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2016 Outback 2.5i Premium
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Discussion Starter #1
My 2016 2.5i Premium Outback with 40,500 miles is still under warranty and I'm planning to take it to the dealer for an oil leak. The oil is leaking somewhere from the engine and not my Fumoto valve.

Should I remove my Fumoto valve before taking my Outback to the dealer?

I'm paranoid the dealer will refuse to repair my oil leak under warranty because I have a Fumoto valve installed. I'm also concerned the service tech will not know how to open the valve and will end up removing it.

I still have my original drain plug and a brand new crush washer; however, I don't know the correct torque for the drain plug. I've seen several different torques on this forum: 33 ft-lb, 32 ft-lb, 30.8 ft-lb. Can someone please let me know the exact torque for my vehicle?
 

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2019 Subaru Outback
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406 Posts
I'm pretty sure you're not going to be able to torque the plug that precisely (30.8, 32 or 33), and you could probably go 50 pounds and not damage anything. Most people don't bother with a torque wrench when changing oil.
 

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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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You've answered your own question.

If the leak is not from the plug but elsewhere on the engine, how exactly would the dealer implicate the Fumoto?

There is a simple question to ask whenever you think some aftermarket part or product may be susceptible to dealership warranty shennanigans. The question the dealer needs to answer and put in writing to you is:

Is the Fumoto value causative, contributory or coincidental to the problem they've indentified?

If it's the first one that's where you run into problems. If it's contributory then the dealer really has to explain it to you and if it's the last one, there's nothing to worry about.

I've never heard of or seen a Fumoto be either causative or contributory. Stories about a friend's friend or hearing about a dude or anything similar aren't on the same level as personal experience to you and personal experience stories of Fumoto valves causing problems are unheard of on the forum.
 

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(Australian spec) 2019 MY19 Outback 3.6R CVT.
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I'm paranoid the dealer will refuse to repair my oil leak under warranty because I have a Fumoto valve installed. I'm also concerned the service tech will not know how to open the valve and will end up removing it.
I don’t know if it still states this, but on the Australian Fumota website it used to state the following:

“The Fumoto Oil Drain Valve has been tested and granted "Genuine Parts" status by six major motor vehicle manufacturers in Japan, including Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Isuzu. These approvals were not granted easily and gaining them was a testimony to the quality and durability of Fumoto Oil Drain Valve.”

When I take any of our Suburus in for a service I always list how to open & close the Fumoto valve on the work list I hand to the service manager, & I also state not to remove the valve. I do this just in case a new mechanic hasn’t come across a Fumoto valve before.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update.

Based on recommendations here, I decided not to remove my Fumoto before taking my Outback to the dealer for a minor oil leak. Today my fears came true but I'm not blaming anyone here of course. About 7-8 hours after I dropped off my Outback at the dealer, the dealer calls me saying it's my Fumoto that's leaking. I don't think it is true and I've explained to the dealer the fact that the leak appears to be way above the oil pan. See attached photos. The dealer insisted on me replacing the Fumoto with the OE oil plug and crush washer, saying it's possible for oil to leak in all directions.

So, I guess I'll be draining oil and replacing my Fumoto with the OE plug in the upcoming days, but I really don't think it will solve anything.

I've been watching my Fumoto closely and never observed any leaks. I even replaced the gasket washer on the Fumoto to be sure my Fumoto is not the cause of this minor oil leak.
 

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I would get service at a different dealer in the future. These guys are being shitty. I'd also contact Subaru Of America to let them know that the dealer is being like this. It reflects poorly on Subaru when dealers behave this way.
 

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2011 Outback Limited 2.5i/2018 Crosstrek limited
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No...leave it there. I put them on both our suby’s and left them there. It won’t void any warranty...etc.
 

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2019 Subaru Outback
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No...leave it there. I put them on both our suby’s and left them there. It won’t void any warranty...etc.
The issue is no longer voiding the warranty. It is diagnosing the leak.

At this point I think the OP will not only need to replace the valve but also clean the existing oil away so that area is clean so that future leaking can be detected. Unfortunate the dealer didn't do that.
 

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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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Or the OP can do as I did - I used a new Subie crush washer with the Fumoto instead of the blue fiber one.

Torqued to 30 lbs. and there hasn't been a single drop of a leak or even weeping.

The dealer is being lazy and by telling you to use the OE plug, he's saying your issue will be resolved.

