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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, just had the 105 k timing belt and tensioner service done on my 2007 Outback h4. The local dealership did it. Have had a burning smell that is getting worse. Smells rubberish or like like burning grease. Cv boots check ok. Not loosing any fluids. Not dripping anything on the exhaust. Drive belts seem a litttle tight, but not too bad, I believe. Car runs very smooth at all speeds. Alignment is good and tires and brakes are wearing and working correctly. What is the burning smell??? It is getting progressively worse and more noticeable when at idle and stopped. Any ideas? Thanks! Ps, I am now 650 miles from home on vacation with this darn car!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Took it in to a subie dealership, who were very helpful. Turns out my sense of smell is a bit off. The blue OEM oil filter was leaking. Not enough to register a drop on the oil stick (yet) but enough to stink without smoking. I swear. I wish there were a good alternative to these OEM filters. I have been using them for over 100k and they seem to always leak a tiny bit around the seal, even though I bought a torque wrench just to ensure they are tightened correctly. The seals are CRAP!!!! I think I wi switch to another brand, even though I bought in bulk and have 3 OEM oil filters left. On a good note, the dealership saw I had an OEM filter and did not charge me at all to replace it. Too bad I had to smell oil burning and stress over not knowing its origin for 650+ miles!
 

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I personally am a huge fan of WIX filters. I use them in both of my cars.
 

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There was a recent supply line recall of a number of Subaru filters for faults. See details at http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/121-subaruonlineparts-com/49380-important-potential-leaky-oil-filters.html#post472546.

I've been using the Subaru filters for about 55,000 miles, with relatively frequent oil and filter changes, without any apparent sign of leaking. It should not be necessary to use a torque wrench to install an engine oil filter -- hand tightening is usually sufficient. The Subaru one suggests (on the can) turning it about 7/8 turn after the gasket first contacts the engine block. I usually get to turn it by hand between 3/4 and 7/8 turn at which time it seems to bottom out.

Perhaps the one you had was one of the defective units. Might want to check the remaining ones.
 

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This was posted on here ~8-10 mos. ago; Mazda rotaries have been using a Tokyo-Roku black filter for the past 4, or 5 years. The filter is ~ 1 1/2" longer than the old Subaru black filters & have specs in line with the older black part. Yeah, they are as high as one would expect from a dealership. YMMV...of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yup, I have three of those recalled filters sitting right in front of me now. Bad news is that I am not totally sure if it was a recalled # I had installed on my car, and that I also did an oil change on my gf's 2001 Outback, and not sure if I installed a bad filter. Great.

Also, I have 106k on my 2007 H4 now. Only used subie OEM oil filters. They started leaking about at 80k. I know it says 7/8 turn on the filter, but got the torque wrench to double check installation is always to spec. Fellas, these P.O.S. filters have been bad and leaky for a while. Evidently Subaru just realized the issue and is doing damage control, but don't know/care about how long the filters have been bad. Going to use something else from now on. Screw psi ratings. It's not a turbo, anyways.
 

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If you dont mind me asking how much did you pay for your 105 k service .
What was replaced during the service.

Thanks Mike k
 

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Discussion Starter #9
About $530 out-the-door. Timing belt and tensioner replaced. Seems about par for the course around here, for both dealerships and/or independent shops.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
UPDATE: Upon returning home from Thanksgiving weekend, after driving for 750+ miles after the oil filter change, I crawled underneath the car and checked this recently dealer-installed oil filter for leaks. No issues.

So, a couple of weeks later, I begin to notice that burning smell again. I crawl under the car again, and what do you know, it is leaking AGAIN! %$*&^@!!!!

I replaced this OEM filter with a NAPA Gold filter. The oil has only 2500 (mostly highway) miles on it, so only the oil filter was replaced. I did top-off the oil.

The surface that the oil filter gasket touches appears 100% smooth and flawless to the eye and touch. So, I am assuming 100% of the fault lies in the OEM filter, not the installation, since I have been doing successful oil changes for decades now, with no issues up to this point, and, plus, the dealership installed the last filter, so I know it's not just happening after my installations.

Maybe the source of the oil leak is somewhere else? I checked around that area, and did not see anything else, but then again the exhaust pipe around the oil filter obscures the view pretty well. And, what else could saturate the sides and bottom of the oil filter so much that it drips onto the plastic removable plate below it? And the dealership did agree that the oil filter was the source of the leak. Just thinking out loud here.

So, what to do with the 6 new OEM filters I have left????? Oh well. Live and learn.
 

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Thanks for the reply about the cost.
So you only had the belt and tensioner replaced.
They didnt want to do the oil pump, water pump or cam shaft seals.
 

