2010 Subaru Legacy "Leaking" Oil

Hey all,
I don’t know as much as I would like about cars-admitted.
My 2010 Subaru Legacy has been leaking oil since the last oil change, and also smelling like burning oil. I took it back to the mechanics, and they told me something about oil pooling from previous oil changes into the splash pan, soaking into the foam in or around the splash pan, and the foam got so saturated that it is now dripping oil. The good news: no new leak, only a residual leak.
They cleaned it up, replaced the foam, and topped me off-no charge.
My questions: Does this sound right/common? Or are my mechanics sloppy to be saturating foam in or around the splash pan? And is the burning oil smell related to all this splashing and pooling oil?
This is the third oil change related issue I’ve had with them. First they didn’t fill my oil to the appropriate fill line (I believe they over-filled, if I remember correctly), then the next time they did not tighten my oil cap enough, which caused oil to spill and burn, and they couldn’t diagnose the issue (I took it in complaining of the smell of something burning-almost like plastic burning, and they looked at me like I was crazy, and told me they couldn’t smell anything burning. Getting it fixed took a chance encounter with a different mechanic, and he knew what it was by smell! Now I do, too).
The mech’s I use are at the place I bought the car, so I have a service contract, but I sure don’t trust em!
Any feedback is appreciated.

Find yourself another mechanic in the mechanic files link at the top of the page. If this is a quick lube place, they are not mechanics!

Does your service contract include free or mandatory oil changes by them? If not, why would you go back?

There are splash-pans under your engine but foam pads??

The mech's I use are at the place I bought the car, so I have a service contract, but I sure don't trust em!

That mistrust is healthy. Yes, spilled oil getting on the exhaust pipe is a common source of that burning smell. Obviously, be sure to check your oil level right after every oil change regardless of who does it, and every couple weeks or so between oil changes.

If it is leaking oil, then you should see the oil level dropping over time/miles. If you even suspect a leak, you need to do diligence, that is you need to check that oil level regularly. I’d start by checking it once a day for a week or so. If the level isn’t dropping, then check it each time you fill up the gas tank. You can do that while the tank is filling.

If the oil level doesn’t drop, then the story they told you might be valid, and if it is, then they are terribly sloppy mechanics and should not be used.

If your service contract is the type where you are paying them in order to keep some warrantee in effect, you do not have to do this. All you need is documentation that the service is being done according to schedule. If you bought an aftermarket warrantee, it isn’t worth the paper its written on so they are sticking it to you twice, once for the worthless warrantee and again for oil changes that can be done elsewhere.

The oil changes are free, but I can’t remember what the service contract had cost in the first place, so not really free. It was an aftermarket warranty and service type of thing. My first car purchase, so I sure did learn a lot, and still am! If/when they start charging me for oil changes, I will not be using them any more, but will certainly check their work from now on.
Thanks, everyone!

You had already paid them for the work by buying a service contract. What is the motivation for them to give you a good job.

next time forgo the service conrtact and go to an indepentent mechanic for your work. He will have a motive to serve you well and still charge you a fair rate. He wants you to come back for future work!!!


My son has this same problem wit a 2014 Hyundai Sonata. It also has a full plastic pan under the car with foam pads in it and the first time the dealer changed the oil in it they made a mess with oil all over the pan and soaked the foam pads.
The dealer took the plastic pan off ( it is in several sections ) and cleaned it and replaced the foam. He now just changed his oil and cut a 2 liter pop bottle to go over the filter and through the hole in the pad to get the filter out- no more mess.