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Old 09-16-2008, 10:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Oil Leak

The car is a 97 OB with 72xxx miles. I have a small oil leak on my car. Its at most five drips of oil in a day I haven't gotten under the car and checked yet because of school, but ill lift it this weekend. Just wondering where I should be looking (if theres a common place). I havent had time to search through post so if theres already something about this let me know.
Thanks.
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would check the valve covers and where the engine and transmission meet. But my bet is on the valve cover gaskets or grommets... Sometimes if the PCV is completely clogged it might leak a little oil, but you should notice some other symptoms if that were the case.
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Here are the most common Subaru oil leak locations with pics:

Front cam seals (especially the earlier black colored seals; the newer brownish colored ones hold up better) (pics from an EJ22):



Front crank seal (esp the mid 90's 2.2L's and some others where the screws on the rear case of the oil pump tended to loosen, letting oil out the front crank seal and sometimes even pushing the seal right out)


Also there is an o-ring between the oil pump discharge and block


The valve cover gaskets, and for engines where the spark plug tubes penetrate the valve cover, the spark plug hole seals.




EJ22's also have an o-ring at the RH rear and LH front of the cam's:




Also many soob engines had a plastic oil separator which liked to leak (an OEM upgrade to a metal retainer shown below is available).

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Old 09-21-2008, 08:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hey Porcupine-I have been looking for a picture of that oil separator plate and where it goes. Thank you very much! Replacement looks like the engine must come out, yes?
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'96 OB Wagon 2.5 Auto; 200K
'99 Windstar 3.8l; 147K
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Old 09-21-2008, 08:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes engine must come out for separator. It is probably possible by removing the trans as well but I would imagine easier to do with engine out.
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I guess she is going to leak a while longer......My 2.2l '97 is also leaking there as well, but after all, it is a late nineties Subaru.....Thanks, Porcupine.
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'08 Legacy Limited, 2.5 Auto, 43K
'00 OB Wagon 2.5 Auto; 151K
'98 SUS sedan 2.5 Auto; 196K (sold it-RIP)
'97 Brighton 2.2 5spd; 152K (sold it-RIP)
'96 OB Wagon 2.5 Auto; 200K
'99 Windstar 3.8l; 147K
'07 Honda Civic 1.8l; 53K
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the replies, this will have to wait. The oil leak is at the rear main seal. Currently its not leaking enough in between oil changes for me to bother with it. The thing that bothers me the most about it is when it drips onto the exhaust.
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Old 09-23-2008, 02:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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...yep, I learned to hate that burning-oil smell...
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by csweston
Thanks for all the replies, this will have to wait. The oil leak is at the rear main seal. Currently its not leaking enough in between oil changes for me to bother with it. The thing that bothers me the most about it is when it drips onto the exhaust.
You might want to try this www.auto-rx.com I know the website kind of reads like a late night infomercial, but this stuff is highly regarded here www.bobistheoilguy.com

I also have used it on a 1991 Honda Accord with a leaking oil cooler. There is an o-ring behind this coolant to oil cooler that is well known for leaking. After treating with auto-rx, the leak, which had been a steady drip, almost completely stopped.

If you have $25 to spare, it's not gonna hurt anything anyway. Be advises that it's not an instant cure - you have to run through a clean and a rinse cycle.
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info rcy. From what I hear the separator plate leak would almost require a feminine pad to stop it (or a new, metal separator plate). I will check out the info regardless.
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'08 Legacy Limited, 2.5 Auto, 43K
'00 OB Wagon 2.5 Auto; 151K
'98 SUS sedan 2.5 Auto; 196K (sold it-RIP)
'97 Brighton 2.2 5spd; 152K (sold it-RIP)
'96 OB Wagon 2.5 Auto; 200K
'99 Windstar 3.8l; 147K
'07 Honda Civic 1.8l; 53K
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