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Discussion Starter #1
http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php/pcv-valve-replacement-95003p7.html

I did the PCV replacement (as shown in the above link). I believe the change was warranted due to minor (1qt per 3k miles) oil consumption and oil smell when idling at a stop-light after getting off the freeway. The car had about 165k on it and i as far as i knew it was the original valve.

Everything went smooth except for the bottom clamp on the fat tube (the one that clamps the lower large hose around the nipple on the crankcase). I could not get the factory clamp on due to the tight working area and i could not get the assembly to slide on with the clamp closed and in place.

After 1-2 hours of struggling with the stock clamp, I opted for the hose clamp method as stated by some in the above thread. I put on a hose clamp and slid the assembly on. I actually did a few times, each time tightening the clamp to the point where i could not get the assembly to slide on.

After the install, the car seemed to run better for approximately 2 days and the oil smell seemed to be gone. Then the oil smell returned. Now i'm losing about 1qt per 750 miles. I don't see any leakage of oil on the ground and there is no white smoke in the exhaust; however, when i look around the lower clamp it appears to be leaking/seeping oil. I have also noted oil along the left hand side of the TMIC radiator and seeping from what appears to be the large air intake for the turbo.

(see pics)

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/flcnvjrtl2obpub/N4HAfInyYd

So the question no becomes... How important is that bottom seal? I'm not trying to thread cap this at all. (it's be very helpful and i just thought it would be important to point out in case others wanted to remove that clamp) Does it sound reasonable that the increased oil consumption and new leakage would be eliminated if that clamp was tighter? Any way to test that? At this point, would it be best to take it into the shop?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Need advice/help!

BUMP and UPDATE for HELP! Long-time suby owner considering jumping ship :(

The car is in the shop now (2nd shop this week) The first one was the Subaru dealer, who seemingly gave me the run-around and basically said that the oil leekage is from the head gasket and valve covers. And that he timing coincidence of increased oil consumption after a PCV valve change is purely coincidental. I find that very hard to believe since i have never seen a drop of oil on the ground and never had grey/white smoke in the exhaust.

The second shop is a reputable shop, but not a Subaru Specialist. They found the PCV valve to be installed properly and also seepage of the head gaskets and leaking of the valve covers, but nothing of the magnitude of 1qt ever 750 to 1000 miles.

Upon further inspection, they found a 'significant' amount of oil in the TMIC. Their thoughts were that there must be significant blow-by in the cylinders that is making its way up to the TMIC. Is that possible/likely?

Right now, the only theory i can come up with is that there is/are failed oil ring(s) and oil is making its way out through the PCV valve and into the TMIC and then is slowly being burned off at a rate that is undetectable in the exhaust. There is now INCREASED oil consumption AFTER the PCV change because the PCV valve is functioning properly (not clogged) and therefore oil is able to flow through and into the TMIC and then is burned off.

The car idles and runs fine with no CEL lights. The suggestion from the shop is to replace/rebuild the engine.
I am kind of at a loss and wanted to run this by everyone before making the decision to abandon the car :( (why does it seem like subi's have somewhat of an emotional value? ;))

Please help, this is my daily driver and i need to make a decision soon. I really hope i'm missing something here...perhaps the valve is bad? Is there anyway to further diagnose this engine oil problem? Is there benefit in switching to 10w-30 or thicker oil? I just find the timing just too coincidental....or maybe i uncovered a deeper problem by changing it?

Any help/advice greatly appreciated!

nlitend1
 

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Your theory is certainly plausible.

Any obstructions in the air path from the snout to the turbo compressor inlet? (which would encourage the engine to seek air from anywhere else it could get it) How old is the panel air filter?

The "old school" test was to take the oil fill cap off and hold a piece of paper flat across the opening while idling, and then rev it a bit. If the paper blows upwards, you're getting too much blow-by. I haven't personally tried this on my XT (or anything turbocharged) but I think it's still valid.

You are right to be suspicious of the coincidental timing.

I think thicker oil would be a mistake, given the tight tolerances of the turbo bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Your theory is certainly plausible.

Any obstructions in the air path from the snout to the turbo compressor inlet? (which would encourage the engine to seek air from anywhere else it could get it) How old is the panel air filter?
I'm sorry, but i don't know where the snout is and where that air path would be. Have any pics/diagrams? The engine air filter (i'm assuming that is the panel one you are referring to) is just fine. No oil at all in the airbox.

