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1998 Legacy Outback AWD 2.5L manual
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Discussion Starter #1

What is that? It appears to be seeping oil from around it just a little bit.
It's near the left of the alternator close to the power steering pump near the "EJ25" casting.
 

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1998 Legacy Outback AWD 2.5L manual
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Discussion Starter #3
ah, and do you know if it takes a gasket or new o-ring? Mine seems to be weeping a bit.
 

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'14 3.6R Outback
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ah, and do you know if it takes a gasket or new o-ring? Mine seems to be weeping a bit.
RTV ought to fix that up just fine (silicone like gasket maker you can find anywhere, make sure it is oil resistant). Just be careful to keep it from getting in the engine and clean it up pretty before applying.

Cheap but effective in a case like this.

Purists would get a new part or gasket.
 

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The oil pressure sensor switch uses a pipe thread type fitting, so there's no gasket or o-ring.

If it's wet around the upper part of the switch, it's possible the internal diaphragm/seal has been breached and oil is seeping out between the lower metal base and the upper plastic part where they're crimped together, or at the top where the terminal comes out. This is not uncommon. If the switch is leaking, then it should be replaced. Long term, it won't get better, and the switch can either stop working (see linked thread) or, worst case, the crimp loosens and oil starts flowing out through the gap (seen that too).

(See http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...22-oil-pressure-sensor-switch-how-clicks.html for photos and explanation.)
 

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My '99 was doing that a few months ago, it leaked, but only when running (obviously). Mine was leaking from the black plastic, so replacement was neccessary. I got a subaru one off ebay for $23 shipped. If you decide you need to replace it get a Subaru one, the aftermarket ones don't last long.
 

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'14 3.6R Outback
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The oil pressure sensor switch uses a pipe thread type fitting, so there's no gasket or o-ring.

If it's wet around the upper part of the switch, it's possible the internal diaphragm/seal has been breached and oil is seeping out between the lower metal base and the upper plastic part where they're crimped together, or at the top where the terminal comes out. This is not uncommon. If the switch is leaking, then it should be replaced. Long term, it won't get better, and the switch can either stop working (see linked thread) or, worst case, the crimp loosens and oil starts flowing out through the gap (seen that too).

(See http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...22-oil-pressure-sensor-switch-how-clicks.html for photos and explanation.)
Well...

In that case I change my recommendation to change it!
 

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1998 Legacy Outback AWD 2.5L manual
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Discussion Starter #8
Ah, thanks for the discussion fellas, and that very informative post PlainOM. :) I'll be sure to get one!
I found one on ebay here...Subaru Toyota Oil Pressure Switch Sensor Light Sending | eBay

It doesn't directly say it's a Subary brand....but I think I'll try the experiement. I can even buy 2 for the price of some of the used sensors on ebay...
Sound alright? It does have a 1 yr warranty on it.

It looks like kind of a pain to squeeze in there to change it. Do I have to remove the alternator?
 

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Do I have to remove the alternator?
Probably depends on the tools you have, and the clearance. It might be possible to get a deep socket over it (can't tell from the photo) or use a flex-head ratcheting wrench. It shouldn't be necessary to do too much turning with the wrench to loosen the switch enough to remove by hand.

Also, avoid over-tightening -- the spec for my 07 says 18 ft-lbs but it might be different for the earlier engines.

Let us know what you do and how it turns out.
 

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1998 Legacy Outback AWD 2.5L manual
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Discussion Starter #11
I did end up pulling out the alternator to get to it. I also bent over the contact so that I could get a socket onto the sensor. It actually drew out the adapter fitting you will see in the pics, so I had to separate that fitting from the old sensor. I added a light amount of orange RTV to the threads as I put it back in, and also added some to the threads of the new sensor.

Old sensor.


Sensor removed. View is with alternator removed, of course.


Sensors old and new, side by side.


New sensor installed.
 

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That's a great report, especially with the added pictures.

The "adapter" looks odd -- I don't recall seeing that in the breakdown diagrams. I wonder if that's original or was added, perhaps because the original threads had to be re-cut. Others here with the same generation engine might be able to verify this. The adapter would raise the switch higher (looks like 1/2-inch or more), bringing it closer to the alternator, and making it more difficult to remove without lifting the alternator out of the way.

Do you still have the old switch and do you have a multi-meter with a low resistance reading range? I'd be very interested in knowing what the resistance is across the switch; that is, between the terminal at the top and the metal body. I would expect it to be in the 25 Ohms or less range, but I suspect these switches develop higher resistance across the contacts as they age. I would also expect the new switch's resistance would be closer to zero. (In the thread I linked to earlier, the switch contacts were so bad there was no continuity through it.)
 

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The "adapter" looks odd -- I don't recall seeing that in the breakdown diagrams. I wonder if that's original or was added, perhaps because the original threads had to be re-cut. Others here with the same generation engine might be able to verify this. The adapter would raise the switch higher (looks like 1/2-inch or more), bringing it closer to the alternator, and making it more difficult to remove without lifting the alternator out of the way.
Every EJ engine that I know of uses an adapter. The holes into the oil galley are rather large and most sending units are 1/8". I really doubt Subaru was concerned with the oil pressure switch taking five more minutes to change because you needed to pull the alternator.
 

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Every EJ engine that I know of uses an adapter. The holes into the oil galley are rather large and most sending units are 1/8". I really doubt Subaru was concerned with the oil pressure switch taking five more minutes to change because you needed to pull the alternator.
You're absolutely right. I had looked at my 07 earlier and didn't see the adapter then, or in the service manual; however, I just went back to check again. The adapter is indeed there (confirmed by feel and an inspection mirror) but it's not clearly visible otherwise because of the crowding and the viewing angles. I stand corrected. Much appreciated.
 

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1998 Legacy Outback AWD 2.5L manual
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Discussion Starter #15
yeah I still have it, and I'll check resistance on it soon. I'm curious too. :)
 

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1998 Legacy Outback AWD 2.5L manual
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Discussion Starter #16
hmm, I don't know if this is right, but I get ohms in the 135-160 range when I'm on setting "200".... :0. If I turn the dial on the multimeter to 2k I read about .131~.142 or thereabouts.

That is with one probe in the top end blade hole and the other pushed up inside it.
 

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Is that a digital multimeter, or analog (with a moving pointer)? Are you sure you're reading it correctly when in the 2K range? If it's .131-.142, could that be in kOhms, meaning that the actual reading is 131 -142 Ohms? That would be consistent with the low range reading.

I failed to ask earlier (before the switch was changed) whether the Oil warning light turned on when the ignition switch was turned to ON but the engine not started. Did you happen to notice?

If the resistance of the switch was well over 100 Ohms, I would think that the light would have been quite dim compared to other warning lights, if on at all.
 

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1998 Legacy Outback AWD 2.5L manual
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Discussion Starter #18
It's a digital one. :) and I can't quite remember if I saw it on or dim. :/
 

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That would suggest the readings on both range are essentially the same, and with about 140 Ohms in the circuit, it's not likely there would be enough current to light up the bulb. In my friend's case, the fact that the OIL light didn't come on when the ignition key was set to ON (but before starting the engine) was noted, and it was from there that we traced the problem to the switch.

In any event, glad that you resolved the oil seepage and all is well.
 
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