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Major oil leak 96 Legacy Brighton


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Lanky

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 03:59 PM

I've had a minor oil leak for some time now, but it hasn't been severe enough to worry about. WELL, on a recent drive down to Florida from NY it started leaking pretty substantially to the point where it's dripping down onto the Y pipe and back towards the resonator, etc...

Needless to say, it stinks really bad, while leaking steadily enough to require me to replenish the oil level every 2 weeks or so.

I've replaced the passenger side rear cam seal, which was leaking slightly, but it didn't really help at all. I'm hoping it's not the rear main seal, but I honestly don't know enough to make an educated guess as to where the major leak is.

Any insight is greatly appreciated.


96' Legacy Brighton wagon MTX 1.2L

#2 grossgary

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 04:37 PM

you need to find out which seal it is. how can we tell you without seeing the car? need to find where the leak is coming from, all of the ones listed below can blow back, drain back, drip back towards the same places. so where you see the oil dripping or ending up tells us very little.

there's sorts of places for oil leaks to happen. valve covers are extremely common to leak and brittle by now. crank seal, cam seal, cam orings, oil pump.

replace your PCV valve, if it's plugged up that might relieve the pressure and help.

#3 94Loyale

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 06:02 PM

It's not real common for the rear mains to leak. It is super common for the rear engine plate to leak...which is right next to the rear main :-\ If that is the problem, (assuming maybe since it's leaking onto the Y) The oil will run down the engine crossmember and right onto the exhaust. Otherwise, cam seals, oil pump, rocker covers.

#4 MilesFox

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 06:19 PM

you have to pull the engine to service the breather plate. although its annoying, its not anything that will lose oil pressure, you are not damaging the engine as long as you dont let it run out of oil. may want to schedule having the motor out and just do all the seals and timing belts

#5 Lanky

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:50 PM

... The oil will run down the engine crossmember and right onto the exhaust. Otherwise, cam seals, oil pump, rocker covers.


That seems to be the scenario. Unfortunately I'm up in NY right now with all the fun snow and a tiny garage packed full of crap, so looks like I'll just have to suffer through it for a while. I know it's not the valve covers, head gaskets nor the cam seals. All I know for a fact is that it's leaking somewhere that I can't see without removing ************. Which lead me to believe it's the rear main seal or some other seal in that vicinity.

I'll try replacing the PCV valve to see if it reduces the flow at all.

Thanks to everyone that replied.

#6 Mike104

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 09:13 PM

From another forum:

11831AA210 Oil Separator Cover

http://www.subarupar...hp?partid=11564

Torque spec on the bolts is 4.7 ft-lbs.
The separator plate is to be sealed with "THREE BOND 1215 or equivalent". The sealant is available at Subaru dealers for about $20-25. The most commonly used approved substitute is, I believe, Permatex Ultra Grey RTV available at all auto parts stores for about $6-7.

http://www.subaruout...&papass=&sort=1

You have to pull the engine or transmission to change this part. One way to see if this is a possible problem look underneath the car and see if it looks like the oil pan gasket is leaking. The rear main and Oil Separator plate leaks tend to collect near the oil pan and it looks like an leak there.

Edited by Mike104, 26 February 2010 - 09:19 PM.


#7 Fairtax4me

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Posted 26 February 2010 - 11:48 PM

Probably the separator plate. They sell the new ones as a kit because they use different bolts with the new designed part.

Ultra grey RTV should work. I used Permatex anaerobic sealer when I did mine.

#8 1-3-2-4

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 12:27 PM

thanks for the tip of the gasket stuff.

#9 unibrook

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 03:06 PM

2001 Forester 99k miles.

yikes. I changed my oil about 5k miles ago. Getting ready to do it again soon, just happened to check my oil level yest, down over a full quart. It has never lost this much oil between changes before. I will monitor it over the next few weeks. So far, I haven't seen any leaks around the engine, no smell of burning oil, no oil smoke in exhaust. No puddles under car. I hope it isn't anything major that needs engine pulling!

#10 johnceggleston

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Posted 02 March 2010 - 05:36 PM

2001 Forester 99k miles.

yikes. I changed my oil about 5k miles ago. Getting ready to do it again soon, just happened to check my oil level yest, down over a full quart. It has never lost this much oil between changes before. I will monitor it over the next few weeks. So far, I haven't seen any leaks around the engine, no smell of burning oil, no oil smoke in exhaust. No puddles under car. I hope it isn't anything major that needs engine pulling!


did you pay some one to do it last time? they may not have filled it all the way.

#11 unibrook

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 01:32 PM

No, I change the oil myself.
I put another quart into it today, since the dipstick was still looking dry.
Finally got it up to halfway between the dipstick holes.
Will monitor on a daily basis for a while to see what the hay is happening.
I still can't see any leaks.

#12 unibrook

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 10:18 AM

Oil is holding steady at halfway full.

hmmm. no obvious issue appearing.

I will change the oil next week and give a close inspection under the engine while I am there.




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