That paper test sounds plausible, will check that out when i go see the car tomorrow.

Thanks for the reply!
 

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Haven't got pictures handy.

The snout is the black plastic air funnel thing that rides over top of the radiator to dump cold air into the front of the filter box. Then there's the hose off the back of the filter box to the turbo compressor inlet. Box itself is upstream from the pcv inlet so it would normally stay dry.

Has it ever been performance tuned?

I've heard of these engines cracking ring lands at high miles/high horsepower, haven't researched it thoroughly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Haven't got pictures handy.

Has it ever been performance tuned?

I've heard of these engines cracking ring lands at high miles/high horsepower, haven't researched it thoroughly.
No performance tuning has been done. Everything is stock. It now has 174,000 miles. I actually baby the car as it has been my daily driver since i bought it with 100,000 miles. The only time i have ever seen white/grey smoke out of the car was the first time i started it after leaving it sit for two weeks over Christmas/New Years. It actually started pretty rough that one time and had blue smoke after it started. Immediately after that, i noticed that the engine oil was low, but there was no further oil loss. I was always a bit baffled as to why that would happen from just sitting (guess i just chalked it up to being driven 100 miles a day and then having sat for 14 days might have some settling of the oil.) any thoughts on that? P.S. Here in southern california it was only 45-50 degrees during those nights.
 

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I took a closer read at that LGT thread. I can't believe anyone would even consider re-using those factory hose clamps! They are meant to be a one-shot deal.

Have you checked to make sure the assembly hasn't popped loose? I realize it's a pain to get at, but knowing counts more than wishing.

As far as sitting goes, a horizontally opposed engine (or radial for that matter) can gather a bit of oil along the lower cylinder walls, which will invariably seep past the rings and burn off at the next start. It isn't usually very much oil at all, typically undetectable. I'm sure that in your new years' case it was much less than the amount you found missing. The car had been using oil prior to parking.

My XT regularly sits for weeks at a time, never noticed blue smoke.
 

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Have you done a compression check and maybe a leak down check? Those will tell you if you have an issue with the valves/cylinders. If you pull the outlet from the turbo, is there oil in the turbo itself, or is it just in the intercooler? If it's in the intercooler only, are the PCV lines full of oil? (have you checked the valve itself for issues - a new valve can still be defective)

Valve covers gaskets are pretty easy to change, so if you are leaking there, I'd do that (on my 02 WRX, the oil was leaking from the corner of the passenger side gasket, directly onto the up-pipe, which made the wonderful burnt oil smell) - if you are smelling oil/burnt oil, but not from the exhaust, that suggests a leak rather than something internal to the engine.
 

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um, any concern here that the oil is from the turbo?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Have you done a compression check and maybe a leak down check? Those will tell you if you have an issue with the valves/cylinders. If you pull the outlet from the turbo, is there oil in the turbo itself, or is it just in the intercooler? If it's in the intercooler only, are the PCV lines full of oil? (have you checked the valve itself for issues - a new valve can still be defective)

Valve covers gaskets are pretty easy to change, so if you are leaking there, I'd do that (on my 02 WRX, the oil was leaking from the corner of the passenger side gasket, directly onto the up-pipe, which made the wonderful burnt oil smell) - if you are smelling oil/burnt oil, but not from the exhaust, that suggests a leak rather than something internal to the engine.
No compression/leak down checks have been done. There is no oil in the turbo as far as i know. There is a slight residue in the TMIC and a small pool of oil in the rubber connection between the TMIC and the intake manifold (on the drivers side where the air transitions fromt he TMIC through the rubber connector and into the intake manifold). The small PCV line is dry with no oil. Without disconnecting the other hoses, it appears blow-by may be leaving the crankcase through the lower PCV hose and going through the larger hose (one with the white swivel connector) and into the part of the snorkel that feeds the turbo. That rubber 'accordion-like' connection that leads into the turbo appears to be lightly saturated with oil.

I spoke with a subaru mechanic who was not surprised that i'm getting this oil consumption (even the 1qt every 1k miles) due my current oil of 5w-30 Mobile 1 full-synthetic. He stated that M1 5w30 syn is like water and this engine will drink a lot of it. He says that he would try 20w-50 (which he personally uses in his XT) or use a 10w-30 synthetic blend. He did not sound very alarmed by the oil consumption.

