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Old 04-12-2012, 07:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2006 forester dripping possible oil leak

So when I turn off the car, I can hear a distinct dripping sound that starts off fast and stops after about 10-15 minutes. I thought it might just be engine cooling off, but after checking underneath there are no puddles or drips visible. There is a small oil trail up above the oil pan. Could this be a head gasket problem or a valve leaking? The car runs fine and I haven't noticed any coolant level reduction. any help would be great as I'm not very knowledgeable about car maintenance.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How long have you owned the car? Are you sure it's not the ticking of the heat shields cooling down after turning off the engine?
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If there's no drips, there's no leak.

Chill Bro, don't overthink it.....
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Need a little more info...

Can you describe the oil trail with a little more detail (where it looks like it starts)? It could be a small leak that is dripping onto your exhaust and burning up. Do you smell any burning oil after driving the car? Have you noticed any unusual oil consumption? How many miles do you have on the Foz, and do you make sure the required maintenance is done?

Get in there with a flashlight and give those valve covers a good looking over on the side where you see the oil trail on the oil pan. If it is a small leak from the valve cover gaskets, that is a relatively easy fix. Do a little more detective work and report back what you find. Pictures would be a great help in solving your problem.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmward View Post
So when I turn off the car, I can hear a distinct dripping sound that starts off fast and stops after about 10-15 minutes. I thought it might just be engine cooling off, but after checking underneath there are no puddles or drips visible. There is a small oil trail up above the oil pan. Could this be a head gasket problem or a valve leaking? The car runs fine and I haven't noticed any coolant level reduction. any help would be great as I'm not very knowledgeable about car maintenance.
Try cleaning the small trail to see if it returns, if you can't locate the leak. You probably would not be able to hear an oil leak, most likely what tc2000 said.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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So when I turn off the car, I can hear a distinct dripping sound that starts off fast and stops after about 10-15 minutes.
Dripping oil has no sound. You are hearing heat shields.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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well, it looks like the oil trail is from one of the valve cover gaskets. Very small it appears. Will this cause big problems later on or is this something that just needs to get fixed in the near future? Also, I'm pretty sure you can have a leak without a drip. Liquid can dry or evaporate before it falls to the ground
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Oil...

Evaporates and dries out, but it takes decades.

Valve covers are simple to do. If you can change brakes or change the plugs, you can do the VCG.

And, well...all gaskets eventually fail. We have a 1948 Farmall that had its original transmission gaskets finally fail. They took 63 years...

I also have a 1969 AH Sprite. I put VCGs on it every other year.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gmward View Post
well, it looks like the oil trail is from one of the valve cover gaskets. Very small it appears. Will this cause big problems later on or is this something that just needs to get fixed in the near future? Also, I'm pretty sure you can have a leak without a drip. Liquid can dry or evaporate before it falls to the ground
Absolutely, though technically a seep.

Not an emergency, but definitely fix sooner rather than later. It will get worse
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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still haven't gotten around to the 2006 forester recalls either, although I don't think they have anything to do with the problem. fuel reserve valve removal and the other one was a software update I believe.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Dripping oil has no sound. You are hearing heat shields.
That is true for external oil. Likely he is hearing the ticking of heat shields.

But is is possible to hear oil dripping internally. I have often heard dripping oil. Usually in my vintage BMW motorcycles, and sometimes in my cars. The engine and oil must be very hot. Then the thin oil can be heard trickling and falling back into the sump when the engine is turned off.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default You should stand...

Next to a semi with the cab lifted to expose the engine while being worked on.

Once those things are good and hot...then get shut off...

You'll swear you are standing in the middle of a Brazilian thunderstorm...but there is no rain...

I think Subaru's current "problem" is all the other manufacturers have gone to these plastic "let's hide everything" shrouds of mystery. They conceal noise.

The trade-off in a Subaru, is if you want to fix something, you aren't spending 45 minutes trying to find all those plastic screws/nylon nuts to finally see the motor.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Fix it....

Quote:
Originally Posted by schan1269 View Post
Valve covers are simple to do. If you can change brakes or change the plugs, you can do the VCG.
The VCG are pretty easy to change. The gasket kit for a SOHC will be different from the kit for a DOHC. So make sure to get the correct kit for your engine.

Search the forum and you will find good instruction on how to do this project.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:11 AM   #14 (permalink)
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DIY Valve Cover and Spark Plug Gasket Install - Subaru Impreza GC8 & RS Forum & Community: RS25.com
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