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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm about half way to my next oil change interval so I chose to check my oil this morning. I was surprised to see that the oil level was so far above the full mark it was actually reaching the twist in the dipstick.

I also noticed a very strong smell of gasoline as I held the dipstick to read the level. Compared to our '18 Outback and small engine equipment here, the gasoline smell is significantly stronger in the Ascent oil. To make sure I wasn't losing my sanity I had my dad and wife check and both agreed the Ascent's oil smelled very strongly.

This dealership has slightly overfilled the oil in the past but nothing like this. I've reached out to the service department and am waiting for a call back but in the meantime I'm curious what you think I should do? I'm assuming it should not be driven in this condition so should I insist that it be hauled to the servicing dealer?
 

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Is the vehicle exposed to frequent short trips? With direct injection fuel dilution can occur when the car does not reach operating temperatures long enough or not at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Is the vehicle exposed to frequent short trips? With direct injection fuel dilution can occur when the car does not reach operating temperatures long enough or not at all.
Yes and no. Sometimes I do make a short trip in town but on the other hand it does see a lot of highway (hence 10K miles in several months).

Also, I do use the remote start feature with typical run times in the 5-min range.

EDIT: I called the two Subaru dealerships in the area to get their stance on it. One said that getting a lot of gas in the oil is the result of me using remote start. I should be using a "30 seconds and go" plan. When I mentioned our '18 Outback does not have a gasoline smell to the oil despite the ludicrously long warm ups my wife subjects it to he said "the Ascent is probably a different design". He then went on to explain that if there are no lights on the dash then there's nothing wrong with the car.

The second dealership said some gas in the oil can happen but it should not be excessive even with 5-10 min warm ups. He didn't feel like what our Ascent is doing is normal.

The problem I'm running into is I never checked the oil immediately after the last change. It's certainly possible the tech put significantly more oil in than he/she should have and I've been running that way ever since. That does not account for the strong smell of gasoline though.
 

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I would contact your dealer and explain your concerns. I would ask to see if they would be willing to provide you with a free oil change to create a baseline. You can then check the level and odor following up this oil change. I would like to think they would at least provide the oil change because:
1: Their tech overfilled
2: There is a problem with the car

Once the baseline is established and I would suggest some documentation of the level, then continue to use it as you have an monitor it. If it continues to add fuel to the oil, you know there is an issue and you can then, knowing full well there is an issue, request that the dealer and if needed Subaru take a look at it.

If this is potentially not an isolated issue, I am sure that Subaru will want to know about it, much like the early issue they had with turbo bolts. I believe that setting a baseline and creating documentation is going to be key. I also feel working with your dealer this way will be well received since you are just asking to work with them to help troubleshoot the potential issue. To my the approach is asking to create a partnership to determine if their tech may have messed up or if there is a larger problem at hand.

In addition, if the Ascents are going to dump fuel into the oil because of remote start, they really have to rethink their design, or not offer remote start. To me the information you are providing seems to be that the one dealer is simply taking what you tell them you are doing and saying "yep, that could be the problem" instead of actually trying to aid you in figuring out what the cause may be.

Best of luck, please keep everyone posted.
 

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If its gas contaminated try to take the sample shortly after running the car. If the oil sits the gas contamination will float to the top of the contaminated oil.

Its possible thats whats going on. There have been a couple of brands having issues with this in the small 2L turbo engines. They could all be using fuel systems from the same supplier that has some type of design aspect causing this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If its gas contaminated try to take the sample shortly after running the car. If the oil sits the gas contamination will float to the top of the contaminated oil.

Its possible thats whats going on. There have been a couple of brands having issues with this in the small 2L turbo engines. They could all be using fuel systems from the same supplier that has some type of design aspect causing this.
I'm at the dealership now. Specifically, not the one who normally services our Subarus. I explained to them briefly what was going on and while they think it's unlikely there's that much fuel in the oil, they agreed to get me a sample during the drain. I actually insisted on being present for it which to their credit they handled with grace (it is after all a slightly insulting gesture on my part).

From here I'll be back to my normal routine with the Ascent and doing frequent measures of the oil level. If I start gaining oil again then I'll know there's a problem. For the oil sample, that's off to Blackstone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Small update:

I just received my kit from Blackstone so hopefully I can get my oil sample sent off.

In the meantime I've been monitoring the oil level like a hawk. I am at about 900 miles since the oil change mentioned above and a couple spot-checks have shown that I am indeed gaining oil. Currently, the oil is showing right around 8mm higher on the dipstick than just after the oil change.

Also, I've begun experiencing a fuel smell in the cabin when the car is at operating temperature and idling. Both my wife and dad have mentioned to me, unprovoked, that they can smell gas when sitting at a light or idling while parked. You can actually smell it coming from the vents.

Obviously I need to make an appointment but when I first contacted the dealer, the person I talked to had a 'no lights on the dash, no problem' policy. If they refuse to play ball do I just contact Subaru directly?
 

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Small update:

I just received my kit from Blackstone so hopefully I can get my oil sample sent off.

In the meantime I've been monitoring the oil level like a hawk. I am at about 900 miles since the oil change mentioned above and a couple spot-checks have shown that I am indeed gaining oil. Currently, the oil is showing right around 8mm higher on the dipstick than just after the oil change.

Also, I've begun experiencing a fuel smell in the cabin when the car is at operating temperature and idling. Both my wife and dad have mentioned to me, unprovoked, that they can smell gas when sitting at a light or idling while parked. You can actually smell it coming from the vents.

