Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

Oil pan gasket and Valve cover gasket replacement - what else?


  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#1 yesyeah

yesyeah

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 65 posts
  • Cincinnati

Posted 28 December 2009 - 01:30 PM

Hey,

I have a 99 Legacy wagon with 72k miles on it.

I am being told I have leaks at my valve cover gaskets and oil pan gasket. To replace those and the spark plugs and the oil change etc it was like $600 and change I think.

If I go ahead and do that, what else should I have them replace while they are in there doing that job? I have talked to them before about replacing certain things while "in there" but as it's not a subaru dealer, not sure they have the knowledge like this board does, about what to expect - meaning, the forward thinking to fix new things before they go bad. Since they will be ordering parts, are there any other parts/gaskets I should tell them to replace while doing the valve cover and oil pan gaskets, that won't add much labor (since they are already "in there") but should be done at the same time?

Timing belt / water pump was done at about 63k, but I don't think any of the other "advised" parts I see listed on here (pulley's, front/main seals) were done.

Much appreciation and thanks in advance!

#2 johnceggleston

johnceggleston

    Lite Master of the Subaru

  • Gold Subscribers
  • 6,238 posts
  • Virginia

Posted 28 December 2009 - 01:55 PM

Hey,

I have a 99 Legacy wagon with 72k miles on it.

I am being told I have leaks at my valve cover gaskets and oil pan gasket. To replace those and the spark plugs and the oil change etc it was like $600 and change I think.

If I go ahead and do that, what else should I have them replace while they are in there doing that job? I have talked to them before about replacing certain things while "in there" but as it's not a subaru dealer, not sure they have the knowledge like this board does, about what to expect - meaning, the forward thinking to fix new things before they go bad. Since they will be ordering parts, are there any other parts/gaskets I should tell them to replace while doing the valve cover and oil pan gaskets, that won't add much labor (since they are already "in there") but should be done at the same time?

Timing belt / water pump was done at about 63k, but I don't think any of the other "advised" parts I see listed on here (pulley's, front/main seals) were done.

Much appreciation and thanks in advance!


if your oil pan gasket is leaking it will be the first one this year. meaning, they don't leak often and you have to lift the engine to get to all the bolts. if the rear of the engine is oily and it looks like the oil pan is the cause, it is probably the oil seperator plate on the back of the engine behind the fly wheel. but you have to pull the engine to get to it, so most let that one go unless it is really bad or you are pulling the engine for some other reason.

valve covers are pretty easy, make sure to get the rubber grommets for the bolts. this is a common leak for legacys. fix it first and then see what else you need. there is a chance that the bolts are just a little loose, snug them up and maybe....

another common leak point is the oil pump, either the o-ring behind it or screws on the impeller. crank seal and cam seal & o-rings,... but valve covers first.

the cam & crank seals may be needed just because of their age but if they aren't leaking bad i'd wait until 120k t-belt change, unless that's 10 years away. you have to remove the timing belt to do the oil pump, cam and crank seals. so if you choose to do them now, do all of the timing parts as well.

how many miles a year do you drive??

#3 svxpert

svxpert

    Certified Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 777 posts
  • East Coast

Posted 28 December 2009 - 02:08 PM

[quote name='yesyeah']

Timing belt / water pump was done at about 63k, but I don't think any of the other "advised" parts I see listed on here (pulley's, front/main seals) were done.

:eek:
your timing belt and water pump was done at 63,000? the interval for the timing belt is 105,000. thats 27,000 miles early for the belt, about 60,000 for the water pump. who was recomeding these services?

#4 grossgary

grossgary

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 19,682 posts
  • WV

Posted 28 December 2009 - 03:14 PM

yeah, what he said: why are the belts and pump being replaced? that's not a terrible idea given the 10 year age of the vehicle.

did they verify the oil pan gasket replacement? actually - i'm going to tell you they didn't. i would not do that...not until 100% sure. almost all subaru oil leaks end up getting the oil pan mating surface wet, making it look like it's wet and leaking but it's not leaking, it's only wet.

cam seals, crank seals, cam orings, head gaskets, rear separator plates, rear main...all of those can get the oil pan wet.

replace the valve cover gaskets first - fix all your oil leaks - then clean and inspect the pan for leakage.

sounds like someone is behind on their mortgage payments here, be nice and tell them what you want to do and how to proceed.

#5 yesyeah

yesyeah

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 65 posts
  • Cincinnati

Posted 30 December 2009 - 09:39 AM

Thanks for the replies.

