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$2500 oil leak repair


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21 replies to this topic

#1 Infidel

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 05:21 PM

I've got the dealer quoting me >$3000 to drop my engine to repair all the oil leaks, change the water pump out and due the timing belt service. They'll cut me a deal and only charge me $2500 to do it.

Not sure this is worth it on a 98 OBS w/140K on it, but, the leaks are bad enough that on warm days I get a lot of smoke from oil burning off on the exhaust. I even fabbed up a splash shield and bolted it to the bottom of the car, which works pretty well so far.

Thinking of cutting my losses and just getting rid of the car, take the $3K and whatever I could get for this thing, and just get a different daily driver.

death by oil leaks #$#$% the EJ22

#2 EvilDead

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 05:25 PM

I am sure someone will want a EJ22. I know I would, if I wasn't so darn broke!

#3 nipper

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 05:27 PM

Thats a mistake (just to dump it cause it leaks), get another estimate.

You are due for a timing belt every 60,000 miles. Every other timing belt the water pump, cam seals, main seal, and (reseal) the oil pump should be done too to avoid the leaks.

The reason to pull the engine is that there is a plastic seperator plate that is leaking. This has to be replaced with a metal one to fix this once and ofr all.

Any shop can do this work, so no need to go to a dealer.

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#4 four-fleet-feet

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 06:18 PM

Don't dump your car!

(Well, if you were in WA aircraft-engineer says he'd buy it, but you're not...)

My 97 Imp is getting sealed back up right now. Local Sub dealer stated I needed $1900 worth of work, to fix my oil leak, more diagnosis time needed (and more $$$) to figure out the growl in the back area (might be a bearing? Yeah, I already knew that much once they'd passed the rear diff). Water leak: $90/hour to diagnose. I smiled, said 'thanks, bye' and went for a drive to aircraft-engineer's driveway.

What I really needed: $40. hub/bearing assembly from a junkyard for the bad rear pax bearing.

Sub-$200 parts kit off of eBay for a complete timing belt replacement, with all gaskets/belts/la dee dah. Some $30 in assorted anaerobic, threadlocker, blah blah this and that. Stuff to fix the taillight leak: free for asking from a windshield place, and 15 minutes of time.

Some labor hours here and there over a 2-week period, mostly due to weather and the fact that neither of us have worked on a Subie before. Fix one thing, wait a few days for clear weather, go on. Now that it's been done once... hey!

A bit of cotton in my ears was necessary when aircraft-engineer let me know the last mechanic to work on Dragon was not mentally fit to hold a wrench, let alone apply it to a nice Subie.

NOWHERE near the doom-and-gloom the local dealer was giving me. Don't give up on a really nice car just because *one* shop stated you were in for spending the $$$$$. Find a mechanic if you don't want to do it yourself, but fix your car.

Then again, if you were local, I know one mechanically-inclined engineer who'd be interested in your OBS! You'll get buyers even in Texas, that's for sure, but then you'll be giving up one sweet ride. :eek:

#5 Infidel

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 06:34 PM

Yes, it's even more of a kick in the stomach because I turn my own wrenches. I'm in no position to go dropping an engine in my driveway though, and my wife won't tolerate me tearing down cars in the driveway any more anyways. I have a 62 Karmann Ghia project in the garage, and she said that's the last car I ever get to buy to work on.

If it really is as sweet a car as you guys say, maybe I'll bite the bullet and get it done. My neighborhood mechanics that I would trust would probably be just as expensive, might as well have the dealer do it.

I should say that the service at the dealer so far has been exceptional, and you could probably eat off the shop floor. The car has no mechanical issues other than the leaks, so the $2500 would probably guarantee me another 100K miles.

And Nipper, I know about $1k of that estimate is scheduled maintenance anyways, I was just expecting the extra work to get the oil leaks done to be a little less than $1500.

#6 four-fleet-feet

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 07:02 PM

I probably should have mentioned the $1900 quote was to have a headgasket repair I did not need, the full timing belt/water pump/gasket etc. replacement, and plugs, plus the intake/exhaust seals needed when doing the headgasket replacement. It would have been $750 for the timing belt/water pump/plugs/gaskets/seals alone, what they called a full timing belt service. We now know the timing belt service would have fixed my leak and the headgasket was just silly overkill caution on the part of the local dealer (or they thought they were dealing with a female turnip, which I am not!)

