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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Car info: 2005 Subaru Outback XT, 130k, purchased from dealer where they replaced Head Gaskets and timing belt

I've had this Subaru for just over 3,500 miles and am getting ready to take it in for it's first oil change with me. The issue I've been having is first time driving in the morning after I get to my second or third stop light I'll have noticable white smoke coming from the engine compartment. Once I begin driving again I won't see smoke for the rest of the drive or when driving home from work. After driving the car, in both instances, there is usually a burning oil smell.

My guess is during the night a leak is building up somewhere and once the engine is warmed up enough it will burn that off and continue to burn it off during the drive. I'm just wondering when I take it in to the mechanic what I might expect? Or is there any preemptive inspecting I could do myself?

This is my first post and I'm not the most savvy car person so please let me know if there is any additional information I can provide.
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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keep a close eye on all fluids levels until this is identified/fixed. don't forget to check inside the radiator for the coolant level, don't rely on the overflow tank.

does it smell sweetish? or very rank? almost every fluid or grease in a subaru can end-up on the exhaust. leaking valve covers, heads, coolant leaks, oil leaks and axle boot grease leaks.

If you need expert help, consider our own user @traildogck orRetroRoo in Henderson
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll keep an eye on the levels going forward and see if they are dropping.

The smell isn't sweet or rank. I'm not sure if this matters but the smoke is coming out of the turbo air intake and passenger side of the hood.

I'm planning on getting the oil changed and inspection done this weekend and I'll post the results.

Also, additional car information (not sure if it matters) is it's a manual transmission.
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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Thanks for the suggestion. I'll keep an eye on the levels going forward and see if they are dropping.

The smell isn't sweet or rank. I'm not sure if this matters but the smoke is coming out of the turbo air intake and passenger side of the hood.

I'm planning on getting the oil changed and inspection done this weekend and I'll post the results.

Also, additional car information (not sure if it matters) is it's a manual transmission.
moving thread, to Gen3 2005-2009 section where all the turbo problems live. (and updating title)

I don't think I would even start this car. :surprise:
 

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Borky-bork-bork. Open that wallet. Smells like a turbo to me. Hope it's not.

Call AAA and tow it in.
 

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1st off...any CELs?

2nd, I am local, I can help....

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/9-out-west/286490-tdck-s-*******-denver-repair-facility.html

I am Denver Local, and I have mobile operations....so....

3rd...1/2 of the XTs/LGTs I drove while looking for Cherry would bellow smoke out the scoop at stop lights. There will be lots of emission/crankcase piping "wetness". The turbo inlet tube connection to the turbo luvs to gunk up with oil and coolant from the various header-tank and turbo plumbing.

The passenger side valvecover is prone to leaving 1st due to turbo/up-pipe heat.

Anyway...I am avaialbale hit me up by PM or at [email protected]

thx @1 Lucky Texan and @eagleeye.
 

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The right side valve cover gaskets tend to dry out faster than the left, and once that happens they will leak just enough oil onto the exhaust header to give a pretty good show.

I recall that mine had sprung a leak there around the same mileage.
 

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.

3rd...1/2 of the XTs/LGTs I drove while looking for Cherry would bellow smoke out the scoop at stop lights. There will be lots of emission/crankcase piping "wetness". The turbo inlet tube connection to the turbo luvs to gunk up with oil and coolant from the various header-tank and turbo plumbing.

How many XTs and LGTs did you drive before settling on that bright red 2005 XT?...

(good old cheapo chrysler AWD minivan's just too good for you).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here is the conclusion for what happened. Turns out when the head gaskets were done and the new valve covers were being replaced the passenger side one slipped out of the grove and was tightened down without being noticed leading to the oil leak onto the exhaust. I have a friend who is a master mechanic help me replace that and the thermostat and everything is in working order now. Thanks for all of the support. If possible I'll post the picture of the valve gasket and show where it got smashed.

My question to everyone now is, since this car was purchased as is and the auto shop that did the repair has loose ties to the dealership would you complain to the auto shop and let people know they did shotty work? Or is this a mistake that could happen to anyone and leave it be?
 

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Here is the conclusion for what happened. Turns out when the head gaskets were done and the new valve covers were being replaced the passenger side one slipped out of the grove and was tightened down without being noticed leading to the oil leak onto the exhaust. I have a friend who is a master mechanic help me replace that and the thermostat and everything is in working order now. Thanks for all of the support. If possible I'll post the picture of the valve gasket and show where it got smashed.

My question to everyone now is, since this car was purchased as is and the auto shop that did the repair has loose ties to the dealership would you complain to the auto shop and let people know they did shotty work? Or is this a mistake that could happen to anyone and leave it be?
what shop was that, @traildogck bought his cherry red ticket magnet from a shop like that. (edit; shortline subaru > just right motors )

and not a whole lot to complain about. unless they purposely put a cheapo aftermarket thermostat in it,

valve cover bolts need to be double checked. its just a rubber gasket getting squished there.
something that would have to be driven around a bit to start a leak for anyone to know that there was something wrong. (maybe simple brain fart on the technician's day)
 

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My question to everyone now is, since this car was purchased as is and the auto shop that did the repair has loose ties to the dealership would you complain to the auto shop and let people know they did shotty work? Or is this a mistake that could happen to anyone and leave it be?
What shop was it?

I would complain. Places need to do quality work, and they don't. @eagleeye the place I bought mine...Oh. It all sounds good on paper. However, It took me 6 months to find out everything "shoddy" and when I finally nixed my 3rd party warranty...My LSD snapped the rear u-joint in the cheap *ss prop shaft they put in.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/439914-don-t-get-aftermarket-shaft.html

I would complain. I did about the above, they didn't give a sh*t, but I still complained.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The shop was Mann's Auto who is affiliated with Auto Source LLC. I did call to let them know about the issue and all I got back was a 'meh, there would've been nothing we could do since it was purchased as is'. So I've learned a lesson about car buying (and now about car repair) but I hope whoever did the gasket is getting a lesson about how to make sure it's properly installed.

So in conclusion all the smoke and burning oil smell is gone and the car is performing remarkably better. Thank you to everyone for the advice on this issue.
 

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So I've learned a lesson about car buying (and now about car repair) but I hope whoever did the gasket is getting a lesson about how to make sure it's properly installed.

So in conclusion all the smoke and burning oil smell is gone and the car is performing remarkably better. Thank you to everyone for the advice on this issue.
If you need anymore local help. Hit me up.
 
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