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2001 Outback Limited - H4 2.5
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My uncle replaced his 2001 OBW with an 04 Legacy Wagon, so he gave me the outback. I had to drive it home from Maine to Connecticut, and due to some wrong turns it turned into a 300 mile trip (6hrs). The car cruises fine at highway speeds, and after topping off the transmission fluid it starts from a stop fine. My concern is that it appears to have an oil leak, and first gear doesn't quite work right. I've got access to a VAG-COM cable for the subaru program I've seen on the fourms, and I need to clear the check engine code, but I don't want to do that before I determine that it's not related to the oil leak/transmission issues. Any thoughts, and any other things I should check on the car?

Thanks,
-Charlie
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,130 Posts
maybe try 3 drain/fill cycles on the transmission. make sure to check the level while idling after moving the shifter to each gear. If it's slightly low, only put in a halfpint at a time.

check the valve covers gaskets for oil leaks - probably need to hose the engine off to start locating oil leak.
 

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2001 Outback Limited - H4 2.5
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I added maybe a pint of dexron iii and that improved it a lot. There is a flexible hose that is part of the air intake that is split, is that something I should worry about short-term? Also, I think the oil leak is towards the back of the engine, because I see what looks and smells like burning oil smoke coming up from around the transmission.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,130 Posts
split axle boots can sling grease onto the exhaust, diff fluid, transmission fluid, pwr steering, oil , any of them COULD find their way onto the exhaust. If it smells like toasted marshmallows, that's coolant, rank/rubber smell, axle grease or maybe diff fluid. Just need to use some engine cleaner at the car wash.

split hose sounds bad - depends on where it goes but - it didn't come from the factory like that.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
I think the oil leak is towards the back of the engine
that doesn't mean much actually, at least for an internet forum where we're trying to help but can't see the car. on Subaru's nearly all oil leaks eventually...due to gravity and blow back while driving and the geometry of horizontally opposed engines, engine cross member sloping towards center, etc - end up back around the same general area. valve covers, head gaskets, axle boot grease, power steering fluid leaks (very common usually the reservoir oring)...etc - all end up back there eventually. then the engine gets so coated it's hard to tell where anything is originating from.

valve cover gaskets leaks are common gaskets that are maintenance items on high mileage motors like these...and eventually drip off the back lower corner of the cover, onto the crossmember and it all funnels centrally to the back of the engine area.

if it is out the back of the engine then it's likely the rear separator plate, rear main seals almost never leak on Subaru's.
 

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2001 Outback Limited - H4 2.5
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Had my mechanic take a look at it, the cat is no good, and all of the O2 sensors are rusted in and they need replacing too. The oil leak is due to the oil pan being rusted through. He quoted me 1800 for repairs but I think I can do it myself for less with cheaper parts.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,130 Posts
Don't change the cat conv until after you've addressed bad sensors and other problems. Soob cats have a reputation for being tough.

OEM only for front O2, generic/Bosch is OK for rear from what I read.


(but maybe the cat is rusted through? - maybe a junkyard cat would be a good option)

good luck
 

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2002 Subaru Outback Limited - 2.5 L Boxer H4 - 5 Speed Manual
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341 Posts
Sounds like a plan - try to find the parts cheaper. The hose you have circled is just part of the air intake system. You could probably let it go, but if you want it to be fixed, just replace it with some PVC or something and clamp it to the existing intake pieces. The whole is simply letting hotter air into your air exhaust, which is less dense and will slightly knock some HP off - probably not even noticeable. I accidentally ran with my airbox open, which probably let more hot air in than your split, for 6 months, and it ran fine
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,130 Posts
How necessary is using an OEM upstream O2 sensor? Rockauto has this Bosch (More Information for BOSCH 17018) for 41 and change, and the Denso, who I believe is the OEM, is 70 (More Information for DENSO 2345003). My main concern is passing emissions.
do a search. many people have reported issues with non-oem in the front position. To help with the rear one - do a search for 'spark plug anti-fouler' or 'spacer' or 'sensor spacer', etc. for the rear sensor - it helps - -um - 'disguise' some P0420 codes. The rear one only checks cat. efficiency.

but the front sensor w'ever is critical for proper A/F metering by the computer.

for money saving ideas, try on-line dealers such as https://www.subarugenuineparts.com/index.php or others. Myself and others have also sometimes been able to use prices from on-line dealers to challenge local dealerships to match prices. It has worked for me on 2 parts in the past. (one matched, one 'almost' matched).
 

