Possibly Burning Oil
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This is a discussion on Possibly Burning Oil within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hey all. I think my 2002 WRX wagon may be burning oil and was wondering if I could get a ...

  1. #1
    Registered User ohtwoWRXwagon's Avatar
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    Possibly Burning Oil

    Hey all. I think my 2002 WRX wagon may be burning oil and was wondering if I could get a few recommendations on what could be happening or even some rec's for places to take a Subaru in Boulder, CO. I noticed a smell over the past couple weeks and have a feeling it is oil. I can't find any leaks and the car is not running any differently, but when I checked the oil level recently it was slightly below the full line. The engine has about 100K miles on it and I've had no major issues/repairs other than routine maintenance (water pump, timing belt, etc).

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance!

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  3. #2
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Not much to go with.

    If there is a leak, find it. Leaks from the valve covers are not uncommon, and these tend to smell particularly on the turbo side of the motor. Leaks from the feed to the turbo also happen, as do leaks from the seals under the front cover -- though if you had the timing belt done someone would have noticed those.

    If you are burning oil, quantify the rate. 1l per 1000 mi is not considered abnormal. Different oils will have different use rates in your engine. You can experiment with various brands and viscosities. Look in the owner's manual for acceptable viscosities and find the temperature ranges in your area, there's a chart.

    Check level at the same time under the same conditions at least once weekly and see what's going on.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

  4. #3
    Registered User ohtwoWRXwagon's Avatar
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    Thank you very much! I haven't noticed any leaks as of yet, but could it be possible something is leaking such a small amount it never reaches the ground?

    The other thing I should mention is I only seem to notice the smell when the car has sat for around 3 or more days; if I'm driving it daily I don't really notice any smell.

  5. #4
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Because the headers and other very hot components are below components such as the valve covers, that can leak, it is possible to have a leak for years with no oil touching the ground -- it burns off. Your description is consistent with something like that.

    Let the car go stone cold, get a flashlight and a mirror, be SAFE, and have a good look around.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

  6. #5
    Registered User ohtwoWRXwagon's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great plan, thank you very much for the input. Do you have any thoughts on why the smell is more noticeable when it hasn't been run for a few days compared to daily driving?

  7. #6
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Because more oil can accumulate until the motor is run again to burn it off.
    WRX Info Links, Courtesy TheJ
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

  8. #7
    Registered User SKI.WRX's Avatar
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    I live in Boulder as well. Super Rupair is a Subaru only place out on Yarmouth and 28th. Also, there is Flatirons Subaru out on 55th and Arapahoe. I had a wheel bearing and a power steering boot replaced at Super Rupair and the cost was reasonable and they got me in on short notice. I have never had service done at Flatirons but I do buy gaskets and other parts there as it also houses Flatirons tuning good customer service overall.

  9. #8
    Registered User ohtwoWRXwagon's Avatar
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    Great, thank you all! I'm going to see what I can try find on my own and if I don't have any luck I'll check out Super Rupair or Flatirons.

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