2001 Forester oil leak

Feedback from dealer says we have oil leak in the front of the engine (>100k mi) This is also indicated by oil consumption and odor. QUESTION:(1) Can this be repaired by owner who has skills as former Euro+Japanese mechanic? i.e., special tools, jigs or lift required? (2) Should timing belt replacement be bundled in with this repair?


Sure, you can fix the leak(s) yourself. Just buy a good service manual and follow the instructions for replacing the seals. Yes, the timing belt should be replaced, because you’re going to have to remove it to get at whatever might be leaking.

Oil pump and/or camshaft seals are my first guesses for what’s leaking.

When you replace the timing belt it’s a good idea to install a new water pump, thermostat, and radiator cap at the same time.

If this is a 4-cylinder non-turbo engine it’s not too difficult to replace the timing belt, etc. I did it on my Legacy a few years ago with the help of a Haynes manual.

You shouldn’t need a lift, but you’ll need a big wrench to remove the crankshaft pulley bolt and a torque wrench for reassembly.