Subaru Oil Temperature: Meaning, Causes, Symptoms and Solutions | Rx Mechanic (2023)

Driving can be very interesting and exciting, especially in normal conditions. Manufacturers have come up with a system that notifies car owners when the engine's transmission oil is getting too hot.

In Oil Temp Subaru is a common challenge you may face if you own a Subaru car. Understanding the meaning, causes and symptoms of the problem is crucial to find a perfect solution.

This article is a breakdown of what intermittent oil temperature on Subaru means, as well as all the other important things you need to know in order to handle the situation perfectly.

Meaning of Subaru oil temperature flashes

"At oil temperature" in a Subaru car means automaticallytransmission oil temperaturesystem. If you notice your Subaru displaying "On Oil Temperature", it simply means that the vehicle's automatic transmission fluid temperature is too high.

When this happens, it should not initially interfere with the proper functioning of the vehicle's engine. However, you may start to experience some symptoms that let you know that the problem is getting worse.

At this point, you need to act quickly by contacting an expert auto mechanic to resolve the problem. Otherwise, you risk seriously damaging your car.

Subaru Oil Temperature: Meaning, Causes, Symptoms and Solutions | Rx Mechanic (1)

What Causes Subaru Oil Temperature?

The "At Oil Temperature" warning sign on a Subaru is traced back to the vehicletransmission fluid. In this case, the causes are practically related to the transmission oil. Some of the causes of warning signs are as follows:

low transmission fluid

Running Your Subaru's Engine At Alow transmission fluidit can increase the temperature of the vehicle's powertrain. When this happens, one of the first signs of an increase in fluid temperature is the display of the "At Oil Temperature" warning light.

Use of bad transmission fluid.

Manufacturers recommend specific brands of transmission fluid for their vehicles for a reason. Not all brands of transmission oil are compatible with every vehicle on the road. That is why the manufacturer of your Subaru vehicle recommends Subaru ATF hp "Dexron iii" transmission fluid.

Even if the vehicle's engine runs fine with any other automatic transmission oil, the defects will show up over time. Therefore, using the wrong transmission fluid can set off the warning signal.

Subaru Oil Temperature Symptoms

Subaru's automated system is designed to reveal any faults that require immediate attention. This helps to get the car owner's attention to diagnose the problem and fix it right away. Some of the "Oil Temperature" warning symptoms include:

Continuous flashing warning light

The main symptom of "On Oil Temperature" in a Subaru is the constantly flashing warning light. EITHERdashboard warning lightIt is the most common way to identify a problem with your vehicle's powertrain.

Subaru's computerized system immediately detects an abnormal increase in transmission fluid temperature and immediately activates the light. So if you pay attention to all the lights on your car's dashboard, you will detect the oil temperature warning light in time.

transmission malfunction

If you do not correct the automatic transmission oiltemperature warning signoccasionally, it can degenerate into a problem with transmission failures in the long term. When this happens, driving your Subaru car becomes difficult because the transmission plays a vital role in the mobility of the car.

How to fix subaru oil temperature

Troubleshooting the automatic transmission oil temperature problem in a Subaru is pretty simple. If you notice your car's computer system displaying the "At Oil Temperature" warning sign, link to the following Subaru Oil Temperature repair tips:

Stop and let the engine idle

First find a safe place to park when you notice your Subaru has the "On Oil Temperature" sign on it. Then let the car engine idle. At the same time, the transmission is cooled while the engine is idling. After a while, the warning signal will go off by itself.

Inspect transmission fluid level

If stopping the vehicle and letting the engine idle before the transmission cools down doesn't fix the problem, try an alternative. Shut off the engine completely and inspect the vehicle.transmission fluid level.

The lack of fluid level could be to blame for the problem. Therefore, in this case, top up the fluid level with the automatic transmission fluid recommended for Subaru.

However, if any of the above approaches fail to fix the oil temperature in your 2015 Subaru Forester, contact a knowledgeable auto mechanic to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Subaru Oil Temperature: Meaning, Causes, Symptoms and Solutions | Rx Mechanic (2)

Frequently Asked Questions - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long can you drive with the oil light on in the Subaru?

You will do more damage to your vehicle if you drive more than 500 miles or 2 weeks with an oil light on your Subaru. However, the drive can still be smooth even with the oil light signal on a Subaru. However, it is not a license to take the oil lamp for granted.

Ignoring your Subaru's oil light for up to 2 weeks can also set you up to repair more expensive damage within the period.

