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Oil leak? Dealer replaced short block 5 months ago


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Hi all,

 

Long time lurker here. I know many here have GTs but I'm wondering if the community could help me figure out this leak that just started happening 4 days ago (see photos). I don't have 'serious' tools nor experience working on cars. I tinker with things (computer/hardware, electronics, etc), so I feel comfortable working on smaller things if I can understand the problem (in a condo, no space/tools to do serious work). I'm unsure what this problem may be so I'm hoping for your help!

 

Vehicle

 

Location: California

2005 - Legacy 2.5i

160,000 miles

head gaskets replaced 12 months ago (dealer)

Short block replaced 5 months ago (dealer, $6,500)

 

 

History

 

Got the car for free from extended family member. Any and all work was done at local dealership. He replaced head gasket last year on advice from dealer.

 

Family member told me engine burns oil, about 1 quart per 1,500 miles. I took the car in Feb, then in July, piston knock! Dealer confirmed bearing issue not tensioner. I enjoy the car, my only car. I use it lightly, maybe 50 miles a week to go places (otherwise subway/bike/walk/cab). I wanted to keep it since I knew the car's care was well documented. So I paid the $6.5K and had the short block replaced (I know many would not have!). It comes with a 1 year warranty.

 

Fast-forward today. I noticed a 3 drops of what I think is oil in my parking spot. I get down and look under, I notice on the driver side there's oil on hoses and looks fresh. I'm not sure what this can be? The passenger side of the engine looks fine.

 

It seems slight enough that it's a 'slow' leak. And the position of it seems like it could be a hose?

 

Any help is greatly appreciated!

 

Driver side:

 

https://imgur.com/uVeBtbd

https://imgur.com/jB8PXNL

https://imgur.com/OjagNUl

 

 

Passenger Side:

 

https://imgur.com/79nc9YM

https://imgur.com/fdFMSZd

https://imgur.com/LXl6tlG

 

edit:

grammar, more details

Edited by mouseandcat
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ah. right. could be coolant. i went under the car after i used it so it was too hot to get good angles to see the full extent of the leak. i'll look up photos for what hoses carry coolant.

 

now that you mention it, it certainly is a bit less viscous than oil. my perceived viscosity could be from the dirty mixed in with the leaking fluid.

 

edit: not sure where I need to look for coolant leaks

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so what i did was go back and use brake cleaner on a rag and wipe off the residue. i'll use the car and check each time i get back to see where the 'fresh' leak is coming from.

 

i'm almost certain the highest point at which i can see the leak is on this plastic part, see this post from another forum, the 'attached image':

 

https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/21015-oil-leak-timing-cover.html#post198816

 

The oil (or whatever liquid it is) is then dripping onto the bottom hose (that carries coolant?). I can't figure out what that plastic part in the post from subaruoutback.org is covering up.

 

see attached images from my car before cleaning it up. I think the 'external' source of the leak comes from that plastic component. I went up higher and see some residue but nothing that looks like an area where the liquid/oil 'starts' leaking from.

JYksa6Q.thumb.jpg.1bcfc842ecfd4403e130f78f0728657b.jpg

ZDR50zc.thumb.jpg.1a9ed28b805eb2d4bcb9cd6429034aec.jpg

xsIB9d5.thumb.jpg.91afd5c517713bf3713d1edd9f136b30.jpg

V3kEe7p.thumb.jpg.6904c4f359b71846835ae7c176123428.jpg

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That is indeed a camshaft seal inside of that timing cover.

 

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

thanks. 2 data points but seems reasonable to me that it could be a leak through the seal of the cam.

 

so the short block was replaced at this dealership and there's 1 year warranty. I assume it covers the entire engine since they had to take it all apart to replace the short block? If it was a water pump or an accessory attached to the engine block, sure I can see that not being covered. But I certainly expect a leak through the cam to be covered, is that a reasonable expectation?

 

I'll call them tomorrow morning. With the holidays coming up, not sure what to expect.

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They should have replaced the water pump, belts and all tensions. Call the them ASAP.

sitting at the dealership waiting for them to get back to me as to what they think the issue is.

 

never had work done at a dealership aside from this new shortblock. figured its a big enough issue that it was worth paying for the dealership 'tax'. i guess i may be wrong about that.

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person handling the car was very amenable. said 2-3 days to get the leak fixed. i asked about the oil getting on the timing belt and if that had any impact on the timing belt.

 

he seemed cagey and said since the timing belt wasn't replaced when the engine was replaced it wouldn't be covered. I asked him to have the techs look at the timing belt to see how much oil got onto it. He said he would.

 

should i replace the timing belt since there's a high probability that oil got onto it for a week, if not a few months?

