oil leak


Asked by 98sub Feb 22, 2010 at 01:33 PM about the 1998 Subaru Forester

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Have a oil leak in the area of the oil filter. Looks like it is above the filter.

12 Answers

Larry Quigley

Did you check that the filter had a seal on it when you installed it?


Yes it had the seal on it. It is all over the front of the motor. When I wipe it down and run the engine for a few minutes and check it again there is no oil drips that I can see in the area. After driving it to work I can see some drips in this area. I check the oil once a week and it has not needed any for over 4 weeks. I drive about 150 miles a week. The oil level is still within 1/4 inch of the full mark. I have replaced the pad on the bottom cover and it will be dripping oil in about 3 weeks. Any one else having a problem like this?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.

Hi there. I have the same issue. The Gaskets are leaking which is not unusual for any car over 100k miles. Apparently and unfortunately for the Subaru design this is common and about a $900 - $1,500 dollar job depending on where you are located. In CA mechanics rob people. Other towns you can get the job done for less. How many miles does your car have? Try using a thicker high mileage oil and add some "Stop leak" for engines to your next oil change. Do not over add just use some "Stop Leak" in replacement of 1/2 Quart of motor oil. This will "expand" the Rubber on the gaskets. It's not a big deal but if you start to run hot and possibly overheat it's time to get the Gaskets changed. If you have a good running engine that has been maintained go for the job otherwise if not find a lower mileage vehicle. At the end of the day it's basic maintenence for Subby's.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Hi There is 109,000+ miles on the car. I live in northern Indiana. I have went to a 10w30 oil. I'm due for a oil change and will try the stop leak. The car is in good shape and the engine runs real well. I love the car very much. It handles good in any kind of weather. Thanks for the info, hope it helps this problem for awhile.


Hi there - Ironic, I just drove through Indiana on the way from CA to NY. Okay, you know that your car is due for the timing belt and water pump job. I believe it's every 105K miles that they are due. This is MAJOR - last thing you want is the timing belt or water pump to go. It's a big job "Mostly Labor" about $600 job. Also, change out your upper and lower Radiator hoses and get a high quality thermostat - any GOOD mechanic will know this. Try using Castrol High Mileage Oil. It's a bit thicker and may not leak as much. And add that "Stop Leak" for engines. It's normal to leak some Oil once the Gaskets start to wear. PS. Subaru did a recall on certain models for "Bad Gaskets" Call your local dealer to find out. It was not the year I have but it may have something to do with your car. Not sure. Foresters are GREAT GREAT rides. A car and a Truck in one. Keep those oil changes going - JOHNNY

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Any GOOD mechanic knows to inspect the radiator hoses, not replace them at a specific time interval. This isn't 1966, most cars will go their entire life without the need to replace radiator hoses. The thermostat, yes, only because it's part of the water pump on Subarus. It has to come off anyway, might as well replace it. In any another car, if it ain't broke... Castrol High Mileage won't be thicker, it will have additives that "help" the oil seals. Thicker oil is higher viscosity (10w30, 20w50, etc) - a "GOOD" ASE Master Auto Technician

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Guillermo Rodriguez-Mendez


9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.

Can you be more specific on which gaskets to replace. Thanks My problem on my 2001 Forester with 110K+ miles looks like head gasket. On same side as oil filter housing. Housing apprears to be ok.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

my 2006 Subaru lost it's water pump..hen .burnt owhich attachd inself t the the linkge, That's when the pistons wenr. This car had only 45,000 miles on it. It has been babied There s a complete recod f al my maintenace st the dealership. , Anotor oil chnge was not dur for another 5,000 mils. I was just thinking that I should bring the car in for an oil chnage nd winterising, Not one minute later the engine was gone. I had no advanced answr on the dash board. It flahed 3 lights..passenger air nag, engine..I don't remember the others. It happened so quickly. I n find no recall for th engine (it is the turbo) If anyone ha n information, plrasee cntact me, The warranty was out 3 monhs go due to the ae of the varmn not the mileage..

Candice Loveless

Never use stop leak on any Subaru

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.
Bob Beaman

Never use thicker oil to slow an oil leak. Oil that is of the wrong grade can cause engine problems on some engines in extreme cold conditions. Fix the problem correctly.

Bob Beaman

...and never post to a 2 year old thread! LOL

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