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How Dangerous Is This Leak?


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18 replies to this topic

#1 usaru

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 05:09 PM

I have significant engine oil leakage along the bottom interface of the timing-chain covers, several large spots on the floor every morning. From looking at Haynes I assume its something like the crankshaft oil seal giving up the ghost. Could it be something else, and whatever it is, how dangerous is it to have such a leak in the timing-chain area, how urgent is it to do something about it? If it is the crankshaft oil seal that needs replacing, is it advisable to replace the timing chain etc while in there? Mileage is only 54,000. Thanks for any responses.

#2 nipper

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 05:16 PM

I have significant engine oil leakage along the bottom interface of the timing-chain covers, several large spots on the floor every morning. From looking at Haynes I assume its something like the crankshaft oil seal giving up the ghost. Could it be something else, and whatever it is, how dangerous is it to have such a leak in the timing-chain area, how urgent is it to do something about it? If it is the crankshaft oil seal that needs replacing, is it advisable to replace the timing chain etc while in there? Mileage is only 54,000. Thanks for any responses.


If this is you 99 2.5L it is time to replace the timing belt, cam and main seals, and reseal the oil pump. I dont think you need idlers or a water pump since those tend to be more mechanical in nature. Timing belts last about 7 or 8 years by factory spec ( which your coming up on ). Now if thst was from the early 1990's ild say replace everything.
If its a big leak, its not dangerous perse, but it will smoke you out of the car with the defrosters on, and you run a danger of loosing a significant amount of oil out of the engine.

nipper

#3 Snowman

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 06:35 PM

Yeah, your car has a timing belt, not a chain, and it's time to replace it anyway. With the belt off, it's very easy to pull the oil pump off to replace the crank seal and the oil pump o-ring, one of which is probably leaking. You should also replace the camshaft seals, which are most likely leaking as well. Like has been said, the water pump and tensioner/idler pulleys should be fine. Thoroughly inspect them, and if they're okay, wait until the 120k timing belt change to replace all of those components as well as the timing belt tensioner itself.

The danger of having an oil leak from any of the front seals on a subaru engine depends on how bad the leak is. If it just drips a bit, the worst that could happen is that it gets on the exhaust and smokes like crazy for a while. However, if the leak is bad, it can soak the timing belt in oil, which will cause it to fall apart and break, which in the case of your car, would destroy the valves and probably the cylinder heads. I've seen several cases of older cars with the EA82 engine breaking timing belts after less than 10,000 miles because of major oil leaks.

#4 usaru

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 07:14 PM

Thanks gentlemen, the advice is appreciated. I suspected a big jump would be necessary, but needed a push. Nipper, I have been quoted $600 for a timing-belt and ancillaries job, does that seem reasonable for Long Island? I would like to tackle the job myself, but don't have the tools, and would probably get in over my head.

#5 WoodsWagon

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 07:24 PM

Oil on the timing belt also dramatically reduces it's life. If you have the 2.5l, it's interference, so if the belt snaps your up for a valve job at the minimum.

#6 nipper

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 07:38 PM

Thanks gentlemen, the advice is appreciated. I suspected a big jump would be necessary, but needed a push. Nipper, I have been quoted $600 for a timing-belt and ancillaries job, does that seem reasonable for Long Island? I would like to tackle the job myself, but don't have the tools, and would probably get in over my head.


does that include a ensioner or a water pump? can you list all it includes. It can be high, can be right on the money.

Last time i had it done on a 2.2 it included everything for 585 (water pump all seals tensioner and idler).

nipper

#7 Snowman

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 08:47 PM

Wow. I need to start charging more.:eek:

#8 usaru

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 09:12 PM

"Wow. I need to start charging more." - No you don't, this is Long Island, it ain't cheap, ask Nipper. You probably need to charge about $99.99 with a discount for cash, up there in Alaska. I'll get some more specific quotes and post them here, just in case anyone's interested.

#9 nipper

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 09:47 PM

Wow. I need to start charging more.:eek:


well we cant pay in bever pelts of moose meat.


Mechanics here get 80.00 and hour.

nipper

#10 usaru

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 11:44 AM

OK, got a few quotes, from just the timing-belt, $395, to TB + 4 cam, main and oil-pump seals, $600. Obviously, replacing all seals while in there is the best option, but how can one be certain that the shop wont just replace the leaking seal/s and charge for all of them? To discourage this should I ask for a warranty of non-leakage, and if so, for how long? I don't want to have to go through this again in another 10K. Thanks.

#11 nipper

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 12:27 PM

OK, got a few quotes, from just the timing-belt, $395, to TB + 4 cam, main and oil-pump seals, $600. Obviously, replacing all seals while in there is the best option, but how can one be certain that the shop wont just replace the leaking seal/s and charge for all of them? To discourage this should I ask for a warranty of non-leakage, and if so, for how long? I don't want to have to go through this again in another 10K. Thanks.


Where on long island are You

nipper

#12 svxpert

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 02:15 PM

<<OK, got a few quotes, from just the timing-belt, $395, to TB + 4 cam, main and oil-pump seals, $600. Obviously, replacing all seals while in there is the best option, but how can one be certain that the shop wont just replace the leaking seal/s and charge for all of them? To discourage this should I ask for a warranty of non-leakage, and if so, for how long? I don't want to have to go through this again in another 10K. Thanks.>>

bring it to my subaru shop in jersey and I'll do it for $500 and give you all the parts I have replaced. i use only genuine subaru parts here.

