('06-'08) Oil cooler leaking. - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Oil cooler leaking.

So the small oil cooler that is above the oil filter started to leak about 30,000 miles ago. I do 10,000 mile oil changes so i waited till 20,000 to change the o ring on the top of it. After I replaced that big o-ring it seemed to stop leaking for about a week then it started to leak again slowly. 10,000 miles ago i retorqued the bolt and it was at spec and have been monitoring it since. Its still leaking. Is it a possibility that the cooler is leaking between all those disks and its not the o-ring? If so is there a way to fix it or do I need replace the whole cooler?

Any info is greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 07:37 PM
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Just for the record, the thing you're referring to is more of an oil heater than a cooler. It helps the oil warm up quickly.

Regardless, it's unlikely to be leaking between the disks. I would replace the o-ring again, be sure all the surfaces were clean, etc. Be sure it's torqued correctly. There may be a better way to seal this whole assembly to the block - maybe coat the o-ring in sealant or the lips in form-a-gasket. Someone else please jump in on that.

You did not indicate how much oil is leaking. Is it is little - a few drips? Or is the garage floor flooded? If it's a few drips, that's a Subaru "feature".



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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-10-2016, 08:03 PM
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Any chance the oil is coming from a seeping head gasket? If no, did you use a factory/OEM replacement O-ring?

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]

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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 12:08 AM
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swap to a sti oil cooler, did u put some oil around the rubber ring before u torqued it down
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 04:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamExileRacing View Post
... the small oil cooler that is above the oil filter started to leak... do I need replace the whole cooler?...
I have changed the oil many times on my 2008 X and don't recall seeing anything above the filter. Could this oil heater have been deleted between 2006 and 2008?

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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 07:30 AM
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My 06 XT has it. Don't recall on my 05 X, but it might have been there. Some years/models have it, some don't.


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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 07:56 AM
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If the OP's 06 X has an oil heater over the filter, your 05 X must have had it, too.
Then once a feature is dropped, it does not come back.
For instance, the X lost its oil heater after 06 or 07.
The 4EAT lost its fluid filter after 07
The LL Bean lost its self leveling struts after 07.

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage42 View Post
I have changed the oil many times on my 2008 X and don't recall seeing anything above the filter. Could this oil heater have been deleted between 2006 and 2008?
@vintage42 our '03 X has the oil cooler, as does my '07 XT. For some reason, Subaru decided to delete the oil cooler in '08.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage42 View Post
If the OP's 06 X has an oil heater over the filter, your 05 X must have had it, too. Then once a feature is dropped, it does not come back.
Makes sense. I think there are a few threads on how to delete this part. I doubt that its absence would affect the vehicle.


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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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First off, how and why is this a heater? It has coolant running through it? Why would you try to heat up oil that came from a hot engine?

Also yes, i used an oem o ring from subaru dealer. I did put oil on the ring before installing and i did torque it correctly. Also im 99% positive its coming from the cooler and not the head gasket.

Its not a lot of oil but its more than normal which should be none. No its not a "subaru thing" they are not suppose to leak.

Also yes, you can delete this but you have to replace the water pump with an older model pump and do a few other things. I actually have a brand new pump in my garage.

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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 12:53 PM
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The cooler function. The coolant temperature is lower than the oil temperature, so the heat from the oil will be transferred to the coolant.

As to oil heater. The coolant warms up sooner, so it will will help bring the oil temperature up to the normal operating temperature quicker.

The sooner the engine gets to the optimal operating temperature, the less wear & better the performance.

Bobby...

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 01:50 PM
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So there are coolant hoses to this oil heater gizmo located in the oil filter mount?

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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage42 View Post
So there are coolant hoses to this oil heater gizmo located in the oil filter mount?
Yes, one line in and one line out. The oil is going inthrough the filter pipe. Here's a pic of a nice new one - notice the big red o-ring:



And here's one that's installed. It's already leaking ;-)



Here's an article from Outback land on how to change the o-ring gasket.


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Last edited by dave5358; 12-11-2016 at 03:11 PM.
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-11-2016, 04:27 PM
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Very interesting. I can see why Subaru dropped the oil heater. Troublesome, hard to fix, and of marginal value to warm up, only in very cold climates. So glad I don't have it.

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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 12-12-2016, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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So back to my original question. What to do? Replace gasket again? Is there any chance that it could be leaking between disks? Only one way to find out is buy a new one?
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