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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

So the past year now I have been dealing with an Oil Filter that gets loose after every oil change. Ive been to 3 different shops and they all tell me the same thing; that the filter is the problem. Ive used all the new filters and still cant figure out why the filter keeps getting loose. :28: The oil is not dripping on the ground but dripping on my oil pan...I think. Ive asked the shops if there is something wrong with the threads but they say thats not the case. I'm now wondering if something is viberating, causing the filter to get loose.

Thanks guys, any suggestions would be great. I'm starting to get kinda upset about this situation:mad:!

NEIL
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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Can you post details describing your car and the types of filters you have tried? Any aftermarket mods installed? The more detail you can share, the more likely it is that someone will spot a fix.

Also it's possible that these shops are mis-diagnosing the problem. It may be coming from somewhere other than the filter- the filter tends to get blamed a lot, but often enough the oil is coming from somewhere else and the tech just doesn't see it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok..... I'm not to sure what the shops are using for oil filters but
they said they are using new ones that stay "tight." I did buy a few
filters from the Subaru Dealer a few months ago when I brought my car into them regarding this issue.

I have also been thinking that they are missing the real problem. I
know nothing about cars but when I went under to look at the oil filter there was no sign of leaking oil and the area was clean.

Once I looked around I noticed another filter near the front end of the car, it was white and had small drip of oil hanging from the bottom of the filter. It seems like it was right underneath my left two cylinders??? I could tell oil has covered the area pretty well as it was soiled.

My last oil change was about 3 weeks ago and my dip stick says I have lost over half of my oil.

Ive had 4 oil changes in the past 7 months! :28:

I cant seem to figure out how to post pictures or I would!
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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The first oil filter you mention- sounds like that is the transmission spin-on filter.

The second filter you saw is definitely your engine oil filter, from your description of location.

It is always* towards the front right corner of any recent subaru engine. (Front is front, and all directions are from the perspective of the drivers' seat.) *Except the very latest FB engines, on which you don't have to ask the internet about the filter location.

Color is whatever it is- every manufacturer does their own. Genuine Subaru filters used to be black, are now dark blue. White could be purolator, wix, or store-brand generics from the quick-lube shops.

Use an external host for pictures- dropbox, imgur, icloud, whatever you already have... then embed links here for best results.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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was there any work/wrecks/mods before this began?

more details on the car would help.

post your city and maybe someone can suggest a shop for you to take it to. Clearly these other guys aren't 'engaged' with the whole oil-loss problem.
 

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There was that bad batch of OEM oil filters recently...

My car had what LOOKED like a constantly leaking oil filter, but it was actually an o-ring in the oil cooler directly above it.

Exactly what year/model is your car? Which engine?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/llt33rywpj898o1/v55iad6Xns

Hope that link works for the pictures the first two are of the leak around the filter...Oil filter???

Please let me know if I need to share more pictures.

as far as wrecks, about 15 months ago some dude hit me while he was turning while sliding on snow. he hit my back left wheel-well and i needed to replace that panel. It was a very slow crash and couldn't imagine it would have something to deal with this.

I live in Crested Butte Colorado if that helps, not many shops around its about 2:30 hours from Grand Junction, and about 5 from Denver. The first time I cant remember the smell was late last spring.

Its a 2006 Outback 4 Cylinder

Ive had 5 oil filters and all of them have leaked since the onset of the burning oil.

Thanks,

NEIL
 

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It's probably leaking higher up, maybe the oil cooler, maybe, dare i say, head gasket?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's probably leaking higher up, maybe the oil cooler, maybe, dare i say, head gasket?
This is great, haha. I feel that I'm finally getting somewhere. I understand, most likley the issues is more serious then not. I'm prepared for the worst, please don't hold back.

I'm going to start a short list of issues it might be before I bring it into a shop Ive never been to.

So far:

Oil Cooler -- What is this?
Head Gasket -- How expensive is this to fix?

Any way it could be a cylinder-head leak?
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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From the looks of the block around the filter, it appears to be coming from the filter. It also doesn't appear to have been going on for a very long period. There's no coagulation with dirt. The top of the engine is dry, so that leaves out anything there. The seem at the timing belt cover is also dry, so that negates the cam or crank seals. Same with the valve covers.

That leaves bad oil filter seals, a loose filter connector or the head gasket.

