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09 Subaru Outback SE PZEV
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings! I've got an 09 outback with 142k bought it about a week ago, and just noticed an oil leak just behind the manifold, somewhat. Wasn't quite sure what it could be. I've had some tell me it's the camshaft seal, but I'm not too sure.

Apologies for the image quality. Haven't gotten to put the car on a hoist just yet. Also work overnights, so it's rather dark out. I'm thinking the leak is farther up than that, but I can't really see up in there too well.

The images taken were about 4 hours after driving to work. Has sat off for those hours (of course)

Image 1, passenger side manifold, looking towards the rear.
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Image 2, passenger exhaust manifold
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Image 3, oil spot under vehicle, using my key as a size comparison.
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Thanks a bundle for those that help. If more images would be needed / helpful, Lemme know
 

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Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
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1,519 Posts
This could be a leaking camshaft seal. When they leak the oil runs down the front of the engine and then drifts along with the wind to the rear and makes an awful mess.

As your vehicle has travelled 145K it is possible the seals were not changed when the timing belt was changed at 105K, which can result in a leak.

I suggest you degrease everything and then you should be able to see where the oil is originating from.

Seagrass
 
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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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The floor spotting patterns don't tell a lot other than volume lost, as the source may not be aligned with the point it drps from.

Assume this is a 2.5i engine?

Common sources for an OB this age are valve cover gaskets, cam cover gaskets, steering rack, and head gaskets. And the best way to localize it is to clean up everything, then watch it closely for the first sign of a leak.
 

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09 Subaru Outback SE PZEV
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Discussion Starter #4
Was planning on degreasing everything here soon. I haven't had awful smoke under the hood, like a few I've seen have said, so I might also check the power steering pump / rack.

Forgot to mention this earlier, but there's a bit of a constant whir when driving. Not sure if it gets worse while turning, but there's a rather apparent drop in rpm (almost sounds too low, bit of vibration along with it) at various stop signs and other standstill parts while driving. The car catches up after a bit. Didn't even think about it until now. I've had stearing rack issues in the past with previous vehicles, always thought it was an oil leak at first.


Assume this is a 2.5i engine?
Yep. 2.5. EJ253, In particular, I believe.
 

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09 Subaru Outback SE PZEV
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Discussion Starter #5
Okay, just checked the power steering fluid reservoir, no frothing or bubbling like that, so it's nothing pump side.

I'll just have to check what was suggested for the oil leak. Gonna degrease, peek around up and under there and see what I can't find. I'll update when I can.
 

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09 Subaru Outback SE PZEV
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Discussion Starter #6
Okay, quick update on this. Did some looking around a bit, and I believe it's that passenger side cam plug back by the VVT solenoid. Probably gonna clean it up, and use some RTV to seal it, as I've heard replacing those are a huge pain in the ass.
 
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