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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I performed my Ascent's 3rd oil change at 18,000 miles. Dealer did the first for free, then I did #2 and installed a Fumoto valve. This time, #3, I got ready to do the change and took a flash light down under with me. I can see there is oil and attracted dirt up high. Looking from underneath, I can see oil on the oil pan bolt directly above the fumoto valve with no trail of the oil accumulating there, as if that bolt itself is leaking. But I can also see oil above that point. It blows back I guess while driving and eventually drips onto the exhaust pipe just aft of the engine skid plate.
I set an appointment for Monday at the dealer to inspect this.
Anyone hear of or experience an oil leak in this generaal area? It doesn't drip on the ground, the exhaust pipe evidently burns it off and it's highly likely to only leak while running, hence the streaks back from wind blow.
Thanks!
 

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Ugh, that sucks, sorry to hear that. I just checked the TSBs, and, currently, it's not something there's a TSB for. I have a Primitive Racing skid plate, with an access panel cover, so I can't see mine without getting it on my ramps and pulling the access panel cover.

If no one else responds, I will do that this weekend when the weather is a little better, and it's brighter outside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I should have taken photos while I had it up on the ramps. I'll do that tomorrow morning before the family arrives to open presents. If not tomorrow, then over the weekend. I like to show the service writer what I'm talking about since they don't let customers in to the service bays any longer.

And no worries about the leak, I had one on a 2001 Forester. It was the main block seal. They literally had to pull the whole motor, split the cases to repair. Then on my 2011 Forester, it was using oil and they replaced the whole block. Both under warranty without a dime out of my pocket.
My 2005 Forester had a coolant leak at the head into the block. I mentioned I wanted to trade in and the service department worked with the sales department and got me an awesome trade in value. No idea what they did with that Forester. Ha!

The reason I keep going back to Subaru is for the service. They fix anything, replace anything and never hint that any of the cost is mine. Most recently front brake noise and they replaced the rotors and the pads.
 

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I should have taken photos while I had it up on the ramps. I'll do that tomorrow morning before the family arrives to open presents. If not tomorrow, then over the weekend. I like to show the service writer what I'm talking about since they don't let customers in to the service bays any longer.

And no worries about the leak, I had one on a 2001 Forester. It was the main block seal. They literally had to pull the whole motor, split the cases to repair. Then on my 2011 Forester, it was using oil and they replaced the whole block. Both under warranty without a dime out of my pocket.
My 2005 Forester had a coolant leak at the head into the block. I mentioned I wanted to trade in and the service department worked with the sales department and got me an awesome trade in value. No idea what they did with that Forester. Ha!

The reason I keep going back to Subaru is for the service. They fix anything, replace anything and never hint that any of the cost is mine. Most recently front brake noise and they replaced the rotors and the pads.
congrats !! wish I find dealer like yours...
 

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Sorry to hear that. I had my car on the lift today to change my oil and did not see anything leaking.
 

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I noticed a similar leak just a few weeks ago, on my second oil change at 10k miles. Nothing dripping down the oil pan from above the oil pan, above the Fumoto valve, but I did notice oil on the sway bar behind it, and if I looked up above the pan with a flashlight, I could see an oil droplet hanging, about ready to fall. I wiped up the sway bar, and we'll see if it leaks any more. I traded in my 17 Outback because I had a similar leak on that one, which I thought was likely an upper oil pan gasket, as those had a TSB on that. They replaced the low oil level sensor, which was above the oil pan on drivers side, just above the drain bolt. The gasket was leaking, and the whole oil pan was wet after a couple thousand miles. Only reason I am in the Ascent, is when I was waiting for them to do the repair, I test drove the Ascent, and ended up trading in the Outback to get into the Ascent. I know the upper oil pan TSB essentially requires the engine to be pulled to replace, so I hope it is not that.

I was wondering if there was either an oil vent tube (PCV system) or something that was misting oil down onto the sway bar, so I am curious how this turns out for you. I still have plenty of warranty time left to get it looked at if it still looks like it is leaking in a few thousand miles. I'd have to take off the belly pan to really get a good look to see where it is coming from. My oil levels are not dropping between oil changes, so it must be a small amount at this point.
 

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........
The reason I keep going back to Subaru is for the service. They fix anything, replace anything and never hint that any of the cost is mine. Most recently front brake noise and they replaced the rotors and the pads.
Where is your dealer ??? I want them.
I've got an oil leak on our 2011 forester, they say timing belt cover. Drips about 2 drops a week on the cardboard under the car in the garage. My stealer wants about $3K to fix it. ouch
 

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The reason I keep going back to Subaru is for the service. They fix anything, replace anything and never hint that any of the cost is mine. Most recently front brake noise and they replaced the rotors and the pads.
This statement reminds me of the ownership experience I had with my 1992 Ford Taurus SHO. The SHO was the high performance version produced by Ford's SVT group, the same people responsible for the Cobra. The car was at the dealer seemingly monthly for warped rotors and electronics problems. The tech at the local dealership was the lead SVT tech for the state and other dealers shipped cars to him for warranty work.

The owner of the dealership would call me after every service and "survey" my treatment and the performance of his service team. I always told him the same thing. "Your team is excellent and they fixed everything but Id'drather have a car that didn't need so many repairs."

I've owned many performance cars and built cars for the drag strip so I'm accustomed to break-downs, but, a daily-use vehicle like the Ascent should be a transportation appliance, highly reliable. My expectation level for high reliability comes from decades of Toyota, Lexus and Mazda's trouble-free ownership. My expectation for the Ascent is high.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This statement reminds me of the ownership experience I had with my 1992 Ford Taurus SHO. The SHO was the high performance version produced by Ford's SVT group, the same people responsible for the Cobra. The car was at the dealer seemingly monthly for warped rotors and electronics problems. The tech at the local dealership was the lead SVT tech for the state and other dealers shipped cars to him for warranty work.

