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Hi everyone. I replaced the serpentine belt yesterday and noticed oil on the timing chain cover. I did some research and this appears to be a common subaru issue. I found out the engine has to be taken out to seal the leak. Is that true? I wanted to know if anyone else has had this issue and what steps took to fix and also how serious this is? Thanks in advance.
 

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The engine does not have to come out, but there are something like 40-50 bolts holding the cover on. If one or two or three snap off, which depending on your cars condition may or may not be likely, it would be much easier to fix with the engine removed.

To determine the severity, keep track of how much oil you are losing. Simple as that, if it isn't enough to warrant adding oil between changes I wouldn't bother.
 

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Two questions:
Is it possible to remove timing cover just by removing radiator fans?
With 156k miles on the clock, should I also change water pump?
 

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The fans and all the accessories from the motor, probably to include the radiator, yes I am sure it can be done. The big IF is whether you will get all the bolts out without breaking one or two off, and then it would be beneficial to have the engine on a stand. But you may be able to remove the radiator and condenser to get enough access to do whatever is needed to reseal the cover and or replace the timing components and water pump.

I don't imagine it would be an easy task though and I think it would take me in the range of two days of leisure working, but I am not as young as I used to be, lol.

Even to do timing belts I prefer to pull the engine it is just so much easier to access everything.
 

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Leak has gone from drips to puddle

I have been dealing with drips from the front timing cover for the last two years....now it has gone to severe as I have lost 4 quarts of oil in 500 miles.

I was lucky I didn’t toast the engine.

At 215 k, it’s at my trusted mechanic that I found through a friend.

I will see what he says.

My plan is to fix car, even if it costs significant cash.
 

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How did you make out? 2007 Tribeca here, 130,000 miles, losing a quart of oil per day. Mechanic believes it is originating from the area of the inner timing chain cover and projects it as a costly repair.
 

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1 qt per day? Pour a qt of water on the ground. Is that how big the puddle in your garage is? That's a HUGE oil leak. What you are showing there doesn't look that bad. Yes, resealing the timing cover isn't a fun project, probably in the 5 hr range, so about $1k. Shop manuals have this all speced out on how long it will take them, so the cost is just the hrs times that shops rate. But I would make sure its the solution before you get it done!
 

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Thanks for your reply. One quart is based on driving the vehicle during the day and the oil dripping out while driving and also parked at idle, then trickling out as the engine gets cold while parked; yep a bad leak, about a quart a day. I had a hard time believing it too, but after two days of adding a quart of oil each day, the reality set in. The photo only shows the area after the mechanic had wiped everything clean and wanted to show me how quickly the oil started coming out again. He has worked on many 3.0 H6 engines and says it is an engine that he stands by for durability. Probable going to sell the car (with full disclosure) as my wife has tired of the 14 year old car!
 

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Fix it or trade it. You will have a terrible time selling it with that bad of a leak. Just mark up the price of the car. Don't wait to long, people won't be looking for a Tribeca when the weather gets warm :)
 
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