From the pics it's not a Fumoto issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I would get service at a different dealer in the future. These guys are being shitty. I'd also contact Subaru Of America to let them know that the dealer is being like this. It reflects poorly on Subaru when dealers behave this way.
SilverOnyx,

I've had negative interactions with this dealer in the past. For example, in 2016 I took my Outback for an oil change and tire rotation and they did not do it, although they claimed they did. There was a discussion thread I posted on that whole deal. I try to avoid this dealer like I'm trying to avoid coronavirus right now, but I'm stuck with this dealer because another closest Subaru dealer is 2 hours away. If I contact SOA, how do I prove to them that it is not my Fumoto that's leaking?

I'm at the point where I don't think I will ever buy another Subaru, not because I don't like the car but because I am stuck with this dealer for as long as I live in this area.

The issue is no longer voiding the warranty. It is diagnosing the leak.

At this point I think the OP will not only need to replace the valve but also clean the existing oil away so that area is clean so that future leaking can be detected. Unfortunate the dealer didn't do that.
Goodspike,

The picture that I posted is about a week old. The dealer did clean the oil and for now it's dry in that area. But I agree with you that I better remove the Fumoto and replace it with an OE drain plug. My concern is next time I take my Outback to the dealer, they will say it's my OE drain plug that's leaking, and that I did not torque it right or some excuse.

Or the OP can do as I did - I used a new Subie crush washer with the Fumoto instead of the blue fiber one.

Torqued to 30 lbs. and there hasn't been a single drop of a leak or even weeping.

The dealer is being lazy and by telling you to use the OE plug, he's saying your issue will be resolved.

From the pics it's not a Fumoto issue.
Rub,

Why would I adjust anything with my Fumoto if my Fumoto is not the problem here? Also, Fumoto recommends torquing to 18 ft-lbs and using their washer.

I agree with you where you said the dealer is being lazy. I suspect they don't want to fix the leak because this might be a serious repair and since my Outback is still under warranty, it will not bring in any profit.
 

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Rub,

Why would I adjust anything with my Fumoto if my Fumoto is not the problem here? Also, Fumoto recommends torquing to 18 ft-lbs and using their washer.

I agree with you where you said the dealer is being lazy. I suspect they don't want to fix the leak because this might be a serious repair and since my Outback is still under warranty, it will not bring in any profit.
Most people use the valve with the included washer and a few do as I did. There are reports, far and few, that the blue washer eventually degrades and weeps or gets wet. It's an uncommon but there are some reports.

My suggestion to use the OE crush washer was to eliminate that as a potential point of concern. The valve itself is solid and isn't leaking so the only potential leak could be the washer and if there is no leak or even the possibilty of one, the dealer really has nothing to stand on.

The dealer is being lazy, there's no doubt about that. On the other hand, if you put the OE plug and washer on, the dealer will have nothing to complain about.
 

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2020 Outback Onyx
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That middle arrow sure looks like it. Use some brake cleaner spray and clean the whole area. Then spray with some foot powder. It will quickly show where the leak is because it only takes a drop or so to change the color of the powder you sprayed on. I bet a 10 or 20 mile drive will show results.
 

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Use some brake cleaner spray and clean the whole area. Then spray with some foot powder. ...
That’s a good tip about the foot powder. (y) But I’m very wary about what I spray brake cleaner on. It is terrific stuff but it isn’t very kind to certain painted surfaces if left on the surface for any length of time - it lifted some of the paint off my Honda lawn mower base. I would be tempted to go with degreaser then hose it off with water.
 

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CRC electronic degreaser if you don't like brake cleaner. The one to stay away from is carb cleaner. It's really nasty. As a retired professional diesel mechanic, I don't think there is much under there that you can hurt. But your caution is well taken. Go slow if in doubt.
 

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... The one to stay away from is carb cleaner. It's really nasty. ...
Yes, that’s the nasty one on painted surfaces.

Brake Cleaner is my go to cleaner for any grease & oil that gets on my unpainted concrete garage floor (put an oil container anywhere near me & you can guarantee I’ll spill it :rolleyes: ).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
First, thank you guys for your advice! All of you have been very helpful and I appreciate your responses!

Second, I wanted to give an update so everyone knows where I am with my problem:

Since the dealer claimed the leak was from the Fumoto valve, I drained the oil and replaced the Fumoto valve with the OEM plug and a brand new crush washer. I torqued the plug to 31 ft-lb. The area around the drain plug was cleaned and after a couple of weeks, I again started noticing oil slowly creeping down the oil pan from the right side in the direction of the drain plug. The drain plug, however, was completely dry and so I knew the drain plug was not leaking.

