Oil leak near oil filter/pan - Subaru WRX Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-16-2012, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Oil leak near oil filter/pan

Hello WRX tuners. I have a question regarding an oil leak that has plagued me for some time.

Whenever I am driving (02 WRX wagon with about 140,XXX) and sit at idle, I get a good hit of burning oil smell coming through the vents. Occasionally, I'll even see smoke coming through the vents as well as whisping out of the passenger side of the engine bay. Its a greyish blue smoke indicating an oil leak. I replaced the valve cover gasket this week and thought everything was hunky dorey and that the smoke/oil smell was the residual oil burning off.

I don't think that it is. So today, I got the car up and took a peek under it today and found this.

Looking up at the oil filter (obviously):
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e3...oilleak014.jpg

The heat shield for the turbo maybe?:
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e3...oilleak015.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e3...oilleak025.jpg
Looking between the front of the car and the oil pan:
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e3...oilleak023.jpg

And a few shot of the car itself as well as my Cafe project. A 1977 Kawasaki KZ650 C1 that doesn't run. I have my hands full.
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e3...oilleak026.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e3...oilleak027.jpg

So I'm wondering if anyone can help me. I am pretty sure I'll need to replace the oil cooler gasket as that is what is probably what is causing the leak on the oil filter. Is it possible that it is blowing around while driving and getting onto the exhaust/uppipe? There are a few shot above that heatsheild that look like its coming from above so I'm not sure about that. Could the oil feed/return lines be causing the oil that is all over the heatsheild? Or is it possible that after 4 days of driving it, the oil that was leaking from the valve cover gasket hasn't completely burned off? I did notice an oil spot on the driveway today but that was probably from the oil cooler gasket.

Any help would be mightily appreciated. I just want to get this resolved and just be able to drive my damn car!!
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-16-2012, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Also, forgot to mention, the CV boot looks fine. Also, it doesn't smoke out of the exhaust at all indicating the turbo isn't leaking oil internally. It is only external. Thank you.
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-16-2012, 07:23 PM
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That cooler gasket (O Ring I believe it's called) is a faulty part on Subies. HAd 2 go out on 2 different cars.

When's the last time you changed your oil? Buddy of mine over-tightened his filter and tore the gasket on it, ended up spraying a little over 2 quarts over 1K.

The hose right next to the filter looks to be a POS as well. Have you checked the oil feed line/banjo bolt yet?

Degrease that underside and then drive it up on ramps and wait... This has always helped me locate leaks.

Paul
2002 WRX Sold
2007 WRX Sold
2007 STi totaled
2007 Foz XT sold
2007 MS3
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-17-2012, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Good ideas. I cleaned the bottom good. Going to keep an eye on it. Should I just replace the whole filter housing thing along with the o ring?
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-17-2012, 09:24 AM
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It should just be the o-ring. But if anything is damaged, just replace it. Keep us updated

I meant to say drive it up on ramps and then start it to see where it's coming from. Sorry about that, but I'm sure you got the idea.

Paul
2002 WRX Sold
2007 WRX Sold
2007 STi totaled
2007 Foz XT sold
2007 MS3
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-17-2012, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Lol. Thanks.

So I wiped everything down so clean that you could eat off of it last night. I drove it around for about a half hour. Just looked at it this morning and there is no trace of oil on the heatshield or anywhere else besides a drop of oil on the filter where its leaking down. Going to call the stealership tomorrow and see if that part is in stock and how much it costs. Probably going to order it and wait to replace it since I just changed my oil last week.
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-17-2012, 07:48 PM
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Might just be that small hose if thats the case. Could be a clamp cutting into it.

Paul
2002 WRX Sold
2007 WRX Sold
2007 STi totaled
2007 Foz XT sold
2007 MS3
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-28-2012, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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So I pulled the intake off and wiped down the bottom of the passenger side valve cover. It had a good amount of oil and grime that i suspect was burning off. After driving for a while, you could see smoke coming from the passenger side of the hood. After wiping that all off, no more smoke and no more burning smell out of the vents when its set to pulling the air from outside instead of recirculating (no idea what that would be called).

Still have that tiny oil leak but like I said, its not bad and I'll wait till my next oil change to dig into it more. For now, I'm just parking over cardboard as to not piss the wife off and monitoring the oil weekly to ensure that the engine isnt being starved.
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-28-2012, 01:39 PM
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Fresh and recirc

Glad you found the area.

Paul
2002 WRX Sold
2007 WRX Sold
2007 STi totaled
2007 Foz XT sold
2007 MS3
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-01-2012, 09:04 PM
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did you figure out the leak?

I just stumbled across a leak on my filter a week ago, tried 2 separate filters... still leaking. From what i can tell mine is leaking from the oil seal on the filter ( i thought ) so my question is if the cooler o-ring goes out, where does the oil leak from? i cant see any oil coming from anywhere but the top of the filter.
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