So if you notice that the oil light on your Subaru is always on, contact a professional auto mechanic to diagnose the problem and fix it right away.

Q: Why does my Subaru say oil temperature?

If you suddenly notice that your Subaru shows "At Oil Temp" on the dashboard, it means that the temperature of the automatic transmission fluid in your car is too high. This challenge is no stranger to those who have been driving their Subaru vehicle for a long time.

The message is a signal that lets you know that your Subaru needs attention quickly. Once you understand the meaning of the message, troubleshooting becomes easy.

So if your Subaru shows "At Oil Temperature", park the car and let the engine idle for a while while the transmission fluid temperature cools down. That should fix the oil temperature in the 2013 Subaru Impreza or any other model.

Q: What does the yellow oil light on a Subaru mean?

Yellow oil light on Subaru means that the car's engine oil level or oil pressure is too low. The yellow light is a warning signal that communicates an impending problem to the car owner. The lighting of this warning light does not affect the correct functioning of the engine.

However, if you neglect the signal for too long, it can degenerate into a more expensive challenge. Therefore, it is best to contact an expert auto mechanic to check what could be wrong with the car.

Question: How long can you drive on 0 oil?

0% engine oil life shouldn't necessarily be much of a problem since you can still drive 5,000 to 6,000 miles with the challenge. However, running your car's engine on 0% oil indefinitely isn't ideal.

Car owners need to understand engine operation and perform regular maintenance drills, including when refueling or changing the oil. So no matter how much longer you can drive with 0% engine oil life, don't completely relax without fixing the problem.

Q: Does my Subaru tell me when to change the oil?

Of course, your Subaru car comes with a manufacturer's manual with a section detailing the engine oil change interval.

So you don't have to wait for the oil light on your dash to appear before changing your engine oil. However, it is not enough to know the interval for an oil change. It is best to stick to the prescribed range.

This helps your Subaru vehicle's engine run efficiently. However, always remember that delaying changing a car's engine oil can lead to major damage in the long run.

Question: What is the average oil temperature in a car?

The average oil temperature in a car is expected to be 250 degrees under normal circumstances. However, it can break more than 275 degrees. Meanwhile, experts advise car owners to keep engine oil at 230 and 260 degrees.

If the engine oil temperature is above 260 degrees, it can activate the oil light on the dash. As soon as you see the oil light on your Subaru's dashboard, it is a sign that the transmission oil temperature is abnormal (too high).

last words

This article has revealed everything you need to know about At Oil Temp Subaru meaning, causes, symptoms and solutions. If you've ever seen this sign on your Subaru vehicle, you probably already know what to do.

However, if the solutions above in this article do not resolve the issue, please contact your nearest professional.mechanicto diagnose and fix the problem.


What to do when your car says at oil temp? ›

A/T Oil Temp: This light is an indicator that the automatic transmission fluid temperature has increased and is too high. You should stop your vehicle immediately and put the vehicle in park until the light turns off. If the light does not disappear, have your vehicle inspected as soon as possible.

Why is my oil temp high? ›

Your oil temperature could be too hot for two popular reasons: your engine oil is running low, or your engine has been filled with the wrong type of oil. Your engine oil helps lubricate your engine to prevent friction and help each of its components run smoothly.

How do you fix the oil temperature light on a Subaru? ›

If you see the "AT OIL TEMP" light come on in the dash, that's telling you your automatic transmission fluid temperature is too hot. Hanson Subaru recommends pulling over and parking the vehicle in a safe place immediately. Allow the engine to idle while the transmission cools down and let this light turn itself off.

Why is the oil temp light blinking on my Subaru? ›

Therefore, this overheating AT oil temp is indicated by the flashing, and when this happens, it is advised to stop running the engine, as this could potentially lead to the failure of the transmission. The most common cause of transmission oil overheating is usually insufficient pressure in the cooling system.

Can I drive with high oil temp? ›

Cold engine oil causes excessive frictional drag on the bearings and cylinder walls. A quality conventional motor oil will tolerate oil sump temperatures up to 250 degrees, but starts breaking down over 275 degrees. The traditional approach is to try to hold oil temperatures between 230 and 260 degrees.

Can I drive with low oil temperature? ›

Driving with too low of an oil level can saddle you with serious problems. Your car engine will continue to run even if it has very little oil in it. However, eventually, the oil will run out and your engine will start to function less efficiently. The moving parts will no longer have a fluid barrier between them.