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does your engine have an oil cooler at the base of the filter with rubber coolant lines going to it? my 01 obw does. there is a large o-ring type gasket in between the oil cooler and block and it goes bad over time.

if you have one of these oil coolers, get the gasket from the dealer, about $7.00. takes about 30 - 4- minutes to change. i didn't even have to drain the coolant.

there's a good write up with pics somewhere.

pay ATTENTION to the ''deep well'' socket that is needed.


http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/99-do-yourself-illustrated-guides/36964-diy-how-replace-oil-cooler-gasket-oil-filter-leak.html


 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the reply about the cost.
So you only had the belt and tensioner replaced.
They didnt want to do the oil pump, water pump or cam shaft seals.
They only wanted to do the belt and tensioner. The drive belts were replaced about 10k miles ago, so they were OK. The service rep said that the water pumps are nearly indestructible and he has nearly never seen one go bad, so they did not replace it. And, I believe the oil pump does not need to be replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
does your engine have an oil cooler at the base of the filter with rubber coolant lines going to it? my 01 obw does. there is a large o-ring type gasket in between the oil cooler and block and it goes bad over time.
Thanks for the suggestion. I do not see that part on my car. The oil filter on my car screws onto the block itself. Anybody else with a 2007 H4 non-turbo, verify this for me?

I'm taking it to a mechanic I know does good work after I get off work today. It can be a real pain to diagnose some issues with the front wheels on ramps, crawling on my back, looking around underneath with a flashlight. :)
 

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I have a 2007 2.5 N/A, and like yours the filter screws directly onto the block. My car doesn't have the full plastic under-cover so the filter and exhaust are all open to view from underneath.

I can't imagine that multiple filters (even the NAPA Gold?) are getting coated with oil (due to gasket leaks, that is).

As I reported in post #5 above, I haven't had any problems with oil filter leakage.

There might be some leakage from above on yours and hopefully, with the car up on a lift, it might be possible to see higher up more clearly.

There's the head gasket and valve cover gasket on the right side. Also, up on top of the right block just under the alternator there's the oil pressure sensor switch -- these sometimes develop leaks, occasionally quite significant. And, at the front of the engine there are cam shaft seals, and the engine oil pump that occasionally develop leaks.

It will be interesting if it turns out that the real source is not the filters at all.

Edit: If the car is raised and the filter removed, it should be possible to look at the area of the block. IF there's no sign of oil beyond the filter/block mating surface, then there's another, albeit unlikely, problem. The oil pump has a pressure regulator valve that limits its output oil pressure. If the valve is blocked or seized closed, the oil going from the pump to the filter can exceed the ability of the filter gasket. This could cause the gasket to blow (this has been seen here) or perhaps just leak. Again, not highly likely, but possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey. I just installed the Napa Gold filter this morning, so I haven't had time to see if it leaks. I did bring it to a shop after work, and he did not see any obvious points of leakage, but he doused the entire area down with engine cleaner and told me to.drive it around a little and come back in the a.m. so he could take a look to hopefully be able to see the source of the leak. We'll see. I'll post tomorrow when I know something. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
OK, just got back from the shop. Head gasket leaking! &$#@^%!!

They recommended I call Subaru and see if they can help me out. If Subaru says no, my shop wants to replace both head gaskets, which makes sense. About $1600-$2000 if they do the job.

They said they will also replace the water pump, pulleys, and other small things they think the dealership should have replaced when they did the timing belt job a couple of months ago. The dealership replaced only the timing belt and the tensioner.

And, I hereby respectfully take back all of the horrible things I said about leaky Subaru OEM oil filters. Hey, even a Subie dealership said it was a leaky oil filter (although NOT the dealership I usually take it to!) LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
UPDATE: I called my local dealership and explained the situation to them. They said that the HG repair would be $2250, and that any help from Subaru Of America is out of their hands, but I should call them to see what they think of the situation.

I call SOA, tell them the situation, and they give me a case # and say they will call me later in the day.

They call back 30 minutes later, and tell me to make an appointment with my local Subie dealership to so they can diagnose the car. I ask SOA how much, if any, they will help financially with this. He says he can't say more until the dealership diagnoses the car, and then calls SOA with my case # and diagnosis.

SOA has tons of records for repairs, service, etc, that I have done on BOTH of my Outbacks, and they acknowledged that I had purchased their extended warranty (although it has now expired), so they sounded pretty happy to take a look.

SOA covered 1/2 the cost of a HG job for a buddy of mine's out-of-warranty Outback several years ago, so we'll see.

I bring it in to the dealership for diagnosis after the New Year. I'll keep you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm beginning to feel like I am talking to myself with this thread. LOL.

So, SOA is going to financially assist me A LOT with this fix on my 2007 Outback. Sweet. They totally covered the HG job on my 2001 Outback back around 2009, after it's warranty period had ended.

They said it helped my case that I had service records and parts purchase records (when I do the service myself, which is more and more as time goes on) with the Subie dealerships, which they saw and said they took into account with their decision.

Thanks for your help in previous posts in this thread. :)
 

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I guess once the source of the burning smell was confirmed, and it was only a question of what SOA would say and where the repair would eventually be done, there wasn't much to say until this follow-up.

It's great news that Subaru is going to assist you. I presume, therefore, you are going ahead with the work at the dealer.

Let us know how it turns out.
 
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