At this point, considering the car is running well and the main symptom is just oil consumption, i think i will try a thicker oil. In looking at all the subaru and legacygt posts, it seems the M1 5w-30 is really thin and most have issue with oil consumption of it with subaru turbos.

Currently, i'm torn between Rotella T6 5w-40 and Castrol GTX High mileage 20w-50 (both are readily available).

I am concerned that i won't get a 'true idea' of if thicker oil will completely solve the problem if i go with the T6 (and it only comes in 4qt jugs so I'd have to buy 2 gallons just to test it)

I am concerned about 'jumping' right to 20w-50 and that it might be too thick to run. I am also concerned about the High mileage additives causing leaks during or after a possible one time usage (not sure if those would cause any sort of lasting effects).

I'm not looking to turn this into another oil thread... I just wanted to give an update to the status of the situation.

I really appreciate all the advice so far...Thanks again! REALLY love that about subaru... great people that are willing to give advice.
 

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if it's like my WRX, I had some 'mystery' oil deposit on my Y pipe under/right of, the IC, I THINK it was from the original PCV T connector but I can't be sure as it was discovered after the dealer replaced the PCV. There is a plastic T that might be cracked leaking crankcase vapors that flow back onto the Y pipe. again, not sure. That PCV system is weird, but the plastic T is commonly cracked if the only replaced the valve and not the whole plastic/hose/'spider' assembly. Those stock hose clamps are crazy too.(I had to use big diag. cutters to re-clip them)
Unless you run a catch-can or maybe an AOS, you will have oil residue in the IC. but it seemed like you had a lot.

I have run 5w-30 walmart syn in the winter and the Shell T6 5w-40 in the summer, but now I just stay with the T6.

Oh yeah, I recently discovered the oil filler gasket was missing from the cap(found it stuck by the dip tube ). Evidently, other people have lost those too. Might be worth checking.
 

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My car used more oil when I had M1 in it. Not as much as you're measuring, but more in general.

I've had it on amsoil 5w30 for a year and a half, the top-ups are a lot smaller now. I may switch to the T6 anyway though.
 

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At this point, considering the car is running well and the main symptom is just oil consumption, i think i will try a thicker oil. In looking at all the subaru and legacygt posts, it seems the M1 5w-30 is really thin and most have issue with oil consumption of it with subaru turbos.

Currently, i'm torn between Rotella T6 5w-40 and Castrol GTX High mileage 20w-50 (both are readily available).

I am concerned that i won't get a 'true idea' of if thicker oil will completely solve the problem if i go with the T6 (and it only comes in 4qt jugs so I'd have to buy 2 gallons just to test it)

I am concerned about 'jumping' right to 20w-50 and that it might be too thick to run. I am also concerned about the High mileage additives causing leaks during or after a possible one time usage (not sure if those would cause any sort of lasting effects).

I'm not looking to turn this into another oil thread... I just wanted to give an update to the status of the situation.

I really appreciate all the advice so far...Thanks again! REALLY love that about subaru... great people that are willing to give advice.

Just run the T6. Other people have experimented for you, and consensus is that this is the best oil for our XTs. I would not try a higher viscosity oil! The turbo has tight clearances and a high viscosity oil might not penetrate in there well leading to higher wear on the turbo.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Just run the T6. Other people have experimented for you, and consensus is that this is the best oil for our XTs. I would not try a higher viscosity oil! The turbo has tight clearances and a high viscosity oil might not penetrate in there well leading to higher wear on the turbo.
UPDATE: I went with the T6 and changed the banjo bolt/filter at the same time. (banjo filter was 100% clean by the way) The car seemed to run better and the oil smell was gone. I checked the oil after 300 miles and it was 100% full. Not a drop was gone. HORRAY!!!

I checked the oil a week later ~900 miles and i was disappointed to see about 2/3 quart of oil gone. :(

I have since noticed that the smell of oil is back while at stop lights and it may be my imagination, but it just doesn't seem to have the same "peppiness" of the engine (I don't drive it hard at all. This is my daily driver. I'm just referring to general acceleration.) I am now at about 1200 miles and I just added about 3/4qt to bring it back to FULL.

In thinking about things...i'm remembering the original oil change when i changed the PCV valve and how I noticed that it ran very well for 2 days before the oil smell came back....and now it seems to have run for 10+ days without the smell.