What are the effects of high oil temperature? ›

At this elevated temperature, you would expect the viscosity to decrease, the lubricant film to become thinner, an acceleration in abrasion and scuffing conditions, the oil to age sooner, the additives to deplete quicker, an acceleration of corrosion, and the formation of sludge and varnish.

When should I worry about oil temperature? ›

Normally, you want your engine oil to be between 220-250 degrees Fahrenheit. Past 275 degrees it will start to break down. But the “At Oil Temp” light actually refers to your transmission oil—which should generally stay at or below 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

How do I know if my oil temperature sensor is bad? ›

Symptoms of a faulty oil temperature sensor:

Check engine light on: In some cars, a faulty oil temperature sensor can lead to the check engine light turning on. Oil gauge not moving: Faulty wiring can lead to a severed connecting between the sensor and gauge. This can prevent the gauge from showing any reading at all.

What can a bad oil temperature sensor cause? ›

If an oil temperature sensor has failed, the engine won't know when to shut itself off and will overheat. Ignoring an overheating engine can lead to permanent damage. From a safety standpoint, an overheating engine can leave you stranded.

Can low oil cause high oil temperature? ›

Low oil, in itself, can lead to elevated oil temperature, simply because there's less oil to carry the heat burden of the engine.

How long can you drive with oil light flashing? ›

Generally speaking, you have about 2 weeks or 500 miles of driving before a flashing oil light turns into a legitimate problem. But once it hits that point, things can go downhill fast, leading to serious mechanical damage. So, try to get your vehicle into a mechanic sooner rather than later.

Is it bad if my oil light is blinking? ›

The oil light on your dashboard is a tell-tale light indicating an oil change is due on your car. A blinking oil light means something is wrong with the oil in your car. It can either be a dip in oil levels or bad oil quality. Eventually, it can lead to overheating and irreparable engine damage.

What does hot oil light mean? ›

YourMechanic. The Engine Oil Hot, Idle Engine message can appear on your driver information center (DIC). When the DIC displays this alert, it means that the temperature of the engine oil is too hot, and the car should not be driven. Instead, stop the car as soon as is safely possible, and idle the engine.

How long can you drive with high engine temperature? ›

You can only drive an overheating car about a quarter-mile or 30-60 seconds. If you notice any of the warning signs mentioned above, it's not advisable to continue your journey. Instead, you should call a recovery truck and get towed to a local garage for a repair.

Will an oil change fix overheating? ›

Yes, an oil change can help prevent your car from overheating.

What are the signs of low engine oil? ›

Here's a list of some of the most common symptoms of low engine oil.
  • Oil Pressure Warning Light. The easiest way to tell if your vehicle is running low on oil is your vehicle's warning light. ...
  • Burning Oil Smell. ...
  • Clunking Sound. ...
  • Less Efficient Performance. ...
  • Overheating Engine.

What damage can driving with low oil cause? ›

When you drive with a low oil level, you risk causing damage to the moving parts of your engine. That's because engine oil is designed to provide lubrication for the moving parts of your engine. The lower the engine, the most likely these parts will experience friction. This can lead to excessive parts wear.

Why is oil temperature important? ›

Not enough cooling and the resulting over heating can lead to catastrophic failure of the main internals of an engine. As oil is the life-blood of an engine, keeping it within its safe operating temperature range is vitally important and something that may need to be addressed if you experience high temperatures.

How do you know if oil is up to temperature? ›

Finding the Oil Temperature

The easiest and safest method is to stick the end of a wooden spoon into the oil. If you see many bubbles form around the wood and they start to float up, your oil is ready for frying. If it is bubbling hard, the oil is too hot; let it cool a bit and check the temperature again.

What oil temp is considered overheating? ›

What temperature is too hot for engine oil? This depends upon the type of engine oil you use in your car. Conventional engine oils start degrading at temperatures around 280 to 300F (138-149°C). However, synthetic oils can tolerate temperatures as high as 450F (232°C).

What causes engine temperature to rise? ›

There are a variety of reasons that a vehicle can overheat, such as cooling system leaks, blocked hoses from corrosion and mineral deposits, radiator issues or broken water pumps. Regular inspections may help avoid overheating issues down the road. Come in today for a consultation on your coolant/antifreeze fluid.

Is 100 degrees oil temp bad? ›

Optimum performance, for both economy and power, is achieved at temperatures around 100-107 degrees C (210-225 degrees F). Up to 120 degrees C (250 degrees F) is OK if a decent oil is used, but getting a little warm.

