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Old 04-01-2013, 03:26 AM   #1
UnknownAlly
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Default Leak from motor. Not sure if coolant or oil. HELP

I need help with my 2004 WRX. I have some sort of leak on the passenger side of my engine. I'm not positive if it's coolant or oil.

Here is a pic of the passenger side of the motor.
Smoke is coming directly under the area marked with the red arrow.


Here is an image of the area the smoke is coming from.


What do you guys think it is? I just want an idea.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:47 AM   #2
UnknownAlly
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It's either coming from the head or the up pipe area.

I was thinking it was a head gasket, but my car isn't overheating at all, despite the massive amount of smoke that is extremely visible.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:49 AM   #3
Frankh21
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Valve cover gaskets?
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:17 AM   #4
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well you are pointing to the top of your valve cover. so chances are, its oil. those bolts that hold your valve cover on have rubber washers, as seen in the photos. if they are bad, they can leak oil out of them.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:49 PM   #5
UnknownAlly
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i-club forums recommended I get a UV light and dye. Any DIY out there for this?
Do I just pour the dye in the coolant and shine the UV light in the area I think it's coming from?
Could it also be used to detect oil leaks?

Last edited by UnknownAlly; 04-01-2013 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:11 PM   #6
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Is it leaving any residue? Stick a finger up there and see. What does it smell like when it burns oil or coolant?
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:10 PM   #7
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I am guessing it is either the valve cover gasket leaking onto the uppipe or one of the half moons leaking.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellygnsd View Post
Is it leaving any residue? Stick a finger up there and see. What does it smell like when it burns oil or coolant?
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris@grimmspeed View Post
I am guessing it is either the valve cover gasket leaking onto the uppipe or one of the half moons leaking.
Sorry for my noobness,
I shouldn't even be touching my car because of how much knowledge I lack in that field.

The residue wasn't sticky.
So far, 2 people I talked to said it looks/smells like oil.
My brother said he thinks it might be valve cover gasket just as you said, Chris.

I cleaned up the whole valve cover area with degreaser.
Then, I ran the car for a while until it started smoking.
I haven't seen any new residue yet. I guess I have to let it run a while longer tomorrow.

UPDATE
I drove around and noticed no new leakages.
I do notice that under the turbo coolant reservoir, it is really wet. I didn't clean that area, so it isn't "new" leakage that I know of.
I'm thinking this may be my problem. I'm unsure where it exactly is leaking from the reservoir. I will look harder in the day.

Last edited by UnknownAlly; 04-03-2013 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:07 AM   #9
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I would echo

1. valve cover gaskets
2. half moon seals leaking
3. is your axel boot torn....throwing grease up ward on the up pipe?
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. octagon View Post
I would echo

1. valve cover gaskets
2. half moon seals leaking
3. is your axel boot torn....throwing grease up ward on the up pipe?
I had a torn boot last year but replaced it. I will have to search on what half moon seals are. Thanks for the help
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnknownAlly View Post
I had a torn boot last year but replaced it. I will have to search on what half moon seals are. Thanks for the help
the half moon seals are on the heads themselves. they seal at the ends of the camshafts. why dont you bring it somewhere for them to troubleshoot the leak?
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dictoresno View Post
the half moon seals are on the heads themselves. they seal at the ends of the camshafts. why dont you bring it somewhere for them to troubleshoot the leak?
Yes, I was thinking of that. The closest Subaru tech to me is 1.5 hours away so I'm a lil hesitant.

This is the power steering high pressure hose, right?
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:33 AM   #13
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you could just bring it to any other respectable garage. a few minutes on the lift and you should have your answer.


****woot, 555 posts, im finally not a newbie anymore****
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellygnsd View Post
Is it leaving any residue? Stick a finger up there and see. What does it smell like when it burns oil or coolant?
This. Why would you not just wipe your finger on it and look? It doesn't take a trained mechanic to tell the difference between oil and coolant.You are making this harder than it has to be.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quazimoto View Post
This. Why would you not just wipe your finger on it and look? It doesn't take a trained mechanic to tell the difference between oil and coolant.You are making this harder than it has to be.
I did that already.
I thought it was coolant but everyone else that looked at it thinks it's oil.
So that threw me off.

I even asked them,"but isn't white smoke coolant?"

Now I'm almost positive that it is power steering fluid, since it is low and the high pressure hose seems to be where the leak is coming from.
I guess power steering fluid burns white also.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:22 PM   #16
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Guys, I need your help. I bought a high pressure power steering hose from Techna Fit and it doesn't seem like the one I needed. The bigger rubber hose is the one I need replaced. Did I order the wrong part?
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:41 PM   #17
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If it is a smaller hose then it would seem you ordered the wrong part. Did you find out what fluid it was?
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikryj View Post
If it is a smaller hose then it would seem you ordered the wrong part. Did you find out what fluid it was?
Yes, it's power steering fluid for sure.

The screw on end does fit, so maybe it is the right one. Is the high pressure hose the big rubber one that connects near the motor and not the smaller metal one that connects to reservoir?

Also, is there any DIY, instructions or manuals on how to replace this? I can't seem to get the other end out that's near the CV boot.
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:36 AM   #19
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Okay, I replaced the high pressure power steering hose with a new one.

It still shows moisture in the exact same area.


Could it be oil that sizzled, pop or splashed there?
There is signs of possible oil as shown.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:54 AM   #20
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isnt there a oil line going from the turbo to that area? i have to go look at my car to double check

hard part is trying to figure out where these pictures are being taken lol, i can tell one of them was near the turbo
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:42 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wookie768 View Post
isnt there a oil line going from the turbo to that area? i have to go look at my car to double check

hard part is trying to figure out where these pictures are being taken lol, i can tell one of them was near the turbo
The picture was taken on the passenger side. That is directly on top of the head, under the coolant reservoir.
Thanks for the advice.

I cleaned it all out with degreaser. Now it's the waiting game.
My car is no longer smoking. So I guess replacing the high pressure hose fixed the problem.

But maybe there is an oil leak somewhere. I'll have to wait and see.
My car goes through a quart weekly, so it would be nice if it was a minor fix and not my piston rings or something of that nature.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:46 PM   #22
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if youre going through a quart of oil a week you like likely have another issue. try to get everything as clean as possible and look very close for leaks. check your compression and get a leak test. check your tail pipe for oil residue. there are numerous areas that could be leaking. could be leaks and burning but loosing oil that fast is never good. figure out why asap if you enjoy your car.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:56 PM   #23
UnknownAlly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misfitsfreak81 View Post
if youre going through a quart of oil a week you like likely have another issue. try to get everything as clean as possible and look very close for leaks. check your compression and get a leak test. check your tail pipe for oil residue. there are numerous areas that could be leaking. could be leaks and burning but loosing oil that fast is never good. figure out why asap if you enjoy your car.
Thanks will do!
There is no more smoking. The new high pressure line fixed it. It used to smoke out the hood scoop occasionally. Then it got worse. It started smoking from the hood, scoop and fenders
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