It it possible for the oil to be shearing and then getting thin enough for blow-by to occur...and that would be when the smell of oil and the oil consumption starts? I am in the desert where the outside temp has been between 85-105 degrees and I do freeway driving with cruise control set at 79mph.

Is this possible? Would it be safe to try the Castrol GTX High mileage 20w-50 instead of the T6 5w-40?
 

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20w-50 is really thick. I wouldn't put in mine unless it was a last ditch attempt to avoid a tow truck. Definitely not for regular use in these.

I recently found myself 2/3qt low after an 1100 mile road trip. I never smell oil or see leaks, so I top up and carry on.

Just going out on a limb, have you ever checked or replaced the gasket on the oil cooler? Mine was weeping a couple of years ago, learned that it was a common XT thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
20w-50 is really thick. I wouldn't put in mine unless it was a last ditch attempt to avoid a tow truck. Definitely not for regular use in these.

I recently found myself 2/3qt low after an 1100 mile road trip. I never smell oil or see leaks, so I top up and carry on.

Just going out on a limb, have you ever checked or replaced the gasket on the oil cooler? Mine was weeping a couple of years ago, learned that it was a common XT thing.
So no one has run 20w-50 in this engine? I have some areas of weeping on the head gaskets and valve covers, but never a drop of oil on the ground, so it would be hard to imagine this amount of oil would be getting out there.

Would it be worth replacing the PCV valve again? Also, someone on the following forum link (see the last post), mentioned the need to clean the plastic tube/hose that runs between the two heads. PCV Valve Replacement - Page 11 - Subaru Legacy Forums

I posted this thread a while back:
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/109-gen-3-2005-2009/50691-name-hose-pcv-valve-2005-outback-xt.html

Here are the pictures that should have shown up in that post:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3dw3elx1rsbzw5v/0Lj-qlXZNQ

Do those pictures mean anything to anyone? The hoses themselves seem VERY hard/rigid by the way...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Update: So I ran the Castrol 20w-50 oil and subi seemingly loved it. Seemed to run very well and oil consumption has been down to 1qt every 1200-1500 miles....better, but still not great.

While going up a hill coming home from work Friday the engine started to miss pretty bad when under 2500 RPMS. My scanguage popped up a pending P0302 code (cyl #2 misfire) and I kept the RPMs between 3k and 4k and seemingly cruised home with little problem. I am at about 184k miles now and was due for my 60k tune up, so I changed the spark plugs. Changing the spark plugs did not seem to change the misfire at all (and it's still throwing the P0302 code).

At this point i'm a little beyond my diagnostic knowledge. Thoughts? At worse am i looking at a bad piston/ring and at best am I looking at a bad coil pack? Is there any way to tell a bad coil pack other than swapping it with another cylinder and seeing if the missing cylinder follows the pack? Unfortunately my subu specialty shop is booked a few weeks out and so I'm stuck with a rental car in the meantime.

Would a shop like firestone be able to diagnose this at a flat rate? I feel like if i walk into anywhere they will say it's a bad ring based on the oil consumption and now a missing cylinder so I need advice on what specifically to have them do. Compression check? Leakdown test? (would a shop like that be able to do that on a boxer engine like the outback XT with such small clearance around the heads?)

Unfortunately, due to my busy schedule I am really starting feel this car may be better off with some who has more time to work on cars than I do. I'm seriously considering selling it as-is in a best offer mode, so if anyone in southern California (or anywhere for that matter) is interested, please let me know. It has been my daily driver to and from work 125 miles/day highway cruising and is is great condition. I have all maintenance records and it has been really been babied as it was my daily driver...I was the guy trying to get the best MPG (usually 24-25mpg) in the AWD turbo subi :).
 

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Have you tried disconnecting the air outlet to the turbo to see if it's leaking oil? There will be oil all over inside the intake tubing if so. Turbo oil seals go out all the time on these turbo boxers.

I wouldn't take it to Firestone, you need a shop specializing in Subys.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Have you tried disconnecting the air outlet to the turbo to see if it's leaking oil? There will be oil all over inside the intake tubing if so. Turbo oil seals go out all the time on these turbo boxers.

I wouldn't take it to Firestone, you need a shop specializing in Subys.
I have removed the TMIC and there is a slight residue inside of it (told it was normal by a suby shop) and slightly more oil on the opposite side of the TMIC (entering the air intake of the engine). Please see my pictures in the previous posts.

Thanks for the reply!
 
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