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2013 2.5i MT
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Discussion Starter #1
I noticed several spots on the garage floor where the rear wheels sit and crawled under to look for a leak of some kind. Sure enough there was some kind of fluid coming from whatever the rear drive shafts connect to (not much of a mechanic). I'd appreciate it if someone can tell me what I'm looking at. For what it's worth, I have the manual transmission and suspect the throw out bearing is going at 65K. Perhaps related? Thank you for any insight.
 

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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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From the picture, it looks like the rear cover of your rear differential has sprung a leak. Easy fix, tough from what you say of you mechanical skills, you maybe should take it to a good local mechanic to get done ( or a friend who knows what he is doing).

On a second look at the picture, it is definitely coming down from above. My bad! :)
 

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2017 2.5i Premium Crystal White Pearl with Ivory Cloth, with Eyesight and self dimming outside mirrors.
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Looks like it's coming down from above the crossmember and the, down the diff rear cover before dripping to the floor. Can you get a better picture to show when it's starting from?
 

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2017 OutBack Premier, 2019 Forester Ltd, 2016 370z Rdstr
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oboddity,

Your posted picture is obviously turned 90 degrees clockwise, and as such the fluid is leaking from above your rear differential. The only component above the differential with a liquid in it .. is the gas tank. I think you're looking at gasoline. Wipe it with your finger and smell it to know for sure.

And if this is a gasoline leak, the gas tank will have to be dropped from the car to do a fix. Certainly not a job for a novice. Good Luck!
 

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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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did anyone change the diff lube recently? (like the cap there is not tight enough?)
or there is a valve up there that it is popping out of?


hope there is no noise associated with that. ...(like you are running out).
 

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2013 2.5i MT
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Discussion Starter #7
did anyone change the diff lube recently? (like the cap there is not tight enough?)
or there is a valve up there that it is popping out of?


hope there is no noise associated with that. ...(like you are running out).
Hope that's an adequate picture. No one has touched the car except me to change oil. The noise you mention would be heard while driving? I have the gold extended factory warranty. Hopefully this would be covered. Thanks.
 

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It's a 2013 (from first post). It looks to me that the oil (or whatever it is) is coming from the rear differential support bushing. It's wet, and the oil is running down the cross-member behind the differential. Perhaps Subaru is now using oil filled bushings there, as it has done earlier in the front cross support of the differential, and pre-2005 rear bushings on the front lower control arm. If the lower fill plug were not tight, oil would not be up around the bushing; same for the fill plug.
 

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when you are getting this looked into,

make sure you change the front and rear diff lubes. (rear one should be cracked every once in a while, in the past I have had to get a extra squirt of lube to the rear diff after about 15,000 miles).
 

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Oddly, it seems to be coming from one rubber-bushed mounts that attach the rear of differential case to the real cross member. Except for some slinging by the gears the fluid level in the differential should never be higher than the bottom of the fill plug (at top-center of picture), so anything more than a bit of seepage from the gasket at the top of the case would also be odd - it must be bigger than a leaking gasket. A big crack in the rear cover at the mount? Or, as gbhrps suggested, gasoline from the gas tank - but the smell of that would be obvious. The oil in the differential has an obvious smell too - a sulfurous smell.
 

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2013 2.5i MT
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Discussion Starter #11
Oddly, it seems to be coming from one rubber-bushed mounts that attach the rear of differential case to the real cross member. Except for some slinging by the gears the fluid level in the differential should never be higher than the bottom of the fill plug (at top-center of picture), so anything more than a bit of seepage from the gasket at the top of the case would also be odd - it must be bigger than a leaking gasket. A big crack in the rear cover at the mount? Or, as gbhrps suggested, gasoline from the gas tank - but the smell of that would be obvious. The oil in the differential has an obvious smell too - a sulfurous smell.
I think it's the support bushing too. Here's an older post with the same problem, same model year.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/104-gen-4-2010-2014/420986-fluid-filled-rear-diff-bushing.html

The oil is almost odorless.

I have to get my passenger side airbag replaced on recall,the dealer can look at it then.

Thanks everyone for your collective knowledge!

Sent from my Nexus 9 using Tapatalk
 

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Last possibility would be an extreme attitude change (loading on a flat bed, roll-over event, etc) and it's diff fluid leaking from the breather on top of the diff.

However, the pictures look like the support stud and cross member are wet, so my vote is a liquid-filled bushing has ruptured.
 

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2013 2.5i MT
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Discussion Starter #14
In case anyone wondered, this was not covered under Subaru's Gold Plus warranty. The dealer wants about $1K to fix it. I'm sure when the time comes I'll get some independent mechanic to do it. I've asked this before, but does anyone know of a good Subaru mechanic in SA? I know there's a really good one in Buda, but that's about 1.5 hours from here.
 

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2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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In case anyone wondered, this was not covered under Subaru's Gold Plus warranty. The dealer wants about $1K to fix it. I'm sure when the time comes I'll get some independent mechanic to do it. I've asked this before, but does anyone know of a good Subaru mechanic in SA? I know there's a really good one in Buda, but that's about 1.5 hours from here.
What is it. If it's the diff cradle, that can be changed out in about an hour. I have a spare I will send you for $20 plus shipping.

What did they determine is the issue?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The rear diff support bushing is leaking. I've seen some DIY information on replacing the bushing and it looks like a job beyond my skills. By "cradle" are you referring to the subframe with all the bushings and everything?
 
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