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Old 09-17-2012, 11:35 AM   #1
TBolt1003
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Default Need help with oil leak on 2.2

First off, let me say "thank you" in advance for any help or advice you can give me. I am a newbie on NASIOC and haven't posted much lately, but I need some help and hope someone can point me in the right direction.

I have a 1995 Impreza L wagon with the 2.2L. When I acquired it last June, it had been in a front-end collision, but was repairable. The owner didn't want to have it repaired and essentially left it parked in their backyard until it was offered to me. I took it to work, and with the help of a co-worker, a few trips to a salvage yard and lots of elbow grease, I got the car running again, looking great and saving me a ton of gas getting to work each day over my Expedition's 12mpg.

In the time since I have owned it, I've replaced the timing belt, along with the water pump, cam seals and radiator. I developed an oil leak about 2 months ago which has progressively gotten worse. Bad enough to the point that when I come to a stop at a traffic light, smoke appears from under the car where the oil has been flung onto the exhaust system and is burning off - very embarrassing to say the least. I saw the area under the power steering pump was very wet and eventually the pump started whining. I ended up replacing the pump last week and the car steers like a charm again. However, the mysterious oil leak continues, so I do not believe it is the power steering pump again. If I crawl under the front of the car and look at the front of the engine at the bottom of the front plastic timing belt cover, there are drops of oil along the bottom of the plastic cover where it attaches to the engine block, but also on the bottom of the oil filter. Someone told me the new cam seals may have been defective and are leaking. I'm guessing that may attribute to the oil droplets along the bottom of the plastic cover, but not the oil filter. The engine oil level is remaining fairly level and the power steering pump fluid is right where it should be. Someone else told me the oil cooler bolt may be loose, but my 2.2 doesn't seem to have a cooler like my girlfriend's 2.5L Forester does. The oil filter is on 1/4 turn past when it meets the block, but not cranked down, so I am ruling out the filter gasket being squished. I am at my wits end over this. I cannot see where this oil is coming from. Are there any common places the 2.2 engines are known for leaks? If I have to tear the front of the engine apart again to look at the cam seals, I will, but would like to rule out any other possibilities before I go that route. Again, thanks for any help and replies!
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:01 PM   #2
Gr3en
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Post up some pics of the areas where there is a leak.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:20 PM   #3
mod maniac
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I would guess that it is blowing back from the cover. I see you installed cam seals I didn't see a crank seal mentioned. It could be a cam seal, crank seal or oil pump gasket. It also could be leaking from the oil pressure switch and running down behind the front cover. It also could be the hg leaking.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:56 PM   #4
TBolt1003
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I will try to. I guess being new to the site, I have some restrictions and posting pics is one of them. I tried to post pics of my Impreza after many requests to see my new ride months ago, but I wasn't allowed to upload them. See what I can do this time around.
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:05 PM   #5
TBolt1003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mod maniac View Post
I would guess that it is blowing back from the cover. I see you installed cam seals I didn't see a crank seal mentioned. It could be a cam seal, crank seal or oil pump gasket. It also could be leaking from the oil pressure switch and running down behind the front cover. It also could be the hg leaking.
Yes, definitely blowing back over the underside of the car. The oil pan is wet, as are all the steering and suspension components and the exhaust system. No, we didn't do the crank seal. My friend who does import cars didn't feel it needed done at the time. The smoke has a "sweet" smell to it, and I thought maybe trans fluid or PS fluid, but the trans is full, as is the new PS reservoir. Where is the oil pressure switch located? I'm in the process of trying to obtain a Chilton or Haynes manual for the car. I did forget to mention that when we did the timing belt and water pump, we also did new valve cover gaskets and a tune-up (plugs, wires). I'll crawl under the car after my drive into work tomorrow morning and snap a few pics and try to upload them for you to see. Thanks for the replies so far!
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Old 09-17-2012, 06:47 PM   #6
mod maniac
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The oil pressure switch is on top of the motor in the front. But I bet it is the crank seal. I do the crank and cam seals everytime I do a timing belt.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:15 PM   #7
TBolt1003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mod maniac View Post
The oil pressure switch is on top of the motor in the front. But I bet it is the crank seal. I do the crank and cam seals everytime I do a timing belt.
Wonderful Eh, my friend was willing to pull the front apart again to check the cam seals for me...guess I'll grab a crank seal just in case it is that. I went for a drive tonight in the car and when I got home, there was a small dribble coming out from the plastic cover, which makes me believe the leak is behind the cover now. I'll touch base with him tomorrow and see what he can do & I'll report back on our findings. These engines are definitely easier to pull apart than others I've worked on, that's for sure!!
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:40 PM   #8
ejeighteen
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I had a similar leak on my ej18 where the oil would also drip onto my exhaust and smoke we then tracked it down to the front main seal, my dads friend helped me who has been a mercedes mechanic for 20 years and had never touched a subaru. He taught me that the cleanest seal is probably the one that is leaking because the escaping oil is washing away dirt. We did the front main seal and she hasn't leaked a drop since... good luck with the fix
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:39 PM   #9
TBolt1003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejeighteen View Post
I had a similar leak on my ej18 where the oil would also drip onto my exhaust and smoke we then tracked it down to the front main seal, my dads friend helped me who has been a mercedes mechanic for 20 years and had never touched a subaru. He taught me that the cleanest seal is probably the one that is leaking because the escaping oil is washing away dirt. We did the front main seal and she hasn't leaked a drop since... good luck with the fix
I think we tracked it down to the same thing today. My friend let out a huge "ugh" and is thrilled we have to take the front end all apart again...LOL. I'll update once we see what is going on behind the cover.
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