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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys

The friendly people at the Tribeca forum recommended that I post my question here on the Outback forum for a second opinion. Here goes!

I've test driven several Tribecas over the past week. They were all 2011 to 2013 3.6 liter so should be just about identical to Outbacks. I'm in Australia but I'm pretty sure there were no regional mods (except for being RHD).

On 4 of them I found similar oil leaks (their origins could be different but they presented in the same way). Yellowish/brownish oil, a bit sticky (possibly due to dirt) on the underside of the oil pan. It looks like it has been accumulating there over a long period of time.

I found a really nice one that I want to buy (it also has a leak) but I'm a bit concerned now after seeing so many with leaks. A leak can be fixed and I'm not super concerned, I just want to know whether they are unusually prone to leakage in comparison to other cars. Which leaks are the ones I should be weary of in terms of cost to repair?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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26,491 Posts
@traildogck have you seen any oil leaks on longboarder's 3.6 outback?
or any of the other 3.6 people yapping it up (valve cover ,...etc)?
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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@traildogck have you seen any oil leaks on longboarder's 3.6 outback?
or any of the other 3.6 people yapping it up (valve cover ,...etc)?
Nope....they are mostly dry from what I have seen or heard. No XRT grumblings regarding leaks either.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, I've seen that there is a lot of talk about oil leaks and 3.6's :( I just don't know if I should interpret that as a statistic. I know that conversations on technical forums tend to be about problems, so it can sometimes give an impression that a problem is more common than it really is. Maybe I'm just trying to convince myself that it isn't a problem because I really like the car!!

Give it to me straight...Are they leaky cars?
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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Yes, I've seen that there is a lot of talk about oil leaks and 3.6's :( I just don't know if I should interpret that as a statistic. I know that conversations on technical forums tend to be about problems, so it can sometimes give an impression that a problem is more common than it really is. Maybe I'm just trying to convince myself that it isn't a problem because I really like the car!!

Give it to me straight...Are they leaky cars?
did any of those places you were reading before actually say "what" leaks?

I asked traildogck as he works on one for another member, and lives in colardo where there are so many H6 cars due to the thin air, and is tied into a tuner that squeezes out more grunt from them.

____

this particular outback forum may have more 3.6 owners on it than any other in the known universe.

I can't remember anyone complaining about oil leaks from them,....and actually 3.6 with the last of the 5EAT seem to be the ones people that off road will fight over in the future. ( vs pokey FB25B oil burners, or anything with a regular CVT).

@middleagesube has one in his Outback Arizona, and I think a 3.6 in his 2008 Tribeca, and a 3.0 in a older 2006 tribeca.
...moderator @Brucey has a 3.6 in his 2015

but give it some time, this forum only has like 250 members signed in at a time. (instant response to those with the most knowledge is hard).

or search it up in the gen4 (2010-14 ) section here. Gen 4: 2010-2014 - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums - Search Forums

...this is a USA/ Canada based forum , and 2010-14 is Gen4 outback, where on all other forums they lump in the 1990-94 legacy as gen1.

________

the only thing I have ever read about 3.6 and oil,...was some with internal consumption, BUT not sure if some of that was crooked dealers over filling so they could tear the engine down and fix it at the company or customer's expense.
(beware the odd high tick mark on the dipstick is 1.25 US quarts ~ liters over the regular fill mark,...and one member caught one that was filled like that from his local dealer when his dad bought the car used,...= in that case just a idiot oil changer's mistake).

______

but I don't remember threads about external leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I have to be honest, I didn't do a very thorough forum search. I mostly based it on a few possible leaks that the guys on the Tribeca forum mentioned (valve covers, front diff, oil pan).

But I'll be really happy if it isn't a common issue! I would have had to start looking outside of Subaru if it was a problem because I need the seven seats (3 kids under 3!).

If there is anyone else who thinks differently, please let me know. I'm planning to make an offer on one this afternoon.

Thanks!
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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11,707 Posts
did any of those places you were reading before actually say "what" leaks?

