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definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
33,251 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2012 Subaru Forester engine problems

engine problem

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2012 Subaru Forester Owner Comments

problem #5

Aug 082016


  • 80,000 miles


My car is suburu Forester 2012. I usually change the oil in the car between 7000-10000 miles. On Jan 13-2016, at 71854 mile, amsoil 5 quart synthetic oil was placed at oil change. On Aug 8th at 80600, I went in for oil change and also the car was making knocking sound. The suburu dealer told me engine seized due to lack of oil in the engine. The car was deemed not drivable. There were no evidence of oil leak under the car or around the oil container on the engine, when check by the glassman dealer in southfield Michigan. Suburu Forester does not have any engine oil level light. The engine consumes the oil and, the owners should be warned about this. I lost $6000 money on the trade in due to the engine condition.

- Northville, MI, USA

problem #4

Jan 272015

Forester 4-cyl

  • 43,405 miles
Oil was checked before vehicle left Massachusetts for a trip to New Mexico. After driving approximately 2300 miles, upon arrival at the destination no oil showed on the dipstick. Mechanic drained only 2.5 quarts from vehicle (5.5 quarts is full) so engine consumed 3.0 quarts. This is grossly excessive consumption and indicative of a serious engine/materials defect. Have since discovered this oil consumption defect is common to 2011-2014 Subaru vehicles. Subaru will not fix this engine. This vehicle will cause me to incur expense because of the need to purchase and replace the entire oil volume during the recommended oil change interval and loss of value of the vehicle. Vehicle is a danger to the drivers and others on the street because the engine may catastrophically fail causing an accident. Also, the low oil level warning light on this vehicle has never illuminated indicating that it, too, is defective.

- Los Alamos, NM, USA

problem #3

Apr 152014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 22,000 miles
Engine using synthetic ow-20 oil per dealer recommendation uses oil faster than new car should. Oil changed 18,951mi. At around 22,000 oil was noted leaking around oil filter. Also dipstick showing low level. Owner had to add oil while on a trip. After 24,393mi oil filter leak reported, dealer replaced gasket 803916010 and topped off oil. At 26,312 mi, oil again changed by dealer. 3K mi later (29,000mi) oil again showed below low on dipstick requiring owner to add oil. 32,191 mi service appointment oil change by dealer states "close to full." Dealer told us that cars use a quart of oil every thousand miles normally. No leak found on inspection. I always park in the same place at parking garage and there are no oil leaks on the concrete. My family has had 2 other new Subaru vehicles since 2003 which also use synthetic oil and no other car has had this oil usage. I have owned 6 new cars in my lifetime. I know how to maintain an engine by frequent checks and maintenance. My concern is that owners may lose an engine due to seizure if they follow Subaru recommended oil change by mileage or months. Some owners who are not diligent in checking frequently may lose an engine. My other concern is that either Subaru engine design, gaskets, or other parts may be to blame in excessive oil usage. Please investigate this problem.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #2

Jan 022013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 12,200 miles
The engine consumes too much oil for such a relatively new & low mileage vehicle. This is the 2nd complaint to the dealer about this concern. Each time the engine oil is checked the dipstick would not register any oil reading. On the second visit, the dealer changed the oil & filter under warranty as per bulletin 02-144-13R & having me return after an additional 1200 miles of driving. This engine is defective for having oil usage at such low mileage and begin relatively new. I have owned many cars in my time and understand all cars consume oil at some point or another but not when the car is still practically new. Did research online and have seen many other owners with similar complaints, most with no resolution. This poses a safety hazard mainly for the owners who are not as savvy with vehicles. The engine oil could run out & seize the motor of which can happen while driving during highway speeds.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #1

Jul 302013

Forester 4-cyl

  • 8,650 miles
The contact owns a 2012 Subaru Forester. The contact stated that whenever the check engine warning light illuminated, the cruise control would independently disable without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where the technician stated that the vehicle was working according to standards. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 8,650 and the current mileage was 11,626. Updated 10/17/13

- Duluth, MN, USA

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