Notes: Subaru thinks burning through a quart of oil every 1,000 miles or so is perfectly normal. That's a crude stance if you ask us.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
26,250 miles
Total Complaints:
26 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (20 reports)
  2. full engine replacement (1 reports)
  3. given new car (1 reports)
  4. pcv valve clean every 30k miles (1 reports)
  5. piston rings replaced (1 reports)
  6. short block replaced (1 reports)
2015 Subaru Forester engine problems

engine problem

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2015 Subaru Forester Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Dec 202014

Forester Limited

  • CVT transmission
  • 0 miles


Zero dealer support or recognition of the issue; fixed myself after cleaning PCV oil consumption much improved and this was at 100K. Can also consider heavier weight oil 5w-20. 0w's are for better EPA mandated fuel economy. Just challenging enough to get oil changed there, improperly filled, oil filter way more than hand tight every time, once missed recapping the oil fill port.

Bigger down side is everything down stream. As I highly suspect O2 sensors, catalytic converters all will fail prematurely. Thanks EPA, Subaru USA for this compromised vehicle.

- James B., Duluth, US

problem #25

Jun 012017

Forester Premium 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 60,000 miles

Traded my 2014 Forester in for excessive oil consumption (every 1000-1500 miles needing a quart). My 2015 Forester has the same issue. However, about every 5000 miles it needs a quart of oil. Subaru needs to do something to address this issue.

- Dan S., Centereach, US

problem #24

May 162018

Forester Premium 2.5i

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

I have done research and noticed that the engine is a problem with the 2015 Subaru Forester. The engine consumes oil at a very high rate. I get my oil changed (fully synthetic) every 5,000 miles. However, at about 3,000 miles of use, my oil light comes on at the dash. I then have to take my vehicle to the dealership to get the oil "topped off" to hold me over until my oil change date. This engine burns off oil at a very high rate. Also, the vehicle has consistently smelled like a burning or burnt oil type smell in the cabin of the car after driving it. After I park the vehicle in the garage and get out, you can smell the "burning/hot" smell of the engine or oil.

This has been an issue for over 2 years and I have notified the dealership where I bought the vehicle. They said there is nothing that they can do, because there is no recall and that these cars just burn oil 11/5/21, 8:45 AM Report a Vehicle Safety Problem, Equipment Issue | NHTSA 2/3 fast.

The dealership also stated they don't know what the "burning" smell is. I feel that this is an insufficient engine and can be dangerous. I'm not sure how toxic the fumes are from the engine to be smelling it on a consistent basis, but also burning oil at a fast rate could cause more expensive and dangerous issues with other parts of the vehicle.

- indymichael, Westfield, US

problem #23

Jan 202020

Forester LX

  • Manual transmission
  • 54,000 miles


Reported excessive oil consumption problem starting in 2017. They replaced the Short Block, the PCV valve and the piston rings and the problem got worse. The Region office worked on the car and they weren't any better than the dealers mechanics.

Update from Mar 3, 2020: Escalated my complaint to the regional office in Cherry Hill, NJ. Getting updates, but no fix. I'm on my fourth loaner car, which I have for about a month. No word on what the latest "fix" is.

- Mike S., West Orange, US

problem #22

Feb 022016

Forester 2.5i Premium 2.5L V4

  • CVT transmission
  • 20,000 miles

Sadly, the 2015 Subaru Forester drinks oil at an alarming rate. I first noticed this about 18 months into ownership. Shortly after the third oil change, I saw the oil light come on. I verified it was slightly low on the dip stick, and added enough to reach the respectable level. The same sequence of events happened after the fourth oil change, etc. After reading through the message boards, I determined my car was lumped into the "excessive oil consumption" category. Subaru does not have a true fix for this. Super disappointing, since this was my first "new" (only 11 miles on the odometer) vehicle purchase in 26 years.

- Shawn C., Pleasanton, CA, US

problem #21

Jul 082017

Forester Premium 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 28,000 miles

I owned the car for a few months when the check engine light came on. I checked the engine oil and found it below the measurable amount on the dipstick, indicating it was at least a quart low. Added oil, and the light turned over. Over my ownership of the vehicle for the next 2 years, I found it consistently burned a quart of oil every 3000 miles and adjusted my maintenance schedule accordingly.

It didn't seem to cause any long term harm when I sold the vehicle at 65,000 miles, but I always thought it was unusual.

- Mathew G., Suisun City, CA, US

problem #20

Oct 102017

Forester Premium 2.5L

  • Manual transmission
  • 17,000 miles


Oil consumption is most noticeable at highway speeds on long trips. 0w-30 synthetic oil decreases consumption to an acceptable level. I am not worried about the warranty; I may forget to check the oil and blow the engine using 0w-20.

