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Help requested - Smoke coming from under hood

2867 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  rqjoe
Hey guys!

Looking for some help here. Recently my 04 WRX has been having some minor smoke issues, and also smelling of exhaust fumes (pretty sure). She has 130K miles on her now, and is no longer my daily driver. I'll do my best to describe everything I'm seeing and hearing as far as symptoms go.

It started a couple months ago. I had just started to drive it to work, when at a red light about 5 minutes later I had noticed a relatively small amount of smoke coming out of the hood, accompanied by exhaust smell. I worked from home that day until I could take a closer look at it. Later on I took it for a cruise and it stopped smoking, but still had some exhaust fumes. I drove to work the rest of the week without issue aside from the smell.

Fastforward to present day and it's once again its smoking from under the hood. The smoke looks white/greyish. It was from the lower up pipe/manifold region, so I figured it might be a gasket. I replaced all the gaskets on the pass. side exhaust manifold, but that didn't work.

It now looks like its coming from the crossover pipe up front. I've also noticed some of the gaskets occasionally drip very slightly with gas or some other liquid. Smells like its running rich. Coolant levels are fine, temp is fine, performance seems normal, and I haven't noticed any new noises

I've only been driving it a couple times a month. Would old gas have an effect?

Here's a video I took that shows smoke coming from the crossover pipe:

Please let me know if you guys have had a similar experience. All help is appreciated. Thanks guys!

Mods: Catless up pipe, TBE, TMIC, Pro tuned, Coolant expansion tank . . .
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Suspect unrelated oil leak (potentially from under the front cover and/or elsewhere onto the cross pipe to generate that smoke; unrelated fuel leak from the ~10cm fuel lines underneath either side of the intake manifold to explain the fuel smell -- particularly if you have not had the recall done.
I would swab that area when cold after car has set for a while and see if there is any wetness from oil actually dripping on it. Can't tell from your vid but I thought i saw a black wet area beyond where the smoke was coming out (of the rust holes.) In other words, just as SD_GR says, hunt for drip above.
Hey guys, thanks for all the feedback. It looks like there was some oil dripping from up top. Might possibly need a new valve cover gasket. Although, it's probably not dripping enough to justify replacing it right now. Still have the gas smell/running rich issue. It doesn't look like there's an active recall for that gas line on my car. I'll get Subaru on the horn though, and see if they know something that I don't.

Might just clean all the oil off, take her for a long drive and see what comes of it. Would old gas lead to an engine running more rich than normal?

Thanks again guys!
The oil smoke would scare me. I have had a recall on my Buick because they were afraid oil would slosh out of the front valve cover gasket, get on the headers, catch fire, and then ignite the plastic spark plug wire holders in the area. If it were mine and I did not want to fix it right away, I might fashion a sheet metal dealybob to wire onto, or above, that pipe to divert the drips off the hot area.......
I would say the old gas could indeed be causing the smell in the exhaust, incomplete burn. I have smelled this in lawnmowers with old gas many times.
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