Obviously I need to make an appointment but when I first contacted the dealer, the person I talked to had a 'no lights on the dash, no problem' policy. If they refuse to play ball do I just contact Subaru directly?
I believe at this time, you have enough evidence to make a case with the dealer service department. If the odor is happening all the time, suggest taking them for a drive. They know they changed the oil and verified that they filled to the correct level. Just the fact that the oil level is increasing should cause enough of a concern for them to at least take it in for evaluation.

If they are unwilling, wait until your evaluation is back and then contact them with that information. If that doesn't bring up a concern, try to talk to the service manager, if they don't care, contact the GM. I always try to work as much with my dealership as possible. I feel that once you go over their head, if there isn't reason, it can ruin a good relationship.

Or, if you have to, you can simply drive it until the motor gives out and have them replace it under warranty. By that time, you would have plenty of documentation that you tried to resolve the issue with the dealer.

Be patient, as you have been, and present your data to the people that need to know. If needed gradually work your way up the chain while continuing to be patient. At this point, you ARE collecting data, not just random circumstance or opinion.

Thanks for the update!
 

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Actually smelling fuel in the cabin of any vehicle is a major issue and needs to be addressed. That's a clear hint of something dangerous. It doesn't matter if it's a Subaru or anything else.
 

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Actually smelling fuel in the cabin of any vehicle is a major issue and needs to be addressed. That's a clear hint of something dangerous. It doesn't matter if it's a Subaru or anything else.

Unless your windows are open and you're behind a crappy old truck... oh wait, guess that's dangerous too... nevermind.
 

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I have a 2019 ascent limited...also fuel odor after vehicle driven 15-25 minutes..after vehicle has sat for short period,smell fuel at right front headlight,grille,and right rear windshield cowl area..
had fuel in oil previous..replaced high pressure fuel pump...also had leaking #1 injector upper o-ring...resealed all injectors.. still odor after driven and also get odor through hvac vents..will go away
after short while.. if parked in garage after driven can smell in garage for short while also..
still trying to isolate..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Got part of the problem solved. The fuel odor in the cabin was due to a damaged o-ring on the oil fill cap. Apparently when the oil was last changed the seal was damaged or not seated properly when the cap was tightened. The smell has completely gone away now.

Concerning the rising oil level, I am in the midst of a fuel consumption test at the direction of Subaru.
 

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I have a 19 Ascent Limited that's in the shop right now for 1 week to determine "why" oil level keeps rising after oil change. Has less than 800 miles on it. When I first noticed problem, about 3 weeks ago, took to dealership and they changed the oil and level was spot on fill mark on dip stick. After driving 190 miles, I checked dip stick and oil level on stick had risen about "half inch". Took back to dealer ship and they've had it for 1 week. SOA had them to some sort of pressure leak test to see if gas was leaking into cylinders, using a bore scope. NO gas in cylinders. Now waiting for SOA to get back to Dealership on what next to check. Dealership loaned me at no cost another Ascent while mine's in the shop. They've been very good on updating me on this issue. I really like this vehicle. Has and does everything I wanted in a new vehicle, comfortable, handling great etc. All I can do at this point is try and be patient, hold my temper after buying a "new car" that cost me a lot of money to not being able to drive and enjoy "my own" vehicle. Making a road trip soon for grand kids graduation which is a drive about 800 miles in about 2 weeks. Sure hope this is resolved by then. Very disappointed at this point.
 

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I checked the oil level on the dipstick during our pre-purchase checks this week with engine cold, sitting on the lot, 4 miles on the odometer, and noticed level was about a half-inch above high oil level indicator. Unfortunately, I didn't snap a picture. I'll check it again tonight since I believe the car only has about 50 miles on it now.
 

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I got a call late yesterday afternoon from Dealership on my rising oil problem. Car has been in shop since May 8th. Dealership has been excellent working with me and has been working and waiting with SOA to do tests and try and remedy problem. Yesterday's call, Dealership said SOA has now determined, since fuel pressure regulator has been dropping pressure, to replace it. Dealership ordered one and will install next week. They have been super to work with me and loaned me a brand new Ascent Premium as a loaner. Be glad to get my own car back and hope this problem is resolved since I will be making a long road trip from WA. to CA. for grand kids graduation in couple weeks. Will be nice to have my own car for this trip with rear bench seat for couple dogs and navigation in my own car and 8 passenger use when I get there.

I did get a call back from SOA on this issue and Rep. told me with my car having only 800 miles on it, if they can't fix, they do have a Goodwill program to replace to restore my confidence in Subaru which is nice to know but how long that takes to complete, I have no clue and hope I don't have to use it. Kudos though to Dealership staying on top of this issue with me. They can only do what SOA tells them which I realize.
 

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I checked the oil level on the dipstick during our pre-purchase checks this week with engine cold, sitting on the lot, 4 miles on the odometer, and noticed level was about a half-inch above high oil level indicator. Unfortunately, I didn't snap a picture. I'll check it again tonight since I believe the car only has about 50 miles on it now.
My advice to you is, have oil changed to where it's spot on full mark on dip stick and drive it, checking oil level at every fill up or every few hundred miles to see if level rises and if it does, take it to Dealership and let them open claim with SOA to fix which they will according what they told me and try and stay cool on it.
 

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I had my touring in to the dealership for the 6k mile oil change. I too was getting a gas smell coming from the vents. The service manager told me that Subaru is aware of the issue, and they are working towards a permanent fix for the issue, but they are not sure what the exact issue is. The recommended treatment in the meantime is to change the oil more frequently, the service manager recommended every 4k miles instead of 6k. He said as a show of goodwill, there was no charge for my first oil change, but I thought I remember my wife's first oil change for her Legacy being free also.
 
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