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Hey all, first time using this forum.  I have a 2005 Legacy L, 150K with various problems, but runs great.  There is a minor oily fluid leak dripping from the jack-up plate behind the oil tank.  I took a close look and noticed that the steering boots are broken which is right above the jack-up plate.  Could this have anything to do with the leak?  I have a feeling you are going to tell me I have to get the whole rack replaced.  It has been slowly leaking (one drip per day) for 6 months and I haven't noticed any drop in oil or PS fluid levels and the car runs fine.  One of the axle boots is also broken.


I also have a gas smell on the interior when I turn the heat on and the heat is super slow to get started.  AC is also broken and a recharge didn't work.  Not too concerned about these though.


I love my car and would appreciate all helpful positive responses.

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1.  helpful if you can determine if oit or power steering fluid (red usually) or traansmission fluid (also red as is Dexron)o n the 2.5 l engine,  At one drip a day i would live with it. If red fluild inside of steering boots, then that is the source.  could also be driping from tank seal of power steering pump or front seal.  Also check the transmission cooling hoses and clamps.  these are on drivers side and join the radiator.

If oil i would suspect valve covers just hardend.  about $40 for felpro.  But if 2.5 DOHC, a bit difficult to replace,  ooone has to lift up the engine after loosing the front mounts, and will need a 10 mm gear wrench. Took me 4 hrs, and I had the car on a lift at locah base hobby shop, and a transmission jack to lift the engine.


2.  You must replace the Axle boot,  you will get rain, salt, snow (i live in DAyton OH) into the Constant Velocity Joint, which will then fail, more likely sooner than later.  This is much more important the any drip.


3. Gas smell is likely loose clamps on the hoses, return hoses, etc.  most of these are in front of the driver, are black and about 1/2 in in diameter. The clamps are silver, and go fully around to contain about 40 psi.  if a small leak, or seep, the gas will evaporte as the engine warms, air flows etc.  just tiignen the clamps.

Good Luck

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Most likely source of a leak in that area is the oil separator plate. This will leak dark brown or black colored fluid (depending on the condition of your engine oil). Unfortunately fixing that requires the engine to be removed, BUT Its typically a very slow leak and can be dealt with long term without repair. Just keep an eye on the oil level.

Split steering rack boots are common. You don't need a whole rack unless there is red fluid dripping from the ends inside the boot. After replacing the boots its a good idea to get an alignment, so if the tie rod ends are even remotely loose now is a good time to replace them as well, unless you're good at doing alignments with a measure tape and string.


Split axle boots are another very common failure on these. It's best to replace just the boots on these, but if you have to replace the whole axle do some research on axles. There are only a few brands that work well in Subarus, and its usually best to retain original Subaru axles if possible.


Gas smell... Like Swansorl said, possibly a loose hose clamp, or there could be a split or loose vacuum hose for the Evaporative emissions canister. (Collects fuel vapor from the fuel tank) If the canister is under the hood it will be a black cylinder, about the size of a large soup can. Probably on the passenger side towards the front of the car, and there will be some small hoses leading from it to the engine. Other cars have it mounted at the back of the car and the evap hoses run up next to the fuel lines on the drivers side. They attach to metal pipes on the intake and run under it to a small solenoid underneath the intake runners on the passenger side.

Edited by Fairtax4me

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