Oil Leak - Where to check?

Hey guys,

I have a 2012 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium with 41k miles on it. I am currently running full synthetic oil, and have all of my service done at the local Subaru dealership. I am not very mechanically inclined, so I don’t do much of my own car maintenance. However, this morning, I noticed a small oil spot on the garage floor. I have never seen this spot before, and I am pretty sure it came from the Subaru.

Are the boxer engines (2.5L) prone to leaking oil? If so, from where? Is there a good way to confirm oil on the garage floor vs water mixed with very dark dirt on the garage floor? I tried rubbing it between my fingers, and it felt pretty slippery, so I’m guessing it’s oil.

Anyway, if someone could help me out, that would be great. I am currently at 4k miles on this oil change, so I will need to have another oil change in about 1k miles. The oil level was a little low (topped it off), but nothing major.

Thanks much!

I think that the best way to help you out is to remind you that the car’s Powertrain Warranty runs for 5 yrs or 60k miles (whichever comes first), so unless you have voided by warranty through lax maintenance, leaks from the engine and/or the transmission should be covered with free repairs at this point.

Instead of trying to deal with this yourself, you should go to the dealership with your concerns, and get them on record. That way, even if they fail to find the source of a leak at this point, you should be covered for that problem even after the warranty expires in a year or two.

Sounds good! Just thought it might be something that was super easy to fix. I also have the extended bumper to bumper warranty on it as well.

If you really do have an oil leak, it would probably involve a seal, and those are not easy for the layman to fix. Replacing a seal is not a case of just tightening a screw or two, and actually involves a lot of disassembly and some mechanical expertise. Additionally, if you attempt this on your own you could well wind up voiding the warranty.

Especially in view of the extended warranty, you need to throw this situation into the lap of the folks at the dealership.

You can learn more in a couple of ways.
Get a clean cardboard ( open up an old box, flat ) and lay it under. When a fresh spot appears, follow directly above to see what you can see . That’s just a starting point as drips can run along and down till they get to the lowest point before they drip to the ground…you can have a valve cover gasket leak that drips from the oil pan for example.
And you can have a coolant or transmission leak too…the COLOR on the cardboard will be your clue as to whitch fluid is leaking.
…another way to see a leak is to clean off the residual dirt, oil , and grime so as to be able to see the fresh leak.
… What the shop does is to put a U/V dye in the suspect componenet to see the leak.

Unless you are close to the 60K warranty, I’d just keep an eye on it (oil level) and have them look at it at the next oil change. Many times when draining the oil they do not replace the crush washer that seals the drain plug. This can cause a small leak until it is replaced.

But if you are worried about it, you could do as do as @Ken green suggested with some cardboard, and follow the path to the leak.