They were also adding things like $25 for 3 quarts of coolant (the Imp has just over 6 qt capacity in the cooling system), $28 for 4.2 quarts of 5-30, and other things of that ridiculous ilk. They wanted $18 for 4 NGK plugs. I bought them myself from National (not even a mile from the dealer) for $10.

Now, far be it from me to shake a finger at you, but I think you're getting the same snow job. Sure, the dealer will do other things, but even $2500 sounds high! Oh, yes, they're doing you a favor... off of their already inflated price!

Ask around for Subaru mechanic recommendations - I ask every time I gas up, or even every time I park at a Fred Meyers - Subarus are everywhere in the NW. I'm sure someone in Texas can do the labor and give you a better price, and even if you don't get your parts off eBay like we did, you can do much better than the stealership quote.

If you have the tools, it isn't hard. We're probably into 8 hours total labor for everything (actual working time), and that's with a few broken/missing parts surprises. You can always ask on this board and people will fall all over themselves to help you.:banana:

Well, unless you like throwing money at a shredder, then please ignore me and go ahead straight to the (stealer) dealer... ;)

#7 grossgary

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 08:31 PM

keep the car. in general there's no need to pull the engine unless the rear main is puking oil, which is very, very unlikely in a Subaru.

bad oil leaks like this are usually very simple - timing belt and the seals mentioned above and the valve cover gaskets. a far cry from a $2,500 job, go elsewhere. this sounds like simple repair work too, no need for a Subaru dealer on this one.

can you take a picture of the underneath of the car so we can maybe help you diagnose where the leak is coming from?

#8 nipper

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 08:44 PM

keep the car. in general there's no need to pull the engine unless the rear main is puking oil, which is very, very unlikely in a Subaru.


Your kidding. No coal or biscuit for you.

Two Words - Seperator Plate.

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#9 fnlyfnd

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 09:44 PM

I got a clutch, oil leaks, water pump, clutch cable, flywheel (new), timing belt, tensioner, thermostat, and other misc. fixed with all brand new subaru parts and installed for about $2500. All parts were ordered from an online dealer and installed at a private shop.

#10 Infidel

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 10:11 PM

Nipper, see this thread for a pic, though it doesn't help much: http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=83175

I've decided I'm going to spend $1000 for the timing belt service ($450) and replacement of a CV joint boot, alignment, replacement of the valve cover gaskets and I think one of the major services that change all the fluids in the diffs. Maybe I'll get lucky and that will resolve enough of the oil leaks that I won't have to deal with oil burning on the exhaust anymore.

#11 Bigbusa

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 10:24 PM

If you can wrench, you can fix the oil leaks, install a timing belt, water pump and all the other little goodies that come in the ebay kit for $200... plus a little more for antifreeze, clamps and other gizmos you may need.

You don't have to pull the engine to install this stuff...

http://cgi.ebay.com/...sspagenameZWDVW


If you do spend the $1000 on a timing belt service... make sure the price includes installing the new cam and crank oil seals and waterpump.

Maybe I should get into mechanics! $1000 for a timingbelt service?!

#12 aircraft engineer

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 11:04 PM

I just did a mid-97 impreza 2.2 for about the same problem.

first ever Subaru work job - spent more time reading the book than doing the work

Timing belt, 3 idler pulleys (1 cogged, 2 plain), valve cover gasket set with bolt seals, water pump, cam and crank seals

parts $190 IF you wanted a "new" tensioner (new style) post Feb 97 would be $89 more (it comes with the pulley for the pre March 97 EJ22)

The MOST difficult part was removing/reinstalling the crank damper without BUYING the tool (It CAN be done, just takes a couple of 7mm allen wrenches (or grind 1/4" to fit 2 of the holes and use a breaker bar to both hold the damper and another to remove the bolt) MUST remove the bolt to pull the timing cover. Piece of cake - just a bit time consuming. Helps to have a pressure washer to blow off the oily crud and a couple of cans of brake cleaner to dissolve "excess"

This one took about 12 hours start to finish. I figure I could do another in maybe 4 or 5 (depending on IF I had all the stuff and could figure out HOW to align the cogged idler pulley in 10 minutes instead of 60 ) :mad:

The CV joint service looks pretty simple from the book description.

hey - a kind word for a company out here - Delta Camshaft service of Tacoma. He does Sub's and rally races them, too. Competition cams or street grinds available. He had the camshaft key that I needed and the dealer said only came in the sprocket (metric dowel pin - a bit uncommon - but he had one)

and from the post above this one - that's the kit I bought - but I went with the Conditech belt (or whatever that belt manufacturer name is) - easy people to deal with and fast shipping, too. The 2 accessory belts were still good, so keeping the "new" pair for spares.