- vise-grip, Brooklyn, US

problem #19

May 052016

Forester 2.5i Premium 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 2,000 miles

Burned excessive oil at 2000 miles. Subaru topped up oil. Repeat again. Oil burn rate test done by Subaru and failed. Short block replaced under recall. Car overheated due to coolant level drop. Subaru topped up. Repeated. Short block reinstalled. Same problems. Short block reinstalled again.

- Roger H., Hampton, US

problem #18

Sep 202017

Forester 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,500 miles

An indicator showed low oil level at 31K miles. I took it for an oil test to the dealership, where they over-filled the oil so that on the next check it shows normal level. I am pretty sure the problem is either with valves or defective rings in the engine. When I pointed out to the technician he pretended to get rid of some of the oil, but when I checked it again the next day, the oil level was an inch higher than the maximum indicator on the oil stick.

In addition, as a result of oil over-fill, gas consumption has also gone up.

Any interest in a lawsuit? I'll join you.

- mig21, York, US

problem #17

Dec 302014

Forester Premium 2.4L H4

  • CVT transmission
  • 7,500 miles

OK. Some positive on this. First let me say, I bought another Subaru after this fleet company car went away, so I guess I may be a moron, or I may have an idea why this is happening, which is why I'm writing this. My brother has owned about 6 Subarus on mail route, and he gets an average of 300-400k miles on these cars with few problems. No cats, o2 sensors, etc, they just rust out from road salt. He changes oil at 3k when possible. His experience and mine using the fleet Forester mentioned here, convinced me to buy another, BEFORE reading all the complaints on oil consumption. I mentioned to him about the oil consumption, and his thoughts, which made sense to me, are that since the pistons are in a horizontal position, the oil gets to the rings faster than a inline 4 or V6/8, and burns a little each time its cranked with rings and engine cold, as well as when the pistons are immersed in a virtual oil bath while running, compared to other engine designs. Also, the dealership told me the Synthetic 0w- something oil they use is thin and can seep past rings. I just changed the break in oil on my new Outback at 1k with the dealer, and noticed no loss at that time (Trying to get those little flakes of metal wear out of the engine before they score the cylinder walls on my 2016 Outback). I will update this when I get some more miles on the Outback. Meanwhile, the Fleet Forester is off to the Wholesale and will end up being someone else's problem. My recommendation is, if you own a Subie, check your oil monthly and add as necessary. Lets hope we can all get the engine life my Bro gets!!

- russfl, Jacksonville, FL, US

problem #16

Jun 162017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles


Ok, so I have done some research and found out that I am definitely not alone in discovering that my 2015 Forester is using excessive oil. The oil light came on during a long trip. I was very concerned but then it went off so I thought it was just a sensor indicating that I needed to get in for an oil change. It stayed off for the rest of the trip. When I arrived, I checked it and found it was down at least one quart!! I recalled that one of my friends who owns a 2014 had the very same thing happen to her, and I was the one who brought some oil to her location in the airport parking lot. She too was down at least one quart. I thought this was too coincidental even though mine is a 2015, and I mentioned her experience to my dealership when I brought my car in today. They assured me that this was "normal" and that the synthetic oil burns "hotter" and therefore can go down if oil changes are not done right at 6000 miles. I told the tech I have owned several new cars and have never, ever had to add oil between oil changes. I felt this was very unusual and disturbing. The tech led me to believe this was nothing to be concerned about and he NEVER informed me that there have been documented issues regarding oil usage in the past models of the Suburu Forester. When I went on-line tonight to see if anyone else had issues, I was astounded and angry to see that there have been numerous complaints about oil consumption and a class action suit over similar problems with past years of the Forester. Apparently, this is a continuing problem. I do not appreciate being patronized or flat out lied to. Everyone said what great cars these are - I am very disappointed and will be following up as a concerned consumer.

- ians, RALEIGH, NC, US

problem #15

Dec 112016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 18,000 miles

Not even due for an oil change. Light goes on. Checked dip stick. No oil.

- Kathy O., Myrtle Beach, SC, US

problem #14

Nov 142016

Forester Premium 2.5i

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,700 miles

I have 2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium. At about 20,000 miles I noticed that I was adding oil in between oil changes. I took it in to Subaru for a oil consumption test. They told me this was totally normal. I continue to add oil only as the car gets closer to 30,000 miles I am adding even more oil in between changes. Often times pulling over in the dark on a road trip to add oil. I take it back to Subaru, they perform a new oil consumption test and let me know that they would be keeping the car for close to a month as they have to replace the short block. I have owned Toyotas and Hondas and never had an issue like this at 36,000 miles. I am half way through my payment plan on this car and the engine is being taken apart? This is ridiculous. This model and year was excluded from the class action lawsuit but it appears to be the same exact issue. My husband just traded in his legacy and it did not hold it's value, in the short time he owned that car the electrical system shorted out killing his battery while he was parked in an airport parking lot. The car sat in the airport parking lot for two weeks while subaru tried to figure out how to get a flat bed truck into the airport garage. A week after getting his car back (that has sustained damage due to towing) he was driving on a work trip and his windshield shattered. He has had at least four recalls in the less than two years he has owned the car. Needless to say I am frustrated with Subaru and the product that they are putting on the market.

