Oil pooling on top of engine, where could it be coming from? (PICS!)
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This is a discussion on Oil pooling on top of engine, where could it be coming from? (PICS!) within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; So I have an 03 WRX with 137K on the clock and i noticed today that I have developed an ...

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    Oil pooling on top of engine, where could it be coming from? (PICS!)

    So I have an 03 WRX with 137K on the clock and i noticed today that I have developed an oil leak coming from somewhere under the intake/power steering pump.

    I was driving through a bumpy field and i guess it was enough to splash some oil that had been pooling on top of my engine onto the belts and cause it to go everywhere, onto my exhaust which brought it to my attention. I checked the dipstick and it is 1QT low. I am just over 3k on this oil and i was going to do my oil change tomorrow. Here is a pic of the only place i could see oil pooling. I took my alternator off real quick to see this much. Nothing coming from the valve cover, isnt coming from the timing cover either. Looked back between the intercooler and the intake and it is all dry back there. Anyone have any idea what could be source? I search and found a lot of STI owners having problems with oil feed lines cracking but i didn't know if that also was a problem on the WRX.

    Here is the pic. The front of the car is at the bottom of the pic, you can see the engine code on the right and the oil is pooled on the left center of the pic right behind the power steering pump:


    it looks like the oil source is somewhere further left of where it is pooling. there are lots of hoses, wires and the coolant pipe routed through there making it very hard to see what is in there that could be leaking.

    any help will be great!

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    Moderator Donkey's Avatar
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    Could be a leaking valve cover.
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    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atticus_ View Post
    So I have an 03 WRX with 137K on the clock and i noticed today that I have developed an oil leak coming from somewhere under the intake/power steering pump.

    I was driving through a bumpy field and i guess it was enough to splash some oil that had been pooling on top of my engine onto the belts and cause it to go everywhere, onto my exhaust which brought it to my attention. I checked the dipstick and it is 1QT low. I am just over 3k on this oil and i was going to do my oil change tomorrow. Here is a pic of the only place i could see oil pooling. I took my alternator off real quick to see this much. Nothing coming from the valve cover, isnt coming from the timing cover either. Looked back between the intercooler and the intake and it is all dry back there. Anyone have any idea what could be source? I search and found a lot of STI owners having problems with oil feed lines cracking but i didn't know if that also was a problem on the WRX. Its a long shot but It could be a head gasket, Ive seen more than one weep coolant out from behind the timing cover, granted that was on the N/A EJ25's of this year...

    Here is the pic. The front of the car is at the bottom of the pic, you can see the engine code on the right and the oil is pooled on the left center of the pic right behind the power steering pump:


    it looks like the oil source is somewhere further left of where it is pooling. there are lots of hoses, wires and the coolant pipe routed through there making it very hard to see what is in there that could be leaking.

    any help will be great!
    I know you mentioned you were a quart low on oil, however are you sure its oil leaking and not ATF from the power steering pump? I have seen block castings cause this over time.. check the oil feed line, I know its on the back of the P/
    S cylinder head however it might seem possible. If you cant source the leak, clean the engine off with some brakekleen, hop over to NAPA and grab some engine oil dye and dump a bottle in..if the leak is that significant that you should be able to track it down in a couple days or so...any other problems with the vehicle with the exception of this leak?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
    Could be a leaking valve cover.
    As I said in the original post, not a leaking valve cover. i can clearly see the top of the valve cover and no oil is coming from there.

    Quote Originally Posted by EvoEatr View Post
    I know you mentioned you were a quart low on oil, however are you sure its oil leaking and not ATF from the power steering pump? I have seen block castings cause this over time.. check the oil feed line, I know its on the back of the P/
    S cylinder head however it might seem possible. If you cant source the leak, clean the engine off with some brakekleen, hop over to NAPA and grab some engine oil dye and dump a bottle in..if the leak is that significant that you should be able to track it down in a couple days or so...any other problems with the vehicle with the exception of this leak?
    Believe me, i know the difference between engine oil and P/S Fluid.

    Car runs perfect besides for the leak.

    does anyone have a diagram of the oil line routing on the EJ20? I would like to know exactly were the feed line is if im going to start tearing into things.

  6. #5
    Registered User totus81's Avatar
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    Oil Leak

    Did you check oil pressure sensor. Just remove alternator and unscrew the sensor to check it. Other simple idea is to remove intercooler and check that oil is there. I had similar problem in old wrx 02. Turbo was leaking little by little. When you remove intercooler. Turbo outlet must be white with no signs of oil. If itís leaking there you will defiantly see it. I donít think that is head gasket.

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    Registered User 22B05STI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by totus81 View Post
    Did you check oil pressure sensor. Just remove alternator and unscrew the sensor to check it. Other simple idea is to remove intercooler and check that oil is there. I had similar problem in old wrx 02. Turbo was leaking little by little. When you remove intercooler. Turbo outlet must be white with no signs of oil. If itís leaking there you will defiantly see it. I donít think that is head gasket.
    I'm going with this guy! I would say oil pressure sensor as the likely candidate, take a good look at that. I have seen one go bad and leak!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 22B05STI View Post
    I'm going with this guy! I would say oil pressure sensor as the likely candidate, take a good look at that. I have seen one go bad and leak!
    oil pressure sender is on the right in this picture. dosent have any oil around it at all but in not ruling it out. i will try and recheck it somehow. i feel that whatever is leaking is only doing it in higher rpm's when i build oil pressure.

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    there is no oil at all around the oil pressure sender. it seems that it has to be coming from the other side of the powersteering pump where the oil is pooling. and it looks like whatever is leaking only does it when im running the car hard. i have been driving to work the past couple of days with no problems.

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