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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The only problem that I can identify with my '01 Outback is oil dripping on the exhaust manifold and making white smoke. The longer the vehicle runs the thicker the smoke becomes. The engine is not overheating and all the fluid levels are still normal. Do you think it would be safe to drive roughly 100 miles to go to a Subaru dealer or should I go to a small town mechanic to try to determine the problem? I have no idea where the oil is leaking from but I do not know the severity of the problem and whether the vehicle can be trusted to make the voyage to the city.
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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it doesn't take much fluid to make a large amount of vapor so, I think if you confirm all your fluids (including front differential and transmission if automatic, and Power Steering) are topped up, a 100 mile drive should be OK. That said, if you feel the local mechanic is experienced, identifying the source of a fluid leak should be easy. And it likely is unrelated to the AWD system so, it's just the unusual nature of a boxer engine that might be new to him. Just have a conversation with him about any experience with Subarus - likely, he would have no problem with valve cover gaskets, power steering hoses or a front differential seal or ....?????

If you can see oil 'streaming' or 'pouring' onto t he ground, that's obviously a different issue.

(if you know it's engine oil - take a couple of quarts with you in case the oil use accelerates - or plan to call the dealership for a tow.)

just be prepared.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I took it into what I deemed the best garage I could find, and their diagnosis was the rear main seal. I decided to go ahead and have them replace it, hopefully it doesnt end up continue leaking from the head gasket or something.
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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Well I took it into what I deemed the best garage I could find, and their diagnosis was the rear main seal. I decided to go ahead and have them replace it, hopefully it doesnt end up continue leaking from the head gasket or something.
more likely to be the plate on the back of the engine, but they'll find it. Needs to be metal, not plastic, and the the new one sealed with Hondabond or similar IIRC.

try searching for 'oil separator plate'

it's a major repair - if you are 'close' to needing other work, you might ask the shop if you'll save money on halve cover gaskets or timing belt etc.


http://allwheeldriveauto.com/subaru-seperator-plate-explained/
 
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