('09-'13) Foz Crash = Diff leak?! - any advice appreciated! - SOLVED! - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Dec 2011
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Foz Crash = Diff leak?! - any advice appreciated! - SOLVED!

My 2012 Forester was in an accident and was hit in the rear passengers wheel and bumper by the front drivers side wheel and bumper of a Nissan Altima. The stupid driver was reaching down for her purse and side-swiped the back of my car.

The damage to my Forester looks minor with paint ground off the rim, wheel-well, and bumper cover. However, after driving a little, it's now leaking oil from where front differential bolts to the automatic transmission.

Could the impact have broken an internal oil seal?

Any advice, so I could prove it to insurance, would be greatly appreciated!

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 11:25 AM
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Iím sorry to hear this. I hope no one got hurt. I mean anything is possible however I would think it would be unlikely that an impact to the rear would cause the front differential to leak. How many miles on the 2012? Iíd say itís more likely a result of age or miles. Itís worth it to mention it to the shop/adjuster none the less.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply. Fortunately, nobody got hurt and we were both able to drive away.
I didn't notice the oil leak from the differential until a few miles later, when we stopped because of a burning smell, which was the diff oil that got on the exhaust.
My Forester has 66,500 miles. It had a new engine put in at 45K under the oil consumption recall, but there were some loose external bolts (battery tray, battery tie down, alternator, and air intake) after the swap, which I fixed. I had the mechanic look the car over 2 days later to make sure I didn't miss anything.
I had front and rear differential fluid changed a year ago, and the radiator fluid changed 2 weeks ago.
The Foz was checked my trustworthy mechanic 2 days before the accident, and everything was in working order with no leaks of any kind.

Is this just a strange coincidence or could the shock of the impact have traveled up the rear drive shaft to the front somehow?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 04:02 AM
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Good luck. However, if you were hit hard enough to shift the drive-shaft, then this should be evident in the rear subframe being misaligned. This will help you get your leak fixed, but isn't good overall, if it ends up being fixed. I'd much rather the damage be superficial, as you describe it, and be stuck with the leak to fix on my own!

My story (not a happy ending):

I had $20k worth of damage to my previous STI after some lady pulled out right in front of me and SMACK!

After repairing the massive front-end damage (should have been totaled), I spent the next year trying to get them to fix obvious and less obvious issues that I believe were the result of the accident.

One such issue, was my rear differential grinding while backing up with the front wheel turned. I had been driving the same route every single day for almost two years at that point and, when I get home, back up into the same exact set of spots, all at the same angle.

Anyway, insurance refused to cover it, saying it was a Subaru issue and Subaru refused to cover it, saying it was the result of the accident.

I ended up dumping the car soon after. A year of my time with a mostly-fixed vehicle was too much for me.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 05:46 AM
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I had a minor front diff leak in the exact same area and several others have too. If your leak was not caused by the accident, here's how you might want to deal with it:

https://www.subaruforester.org/vbull...estion-724634/

2018 2.5i Ltd FB25 CVT; 2010 2.5X Ltd EJ253 4AT
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Great advice, thanks guys!!
I will pick up some "Blue Devil oil stop leak" just in case.
I dropped the Forester off at the mechanic on Saturday and I'm expecting to hear back from him by end of day Monday. So, I keep you all posted.
Thanks for all your help!
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Update: mechanic won't be done till EOD Tuesday.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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Good News Everyone! (says Professor Farnsworth)*
The mystery of the differential oil leak has been solved.

Apparently, when the dealership changed the oil in the front differential in December, they overfilled it.

Since then, the weather has not really been hot enough and the car not driven long enough, so my road trip caused the diff oil to heat up, expand, and bubble out of the dipstick. At least that's what the mechanic said. So far, he's never been wrong in 30 years.

Side note... the accident did no damage to the Forester (other than cosmetic) and all the mechanicals are in good working order.

So, it's all good.
Excelsior!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 08:22 AM
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nice glad it worked out
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 03:38 PM
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Fan-freaking-tastic!

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