- Elizabeth H., Cincinnati, OH, US

problem #13

Jul 082016

Forester 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 69,000 miles

Subaru's nice, very comfortable to drive. They are not, however, high quality or eco-friendly to drive (Forester at least). I'm an owner of a 2 year old Forester and it burns oil to the point of the idiot light coming on, in under 3000 miles. The dealer's service departments response...."All vehicles burn oil and you should expect to have to add oil as it does". To be fair, the statement isn't false. It is a known issue though about Subarus (well, known to me now anyway). Because they call for synthetic to be used, their recommended oil change milage is stated as 6000. So half way through the oil change period, a quart of oil is needed. Where is that oil going? Into the atmosphere. Yep, no eco problem there right? They admitted to a piston ring problem, and claim they have fixed that and the 2015's (mine's a 2015 Forester) are suppose to no longer have this issue. Hmmm, seems quality must be low then. I'm not anti-Subaru. I like driving mine at least in part because I feel safe in it. Just be're not getting the quality nor the eco-friendliness they claim either.

- Paul H., Bastrop, TX, US

problem #12

Jul 062016

Forester V6

  • Manual transmission
  • 23,000 miles

My girlfriend bought her 2015 Subaru Forester brand new and has had oil consumption issue since the beginning. It appears that between every scheduled oil change we need to add a quart of oil. The light comes on usually after 2000-2500 miles. Subaru gives the standard answer that I am seeing here that it is normal. I have never in my life seen this as normal even in a Pinto that had 110,000 miles I didn't burn this amount of oil. Any fixes out there???

- Al S., Rindge, NH, US

problem #11

May 232016


  • CVT transmission
  • 52,000 miles

We bought a new 2015 Subaru Forester Aug 2014. We had been told that the Head Gasket leakage problem had been fixed. Our old 2006 Forester developed the "Antifreeze Head gasket leak right after our warranty ran out. Big $$$ to fix. But we liked the vehicle a lot. Gave Subaru another go with new Forester. At Approx 55,000 miles I parked it the other day and smelled the dreaded antifreeze! Checked the fluid level and it was down 2 quarts!! Here we go again I thought. Made appointment with Subaru dealer. Day before the appointment my wife call on her way to work and say's" Oil Light is on and not going off" Told her to pull over as safely and soon as possible. I had just checked the level the night before and it was right between High and Low marks on stick. So this happens another two times on her way to work. Call Subaru and they will try to fit us in..Ha.

I pick my wife up and go to dealership. Am told they found we were a quart low on oil. A quart low sets the oil light?? A quart low is right in the middle of the High Low mark?? Also said they did a pressure test and found no antifreeze leakage. Said they found no external leaks. I said, "If its not leaking on the outside, its leaking on the inside." He just looked at me, but said they would only charge us for the pressure test and also our lucky day! We received a free oil change.! I was 1000 miles from my regular one anyway. But they were going to preform an oil usage test after 1200 miles.

Very nice of them. Was told that we should check our oil more often and our vehicle would typically use between 1 and 2quarts of oil "BETWEEN" oil changes. I guess we are suppose to have auxiliary oil available to top off when needed "BETWEEN oil changes. What??? Not in vehicle handbook!!

Now, I understand that we are being talked down to and being given the "Run-A-Round".

So instead of arguing, we go home and I check the dipstick oil level. It is one and a quarter inches above the full line??Curious?? I'm guessing it will still be above full line when they recheck. "Test Passed!" I start googling and find that Subaru is involved in a class action suit for excessive oil consumption. Funny, nothing was mentioned at the dealership?

Looking to see if my vehicle is in the class action I find that Subaru Forrester 2011-2014 cvt transmission cars are cover. Not my 2015 with cvt transmission.. Although my vehicle was manufactured in May 2014 they put a 2015 year on it.. Humm...Very Very Frustrated !! I hope Subaru is listening. I would appreciate some honest customer service at this point. We have been loyal Subaru Costumers. I would think Subaru would reciprocate.

Has anyone else had similar situation?

Subaru...Are you listening? You haven't lost this consumer yet but...

So in Approx. 5000 Miles, my Drive train warranty runs out. And a lot of expenses are going to be incurred. You know your vehicles have these problems. I am having these problems under warranty.

Hope you are listening..

