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Guest Message by DevFuse

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2008 outback, leaking coolant around oil filter

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9 replies to this topic

#1 jchipper


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Posted 16 December 2012 - 08:52 PM

as some of you know I just purchased a 2008 outback from PA and drove it to CA, a week ago it was getting hot on me at low idle so I checked the coolant and it took about 3 quarts of coolant, so today I changed the oil and checked the coolant again and it was low, about a pint, so I started the car and started looking for the leak, I found a drip (about 1 drip every 5-10 seconds) by the oil filter, passenger side head, front corner, can't tell for sure if it is coming from behind the plastic shroud or from the bottom of the head/block seam. any suggestions? besides a head gasket job? what are your thoughts on stop leak, I've never used the stuff and don't really want to either. but I just bought the car like 2 weeks ago I really don't want to do a head job on it right now........



BTW the Car is 2008 outback, 2.5 non turbo with 150,000 miles

Edit: No bubbles in the coolent, so I believe it's just a external leak not leaking exhaust gas into the coolant

Edited by jchipper, 16 December 2012 - 09:14 PM.

#2 3Pin


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Posted 16 December 2012 - 09:19 PM

I would try a bottle of the subaru coolant conditioner on something like that. Yes, it is a stop leak, but it may work for a while.

Others may have other opinions, but I would try that.

#3 jchipper


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Posted 16 December 2012 - 09:22 PM

i just ran across this


anyone heard of or had any experience with it?

#4 3Pin


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Posted 16 December 2012 - 09:28 PM

I wouldn't use that.

I would try the $3.00 conditioner at the subaru dealer. Make sure your heater is off so it doesn't go through your heater core and clog in up.

#5 nipper


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Posted 16 December 2012 - 10:49 PM

Wow. lets just stop with the conditioner and sealants untill we know what is leaking where.

So let us backup a bit. Clean off the engine under the car so you have a fresh start. Then take the car for a drive, park it, and place a clean peice of cardboard under the car. This cardboard will show any drips, instead of them evaporaitng or smudging on the ground.

This could be a external HG issue, but lets just check first.

#6 idosubaru


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Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:20 AM

can you talk to the place you purchased it from? i can almost guarantee the headgasket issue (if it exists) was there before you purchased it - probably why it was for sale.

nippers right - make sure.

if it's headgaskets, which is sounds like it is, don't plug around for stop leak brands, use the bottles provided by and required by Subaru. $2.47 a bottle at the dealer.

high success rates adding ***two bottles*** to an existing, and relatively new, leak. that's what I would do if you can confirm it's a leak and everything else is in proper order.

my concern is that since you just bought the car that likely means the headgasket issues were the reason it hit the used car market and who knows how long it's been bad or how badly it was previously overheated.

#7 Fairtax4me



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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:10 AM

Does it have the filter mount oil cooler? I'm not sure which years had those but the cooler is mounted to the bottom of the engine and the oil filter screws on to the bottom of the cooler. The cooler uses antifreeze so there are two coolant hoses going to it.
One of the hoses could be loose or split on the end. Double check that before blaming head gaskets.

Next guess would be that it could be a leak from the upper radiator hose that's running down the front of the block and dripping down by the oil filter.

#8 jchipper


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Posted 17 December 2012 - 01:13 AM

i don't think it has a filter mount oil cooler
I'll check the upper rad hose again but I believe it was dry

#9 jchipper


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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:50 AM


I took it to the dealership yesterday because of the Recall for emissions, it won't pass smog untill the ECM is reprogrammed, anyway while it was in there I had them do the coolant pressure check, looks like there is a really small leak in the bottom of the Rad, and both HG's are leaking externally slow drip, also the both HG's are leaking a small amount of oil, (after the 3,000 mile drive across the US i didn't notice hardly any difference in oil level ) so it's a pretty minor leak ATM. they said conditioner won't help, but i bought some anyway and am going to try it. The repair quote is for $2,300! but that quote also includes a rear break job, heads machined, timing belt, Rad, water pump, and spark plugs.

they also said the transmission fluid is dirty and needs to be flushed, as well as the rear and front diff oil and break oil is discolored. $489 to do the fluids!

Wow! so at the moment I am going to put some conditioner in and drive it and see what happens, taking it on a 1400 mile round trip to SanDiego today, taking extra coolant and oil with me so hope all goes well

#10 ivans imports

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:54 AM

if the headgasket is seeping the coolant is geting in the oil

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