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Had my mechanic take a look at it, the cat is no good, and all of the O2 sensors are rusted in and they need replacing too. The oil leak is due to the oil pan being rusted through. He quoted me 1800 for repairs but I think I can do it myself for less with cheaper parts.
Most auto part chains (Advance, AutoZone, etc) will read the codes and print the results out for free. Get that done and bring actual codes back to this forum so we can help you with them. "Rusted" sensors doesn't mean they are bad - you need the codes!!

+1 that hose in engine compartment is no big deal. You can cover the split(s) with the ever popular duct tape as a very low cost solution.

Get down with some engine degreasser and clean off bottom of engine/tranny/diff. Then you will have a better ability to locate and identify just what is leaking. Good luck.
 

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13 E350
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spray engine bay with scrubbing bubbles then rinse off, they really do scrub.

As far as sensor i would try spark plug anti fouler adapter first, lots of people run them in cars without cats and have no CEL.
 

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2001 Outback Limited - H4 2.5
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I got the new cat, and it has plugs in the 3 O2 sensor ports;

Do they just come out with a large hex key?
 

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How did you diagnose that the cat is bad? As stated previously, they rarely fail and it is almost always a sensor issue triggering the cat CEL code.

It seems that you're ignoring what everyone is saying. Are you asking for help or simply documenting your car's story here? This thread is full of good info, but I see no back-and-forth conversation between you and any of the members trying to help you.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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15,487 Posts
Sounds like a plan - try to find the parts cheaper. The hose you have circled is just part of the air intake system. You could probably let it go, but if you want it to be fixed, just replace it with some PVC or something and clamp it to the existing intake pieces. The whole is simply letting hotter air into your air exhaust, which is less dense and will slightly knock some HP off - probably not even noticeable. I accidentally ran with my airbox open, which probably let more hot air in than your split, for 6 months, and it ran fine
Repair it if you want. It won't effect MAF readings as its downstream from that.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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15,487 Posts
How necessary is using an OEM upstream O2 sensor? Rockauto has this Bosch (More Information for BOSCH 17018) for 41 and change, and the Denso, who I believe is the OEM, is 70 (More Information for DENSO 2345003). My main concern is passing emissions.
The front O2 sensor is actually and AF sensor which helps the PCM regulate fuel trim to keep it at 14.7:1. The Denso sensor reacts better than the others. NTK is made by NGK and is a good sensor also. You NEED this sensor to operate properly.
 

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2001 Outback Limited - H4 2.5
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31 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
How did you diagnose that the cat is bad? As stated previously, they rarely fail and it is almost always a sensor issue triggering the cat CEL code.

It seems that you're ignoring what everyone is saying. Are you asking for help or simply documenting your car's story here? This thread is full of good info, but I see no back-and-forth conversation between you and any of the members trying to help you.
I don't have any method of checking whether the old cat is good or bad, nor do I have access to a code reader at this time, and I need this car drivable as soon as possible, so I just got all of the parts to fix it to be sure that when I go for the emissions test, I will have as good a chance as possible to pass. Reading on various posts about changing the O2 sensors, it seems like it is a difficult thing to do while the cat is on the car, which also made me lean towards a new cat, so I can install the sensors while off the car.

The front O2 sensor is actually and AF sensor which helps the PCM regulate fuel trim to keep it at 14.7:1. The Denso sensor reacts better than the others. NTK is made by NGK and is a good sensor also. You NEED this sensor to operate properly.
Is the Denso inferior to one I would get from a subaru dealer, or is the markup in price due only to the fact that it's a dealer part?
 
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