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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!

A: Hello! Thank you for writing in with this q...

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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