#13 nipper

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 03:55 PM

<<OK, got a few quotes, from just the timing-belt, $395, to TB + 4 cam, main and oil-pump seals, $600. Obviously, replacing all seals while in there is the best option, but how can one be certain that the shop wont just replace the leaking seal/s and charge for all of them? To discourage this should I ask for a warranty of non-leakage, and if so, for how long? I don't want to have to go through this again in another 10K. Thanks.>>

bring it to my subaru shop in jersey and I'll do it for $500 and give you all the parts I have replaced. i use only genuine subaru parts here.


He can do that, but then there is the passport, the taxes, the import duties..... its such a bother going to that foreign country on the other side of the hudson

hehehehehe

nipper

#14 grossgary

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 04:42 PM

i wouldn't expect a mechanic to skimp on a couple seals, i'm distrustful of them, but would'nt expect too many to say they replaced a simple seal but don't actually do it. what they're more likely to do is...."hey mr., that one pulley was all bunged up and they cost $200 new so that'll be an extra $300 for parts and labor on that". if you can get it down to svxpert, do it. i do my own work, but i'd much rather have someone i know working on my car if it's at all an option rather than some random guy...even more so in that dreaded part of the country you live in, that place is horrible. and he's a subaru man, he knows his stuff, always better that way too, no surprises.

as for how dangerous your leak is, really depends on amount. you just don't want the engine to get low on oil, that will destroy it quickly. take note of how much it's loosing and keep adding it. if it's just dripping and pooling up, that's not necessarily too bad and quite normal on older subaru's. BUT - leaking front seals can dump oil fast, like drain the engine in a matter of seconds, so it's not to be taken lightly either. i'd have it addressed soon if you're not sure.

#15 usaru

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 04:50 PM

"...its such a bother going to that foreign country" - Well, I'm into foreign adventuriesm, and I've heard all about those people over there in that there place, Nuu Joisey, maybe a walk on the wild side wouldn't be out of consideration. Where in NJ are you, svxpert? I'm in the Glen Cove area nipper, watcha got?

#16 nipper

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 05:12 PM

"...its such a bother going to that foreign country" - Well, I'm into foreign adventuriesm, and I've heard all about those people over there in that there place, Nuu Joisey, maybe a walk on the wild side wouldn't be out of consideration. Where in NJ are you, svxpert? I'm in the Glen Cove area nipper, watcha got?


You know just for giggles go to glen cove subaru and see what price they quote you. i like them because they never try to sell me a new car when i get parts, and i havent heard a bad thing about them. Sometimes Subaru runs a special on timing belt service. Lateley ive been finding subaru competative with local shops for some things (they were the same price as a tranny shop to repair my AWD guess who got the job). I used grand Prix SUbaru for that job.

I am in oceanside and have a shop i like.

nipper

#17 svxpert

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 05:33 PM

my shop is located at exit 3 of the nj turnpike. pm me your # and i'll call you tonight if you want. thanks

#18 usaru

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 06:54 PM

[quote name='nipper']You know just for giggles go to glen cove subaru and see what price they quote you. i like them because they never try to sell me a new car when i get parts, and i havent heard a bad thing about them. Sometimes Subaru runs a special on timing belt service. Lateley ive been finding subaru competative with local shops for some things (they were the same price as a tranny shop to repair my AWD guess who got the job). I used grand Prix SUbaru for that job.
Actually, the $600 quote for belt + all seals was from North Coast Subaru in Glen Cove (the local shop where I get gas also quoted the same, so NCS is being competitive here as you noted, the important difference is obviously Subaru Techs). Grand Prix quoted $395 for T-B only, $75 more for main seal, all seals would probably be over $600. I with you on the games people play, Grossgary, preferably I'd like someone to open the car up and show me the problem on the spot. svxpert, can you give me a cross-street so I can see how far it is from here? If I could just pop over the Throgs Neck and down a mile or two that's one thing, if you're at the other end of the tpk its another - where's exit 3?

#19 usaru

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 06:55 PM

"You know just for giggles go to glen cove subaru and see what price they quote you. i like them because they never try to sell me a new car when i get parts, and i havent heard a bad thing about them. Sometimes Subaru runs a special on timing belt service. Lateley ive been finding subaru competative with local shops for some things (they were the same price as a tranny shop to repair my AWD guess who got the job). I used grand Prix SUbaru for that job." Actually, the $600 quote for belt + all seals was from North Coast Subaru in Glen Cove (the local shop where I get gas also quoted the same, so NCS is being competitive here as you noted, the important difference is obviously Subaru Techs). Grand Prix quoted $395 for T-B only, $75 more for main seal, all seals would probably be over $600. I with you on the games people play, Grossgary, preferably I'd like someone to open the car up and show me the problem on the spot. svxpert, can you give me a cross-street so I can see how far it is from here? If I could just pop over the Throgs Neck and down a mile or two that's one thing, if you're at the other end of the tpk its another - where's exit 3?




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