#13 WoodsWagon

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 08:03 PM

my wife won't tolerate me tearing down cars in the driveway any more anyways. I have a 62 Karmann Ghia project in the garage, and she said that's the last car I ever get to buy to work on.


The words of a man who knows the sting of the whip.

I'm always amazed at the amount of money people justify paying for having the dealership do work. Find a local shop, not a squeeky clean one, a mom and pop shop. They can usually do just as good of a job, and you're supporting a small local business. It's cheaper too.

#14 nipper

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 08:36 PM

YOu are getting the cam seals replaced, the main seal, and the oil pump resealed?

Ah yes, the subaru automatic antirust system.

nipper

#15 lostinthe202

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 07:57 AM

Find a local shop, not a squeeky clean one, a mom and pop shop. They can usually do just as good of a job, and you're supporting a small local business. It's cheaper too.



+1000, Down With Walmart!!:headbang:

#16 msmithmmx

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 08:13 AM

Dump it, or fix it yourself. The car is not worth the repair. Your could probally get a G off Ebay for it maybe more in the current condition

http://cgi.ebay.com/...0196592250&rd=1

#17 fnlyfnd

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 09:30 AM

Once the leaks are fixed the car will be good for awhile. The Ej22 is the best engine subaru ever made, althought you have the 2nd gen, it is still a great motor. I say fix it w/ a private shop buying the parts yourself from a online dealer (subarugenuineparts.com or 1stsubaruparts.com, etc..). As long as the tranny is good and the body isn't roting out it would be totally worth it to fix it.

#18 Bigbusa

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 11:50 AM

Dump it, or fix it yourself. The car is not worth the repair. Your could probally get a G off Ebay for it maybe more in the current condition

http://cgi.ebay.com/...0196592250&rd=1


I agree. I wouldn't dump $2500 into the car. $1000... yes... if it took care of all the problems at once.

#19 Infidel

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 11:54 AM

$1200 for the timing belt service (all seals, water pump etc), replacing the cv joint covers on one of the axles, changing trans and diff fluids, a few worn belts etc. Yep, it was all waaay overpriced but I don't have the time to do it myself. The only local shops I trust would charge just as much, be less efficient and experienced, and probably take longer, no loaner car etc. Told the dealer to do the work around 8am, car was ready to be picked up by 2pm. Got to tool around in a new 08 Legacy for a few days. Hopefully I just bought another trouble free 60K miles, other than the oil leak, the engine ran like a top, pretty good gas mileage etc (except for my adventure with the aftermarket intake).

#20 Bigbusa

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Posted 28 February 2008 - 10:12 AM

congrats on getting it fixed

All the parts come in a kit on ebay for $200. Unless you make substantially more than $100 an hour at your job, it might make financial sense to take a day or 2 off from work and do the job yourself ...next time.

You can do it in 10 hours or less... effectively paying yourself $100 an hour. :clap:

#21 1997reduxe

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 12:09 PM

I hate to say this, but damn I wish I saw this post earlier.
The same thing happened to us a long time ago.
My girlfriend took her 95 Legacy to Walmart for an oil change, and they couldn't read the (albeit funky) oil stick, and overloaded it with oil.
Blew the seals.
Then the dealer gave a 3500 dollar estimate to fix.
Or, hint hint, "SHE COULD BUY A NEW ONE".
That's why they do that.
I know a guy in Lake Jackson who's going to replace the timing belt and oil pump, labor at 210.00. Very honest. Very nice.
Water pump wouldn't be much more.
CV joints--there are places around Houston, I know of one off of IH-10 and one on 225 in Pasadena, where they do the entire axle for 100-225 bucks.
They won't even replace boots, some of them.
Not worth it. Definitely not for thousands of dollars!
Let me know if you need a mechanic again.
I remember you asking me on my first post here about my Houston mechanic question, only now sorting it all out.
Good you got it done though.
'97

#22 grossgary

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 03:56 PM

Unless you make substantially more than $100 an hour at your job,

if you have limited vacation and you're not hurting for money then loosing vacation is a huge cost. i wouldn't have to anyway, but it wouldn't be worth it for me to use a vacation day just to fix a car. i have friends too that only have one vehicle so the thought of taking that vehicle down gets cumbersome - needing rides, needing a part or a ride somewhere, they're less likely to do big jobs or wait a long time to do it. not everyone has 5 subaru's, poor people!




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