It's a 10 year old car and I don't know the history. It had about 63k miles on the car when I bought it. I figured I would be wanting to keep this car for a while so I decided to get the timing belt done (since it was original) and I know the water pump is supposed to get done at the same time. I usually buy older cars w/ lower mileage and have found that the rubber (belts, tires, and gaskets) are usually the first things to "go". Anyways, I believed this to be an "interference" engine so I figured I would just be proactive and be safe and get it done, based on our investment into the car (which was $4k, so I thought we got a good deal).

I had the car "inspected" (they did a bad job) before the purchase. Mainly, they didn't find anything wrong but noted the timing belt as original. Not long after the timing belt/water pump change out, I noticed a small leak on the driveway. The first place (my main mechanic garage) said it was the oil pan gasket. The 2nd place, months later, did a degrease and dye and said it was definitely valve cover gaskets. Just brought it back to the first place who are saying they can see the valve cover gaskets starting the leak, but still definitely see the oil pan gasket. I had read that based on seapage, it may not be the oil pan, so...

Guess I should just go with valve cover gaskets since those are easily found and definitely leaking.

How much should valve cover gasket replacement cost at a shop? And if I am getting that done, there is nothing else to "slip in" while they are doing that, any preventative/proactive replacement pieces?

My mechanic is very honest. If anything, they would be mitaking the oil pan gasket for leaking. I don't think they are "making stuff up". I was the one that decided to get the t belt/hoses/Water pump done to be proactive, nobody suggested me doing it but myself.

Thanks for your help and suggestions!

#6 grossgary

grossgary

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 19,682 posts
  • WV

Posted 30 December 2009 - 10:26 AM

Valve cover gaskets are not that difficult. Doesn't matter much but we don't know what motor you're talking about. Based on which legacy it is it could be a 2.2 or 2.5. Should run $100-$200.

Not much else you can do when doing valve cover gaskets. I believe there are spark plug gaskets on some motors, those might be an option but i'll defer to someone else on that and wait to see which motor you have.

I'd replace a 10 year old timing belt too, and yes it's an interference engine.

#7 yesyeah

yesyeah

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 65 posts
  • Cincinnati

Posted 03 January 2010 - 07:37 AM

I have a 2.2 engine. Are there spark plug gaskets for this engine that should be replaced?

Sounds like it would be better to just have them do the valve cover gaskets / spark plugs and wait to see if the oil pan gasket is in fact leaking, or just a drop down leak from the gaskets. If I am not saving any time on doing those 2 jobs together, then probably best to wait and inspect after the valve cover gaskets work.

Anything else I am missing? Forgot to answer miles per year. Probably 12k -15k miles a year at this point I would guess.

Thanks!

Edited by yesyeah, 03 January 2010 - 08:00 AM.


#8 Fairtax4me

Fairtax4me

    Su bah roo'n

  • Gold Subscribers
  • 8,541 posts
  • Charlottesburg, VA

Posted 03 January 2010 - 05:08 PM

A common leak spot that can be mistaken for a leaky valve cover gasket is the rear cam seal on the passenger side cylinder head. It's just an O-ring under a cover with 2 bolts holding it on. Difficult to see from above but from below its a pretty simple check.

Clearly visible in this pic: http://beergarage.co...y/Clutch/01.jpg

#9 yesyeah

yesyeah

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 65 posts
  • Cincinnati

Posted 03 January 2010 - 10:06 PM

Well, I was a quart low of oil today when I checked in the cold and noticed the coolant level was pretty low. Topped both off.

Does a valve cover leak only when driving, only when idle, only when off or at no specific times, just all the time? Was curious as to how regularly I should check the oil level - especially if this is in fact, an oil pan gasket leak as well. Are they generally pretty slow leaks?

Thanks for your help again as always.

#10 lewisd

lewisd

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 96 posts
  • Eastern shore Maryland

Posted 03 January 2010 - 10:22 PM

I search another subaru board besides this one. Came across this post with pictures of the process. My valve covers are seaping as well. fellas says his parts were $25 shipped but others said $50. either way a lot cheaper than dealership. After doing my own timing belt and seing these pics, I know I can do it to.

http://www.sl-i.net/...php?f=11&t=2873

I have a 99 brighton wagon A/T with 2.2 (phase II) CA emission model with 225,800 miles (knock on wood).

hope this helps.

Edited by lewisd, 03 January 2010 - 10:24 PM.
forgot to add something


#11 Fairtax4me

Fairtax4me

    Su bah roo'n

  • Gold Subscribers
  • 8,541 posts
  • Charlottesburg, VA

Posted 03 January 2010 - 10:28 PM

I check fluid levels weekly on all of my vehicles whether they have known leaks or not.

