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2002 Outback wagon 2.5
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57 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My poor '02 OBW has 163K on it.

problem no. 1: I was lazy the lasti time I was due for an oil change, went to the more professional looking oil change place in my town...the oil wasn't even on the stick when they checked the level...yikes. I had the headgasket done a year ago, and I was still losing at least a quart between oil changes. no spots on the driveway or in the garage, so I think I'm burning it. worn rings? not good.

problem no. 2: they guy said my power steering fluid was ORANGE. I've seen mention of that in some of the Camaro forums, but not in the subie discussion groups. Orange? apparently if coolant mixes with power steering fluid it can turn it bright orange? is there a situation that would cause one to leak into the other on a subie?

problem no. 3: okay this isn't so much a problem as something I've just lived with...always had chatter/torque binding at slow speeds. I guess the viscous coupling has been on it's last legs ever since I've owned it.

problem no. 4: (almost forgot about this one) bad bearing in the gearbox was making noise last winter...switched to synthetic gear oil. I"m sure the bearing is still toast, but I almost don't hear it now with the synthetic oil.

so basically, I'm looking for moral support. I"m just going to run a heavier oil, or perhaps one of those additives that increase the viscosity (i've only got 5w-30 in there now) to try and keep the blow-by to a minimum, no clue what to do about the power steering fluid being the wrong color, and just going to ignore the torque binding. I figure the car is probably only worth about $4,000 at this point. No real sense in dropping a new engine in it..or is there? it's a stick shift, though...so maybe it's worth putting more life back into. Hard to find a stick in this neck of the woods.
 

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2013 OB 2.5 CVT
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128 Posts
Might be able to find an engine from a wrecked car that would save you bucks. Coolant mixed with PS fluid is a new one for me. I have only owned an OB for about 2 months but never saw that before in any of my cars. The two systems were very separate.
 

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'99 Outback 2.5 GT auto & '97 LegOB w/ grossly insulted 2.5
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141 Posts
Power steering is a closed system, IDK where it would receive a foreign contaminant, EXCEPT from a PO pouring it into the reservoir. AFAIK, Subaru specs say Dexron (3?) only.
 

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01 Outback H6 VDC, 97 GT wgn w/ ej22, 98 OBW w/ej22
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1,401 Posts
problem no. 2: they guy said my power steering fluid was ORANGE.
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did he top it off? with the wrong stuff. subaru uses ATF dex3 for the power steering in the 90 - 04 cars. it usually has a red color, but the fluid maker can give it any color they want.

about the oil, is the bottom of the engine oily? just because there is no drip in the drive way does not mean it is not leaking.
have the valve gaskets been replaced recently?
did you replace the cam and crank seals when you did the HG?
have you re-sealed the oil pump since the factory?

these engines will leak oil as they age, but usually replacing some seals and gaskets will fix it. if you are burning a qt. in 3k miles, i would think you would notice it in the exhaust. have some one drive the car while you follow it in another one.

when was the pcv last replaced?
 
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