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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Cause Oil Leak/Check Engine/VDC light after Idley Pulley, Tensioner, Belt replaced?

Idler Pulley Tensioner Assembly Drive Belt oil leak Harmonic Balancer

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5 replies to this topic

#1 mountainwalker


    Eat, Live, Breath Subaru

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 01:29 AM

2003 VDC Outback 3.0L H6.  Replaced the Harmonic Balander (Crankshaft Pulley) a few months back.  Then earlier this week, after hearing a bit of a squeal from the Idler Pulley and Belt Tensioner, replaced the Drive Belt, Idler Pulley and Belt Tensioner Assembly for the peace of mind (that was recommended by members here after the Harmonic Balancer/Crankshaft Pulley went). Based on what I've read and seen, if these parts haven't been replaced on your Subaru and you've driven over 90K miles, I'd replace them (and you can keep the originals as spares if you like). Ours lasted 113K miles.

I checked out the old pulleys. Whatever grease was originally in the pulleys, it was just dry powder by now.

Our good indie mechanic was able to do it all parts and labor for replacing the Idler Pulley, Tensioner Assembly and Drive Belt for $230.  It got rid of background noise and the squeal. 


Fast Forward a few days to today... 


Barely drove the car (not more than about 25 miles) when the VDC Light lit up on the dashboard (indicating VDC is now off), followed by the Check Engine light minutes later. Luckily the Check Engine Light went on just as I pulled up to my driveway. Immediately cut the engine and smelled a bit of oil burning. Looked under car and noticed leaking oil.

What could have caused this? I'm having the car towed back to the same garage first thing tomorrow (Saturday) morning.

#2 johnceggleston


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Posted 06 April 2013 - 09:59 AM

once they read the code you will have a much better idea of what is going on.

#3 ivans imports

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 10:38 AM

did they pry on timing cover ? or crank pully come loose have never heard of bad crank pully on 3.0 have one here with 380000kms on origanal pully still good as day one. How did they lock the crank to remove /install pully ?

#4 mountainwalker


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Posted 06 April 2013 - 12:31 PM

CORRECTION (wish I could edit the title of the post) - it was a COOLANT LEAK not an oil leak.  All the coolant gone.  So lucky I caught it right away and that I had enough coolant to make it to my driveway before the check engine light went on.  My guess is that they dislodged a tube under the coolant reservoir, which is right next to the Idle Pulley, Tensioner Assembly and Drive Belt.  What do you think?


It was so late at night I left it to the morning to check the oil and coolant.

#5 mountainwalker


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Posted 06 April 2013 - 12:32 PM

Moderator, can you change "Oil" to "Coolant" in the thread title?

#6 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 01:35 PM

could be as simple as they forgot to tighten a clamp.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Idler Pulley, Tensioner Assembly, Drive Belt, oil leak, Harmonic Balancer

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