Today, I took my Outback back to the dealer telling them I had removed the Fumoto valve but the oil leak was still there. Nine hours later they call me back stating there was no problem found. This is what they wrote in the invoice: "Engine previously had quick-drain valve installed on oil pan, which is where suspected oil leak was coming from. Oil change has since been performed outside of the retailer and a OEM oil drain plug installed. Oil found to be dripping from drain plug as the only trail of oil was coming from drain plug. Verified tightness of oil drain plug. Necessary to tighten to 31 lb-ft. Clean all oil from engine. No oil was found on engine undercover indicating a leak from anywhere but the drain plug."

The service advisor told me it was a "senior master mechanic" who worked on my vehicle.

I'm absolutely dumbfounded here. How can a "senior master mechanic" not see that the drain plug is completely dry? You don't need to be a mechanic to evaluate something this easy. I am absolutely certain the drain plug is not leaking and I was certain my Fumoto valve was not leaking either. I looked under the engine today after I got home from the dealer and saw they had cleaned up all the oil that was way above the oil pan where I suspected the engine was leaking from.

Is this "senior master mechanic" deliberately trying to avoid fixing the leak? If so, what is his motivation? Does he not get paid for performing warranty work?

Once this oil leak comes back, I plan to probably take my Outback to an independent shop for an evaluation. Unfortunately, I cannot take my Outback to another dealer because another closest dealer is two hours away. Although I might just bite the bullet and drive two hours to figure this thing out!
 

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Today, I took my Outback back to the dealer telling them I had removed the Fumoto valve but the oil leak was still there. Nine hours later they call me back stating there was no problem found. This is what they wrote in the invoice: "Engine previously had quick-drain valve installed on oil pan, which is where suspected oil leak was coming from. Oil change has since been performed outside of the retailer and a OEM oil drain plug installed. Oil found to be dripping from drain plug as the only trail of oil was coming from drain plug. Verified tightness of oil drain plug. Necessary to tighten to 31 lb-ft. Clean all oil from engine. No oil was found on engine undercover indicating a leak from anywhere but the drain plug."

The service advisor told me it was a "senior master mechanic" who worked on my vehicle.

I'm absolutely dumbfounded here. How can a "senior master mechanic" not see that the drain plug is completely dry? You don't need to be a mechanic to evaluate something this easy. I am absolutely certain the drain plug is not leaking and I was certain my Fumoto valve was not leaking either. I looked under the engine today after I got home from the dealer and saw they had cleaned up all the oil that was way above the oil pan where I suspected the engine was leaking from.

Is this "senior master mechanic" deliberately trying to avoid fixing the leak? If so, what is his motivation? Does he not get paid for performing warranty work?

Once this oil leak comes back, I plan to probably take my Outback to an independent shop for an evaluation. Unfortunately, I cannot take my Outback to another dealer because another closest dealer is two hours away. Although I might just bite the bullet and drive two hours to figure this thing out!
If you have photos to document this leak, I'd at least lodge a complaint with Subaru of America. They need to know when dealers are being A__H____ to customers.

There's a certain kind of personality that even when proven wrong, will insist they're right. If it was the same mechanic (or service writer or whoever) that blamed the Fumoto the first time, then perhaps a personality disorder has pushed them to pretend that they were right the first time instead of unthinkably admitting that they were wrong.

There's a good chance that you're not the only customer who has been treated this way at this dealership, so even if lodging a complaint with Subaru doesn't result in this dealer fixing your problem, at least the cumulative weight of customer complaints should get Subaru looking closely at this dealer.


The Fumoto Oil Drain Valve has been tested and granted a "Genuine Parts" status by 6 major motor vehicle manufacturers in Japan, including Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Isuzu. These approvals were granted after rigorous testing and remain a testimony to the quality and durability of Fumoto Oil Drain Valve.
 

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As said by others, the dealer service team are being at best lazy and at worst dishonest. This is why many people choose to not take their vehicles to a dealer for work.

Having said the above, you do need to have this resolved by Subaru as a warranty repair so I would get SOA involved and definitely stay away from non-dealer workshops until after the problem has been resolved by Subaru. Using non-dealer workshops is just going to “muddy the waters” about whom might be responsible.

Please keep us updated with what happens.

Seagrass
 
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