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Based on the fifth generation Legacy, the fourth generation Subaru Outback was introduced in April 2009 at the New York Auto Show, the fifteenth anniversary of the first Outback's introduction at the same event.

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Faulty oil level sensor?

2013 Subaru Outback, oil light comes on about every 1000 miles, using the dipstick sometimes it is low, sometimes not. We've had it checked at the mechanics and they found nothing. There is no oil burning, no drips on the garage floor.

Could it be a faulty oil level sensor?

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Out of curiosity was this ever addressed? I am having the same issue with the 2014 forester. I have lost/burned a quart of 0w20 about every 400 miles which is excessive even given the boxer engine no leaks, no loss of pressure or vacuum . If anybody has any insights I would greatly appreciate it.



Any blue smoke coming out of the exhaust?

Bit hard to see if it is intermittent but maybe check the car body area around the exhaust tail pipe outlet for any sings of soot deposit or have someone follow you occasionally and check if there is any to be seen


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When the oil warning light comes on, how long does it stay on for?

Does it only come on the once or does it come on every time you drive for a few days and then stop etc?

It could be an intermittent problem with the the oil pressure switch (2.5L engine) or the wiring from the switch back to the combination meter oil warning light. Worst case scenario is an intermittent problem with the oil pump.

Is the engine running at a higher operating temp or is it noisier? If so it could be a failing oil pump.

Did the mechanics do an oil pressure test?

What size engine is in the vehicle, the 2.5L H4DO or the 3.6L H6DO?

Only asking as the 3.6L engine has an oil level switch as well as an oil pressure switch and either one of them can cause the oil warning light to turn on

FYI The oil pump in the 2.5L engine cannot be dis-assembled it has to be replaced. The oil pump in the 3.6L engine can be dis-assembled

Update (10/14/2022)

Hi @ colleen peterson

The oil pump creates pressure when it is pumping the oil through the engine.

The oil pressure switch checks that the pressure is the correct value. If not it turns on the warning light. Low or no pressure could be due to insufficient oil, a blockage somewhere or a faulty pump.

It could also be that the switch itself is the problem and there's nothing wrong with the engine lubrication system. Just a faulty pressure switch

Here are some images from the service manual that may help with the switch. If the pump is the problem you need to remove the chain cover to get to it.

Block Image

(click on image)

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Thanks for all the info. When the light comes on sometimes it will go off again and sometimes stay on. The engine is not running hotter. It's a 2.5 L so would need to replace the pump like you mentioned if that's it. But would the pump cause the light to come on?


My 2014 Crosstrek recently developed this issue. There is a service bulletin on this: 11-149-14R. Your Subaru warning light serves 2 purposes: when just the oil can is illuminated it indicates low oil pressure, when the light is illuminated with both the can and a wavy line under it, it indicates low oil level. There is much confusion posted about the oil pressure switch - located in area of timing belt cover and the oil level sensor which is located close to the oil pan. Just remember to use the correct terminology when speaking with service/parts department, they sometimes confuse the 2 components.


That's is great information, I traded the car in for an EV in March. Now I no longer need to worry about oil changes.🙂


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colleen peterson wird auf ewig dankbar sein.

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