The owner of the dealership would call me after every service and "survey" my treatment and the performance of his service team. I always told him the same thing. "Your team is excellent and they fixed everything but Id'drather have a car that didn't need so many repairs."

I've owned many performance cars and built cars for the drag strip so I'm accustomed to break-downs, but, a daily-use vehicle like the Ascent should be a transportation appliance, highly reliable. My expectation level for high reliability comes from decades of Toyota, Lexus and Mazda's trouble-free ownership. My expectation for the Ascent is high.
My expectation is high as well. No Subaru has ever left me stranded. Every issue has presented itself as non catastrophic, albeit expensive. Ha! Leaks, excessive oil use, warped rotors, shuddering tranny, all are not issues that would make the car dangerous to drive. At least not when they first become apparent. It's on the owner to take in for service or at least examination when something is amiss. I've never had a Subaru service charge on stuff they could not replicate. Heck, even the excessive oil use, they did a free oil change to give a start point to work from.
 

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Where is your dealer ??? I want them.
I've got an oil leak on our 2011 forester, they say timing belt cover. Drips about 2 drops a week on the cardboard under the car in the garage. My stealer wants about $3K to fix it. ouch
I have great experience with Lucas oil leak stop it sealed mine 98 outback with 240k on clock .So if the seals are not completely death it should fix it .
 

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I would caution against using any type of oil stop leak product unless you are about ready for a complete tear down anyway. They work by softening and swelling elastomers. While this may sound good it is actually chemically attacking all of the elastomers that see the oil And not just the one leaking.

When I did chemical compatibility tests on elastomers as a young engineer that is exactly what we looked for to prove that a chemical was not compatible with the elastomer seal. Looking at the Lucas MSDS it uses naphthenic which taking a quick look is not recommended for several different elastomers.

So on a 240k mile car sure why not try it, worse that happens is you replace all the seals anyway. On a new car, again, I would certainly caution you against it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
As promised, some photos of the oil leak;

This photo shows the Fumoto valve in the foreground with the oil pan bolt dripping oil. The oil is dark, indicating it's used motor oil, not fresh that was somehow spilled during an oil change. The oil doesn't run down from any place to the bolt, just on the bolt itself. The round bar is the sway bar. Next photo shows oil leakage past the sway bar.

6615


This image shows some sort of oil all over a shield or cover looking past the sway bar shown in the previous photo;
6616


This photo shows a close up of the previous photo;
6617


This photo shows the same oil mess but from a different angle. This angle is looking up past the exhaust pipe;
6618


This final image shows that the oil from the image above drips onto the exhaust pipe shield and burns off as well as saturates the lip that doesn't get hot enough to burn off.
6619
 

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It's hard to tell from the photos (and I'd have to pull my skids to see that area), but, is the seeping anywhere near the PCV/turbo oil lines? If you suspect it's those that may be leaking, I suggest bringing it in to have them check it out ASAP.

If you can't determine, let me know, and I will pull my skid plate tomorrow and see if I can line up your leak with the PCV/turbo oil plumbing.

6623
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dropped off at the Subaru service department this morning. The service writer looked at the photos and said I'd need a loaner car. Ha! He said 3 techs called in this morning and shorthanded, may take a while, but they will call soon as they know anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Got a call back from the service writer. He said they found the leak originates at the oil seal pan gasket. I think he said the upper? oil pan gasket? I know what an oil pan is, didn't know there was an upper and a lower, so I may have heard him wrong. He asked if I wouldn't mind keeping the loaner car for another day, they are backed up with 3 day weekend and 3 techs calling in. Said it's covered under warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Found this video showing the removal of the upper oil pan. It is sandwiched between the block and the lower, conventional oil pan. Looks HUGE! The video has the motor out of the car, I imagine the motor has to be pulled to get at this thing. What you you think?

Start the video at 14 minutes, 40 seconds to skip forward to where the upper pan is being removed.
Subaru Motor Teardown
 

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lol, beat me to it by just a few seconds. Great find, @SkiPro3!

Also, for those of you who like looking at what the insides of engines look like, it's a great video. The FA20 is very similar to our FA24.

Part 1 for those interested:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm gonna guess that the motor has to be pulled. The exhaust system and turbo block the lower pan, so for sure the upper pan is not accessible while in the car.
That's not good! That's a lot of crap to come off; cooling system, AC system, fuel system, etc. all has to come off in order to pull this motor and so all those things all have to be reassembled correctly so a new problem is not introduced.
I don't know man, bought it November 2019 and now already a major teardown? Oh well...
In the meantime I got an Outback to play with.
BTW, I mentioned I had a Forester that had the block replaced due to oil consumption. It took 3 days in the shop for that job, 2 were because that's how long it took to get the block delivered. They are fast, I'll give 'em that!
 

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Pulling a Subaru engine is a little easier than it seems. As a matter of fact, when us with manual transmissions get our clutches changed, virtually everyone pulls the engine instead of dropping the transmission.

Regardless, I'd email SoA about your concerns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Do you have their email address? Not sure exactly what I would say to them other than I sure hope they get it all put back together right and that I'm not thrilled to have a car barely a year old that has this much work needed.

The front rotors and brake pads already have been changed and the tranny does this shudder/stutter thing every once in a while that the dealer can't replicate.
 
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