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Discussion Starter #1
I just got my car from winter storage and installed a catback and a new set of coilovers. I don't think these have anything to do with the leak but I wanted to mention.
I noticed a few drops of oil on the garage floor and looked under the car and saw there was a good amount of what I believe is motor oil on the skid plate. I jacked up the car and got underneath and checked the drain plug and filter - both were dry. So I then looked around for the source and noticed oil leaking from a narrow pipe looking part - Embarrassed to say I don't know what it is. Then I looked at the left side of the engine block and noticed dry oil that covered the coil pack and a large portion of the block. I just checked my oil level last night and it was full, but just noticed this leak today. Take a look at the pictures and please let me know if anyone knows what this could be. I'll probably end up taking it to a subaru performance shop to have a look since I hate taking it to the dealer - I have 70,000 miles on the car and don't think I have a warranty anymore. Thanks for the help
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I'm not sure what the first pic is, but the others are the same spots I had leaks including finding a pool in the undertray -- it was the steering rack leaking around the pinion valve. I had the rack replaced under warranty a while back. Apparently its a common STI problem around the 60,000 mile/96,000 km mark going back years. Annoying that they haven't addressed this. Hopefully my replacement rack holds up better.

Check your power steering fluid level -- mine was noticeably lower and that should help confirm if that's really your issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not sure what the first pic is, but the others are the same spots I had leaks including finding a pool in the undertray -- it was the steering rack leaking around the pinion valve. I had the rack replaced under warranty a while back. Apparently its a common STI problem around the 60,000 mile/96,000 km mark going back years. Annoying that they haven't addressed this. Hopefully my replacement rack holds up better.

Check your power steering fluid level -- mine was noticeably lower and that should help confirm if that's really your issue.
Thanks for the info. After searching this issue, it looks like it may be the same problem I have. The reason I wasn't sure if it was motor oil was because it didn't smell like it.
I'll check the steering fluid level. Can I add steering fluid to the reservoir until I get it fixed? (assuming that's the issue)
 

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you can.

I had a leak for approx 2 years, and just kept putting in fluid. Make sure you put in ATF, not Power steering fluid
 

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Thanks for the info. After searching this issue, it looks like it may be the same problem I have. The reason I wasn't sure if it was motor oil was because it didn't smell like it.
I'll check the steering fluid level. Can I add steering fluid to the reservoir until I get it fixed? (assuming that's the issue)
Yes you can add fluid until its fixed and its the best thing to do until its replaced since you don't want it to get so low that air enters the system and power steering pump. And like Leemanfor said, put in ATF fluid -- thats what is used as our power steering fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies. I'm taking it to a reputable local performance Subaru shop for a new clutch and alignment, along with fixing this issue. Appointment is not until beginning of April so I'll have to make do with adding fluid until then. Is the steering fluid like coolant, where taking the cap off is a no-go? Or can I pop the cap off and add ATF without worrying about air getting into the system?

Thanks again.
 

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Thanks for the replies. I'm taking it to a reputable local performance Subaru shop for a new clutch and alignment, along with fixing this issue. Appointment is not until beginning of April so I'll have to make do with adding fluid until then. Is the steering fluid like coolant, where taking the cap off is a no-go? Or can I pop the cap off and add ATF without worrying about air getting into the system?

Thanks again.
You can just pop off the cap. It’s just a reservoir and not on the pressure side.


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Discussion Starter #8
One other question - is it OK to drive the car for about a month before my service appointment? I'll make sure the fluid level stays consistent and will try to keep the driving to a minimum, but will probably need to drive it here and there in the mean time.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So I ended up finding the source of my oil leak. I was looking at the open engine bay one night with a flashlight and noticed a roughly 1" diameter O-ring sitting on top of the block right under the intake manifold. I grabbed some pliers and fished it out to discover I had no idea where it could have come from. This past Friday, I went to the Subaru dealer to pick up an oil filter and brought in the mystery part to ask if they knew what it was. They did. It's the black o-ring that sits on the inside of the oil fill cap........ That's what was causing the leak. Oil was seeping out of the fill tube while I was driving and ran down the side of my engine all the way to the power steering rack and then the garage floor. I'm glad it was an easy fix, but damn do I feel like an idiot. I have no idea how it came off the cap though. Maybe after being in winter storage in the cold it became loose and me taking it off finally broke it free. Oh well, no more leak!
 

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They did. It's the black o-ring that sits on the inside of the oil fill cap........ That's what was causing the leak.
That's crazy, I would have never thought to check there. Good thing you saw the o ring. Thanks for updating the thread with the solution.
 
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