cover leak. A professional at YourMechanic can perform a visual inspection for external leaks and/or a combustion gas test to see if there are combustion gases in the coolant (there shouldn’t be). These diagnostics tests can track down high oil consumption before it becomes a serious problem.

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