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05 GT wagon, 09 Spec B, 18 3.6R Outback
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I wonder if anyone with a 3.6 has tried to tighten the cover bolts since reading this ?
May be when I stop skiing on weekends and Spring time is here I'll try to put a wrench on the cover bolts on our 2018 3.6R. Just give them a little tightening.

I do that every few years on my 1986 Ford F150 valve covers.
 

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Hi folks,
My Jeannine (8900 miles) sprung an oil leak. Taking in next week for warranty repair. Would like to know the following info in advance, so I can understand what diagnostics and possible other parts might need to be done. I have a vague idea what a timing cover is, so please be simple (and kind). Dealer's senior tech is assigned to the repair.

  1. Is this just a simple matter of putting a new sealant on, or could it require more diagnosis to determine part(s) behind the cover or what is leaking?
  2. Depending on (1), does it mean having to take the engine out or something major?
  3. Does this typically take more than 1-2 days?
  4. What else to watch for? Are there any other specifics to be aware of, e.g. if they replace x, then they also need to replace y and z.
  5. Is this common?
View attachment 479928 View attachment 479929
I had a 2011 3.6R with the same problem. After the third repair for the same problem I ditched the vehicle. I love the brand and bought a 2016 Outback with all the same options. I contacted Subaru and they sent me a check for $2K to help with this issue. I don't know if it has been resolved, but my 2016 does not have a problem so far, 13K miles (retired). Maybe this is the reason they went to a turbo 4. Push the factory for help. Good luck with this one and keep everyone informed.
 

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(Australian spec) 2019 MY19 Outback 3.6R CVT.
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383 Posts
Well it looks like our Australian spec 2019 Outback 3.6R joined this timing cover leak club. :cry:

I noticed the oil leak on the bottom left at 5,433kms, cleaned it thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol, noticed the leak just over 1,000kms later, cleaned it thoroughly again, & this morning about 1,000kms later the oil leak is obvious again.

I checked the timing cover bolts & they are tight.

Timing-cover-leak-2019-Outback-3.6R.JPG
 

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2019 Subaru Outback Touring 3.6R, Crystal White Pearl
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529 Posts
will the repair for this leak require an oil drain? If so I don't want to do an oil change before it going in.
 

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2019 Outback Limited, 3.6, Wilderness Green
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50 Posts
Yes, both oil and antifreeze drain/fill when they serviced my 3.6.
 

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Hi folks,
My Jeannine (8900 miles) sprung an oil leak. Taking in next week for warranty repair. Would like to know the following info in advance, so I can understand what diagnostics and possible other parts might need to be done. I have a vague idea what a timing cover is, so please be simple (and kind). Dealer's senior tech is assigned to the repair.

  1. Is this just a simple matter of putting a new sealant on, or could it require more diagnosis to determine part(s) behind the cover or what is leaking?
  2. Depending on (1), does it mean having to take the engine out or something major?
  3. Does this typically take more than 1-2 days?
  4. What else to watch for? Are there any other specifics to be aware of, e.g. if they replace x, then they also need to replace y and z.
  5. Is this common?
View attachment 479928 View attachment 479929
IMHO, most Subaru's are plagued with oil problems and completely ignored by the manufacturer through unique advertising genius which weighs heavily toward the young at heart who are exceptionally vague with experience and suffer with nieve personality. 3.6's leak while 2.5's burn. I'm on my second outback, a 2016 2.5 eyesight which burns a quart during the 6000 mile oil change interval. I traded in a similar oil burning 2013, 2.5 outback w/o eyesight upon receiving Subaru "voluntary" recall, due to their resolve of the problem which was the engine, bottom end replacement, at a dealership. No dealership has won my trust to break into an engine beyond simple mechanics, that coming from experience of the worst senarios one can imagine. All my American cars were oil tight until higher miles, 100K and more. Multiple Honda's I've owned, Civics, Accords and now Pilot have never burned a drop between oil changes. Sorry to say but this will likely be my last Subaru. I got a chuckle this week hearing a Forester transported Bernie Sanders family to super Tuesday poles. I couldn't help but think he mine as well drive a Yugo.
 

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2019 Subaru Outback Touring 3.6R, Crystal White Pearl
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529 Posts
well mine at 23760 has 3 drops hanging down and a couple on a hose from blowing back. ****.

So those that have had this replaced, how much disassembly do they need to do? Go in from above or below? I am due for an oil change at 24000 so I SHOULD NOT bother doing it myself then correct?
 

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00 Outback wagon 03 VDC wagon 18 Touring 3.6 white
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412 Posts
They pulled the motor out of the car on mine and replaced the entire front cover and replaced with a new one. They have to replace the oil and coolant so would not do it before the job.
 

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(Australian spec) 2019 MY19 Outback 3.6R CVT.
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383 Posts
They pulled the motor out of the car on mine and replaced the entire front cover and replaced with a new one.
Did they mention if the original cover had something wrong with the casting?

If there happens to be a batch problem (I’m not saying there is) I’m not too keen on my original one being resealed if it is going to leak again later.
 

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00 Outback wagon 03 VDC wagon 18 Touring 3.6 white
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412 Posts
I got the impression it was just easier for them to replace the whole cover. It was on Subaru's dime so I'm sure they did whatever was easier. It has been a problem for years so I doubt it is a batch problem.
 

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2019 Subaru Outback Touring 3.6R, Crystal White Pearl
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529 Posts
Did they mention if the original cover had something wrong with the casting?

If there happens to be a batch problem (I’m not saying there is) I’m not too keen on my original one being resealed if it is going to leak again later.
I'm not too keen on having the engine pulled...
 

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(Australian spec) 2019 MY19 Outback 3.6R CVT.
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383 Posts
I'm not too keen on having the engine pulled...
Neither am I on a vehicle that is less than 12 months old, has low kms & is in mint condition. But they need to have adequate clearance to clean the surface properly on the engine, & I can see one bolt at the side that is in a nasty spot.

Perhaps they won’t pull the engine. They may just remove the radiators (engine & a/c), CVT cooler, fans, coolant bottle, battery & other bits & pieces.
 

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2018 3.6 Touring. Front cover oil leak at 30K miles noticed during an oil change. Repaired under warranty. Oil and antifreeze replaced due to disassembly of the front of the engine to repair. New 2020 Subaru loaner car.
 

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2019 Subaru Outback Touring 3.6R, Crystal White Pearl
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529 Posts
Well it looks like our Australian spec 2019 Outback 3.6R joined this timing cover leak club. :cry:

I noticed the oil leak on the bottom left at 5,433kms, cleaned it thoroughly with isopropyl alcohol, noticed the leak just over 1,000kms later, cleaned it thoroughly again, & this morning about 1,000kms later the oil leak is obvious again.

I checked the timing cover bolts & they are tight.

View attachment 480335
Exactly where mine is also.
 

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(Australian spec) 2019 MY19 Outback 3.6R CVT.
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383 Posts
Exactly where mine is also.
Just make sure it isn’t new engine oil that has overflowed from the engine oil filler on the top left side of the engine when the engine oil was being changed. I did this once & it is surprising where that oil can run down to. From memory one place where the oil ran down to was near that part of the timing cover & also further towards the back of the engine on that side.

It’s surprising that a lot of the leaks are in that same area of the timing cover.

With the COVID-19 restrictions I haven’t done anything yet about a warranty claim on my timing cover leak.
 

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2019 Subaru Outback Touring 3.6R, Crystal White Pearl
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529 Posts
I took mine in for the first visit for this leak and was told there were two bolts that could be tightened up a bit. We shall see.
 
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