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Old 08-11-2003, 11:11 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 19410
Join Date: May 2002
Chapter/Region: VIC
Location: Richmond, BC
'95 LWRX Stage Rally Red

Default Coolant leak - where from?

I'm considering buying a '95 Impreza L (1.8L). I noticed on the lower crossmember a drop of coolant, nice and fresh and green. This is the angled part of the crossmember that sticks down with holes in it (that I guess skidplates would bolt on to). There were maybe 2 drops on the ground after several hours.

Is there anything around those parts that might explain the presence of coolant there? A leaky hose? Head gasket? Looking at the overflow tank and dipstick, I don't see evidence of coolant and oil mixing together.

Also, are the oil pans on the EJ18 prone to leakage, as there is a bit of oil on the rear part of the oil pan. It's got about 230K km's (142K miles). Anything else to look for?

How hard is the timing belt replacement on it?

Thanks in advance,

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Old 08-12-2003, 02:33 AM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 3844
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Helsinki, Finland
1993 Legacy 1.8


My English is pretty bad so I didn't catch completely the place where the droppings are. However it could be the hoses that is used for the inside heater. Maybe?

I have 1.8 and I have had to get the oil pan gasget changed once because it leaked. It's cheap and shouldn't be hard to do by yourself.

One thing you might want to get look on is the cam shaft and crank saft sealings. To do this you can look oil around the timing belt cover's (the black plastic thing infront of the engine) gasget. Mine shows up like this: .

If you hear a little scuffle when the engine is idling, it's probaply the timing belt tensioners and it shouldn't be dangerous.

You might wan't to check the shock absorbers as well. Mine are bad.

The power steering pump is also changed on my Sube.

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Old 08-13-2003, 04:28 AM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 12588
Join Date: Nov 2001
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Down by the sea
Four Count 'em



There's several places the coolant fluid could be coming from:

1) the two block drain plugs (one one each side of the engine, close to the front of the engine and adjacent to the oil pan mounting bolts). One or both could be seeping and need to be tightened;

2) Any of the radiator or heater hoses could be leaking/dripping

3) The thermostat housing could be dripping/leaking as could the water pump itself

4) The top coolant by-pass pipe under the intake manifold could be leaking

5) The head gasket(s) could be leaking

The only sure way to find out is to pressurize the system (do a leak down test) and see where the fluid is coming from. Then you'll know what to go after if a repair is required.

WRT the oil leak at the rear of the oil pan, I'd suggest that your oil pan gasket and/or your engine rear main seal itself is leaking.

Bottom line, I wouldn't consider the car unless it gets a clean bill of health from an independent auto mechanic whom you trust and any repairs required are factored into the purchase price. You can mitigate the cost of repairs somewhat if 1) you're mechanically inclined and can do them yourself, and 2) you don't need the vehicle as a daily driver if/when you have to take it off-line for repairs. If this is being sold by a dealer, and they want the sale, then have them get the car repaired by a Subaru-qualified tech to your satisfaction with a 12 MO/12K warranty (Subaru's warranty on parts/labor).

Just a couple of quick thoughts...Let us know what you find out/decide.

Br, Dale
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Old 09-30-2003, 12:18 AM   #4
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 19410
Join Date: May 2002
Chapter/Region: VIC
Location: Richmond, BC
'95 LWRX Stage Rally Red


Thanks for the info. Just as a follow-up, here were the issues I found:

1) Coolant leak was from the water pump. Eventually, it leaked badly enough that individual green drops were visible making their way around the oil pan mounting flange towards the engine crossmember (quite cool - like a trail of ants!) and then dripping down to the ground. Water pump needed to be replaced.

2) Oil leaks on heads were from the cam seals (especially passenger rear). There was a coating of oil / dirt on top of the engine crossmember on the passenger side that seemed to be the result of this leak.

3) Rear main and front crankshaft seal were also done. All cam seals were done, as was the timing belt.

I suspect 1 and 2 were the main issues with respect to the oil and very obvious coolant leak. No more leaks!


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