I asked traildogck as he works on one for another member, and lives in colardo where there are so many H6 cars due to the thin air, and is tied into a tuner that squeezes out more grunt from them.

____

this particular outback forum may have more 3.6 owners on it than any other in the known universe.

I can't remember anyone complaining about oil leaks from them,....and actually 3.6 with the last of the 5EAT seem to be the ones people that off road will fight over in the future. ( vs pokey FB25B oil burners, or anything with a regular CVT).

@middleagesube has one in his Outback Arizona, and I think a 3.6 in his 2008 Tribeca, and a 3.0 in a older 2006 tribeca.
...moderator @Brucey has a 3.6 in his 2015

but give it some time, this forum only has like 250 members signed in at a time. (instant response to those with the most knowledge is hard).

or search it up in the gen4 (2010-14 ) section here. Gen 4: 2010-2014 - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums - Search Forums

...this is a USA/ Canada based forum , and 2010-14 is Gen4 outback, where on all other forums they lump in the 1990-94 legacy as gen1.

________

the only thing I have ever read about 3.6 and oil,...was some with internal consumption, BUT not sure if some of that was crooked dealers over filling so they could tear the engine down and fix it at the company or customer's expense.
(beware the odd high tick mark on the dipstick is 1.25 US quarts ~ liters over the regular fill mark,...and one member caught one that was filled like that from his local dealer when his dad bought the car used,...= in that case just a idiot oil changer's mistake).

______

but I don't remember threads about external leaks.
My 3.6 uses zero oil in 5k oil changes. I change every 5/0 and fill exactly between the full and empty mark. It will be in the same spot when I change it next time.

27k miles on it.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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Well, I have to be honest, I didn't do a very thorough forum search. I mostly based it on a few possible leaks that the guys on the Tribeca forum mentioned (valve covers, front diff, oil pan).

But I'll be really happy if it isn't a common issue! I would have had to start looking outside of Subaru if it was a problem because I need the seven seats (3 kids under 3!).

If there is anyone else who thinks differently, please let me know. I'm planning to make an offer on one this afternoon.

Thanks!
valve covers are just rubber things, they will leak in time as they age, on my 3.0 one corner started to leak around 112,000 miles and 10 years.
( schedule the fix at plug change time, uncouple and jack each side of the engine to get more access,... get some new gaskets, and a tube of RTV ...follow the prescribed directions ...and its a easy fix that happens all the time ...I may do it this winter)..

oil pan seal,...not a typical leak on any subaru: sometimes its just a bunch of RTV out of a toothpaste tube,...lower it scrape off the old, apply the new. and stick it home again.

front diff: not a typical leak on any subaru, happens though. keep it filled. (there maybe a rubber Oring and or a rubber Oil seal up there can be a pain to take apart on the clock). but still not a deal breaker if you found the right one.

at present day here in the states, it seems like there is a glut of tribecas for sale clogging up my screen when I am trying to find the
right outback 3.6, or 3.6 legacy sedan. so hope your pickings are as plentiful.
 

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Registered
2009 Tribeca Now - 2004 Outback EJ259 - Sold
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My Tribeca 3.6L has a super slow oil weep somewhere.
I haven't spent the time to inspect where exactly it is coming from.
My best guess is the gigantic front aluminum timing chain cover.
But could be valve covers, engine oil cooler, oil pan ect..

Until it begins dripping and leaving oil in the garage I could care less at this point.
The leak is so minimal nothing shows on the ground.

Engine has 120,000+ miles on it.
Also burns maybe 1 qt every 5,000 miles.

Otherwise an awesome vehicle and engine :D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys! I really appreciate your input! I'll let you know what it is if I find out. I'm waiting for the dealer to call me back because they said their workshop will have a look at it today.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok, now the dealer's mechanic is telling me that it is a rust protective grease that Subaru applies to the underside when the vehicles are shipped. That sounded vaguely plausible but suspect so I called two different Subaru mechanics and both said they'd never heard of it before... Am I being taken for a ride here?
 
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