Update from Jul 1, 2016: Well, we took our Subaru in at the required 1200 miles.. They did their check and of course said, "Oil is up to full level, No oil usage. Passed!" And the service manager was about to hand my wife the print-out results when she said, of course its at the full level. When we brought it home after your oil change for the test, we checked the level and documented it. It was an inch and a quarter above the full line. He immediately pulled the papers back and said , "well, I wish you would have told me that, I will have to void this." I believe this is happening elsewhere since I found at least one other posting with a similar results. So we are rescheduled for another oil change and consumption test. I will be handling everything directly from here on. And will document EVERYTHING...Oh, by the way, I actually know how much oil usage took place. Since we very carefully documented the whole process. Something the service department didn't do. Subaru...Are you listening??

- Larry M., Baxter, IA, US

problem #10

May 282016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

Are you kidding. Supposedly engine problems were fixed for Subaru's so after swearing we would never buy another one, we bought a 2015 Forester. This past weekend the oil pressure light went on. The car was down 2 QUARTS since its oil change at 5K miles!!!! It requires very expensive synthetic oil. Our mechanic said there is no fix. I am NEVER NEVER buying another Subaru again, this time for real. Wish I had looked up problems with the 2015 models before buying one. Now we are stuck with probably $20 per month in oil charges to keep the thing topped off. Is there a fix? Is there another class action lawsuit for the 2015 models?

- porterco, Evergreen, CO, US

problem #9

Jul 152015

Forester ES 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,015 miles

At 25000 miles I realized that I had used a quart of oil since I had changed it 5000 miles earlier. I immediately changed it, and at 30000 miles I found the same issue. I went to the dealer. I was told that Subaru had tried piston rings of a different material hoping to increase gas mileage. When I asked what the fix is, I was told they would replace the short block. But first they would change my oil and do a consumption test. I think the test was over 1200 miles. At that time the oil was down to halfway between the dots on the dip stick. I was told this is normal consumption. I am furious. I have had cars that I've taken to 160000 miles with no oil loss. This is not acceptable. They refused to do anything. How do I join a class action suit on this?

- Keith K., Mokena, US

problem #8

Sep 012015

Forester 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,000 miles

I had an oil consumption test and the dealer told me that it was within Subaru standards, but would not tell me the standard or how much it consumed. Now they won't return my calls. I drive 30,000+ miles per year and do not always have time to check the oil. I am very concerned and do not need an unreliable car.

- Chip P., Petaluma, US

problem #7

Aug 242015

Forester 2.5i Premium 4 cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 10,150 miles

I bought this car brand new in April 2015 from Belknap Subaru in Tilton, NH. It was advised that I have the first oil change at 3,000 miles and then on the normal schedule every 6,000 miles after that. Before my first oil change my oil light went on telling me that I needed oil. I thought this was quite bizarre because I've owned lots of new cars in my life and never had this happen this soon. I'd barely hit 2,000 miles yet.

I called the dealer and was told that it was the nature of the new Subaru models to use more oil at the start before they're "broken in". I added 2 quarts of synthetic oil to the car and the light went off. At 3,000 miles I had my first oil change with no problems and then again at 9,000 miles. Again, no problem. Then at a little over 10,000 miles my oil light went on again. I had to put another 2 quarts of oil in the car to make the light go out. The oil level barely registered on the dipstick.

I called the dealership and told them about the problem and asked to have the car looked at. Tilton is about 1 1/2 hours of driving south of where we live so it isn't exactly down the street for a service call. I was told to bring the car down for them to do some kind of initial oil consumption check on the car and then was told I'd have to bring it down after another 1,200 miles to have the check done again. I told them I'd never had a new car, or even an older car, that had the check oil light come on so soon and so often, and that I used to work on my own cars almost my entire life. They barely let me talk about the problem and continued to insist that nothing could be done until I had the oil consumption test done and completed. So I have no alternative but to bring the car down there TWICE to have this ridiculous test done.

I don't know what the test is comprised of - and they wouldn't tell me. Any other time the oil light came on in an older car, the car was brought in to the dealer right away to find out where the oil was leaking. Two quarts of oil down in less that 3,000 miles? Unprecedented in my experience. Having to have some sort of "oil consumption" test done in any number of steps, let alone two steps - with no explanation as to why this needs to be done - a runaround.

Update from Feb 16, 2016: I finally got my problem taken care of. Subaru of America gave me $2500 toward the purchase of a new car. I went to another dealership - Saint J. Subaru of St. Johnsbury, VT - and got a new 2016 automatic transmission Forester with no money changing hands and no real difference in payments. No word at all EVER from Belknap Subaru in Tilton, NH, other than a card from them telling me how happy they were I got my problem fixed.

- Rachael B., LANDAFF, NH, US

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