Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

Decided to spontaneous check under my'05 Outback Limited and found a dirty, oily oil pan.
Looks like the oil has gotten even on the new boots that were installed less than 5k miles ago.

It has not been losing much for oil too.

I will need to take it in to the mechanic, but am trying to prepare myself. The head gaskets were done 40k ago...

Does this look like a recognizable leak?
Any thoughts and ideas are appreciated.
477730


477732
 

·
Registered
Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
Joined
·
964 Posts
Not likely to be head gaskets. Might be rocker cover gaskets or could be camshaft seals, very hard to tell with such limited information.

if your vehicle has an oil cooler this could also be a likely cause.

Seagrass
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
12,587 Posts
If the oil is around the exhaust manifold, then I'd say the shop you used put the OEM style gasket in and it's leaking again, or if MLS gaskets were used it wasn't torqued proper.

It looks like the steering rack end seal is leaking though since I don't see oil on the pipes. How low is your power steering?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
If the oil is around the exhaust manifold, then I'd say the shop you used put the OEM style gasket in and it's leaking again, or if MLS gaskets were used it wasn't torqued proper.

It looks like the steering rack end seal is leaking though since I don't see oil on the pipes. How low is your power steering?
Head gasket was replaced at a highly reputable independent Subaru shop.

Regarding powering steering. I will check again, but it had been looking fine recently.
 

·
Registered
2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
Joined
·
4,988 Posts
Does this look like a recognizable leak?
Any thoughts and ideas are appreciated.
When there is this much oil present all over, it's difficult to identify the source.

Get it cleaned, then watch it closely for the location where you first see it leak.

Note there may be more than one leak, if this has been going on for a while.

One thing you said leads me to be optimistic here - a reputable Subaru specialist would have used multi-layer head gaskets and properly resurfaced the heads. So it indeed may not be the heads again, and if it's something else, it will likely be a lot less expensive to address than blown head gaskets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Not likely to be head gaskets. Might be rocker cover gaskets or could be camshaft seals, very hard to tell with such limited information.

if your vehicle has an oil cooler this could also be a likely cause.

Seagrass
Yes, I sure hope the head gaskets are ok. Will certainly hunt around some more today.
I will post additional pics if I find anything.

When there is this much oil present all over, it's difficult to identify the source.

Get it cleaned, then watch it closely for the location where you first see it leak.

Note there may be more than one leak, if this has been going on for a while.

One thing you said leads me to be optimistic here - a reputable Subaru specialist would have used multi-layer head gaskets and properly resurfaced the heads. So it indeed may not be the heads again, and if it's something else, it will likely be a lot less expensive to address than blown head gaskets.
Thank you for the advice.

And, yes, this independent shop has an excellent reputation for headgaskets. I am crossing fingers its is not them.

I will try to take some more pics tonight in order to try and localize the leak. It is always better to make repair appointments with an idea regarding the problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,104 Posts
Put large sheet of WHITE paper underneath parked vehicle.... This will give you a better idea of the COLOR of the leaking fluid. RED= Steering or xMission
 

·
Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
Joined
·
12,587 Posts
Dealer or independent doesn't matter. The dealers put in the single layer gaskets as that's what is called for and there are still indie shops that do the same. Some are considered "reputable".

There is a way to tell if the head gasket is multi layered or not. If you look down at the top of the engine where the head meets the block just inside the intake manifold, if the gaskets are MLS then you will see the rivet in the corner of the head gasket that purtrudes the seam. That's rivet holds the layers together. The single layer doesn't need the rivet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Put large sheet of WHITE paper underneath parked vehicle.... This will give you a better idea of the COLOR of the leaking fluid. RED= Steering or xMission
Thanks! A great idea, but the plastic splash guard makes it difficult.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Another separate question.

Does anyone know why my oil pan is turned to the left (passenger side)? Is this a result of the head gaskets being replaced?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Update:

Checked the engine again tonight.

  • Noticed that the steering fluid is at HOT MIN. Perhaps indeed it is the steering wheel fluid?
  • Also checked the oil level. It was full. Oil change was 3k miles ago, and I had added a quart 100 miles ago.
Also took pics of places that look like they are leaking oil.

1. On the passenger side, above the time belt, the oil pressure switch looks like this:

477756



2. Also took a photo of the passenger side CV boot. Looks like this.

477758


3. And finally. It was really hard to get a good pic but this piston next to the driver side CV boot looked very oily and freshly wet. Could this be the source?

477759
 

·
Registered
2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
Joined
·
4,988 Posts
Does anyone know why my oil pan is turned to the left (passenger side)? Is this a result of the head gaskets being replaced?
You're going to have to explain what you mean by "turned to the left". The drain plug on the EJ253 points to the driver's side, and it would be impossible to rotate the pan 180 degrees and install it, if that's what you think has happened. Are you sure you aren't confusing the oil drain with something else?

The last part is easier to answer: Head gasket work normally doesn't involve pulling the oil pan, but if the mechanic looked things over and noticed it leaking, then that would have been a very good time to do that work - it's always easier with the engine pulled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
You're going to have to explain what you mean by "turned to the left". The drain plug on the EJ253 points to the driver's side, and it would be impossible to rotate the pan 180 degrees and install it, if that's what you think has happened. Are you sure you aren't confusing the oil drain with something else?

The last part is easier to answer: Head gasket work normally doesn't involve pulling the oil pan, but if the mechanic looked things over and noticed it leaking, then that would have been a very good time to do that work - it's always easier with the engine pulled.
That is what I thought. I thought the oil drain plug is turned to the driver's on the 2005 Subaru Outback 2.5... Now I am feeling crazy.

Am I completely mixing something up? Here is what I think is my oil drain plug. Cue the blue Subaru oil filter seen inside too.
477767
 

·
Registered
2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
Joined
·
4,988 Posts
The 2005 was a one-off year for some parts of the H4 engines, and that might be one of the differences. I had a 2005, but it was totalled at the young age of three, which makes that event 12 years ago! Problem is that most of my memories of working on it have morphed into those for my 2008 H4, which I still have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Does anyone know what part this is? It is right next to the driver's side CV boot. And it looks quite moist and as if some of the leakage is coming from it.
477829
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,957 Posts
Looks like it, based on what I see on my 07. The wet part is the pinion shaft coming up, out of the rack. The top end of the wet part is probably the lower clamp of the double u-joint on the steering column shaft.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top