The filter connector is what the oil filter screws on to. One side is screwed into the block. If it is coming loose, you will get a gap between the block and filter. If the seal is bad on the filter, it won't be able to withstand the pressure. The head gasket is iffy at this time.

The best way to determine where its coming from is to clean the oil from the engine. Start it and let it idle while keeping an eye on the area around the filter. Then, have someone in the car to hold the engine rpm at 2500 while you continue to look for the source. It is better determined at a stand still because when you drive the air flow moves the oil around the surrounding area, spreading it. You see the drip because the filter is the lowest point in close proximity to the leak and its running down.

I've attached a pic of the engine block in a diagram form. Item 26, circled, is the oil filter connector. It has an allen head in the middle of it that can be seen and accessed with the filter removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok so I went under the car like cardoc said to do... and I found something very interesting. it seems as if the filter is not leaking but rather the piece just behind it that connects to the engine block is. I took a lot of pictures so here they are(for refrence the oil filter is further in front of the piece covered in oil). I assume this is a serious issue. It really started to come out and burn as the car warmed up.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/llt33rywpj898o1/v55iad6Xns

As you can see the screw on most of the pictures is covered in oil and it is actually dripping oil onto whatever that is below it creating a large black burn area.

Thanks,

NEIL
 

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I'd have to get under my car to put the photos in the right perspective, but at this point it seems to me that the bulk of the oil is coming down around the right rear exhaust manifold-to-head flange. If that's the case, use an inspection mirror to look at the back of the right side head, to see if there's oil running down. It could be the right side variable valve lift oil pressure sensor or solenoid that's leaking. The third photo in this post shows their location. They are visible from the top.

There have been several reports here of leaking from these. (The VVL system was added to the 2.5 in 2006).

Otherwise it could be the HG, but others might have more insights, based on the photos.
 

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Maybe power steering pump,hose,cap area?

Photos #23 & #22 looks like they were sprayed with a mist of oil, or fluid.
 

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It looks like motor oil. Also looks like HG time. Look at the run along the head toward the filter. Its been gathering around the manifold and dripping off the manifold nut. It didn't start too slow either. Still looks like the valve cover is clean. Pic 23, you can see it better.

In his earlier picture, the top of the engine around the PS was clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok guys,

So i looked at Plain OM's post of the solenoid and I can say its on the complete opposite side (looking towards the winshield the solenoid is on the right side.) The leak is however on the left side of the car (air filter side.)


New Pictures:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lf2uvkvmuvenhpq/4RAkQOYFvh

The first picture shows that I identified the solenoid, and did not notice any leaks around it, however it still might not be working properly? This is on the opposite side of the engine (right)

the second photo is the top of the engine, the leak is directly under this part of the engine. (left)

photo 3, 4, 5, and 6 show another perspective of the leak, Probably the best perspective yet. As it does show some leaking coming from the filter.... Mind you I have had 4 different oil filters now and this problem has continued to arise.

:28::28::28:

Thinking about just bringing it into another shop here soon!:(

NEIL
 

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Left and right can be confusing, but there is a convention in the industry that determines left or right based on the driver's (or passenger's) "view" when sitting in the car. So, for example, Left Hand Drive, which is what we have in North America, means the driver sits on the left side. In the U.K., for example, they have Right Hand Side drive. From this start, then, everything else follows. The filter is on the right side of the engine block.

The confusion is understandable if you're not familiar with the convention. I think we understood that the leak was on the side of the filter, which we would designate the "right" side.

When comparing the photos I posted and referred to in the other thread, you would have had to reverse the designations using your right-left definitions. The photo I identify as being on the left, showing the VVL solenoid is the same as your photo #1 of your most recent set, which you refer to as right side. That isn't the side to check for leaking. It's the ones I identify as being on the right side, and the solenoid and pressure sensor are at the upper back of the passenger side head of the engine.

In your latest photo #4, the valve cover is at the upper right, and the seam between it and the head looks dry.

In your most recent photos #3 and 4, directly above the exhaust flange bolt, there's what looks like a support going across, and just above it a dark sort of area that might be showing wetness. Not sure if this could be a lead.

There's oil on the engine block where the filter is mounted, but that could be oil that is running down from above or the side, rather than coming out from the joint between the filter and the block.

There's a loss of depth perception in the photos. The filter is on the engine block while the wet exhaust flange is on the head, which is a few inches further away from the center of the engine. Between the two is the head gasket.
 
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