Valve covers on these cars will leak pretty much all the time. More so when the engine is running because the oil gets thin with heat and because there is oil constantly flowing up into the rocker covers and flowing across the gaskets on its way draining back to the oil pan.

#12 Qman

Qman

    Happiness is... no lag!!

  • Moderator
  • 11,119 posts
  • Sumner

Posted 03 January 2010 - 10:48 PM

A common leak spot that can be mistaken for a leaky valve cover gasket is the rear cam seal on the passenger side cylinder head. It's just an O-ring under a cover with 2 bolts holding it on. Difficult to see from above but from below its a pretty simple check.

Clearly visible in this pic: http://beergarage.co...y/Clutch/01.jpg


The phase 2 2.2 does not have the rear O-ring. It has the same valve covers as the phase 2 2.5.

I would check the metal washer on the drain plug for leaks. My guess is they drained the oil when they serviced the car. If they did not replace the metal gasket on the drain plug it will leak. Check that first before doing all of this work.

#13 Qman

Qman

    Happiness is... no lag!!

  • Moderator
  • 11,119 posts
  • Sumner

Posted 03 January 2010 - 10:50 PM

yeah, what he said: why are the belts and pump being replaced? that's not a terrible idea given the 10 year age of the vehicle.

did they verify the oil pan gasket replacement? actually - i'm going to tell you they didn't. i would not do that...not until 100% sure. almost all subaru oil leaks end up getting the oil pan mating surface wet, making it look like it's wet and leaking but it's not leaking, it's only wet.

cam seals, crank seals, cam orings, head gaskets, rear separator plates, rear main...all of those can get the oil pan wet.

replace the valve cover gaskets first - fix all your oil leaks - then clean and inspect the pan for leakage.

sounds like someone is behind on their mortgage payments here, be nice and tell them what you want to do and how to proceed.


Awfully quick to make an assumption for something you have not seen. Finally get your crystal ball back from the shop?

To do this one leak at a time is a huge waste of time. Have the engine pressure cleaned and identify the leak. One fix instead of throwing money at a problem that isn't that complicated!

Edited by Qman, 03 January 2010 - 10:53 PM.


#14 yesyeah

yesyeah

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 65 posts
  • Cincinnati

Posted 03 January 2010 - 10:57 PM

The phase 2 2.2 does not have the rear O-ring. It has the same valve covers as the phase 2 2.5.

I would check the metal washer on the drain plug for leaks. My guess is they drained the oil when they serviced the car. If they did not replace the metal gasket on the drain plug it will leak. Check that first before doing all of this work.


Thanks for that information. Problem is, while I like my shop, they are not specialists in Subarus, so I think it's good to get the info on here and "help lead them" on what needs to be done - or at least a good first few steps.

The valve cover gaskets are definitely leaking - so i am going to go that route and replace the spark plugs. I'll ask that the replace the grommets as well.

Regarding the drain plug washer, not a bad idea. Is there an OEM washer replacement easily found? I may just buy one and bring it with me - have them do the valve cover gaskets/spark plugs and then tell them to replace (or add if it's gone) the purchased washer when they do the oil change. Then I can monitor the oil pan gasket potential situation, since that was more costly than the other stuff and possibly not even an issue.

thanks!!

#15 Qman

Qman

    Happiness is... no lag!!

  • Moderator
  • 11,119 posts
  • Sumner

Posted 03 January 2010 - 11:01 PM

You can buy them(washers) at any dealer or online Subaru source. If you have any problems getting one let me know. I have extras and can mail one to you.

#16 yesyeah

yesyeah

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 65 posts
  • Cincinnati

Posted 03 January 2010 - 11:04 PM

Thanks! Should be easy enough to find.

This is a great site, I appreciate the help and the patience as I am just a nooby suby owner.

#17 yesyeah

yesyeah

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 65 posts
  • Cincinnati

Posted 04 January 2010 - 08:12 AM

I imagine that you all recommend a specific valve cover gasket set? Can someone remind me which one? Maybe the best place to get it online? Thanks!

#18 Qman

Qman

    Happiness is... no lag!!

  • Moderator
  • 11,119 posts
  • Sumner

Posted 04 January 2010 - 10:23 AM

I imagine that you all recommend a specific valve cover gasket set? Can someone remind me which one? Maybe the best place to get it online? Thanks!


I always use OEM. Call 1-866-528-5282 Ask for Jason. He will ship to your door. Ask for internet pricing and tell him Ken sent you. He'll take care of you for sure that way!! J/K, Jason is a great asset and goes above and beyond with every customer.