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I would recommend replacing the belt as this impacts the friction on the sprockets at least.

 

 

Also make sure that the PCV valve is in good order or replace since some leaks may actually be caused by a bad PCV valve. That one is cheap so no big deal to add that to the job.

453747.png
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I would recommend replacing the belt as this impacts the friction on the sprockets at least.

 

 

Also make sure that the PCV valve is in good order or replace since some leaks may actually be caused by a bad PCV valve. That one is cheap so no big deal to add that to the job.

Thanks. I'll see what the dealership says when they call back. Seems like OEM timing belt can be had online for $100, assuming it'll cost $200-300 to install a new one while they're at it.

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Thanks. I'll see what the dealership says when they call back. Seems like OEM timing belt can be had online for $100, assuming it'll cost $200-300 to install a new one while they're at it.

 

They won't be able to replace a cam seal without taking the timing belt off, so putting a new belt on should have no labor charge associated with it.

 

Putting new pulleys on takes 10 mins, that should be cheap as well.

 

I don't believe you should pay any labor...

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OK, got it. with the timing belt replacement, it's best practice to also replace the pulleys.

 

With timing belt replacement, the belt, pulleys, and water pump should all be replaced at once. Certain places will cheap out and not include the water pump. Certain places will *really* cheap out and not include the pulleys, either. It's all based on what the customer requests though. If the customer says the bill is too high, they start taking items off.

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thanks, that makes sense the timing belt would have to be taken out.

 

It makes sense they didn't replace the water pump since they didn't replace the timing belt. I guess I wonder why they replaced the short block and didn't replace the timing belt. I'll check the records I have from the work done at the out-of-town dealership to see if it was replaced recently. Perhaps the timing belt looked new?

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Where are you located?

 

This "dealership" is ripping you off if they didn't change the consumable parts for what you have paid, as part of the SB "service".

 

Call these idiots out with your local news channel and the BBB.

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Where are you located?

 

This "dealership" is ripping you off if they didn't change the consumable parts for what you have paid, as part of the SB "service".

 

Call these idiots out with your local news channel and the BBB.

 

southern california.

 

thanks. it makes sense that all those parts should be replaced, those parts that are super easy and a fraction of the labor cost to replace when taking out the timing belt.

 

when the dealership gets around to calling me i'll ask them about what they replace and didn't last time around. I dont have the paperwork with me, it's in the car. Will have to assume he's telling me the truth.

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I think we're jumping to conclusions, NEVER make assumptions, I learned that years ago. When I was living in CT, I had a dealership replace my timing belt. I asked them to replace my timing belt, and I also asked them to replace the water pump because I heard that they might not do that without me asking. I assumed they would replace all the idlers as part of the job, they did not. The idlers ended up being perfectly fine until I replaced the belt again at 190k (early because I was worried about the idlers).

 

I would NOT expect the dealership to have replaced the cam seals as part of the other work you had done. I'd go over your documentation, maybe even post it here without personal info, so we can see what was replaced. I'm actually surprised that they're taking care of the leaking cam seal under warranty. They didn't touch the seal, they should be under no obligation to replace it, seals leak with age.

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Ok. Call this dealership out. Please.

 

Matter of fact I'd call SOA just to see what they expect a dealership to suggest during a SB replacement. They may also give you the shop rates expected to pay. I think you've been taken.

 

Be pushy.

 

You should expect to see all the parts removed as proof as any reputable shop would do.

 

Now my last dealership service was a long time past but the experience made me vow to never trust them again.

 

Independents are better at it than they (unfortunalty) are if you can't perform this work yourself.

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I think we're jumping to conclusions, NEVER make assumptions, I learned that years ago. When I was living in CT, I had a dealership replace my timing belt. I asked them to replace my timing belt, and I also asked them to replace the water pump because I heard that they might not do that without me asking. I assumed they would replace all the idlers as part of the job, they did not. The idlers ended up being perfectly fine until I replaced the belt again at 190k (early because I was worried about the idlers).

 

I would NOT expect the dealership to have replaced the cam seals as part of the other work you had done. I'd go over your documentation, maybe even post it here without personal info, so we can see what was replaced. I'm actually surprised that they're taking care of the leaking cam seal under warranty. They didn't touch the seal, they should be under no obligation to replace it, seals leak with age.

they called and said the belt looked fine. I countered by asking the estimate to replace the pulley/pump/belt. waiting to hear back. i see msrp costs from subaru's site.

 

i called SOA and they said they don't give estimates and that the specific context depends. i didn't push them and didn't mention that i had work done at a dealership i was concerned about. i dont have paperwork with me so didn't want to get into details without knowing everything.

 

i'll call SOA back after i deal with the car at the dealership and have the paperwork in hand.

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