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2005 Subaru STi smoking

I have a 2005 Subaru STi which I was forced to place in semi-retirement when it started emitting smoke from the engine bay. I took it to the dealership (I have a good rapport with the head mechanic), and he said it’s probably a slow coolant leak that would not be a big deal except its leaking onto a hot pipe, hence the smoke. He put the car up on the lift and said, oh nonono it’s not that, there’s a leak in this valve gasket, it’s gonna run you $2000.

I didn’t let him do any work and took it to my buddy’s garage. He said that the power steering pump is starting to fail, and there’s a leak coming from there. He also said the cooling system hoses are failing, so those should be replaced. Also, he found a small leak from the turbo, which is directly above the downpipe and so it could be the cause of the smoke, too.

The easiest possible solution was the coolant hoses, so I had him replace those. But it didn’t help.

The car has about 75,000 miles on it. I used it as my daily driver until this started. I have also done about 10 days of autocross. I do have a turbo-back exhaust and an engine re-tune, but neither mechanic thinks that’s the problem.

The smoke only comes after aggressive driving, and does not stop right away when the car is turned off. It’s not a huge plume of smoke, but definitely noticeable. Also, the smoke doesn’t happen every time I use the car.

Any thoughts?

An oil leak that drips onto a hot exhaust system will make smoke. Where there’s smoke there could some day be fire, and fire is not good.

The only solution is to repair the leak(s).

The engine packaging on your car guarantees that this will be a labor-intensive undertaking. Pay now or pay later.