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Discussion Starter #1
2005 OB XT 5EAT. My OB makes a stinking burning smell after driving up hills. We have 90K on it, and it only does it when we are going up steep hills for 5 minutes or more. I've popped the hood several times when it started happening, and I can definitely smell it under the hood, but I can't see anything dripping or leaking. It smells mostly like oil, but it has a very acrid smell, so it could be something else (definitely not coolant). Between oil changes, my dip still shows an oil loss from the full to the min mark (3000 miles or so). If I can't figure this out, I'm done with turbos for a long long time.

Replaced: turbo inlet air turbe, oil cooler gasket, cv boot, valve cover gasket and upper/lower radiator hoses. No coolant loss. No power steering fluid loss. I don't see any further leaks from the oil cooler. No cracks on the cv boots. I pulled the timing belt cover on the driver's side, no oil on the inside, but a small amount of residue on the bottom of the cover. The only two weird things I notice are the oily residue on the turbo inlet air turbo and a small grease mark on the transmission below and rear of the differential dip stick.
 

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Mine has done that since new. I think it is just the intercooler getting hot and baking off some grime. If there's a better explanation, I'd sure like to know.
 

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one thing you might try, collect a few drops of diff, transmission and engine oil.

heat up a nail held with some pliers and test the smell of each fluid.

diff oil and CV boot grease smell really bad so, I'm guessing one of those.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The oil is consistently down around 1 qt between oil changes. No other low fluids. I've cleaned the bottom of the car off really well, so I don't think it's old oil. I'm wondering if its common for the turbo air inlet tube to have a greasy residue on it. I already replaced it at 80K, and it's looking ugly again. I checked the connections above and around it, and everything seems tight. Any ideas what could be leaking right behind the coolant expansion tank (in front of the turbo).
 

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TSB 02-103-07R is something you may want to look at. I would post it here, but I am unable to copy the whole article from Mitchell or AllData. And its too much to type at this moment.

You may also want to check for oil leaks at the Turbo inlet/outlet.

Also, with a turbo Subaru suggest oil service every 3750 miles maximum.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I will check the turbo inlet/outlet. Fingers crossed. The oil is consistently down from Full (dip stick) to min (dip stick) every 4k miles. Is that normal.
 

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My N/A LGT did this in a big way. The dealer told me it was a slight leak that would puddle on the cross member and then spill on the exhaust when headed up hill.

Seemed plausible. I traded the car into them so if they were lying it bit them in the a** and not me.
 

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Mines not a turbo but the same thing happened. It was coming from the valve cover gasket dripping directly on to the header. There was no oil trail just a wet gasket. The smell of burning oil on a header is different than in the combustion chamber. Like burning cooking oil in a pan. I replaced the gasket and the problem went away then came back do to over tightening. Oops.
Don't give bro. I have had so many vehicle induced headaches this year I would rather pedal myself around, and then it rained.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Which side was it leaking on? I've replaced the passenger valve cover gasket not the driver side. It's possible I over-tightened it, but I couldn't get a torque wrench in there to know because there's no room. I just when with "snug", so who knows.
 
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