Jump to content
Ultimate Subaru Message Board

Recommended Posts

I recently took my 2012 Subaru Forester X 4 2.5L to a mechanic, for an annual checkup. They found oil in the coolant reservoir, and told me they suspect a faulty head gasket. In their own words:

 

 

Found coolant reservoir empty, appears to have oil in it. This indicates head gaskets have failed internally. Radiator cap is swollen, suspect from oil. Advised customer return the car to dealer to inspect under warranty.

 

 

I took the car to the dealer since it is still just barely under warranty (58.5k miles out of 60k that are warranty-covered). The dealer took the car in, and after a while responded that they think the PCV connector has a leak in it, which cases the oil to get into the cooling system. In their

words:

 

 

Confirmed there is oil in the coolant reservoir and radiator cap. Coolant is coming from the PCV connector, which is a plastic breather connector that has a coolant running through it. Recommended replacing PCV connector and radiator cap.

 


I called back my mechanic who was extremely surprised and said that what the dealership described is not possible mechanically. I am now completely lost and not sure who is wrong.


Can anyone weigh in based on the data I presented?

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yours is a non-turbo right?

 

Subaru never used PCV valves with cooling lines, so mixing wasn't possible for many decades and would be the cause of hesitation from your mechanic (and probably many of us on this forum). 

 

Does the FB engine have coolant passing through the PCV valve or associated hoses?  A quick glance on the internet seems to suggest that's not the case. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

throttlebody 'MIGHT' be a possible - uh - 'intersection' ? of crankcase vapors and cooling system ??????????

 

 

 

I dunno, must be some car made in a different universe. seems crazy to me - I'd like to schedule a meeting with the mech or service writer to have him SHOW me this path of contamination.

 

 

A leak from the trans cooler seems much more likely - check trans fluid level, you might consider sending coolant sample to Blackstone Labs or Polaris etc. and see if they can ID the oil or , hopefully not, find combustion products..

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yours is a non-turbo right?

 

Subaru never used PCV valves with cooling lines, so mixing wasn't possible for many decades and would be the cause of hesitation from your mechanic (and probably many of us on this forum). 

 

Does the FB engine have coolant passing through the PCV valve or associated hoses?  A quick glance on the internet seems to suggest that's not the case. 

 

Doesn't have oil cooler either, that the H6.

Edited by dmanaenk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't have oil cooler either, that the H6.

 

Splitting hairs here...lots of 4-cyl Subarus have an oil cooler, but a '12 Forester is not one of them.

 

 

The PCV valve itself does not have coolant running through it, but there's more to the PCV system than just the valve.

 

Bottom line. There DEFINITELY is not enough information here to condemn anybody, even if that's right off the repair order, and written by the tech, a few sentences does not give the whole picture. If the car is under warranty, I don't see any reason not to have them replace whatever connector they're referring to. It might not fix the problem, but this might be an odd one that will require a little experimentation to nail down, and waiting won't help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to everyone who replied to this thread!

 

What kind of additional data would help to clarify the situation? I wanted to post some photos but I am ignorant enough to not know what should be photographed and what shouldn't be :(

 

I am tempted to talk to another dealer to see what they have to say. For now, I am not driving the Forester if I can help it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its under waranty, the dealer has to fix it.  If they want to replace a non existant part, OK but when that doesn't work, they still have to fix it, even if you go over the 60k miles.  Keep all your documentation until you are satisfied it is fixed.

Edited by keith3267
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×