Oil Leak in 2008 Subaru Outback (with pics)

Hi all. I have a 2.5L v4 08 Subaru Outback, with ~160,000 miles. Looking at the engine, I suspect that there’s a slow oil leak somewhere - I can see oil pooling under/in the engine on both left and right sides, and the level is low (please check out the pics below and videos, I don’t know enough terminology to accurately describe where I’m seeing the oil pooling.) Checked and didn’t notice any white smoke (ie head gasket).

Relevant work I had done: at 105k, did the big service - replaced timing belt, head gasket, valve cover gaskets, replaced front camshaft & oil seals, resealed oil pump. Also spark plugs & tube seals since oil had leaked into them.

Could it be another gasket? Any ideas? Here are the pictures and videos are linked:
Video: PXL_20220612_205123158.LS.mp4 - Google Drive

Check if the PCV valve/hose is cracked and oil is now being forced on top of the engine.


When you say you replaced the head gasket at the big service at 105K miles did you really mean to say you had the head gasket replaced? There are two of them and God willing they don’t get replaced at 105K miles.

Checking the PCV valve connections sounds like as good an idea as any. It sits low, basically under the coil, and leaks there would show up close to the places you have pictured.

Check your oil frequently until you determine how fast it is using it and do not let the oil get more than a quart low. LETTING IT GET LOW CAN DESTROY YOUR ENGINE. The caps lock was a mistake but I will leave it uncorrected because keeping your oil full is that important.

Plastic cracks eventually.

I might have been wrong - I don’t have the receipt on me so going on memory. But I think I did it bc Subarus had that reputation and the mechanic was already getting in there for the other work.

Thanks, I’ll look into that!

Common places for small oil leaks

  • Valve cover gaskets
  • Oil pressure sensor
  • Pcv hoses & connections (as mentioned above)

Looks like a pretty small leak. As long as it isn’t leaking onto the garage floor or onto the exhaust system & smoking, best bet probably is to just monitor the situation. Are you sure it is engine oil rather than transmission fluid or power steering fluid?

That era Subaru’s 2.5 L engine had lots of head gasket problems, that often showed up around 100k miles.