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2001 Forester Automatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

So this oil leak is a problem that I've been having for over a year with my 2001 Forester L, 2.5L, automatic, 126k mi. The oil seems to be leaking from somewhere on the back end of the engine. I don't ever seem to see a puddle because it only leaks when the car runs and the oil leaks down onto the exhast and burns up. But before you go making prediction, heres a little back story:

I bought the car at 101k. I only put 5w-30 full synthetic in it. Change filter every 3k until I reach about 10k. I had both coolant and oil leaks that developed around 121k and I decided to do a complete engine overhaul and all my seals, gaskets, etc replaced to help solve any problems I may have down the road.

Heres a list of parts installed/replaced in the repair:
Timing belt kit including: Water Pump, Timing Belt, Hydraulic Timing Belt Actuator, Camshaft Belt Tensioner with In Arm Actuator, 3 Camshaft Belt Idlers.
Buy Dayco Timing Belt Water Pump Kit WP304K1A at Advance Auto Parts

Felpro head gasket kit: Head gasket (heads were machined level again), intake and exhaust gasket, cam seal, O-ring for the distributor, O-rings for the injectors, TB gasket, EGR valve gasket, valve seals, thermostat housing gasket.

Rear separator plate, wrist pin access plate, and rear main seal.

New spark plugs, oil, oil filter, fuel filter, and air filter. *I also had the oil pan taken off, cleaned and resealed. All non-gasketed surfaces were resealed with Permatex Right-stuff.

I REALLY tried to do this repair right. However, after having the repair done I drove from NC to OH and back (about 1,000 miles round trip) and shortly after I returned my oil light came on. I took it straight back to the mechanic that did the repair and he put oil back in it and said drive it some more and see if its not just the seals still forming in place. It still leaked, though a little slower. I brought it back again and the mechanic even put it on the lift and looked under the car with me and we couldn't seem to tell where it was coming from. Needless to say I continued to loose oil and still am, however, I've never lost enough to have the oil light come back on.

Currently, I seem to loose about a qt of oil every 500mi or less, but I never seem to be much more than a qt low. I've tried thicker oil and that barely seems to slow it down. I just did an oil and filter replacement last night with the standard 5w-30 full synth since winter is coming(I did this change earlier than needed). The pan only drained about 3 qts, when the full level is around 4.2 qt. I'm thinking I may need to get a UV dye kit to locate the source.

So, the question is, what the heck is still leaking on my car? From the forum research I've done, it seems that I already had fixed most of the key problem areas for leaks on a Subie, so what gives? Thanks for any help y'all can give me! I'll try and upload some pictures soon.
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