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Old 06-13-2015, 12:52 PM   #1
JaveStack
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Question EJ253 Oil Leak and Power Loss Under Heavy Load.

Hey all,

I have an issue that I would love some troubleshooting help with, as well as just general discussion to ensure I am thinking straight. Car is a 2006 Impreza with 120k.

Yesterday I drove my Subaru to a friends house, hit about 5k in 5th on the way there (to be unspecific...), and dropped off some stuff. When I came out the car was smoking pretty good from under the hood.

Opened it up, and it was some oil dripping on to the exhaust. Nothing too serious. I grabbed an emergency quart and topped it off, and drove home staring at my oil temp and pressure gauges the whole way. (60psi at the galley above the pump and 160degreesF in the sump) I gave her a little power to see if she'd take load, and she stuttered anytime I got over 4000RPM foot to the floor. I got home and put some buckets under her and took a look, oil had coated a lot of the from the header to the driver foot well. Level was still okay, but low. There is pretty much oil everywhere on the drivers side of the engine, but it is the worst by the timing cover and it looks the wettest neat the valve cover, but the HG surface has some decent weeping as well.

Car ran perfect at idle and under low loads.

Did a compression test, but the spark plug side of the tester spins so i can't tell how tightly it is in there...

Forward driver cylinder was at 110psi, Rear on drivers side read 90psi.

Both spark plugs look parched and slightly browned.

Would love advice on next steps, additional troubleshooting, etc.

I've got a CEL, but I think it is for a EVAP air issue. My scanner shorted out, going to go buy a new one now. Will advise if a different CEL showed its face.

Just so you know, I am an engineer at a small engine manufacturer, so feel free to be as technical as you want with any advice/ideas.

Thanks for the help in advance guys!
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Last edited by JaveStack; 06-13-2015 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 06-13-2015, 01:24 PM   #2
JaveStack
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Pictures of the drivers side head area. Top of the head near timing cover has a pretty decent puddle you can see.








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Old 06-14-2015, 03:09 PM   #3
JaveStack
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UPDATE: I replaced the VVL Sensors, and the oil leak has been stopped. HOWEVER, I am dripping green fluid from the engine now. The degreaser I used was reddish, and I rinsed the engine with water for a long time. I am going to let the water and degreaser cook off for a while, then figure out if I actually have an anti freeze leak...
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Old 06-14-2015, 05:23 PM   #4
GEE-OTTO
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You mean a bad head basket
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Old 06-14-2015, 06:25 PM   #5
kos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GEE-OTTO View Post
You mean a bad head basket
Kinda sounds like this. If there's any seepage from the head where it meets the block, you've got a head gasket on it's way out.
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:46 AM   #6
Zer01
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I just fixed a external head gasket leak myself on my 02 OBS and that was exact thing I saw. But only during cold start. Do you lose compression during cold start or does it feel if though it idles ruff?
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Old 06-26-2015, 08:41 AM   #7
ampb5rider
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Is your coolant green if so you probably have a HG leak
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:02 PM   #8
JohnM10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampb5rider View Post
Is your coolant green if so you probably have a HG leak
Please explain what you base this on. My coolant was green when it came out of the Subaru coolant bottle, hence why is is still green in my engine.
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Old 06-27-2015, 04:02 PM   #9
JaveStack
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Well, I replaced my valve cover gaskets a while back, and the bolts were loose when I checked them. I retightened and added blue loctite.

There is definitely no more oil leaking, but the bottom of the block is wet around the head.

I thought that maybe my water pump was also loose. If my valve covers loosened up, maybe my water pump was leaking too since I replaced it with my timing belt.

I pulled the timing belt access cover, and I don't see any loose bolts or leaks around the pump. So i guess it isn't that. I was hoping it was.

No milkshake oil, no dirty coolant reservoir. Car was leaking oil like crazy, but the VVL sensors fixed that. Coolant is low but not dry, I haven't refilled it since I did my timing belt and water pump 30k ago. (It is definitely green in the bottle, so I assume you are asking if the oil is green amprider).

Zero, I don't feel any issues with run quality whatsoever unless the engine is under extremely heavy loads.

I assume it's time for a head gasket.... I am a perfectionist so this can of worms is going to be massive and expensive. I'll probably be down to the main bearings while it's out.

"might as well do it while im this far" syndrome.
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Old 07-03-2015, 05:04 PM   #10
Zer01
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Yup I would agree. I did mine as soon as I found the leak. It is worth it. I feel more power now and way more top end. Plus it didn't cost me an arm and a leg since I caught the problem so early.
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