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2002 EJ25 Auto Gen 2 Outback
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone!

I've recently just bought a 2002 Gen 2 EJ25 Outback as my first car and its got a few problems (nothing crazy) and Im just going through the basics of what to do with a new second-hand car.

I've ordered a new power steering pump as the current one has a terrible whine and provides virtually no assistance with steering. I have also changed my engine oil and filter, plan on changing the coolant when I reinstall the radiator along with the 2 big radiator inlet and outlet hoses along with new hose clamps. I am changing both drive belts (again waiting for power steering pump), and have changed the air filter, and when I get the car driving again will run a bottle of injector cleaner through the fuel tank.

I have a concern that is I seem to have some kind of oil/fluid leak at the rear of the engine on the left (left side when sitting in the car), it drips on to the exhaust but I haven't been able to pinpoint the problem yet as the car is currently in pieces as I wait for the power steering pump, I have heard the EJ25's are a bit notorious for head gasket leaks and while I'm really hoping this isn't the case in my situation does anyone know what it could be?

I'm mainly wondering if there is any important/suggested preventative maintenance I should be doing before putting the car back together (Currently have the radiator and fans out so engine bay access is pretty easy and would prefer to do stuff now if you know what I mean). I have considered changing the plugs but the engine seems to be running fine with no misfires and due to the boxer engine plugs are a reasonably big job, but then again I'm 17 with very little mechanical experience besides servicing motorbikes with my late grandfather.

I also wonder if I should change the automatic transmission fluid and even the dif fluid but as I mentioned I am 17 and money and experience is a pretty big factor that has me sceptical as to how much work needs to be done and whether I can do it.

Ideally, I'd like the car to be running well and have no leaks or problems despite its high KM's

Thanks in advance!
 

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2020 Onyx
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11,143 Posts
Congratulations on your first car! Kudos for being a 17 year old willing to do things for yourself and getting your hands dirty. Your Grandfather's spirit lives on!
 
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2002 H6 Bean 4EAT ~250000
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127 Posts
Common oil leaks are due to valve cover gaskets, camshaft seals, front crankshaft seal, oil pump and headgaskets. A good way to find them is to clean all the oil off and then check frequently to see it's origin. If you send a picture someone might be able to identify the source.
A 20 year old car is going to have some small leaks, I don't bother with mine as I don't loose enough of any fluids to have to top of between fluid changes.

Check the INNER CV axle boots, they are common failures and will make a terrible smell.

It's a good idea to change or clean your PCV valve, pretty easy.

If the history was unknown I would change all fluids. Otherwise follow the service interval from the last fluid change.

Get a hold of the service manual, there should be some links in the maintenance forum.
 

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2002 EJ25 Auto Gen 2 Outback
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've changed all fluids except the auto transmission, it looks pretty new its a nice bright pink so I just topped it up a bit, as far as my leak goes I think I might have a valve or head gasket as there's definitely a bit of smoke coming off the cylinder head covers on the passenger side :(. I guess I'll see how my fluid levels go, if I can I'll try to get away without replacing it.

I'll definitely take your advice and check the axle boots and clean the PCV valve as I have heard that that can also be a bit of a problem spot.

Thanks, heaps for your help.
 

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2020 Onyx
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Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
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Your oil leak dripping on the exhaust is almost certainly going to be a weeping head gasket. My Daughters 2004 Impreza RS 2.5 head gasket weeped in this same location.

The good news is that you can keep an eye on that weep (and your oil level) and degrease the engine each oil change and keep driving it for a very long time without further problems. My daughters Impreza was weeping for around two years and 50,000Km’s before we had the head gaskets replaced.

My daughter finally sold her Impreza with around 330,000Km’s on the clock and she is now driving my 2006 Forester XT turbo with 370,000 Km’s on the clock. I bought the Forester around 3 years ago with 295,000Km’s.

Seagrass
 
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