#19 yesyeah

yesyeah

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 65 posts
  • Cincinnati

Posted 04 January 2010 - 10:59 AM

I always use OEM. Call 1-866-528-5282 Ask for Jason. He will ship to your door. Ask for internet pricing and tell him Ken sent you. He'll take care of you for sure that way!! J/K, Jason is a great asset and goes above and beyond with every customer.


Thanks!

Is that number for: http://www.mikescarffsubaru.com ?

Better to call Jason with the referral from you than just order online?

#20 Qman

Qman

    Happiness is... no lag!!

  • Moderator
  • 11,119 posts
  • Sumner

Posted 04 January 2010 - 01:18 PM

Call him. That way he'll know I am praising the ground he walks on! :eek:

The price should be the same either way as long as you ask for internet pricing.

#21 yesyeah

yesyeah

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 65 posts
  • Cincinnati

Posted 04 January 2010 - 01:20 PM

will do. And yes, I am all abou the referral, all good.

Last thing: If in fact the washer on the oil drain plug was not used (and has not been used) would that cause a loss of oil that makes the oil pan gasket look like the cause? In addition, I suppose that could CAUSE the oil pan gasket to go bad because of over tightening?

I guess I need to buy a handfull of those washers and just bring them with me for each oil change - but curious if it could actually be the cause of all of this (though the valve gaskets are starting to go).

#22 Qman

Qman

    Happiness is... no lag!!

  • Moderator
  • 11,119 posts
  • Sumner

Posted 04 January 2010 - 01:31 PM

will do. And yes, I am all abou the referral, all good.

Last thing: If in fact the washer on the oil drain plug was not used (and has not been used) would that cause a loss of oil that makes the oil pan gasket look like the cause? In addition, I suppose that could CAUSE the oil pan gasket to go bad because of over tightening?

I guess I need to buy a handfull of those washers and just bring them with me for each oil change - but curious if it could actually be the cause of all of this (though the valve gaskets are starting to go).


The washer won't take out the pan gasket. Over tightening could ruin the pan drain hole. I would seriously have the entire engine pressure washed. Then monitor leakage before you start changing parts. That way you can order once and get your parts.

Have Jason add those to your order.

Ken

#23 johnceggleston

johnceggleston

    Lite Master of the Subaru

  • Gold Subscribers
  • 6,238 posts
  • Virginia

Posted 04 January 2010 - 05:08 PM

will do. And yes, I am all abou the referral, all good.

Last thing: If in fact the washer on the oil drain plug was not used (and has not been used) would that cause a loss of oil that makes the oil pan gasket look like the cause? In addition, I suppose that could CAUSE the oil pan gasket to go bad because of over tightening?

I guess I need to buy a handfull of those washers and just bring them with me for each oil change - but curious if it could actually be the cause of all of this (though the valve gaskets are starting to go).


if you do not have a big stain in your drive way, the drain plug is not leaking too bad.

i have the drain plug crush washers if you need some, 10 shipped to you for $6.50. larger quantities available. let me know.


Posted Image

Edited by johnceggleston, 04 January 2010 - 05:11 PM.


#24 yesyeah

yesyeah

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 65 posts
  • Cincinnati

Posted 09 January 2010 - 09:12 AM

Well, I had some terrific help getting my valve cover gaskets, grommets, plugs, plug tubes and wires replaced last night in the cold garage. TONS of oil on the passenger side, a good amount on the driver side too. It started up and was nice and smokey from the oil and brake parts cleaner all over the place. Since it was done at night, gonna fire her up today in the day and check things out again today. Definitely saw that one of the coil contacts was burned/corroded/green. Seems it's still working but I am gonna replace that (looks like an easy job!). Hoping that the valve covers are the root of the leaky issues and it's not an oil pan gasket issue.

Thanks again for all your help with my posts, greatly appreciated!

#25 yesyeah

yesyeah

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 65 posts
  • Cincinnati

Posted 10 January 2010 - 09:47 AM

Hmmmm...

Still have an oil leak. Got cardboard under the car (gonna check again this morning) seems like it's farther back towards the passenger compartment, center, slightly towards the passenger side. I peaked under the car and it's really wet on what looks almost like some skid plates, past the oil pan (farther back heading towards the middle of the car).

I can't tell if it's a full leak or potentially a bunch of old crud that is still sopping down because of all the brake cleaner we sprayed around to clean stuff. If there is a full on leak still happening, it ain't the valve cover gaskets now since those are brand new.

Any ideas?




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users