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Discussion Starter #1
I went to change the valve cover seals on my 2010 Outback 2.5 and I have done something seriously wrong but I cannot figure out what.

I changed the driver's side valve cover seal, ignition plug seals and put in new ignition coils as the old ones were covered in oil. Upon getting everything back together it immediately ran really rough like it was struggling to get air/fluel and cutout after a few seconds of run time. It appeared that liquid was rushing out of the tailpipe and upon smelling it, discovered it was not fuel. I am assuming that unfortunately it was coolant but I do not understand how what I did could even cause coolant to enter the combustion chamber.

I did notice that the new valve cover seal is not seated properly, so I am wondering if this could cause these symptoms. My best guess is that I hooked something up wrong when putting everything back together as I just cannot see how a loose valve cover seal would cause such an abrupt engine problem.

Thoughts??
 

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Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
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You are correct that a replacement valve cover gasket would not cause an engine to run rough.

My first thought is that you have mixed up the spark plug wires and this is why your vehicle is running so rough. A four cylinder Subaru engine running on three cylinders runs quite rough and if it is running in only two cylinders it runs very very rough.

I suspect the moisture coming from the exhaust pipe is condensation (not coolant).

If you have an OBD scan tool it will show you which cylinders are misfiring. Go back and check your work. If you have only done the valve cover seal on one side of the engine troubleshooting should be fairly easy and it may be as simple as swapping the spark plug wires from front to back.

You mention you have replaced the “coils” so this suggests you may have “coil on plug” coils (not a single coil with spark plug wires going from this coil to the four spark plugs). If this is the case maybe re-install the old coils and see if that fixes the problem.

Seagrass
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver/Black
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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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I second the above post -- look for mixed up ignition wires to the ignitors.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Seagrass,

thanks for the reply. It turns out it was the new coils I put in there. They were cheap aftermarket coils and must have failed instantly. Once I put the old coils back in it ran fine. No more water from the tailpipe, must have just been condensation.

Just got done correcting the pinched seals, so all is well with it now. For the record, I do not recommend Evan Fischer coils!!
 

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Thanks for the update AND for telling us the fix for your problem. This information will help others in the future.

Seagrass
 
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'17 OB 3.6 , '11 OB 2.5 , '11 Legacy 2.5
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Seagrass,

thanks for the reply. It turns out it was the new coils I put in there. They were cheap aftermarket coils and must have failed instantly. Once I put the old coils back in it ran fine. No more water from the tailpipe, must have just been condensation.

Just got done correcting the pinched seals, so all is well with it now. For the record, I do not recommend Evan Fischer coils!!
Good to hear you figured it out :)

Are you utilizing a FSM? Do you have a Torque Wrench? Proper torque settings are pretty important, especially when doing engine-work. Thanks for posting.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good to hear you figured it out :)

Are you utilizing a FSM? Do you have a Torque Wrench? Proper torque settings are pretty important, especially when doing engine-work. Thanks for posting.
I am, I have a pdf of the FSM for this Subaru. I also have a torque wrench although some of the valve cover fasteners were just in too tight a spot for my torque wrench to fit so I “felt” the 4.7 ft-lbs needed.

I will also say the aftermarket seals I ordered did not fit super great, I don’t recommend these either...
FEL-PRO Valve Cover Gasket VS50780R


I am switching to all OEM parts, especially when it comes to engine parts. I’ll still use Mobil1 oil filters though, from what I gather they are very high quality.
 

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'17 OB 3.6 , '11 OB 2.5 , '11 Legacy 2.5
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I am, I have a pdf of the FSM for this Subaru. I also have a torque wrench although some of the valve cover fasteners were just in too tight a spot for my torque wrench to fit so I “felt” the 4.7 ft-lbs needed.

I will also say the aftermarket seals I ordered did not fit super great, I don’t recommend these either...
FEL-PRO Valve Cover Gasket VS50780R


I am switching to all OEM parts, especially when it comes to engine parts. I’ll still use Mobil1 oil filters though, from what I gather they are very high quality.
Yeh, I'm with you on the OEM components, especially for the engine. Regarding the ability to torque all of the valve cover bolts, I know that I had to do several of mine from underneath with the torque wrench, better access. Also, while you are under there, make sure your ground straps on both sides are good (not frayed). Good For You, for tackling a job that you can do yourself, and save a little $$$$$.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeh, I'm with you on the OEM components, especially for the engine. Regarding the ability to torque all of the valve cover bolts, I know that I had to do several of mine from underneath with the torque wrench, better access. Also, while you are under there, make sure your ground straps on both sides are good (not frayed). Good For You, for tackling a job that you can do yourself, and save a little $$$$$.
Thanks for the tip!
 
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