How much does it cost to replace the oil level sensor? ›

The cost for an oil level sensor replacement varies according to the make and model of your vehicle. Typically, the total cost ranges between $121 to $160, which can be broken down into: Labor costs: Approximately $73 to $93. New parts: Roughly $48 to $67.

What are the symptoms of a bad oil pressure switch? ›

Symptoms of a Bad Oil Pressure Switch or Sensor:
  • 1 Repeated Blinking from the Oil Pressure Lights: Sometimes if oil pressure sensor doesn't work properly, as a result, it gives a false reading and usually shows low engine oil levels. ...
  • 2 Wrong Reading Shows on the Oil Pressure Gauge: ...
  • 3 Oil Pressure Lights Turns On:
Feb 10, 2020

Where is oil temperature sensor located? ›

Locate the oil temperature sensor in the engine compartment. It will typically be mounted in either the engine block or in the cylinder head.

Will a bad oil temp sensor cause no start? ›

Preventing engine damage is another reason that a sensor fault can cause a hard to start problem. The oil pressure sensor on some models may prevent your car from starting if it isn't working correctly.

Is it safe to drive with oil pressure sensor? ›

You should not take this situation lightly, as it is an indication that your engine has lost normal oil pressure. If you see this light on, we highly suggest that you stop driving your vehicle immediately and turn off your engine. Driving with this light on your dash can cause severe, irreversible engine damage.

Does temperature affect motor oil? ›

A lubricant's viscosity will change with changes in temperature. As lubricants get hot, their viscosity drops; as they get cold, their viscosity increases. A viscosity index (VI) is assigned to a specific lubricant so that users have a clear understanding of the viscosity state at varying temperatures.

Does oil temperature affect oil pressure? ›

The temperature of the engine also has an effect on oil pressure. Since oil becomes thinner when it heats up, and thicker as it cools down, the oil pressure in the engine may be higher than normal during start-up.

Will adding oil fix low oil pressure? ›

In reality, low oil pressure is a signal that there's something wrong in the engine. It could be as simple as low oil level (which can be corrected by adding more oil or changing the oil). Or it could a mechanical issue that isn't going to be fixed with a simple oil additive.

What does it mean when the oil light flashes on and off while driving? ›

If the light flickers while the vehicle is in motion, the oil levels may be too low. Check the oil level and add motor oil to the vehicle, if needed, and continue to monitor the light. If the oil was indeed low, the light should turn off.

Why is my oil light on but the oil level is fine? ›

If the oil level and condition are okay, the engine is running normally, but the oil light is still on, the likely culprit is a worn-out oil pressure sensor. In this case, you can safely drive, but you will want to get the car checked out and the sensor replaced by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.

What does the yellow oil light mean on Subaru? ›

The oil warning light could also indicate that your Subaru vehicle's oil level is low. You should check your oil level right away if the light is on. To do so, remove the dipstick, wipe it off with a cloth, reinsert it, and pull it out again.

Why is the oil light on and off on my Subaru Outback? ›

There could be a damaged component in the oil delivery system, or there could even be a faulty oil pressure sensor. If the light stays on, or if it stays off but your Subaru makes odd noises, it's best not to drive at all.

How long does it take for transmission fluid to cool? ›

It takes about 40 minutes of engine idling before the transmission fluid temperature reaches 180 degrees while the engine thermostat opened at 12 minutes and the cooling fans came on at 20 minutes.

How do I know if my transmission is overheating? ›

Is My Transmission Overheating?
  1. A sudden experience of a burning odor inside and outside the vehicle.
  2. The gears “slipping” when accelerating or decelerating.
  3. A feeling of hesitation or delayed gear shift when you are driving.
  4. Any grinding or shaking sensation that occurs while accelerating or while idling.

What is the best way to cool your transmission? ›

Consider installing an external transmission cooler in your vehicle. External coolers are highly effective in keeping your transmission cool or at a regulated temperature, irrespective of the increased stress. External coolers will also work to minimize friction to the transmission, another cause of severe damage.

Does idling cool down a transmission? ›

When your engine is running at idle speeds, it isn't cooling as efficiently as it should be, and your transmission fluid is circulating slowly. As a result, your fluid retains more heat, and your transmission isn't lubricating as effectively as it should be.

Does an oil change help with engine temp? ›

Fresh oil is designed to help reduce the operating temperature of the engine. It does this in two ways. For one, oil is engineered to absorb heat, which helps reduce the temperature inside the motor where coolant can't reach.


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