Question about Subaru DL

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1989 subaru dl, 4 door sedan, 1.8 fuel injected automatic. front wheel drive. valves making alot of noise, was told that car usually makes noise after a hundred miles or so after oil change but replaced oil with mobile one synthetic on advice from mechanic and the noise started immediately. can valves be adjusted? was told they are hydraulc lifters.

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  • refutio Aug 30, 2010

    thanks! in a related aspect of the issue, the oil level seems to be rising. there is no discoloration from water or coolant. simultaneously, the atf keeps vanishing, in more or less some proportion to the amount of ghost oil on the dip stick. there are no puddles on the ground although there is fluid and drips and this and that on the underside of various parts of the engine. i have been assured many times that it's impossible for atf to enter the oil pan or engine in general but it sure seems like it might be happening, and also i've heard that some changes in viscosity can add to the valve tapping/clatter. atf in the oil would change the viscosity.

  • refutio Aug 31, 2010

    everyone says there is no possible way for the atf to enter the engine... except some agree, from the torque converter and through the main seal, especially if there was a big pressure difference like from going down a long hill, which i do every day. or, if there was a crack somewhere in the block or housing? mechanics all respond with sarcasm as if the mere idea challenges their very being for some reason. i looked at the oil, i mixed the mobile one i use with atf in a cup and compared it, it is the same color as the oil in the pan but since engine oil from the pan is a bit dirty anyway it's really hard to tell. there is a red crust on the bottom of the oil fill cap. a local chemist is unable to differentiate oil from atf in a spectrum analysis, i asked if they could separate a homogenized fluid like that. i'm not certain that it is what is happening but the oil level does continue to rise, it isn't water, and it doesn't smell like gasoline and the engine doesn't miss. it was recommended i sell the oil since clearly my subaru creates it from thin air and pure annoyance. it couldn't be differential oil could it? that level was below the stick too; i just got the car so i'm catching up on alot of stuff. ( i can't find a cross section or clear cutaway drawing of the engine in the chilton manual or online, only exploded views of various parts)

  • refutio Sep 08, 2010

    the oil level continued to rise ( up to a half inch on the dip stick), and i continued to remove oil from the pan accordingly. it began to not rise as steadily. finally the oil level dropped, after maybe a hundred miles and several days, all at once to about 3/4 qt low and the valve noise went away. before i could replace the oil it rose to the high point on the dip stick again, with still no valve noise.
    everyone has told me that another fluid is not the culprit for the rising oil level. since it dropped, and because the idea clearly caused discomfort in the mechanics i spoke with, i believe them.
    it seems like the oil isn't circulating freely. i don't know what to say. this brings us back to flushing; however, i have no idea what you are supposed to flush it with. i've heard kerosene, diesel, mixed with oil. i've heard varying methods on how long to run it through the engine. it doesn't seem like a good idea to do it for very long at all.

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Hi,

This is actually a Subaru manufacturing fault in the cylinder heads.

Its not the lifters it is a lack of oil supply to the lifters which are in the cylinder heads, through the lubricating orifice which gets blocked and they need to be cleaned out.

Unfortunately the only way that this can be resolved is to do an engine flush 3 times and then on the 3rd one remove the sump and the oil pump and filter and clean these items.

Then replace the oil filter and the oil pump, and sump then it will be ok.

I know this problem too well as I have had 4 of these and had to do this to solve this problem, not to mention the many I have done in a workshop also.

Hope this helps, let me know if you need more information.

Thanks

Jason

Posted on Aug 28, 2010

  • Jason Maurirere
    Jason Maurirere Aug 30, 2010

    Yes,
    This can change the viscosity and cause that fault but there is no way that it is possible for the transmission fluid to enter the engine but only through the rear main seal through the torque converter.

    Unless there is a transmission cooler which is mounted below the oil filter, which I can't see that on the program I have.
    This is usually in the radiator,or mounted in front of it.

    Get the oil checked or just smell the oil and it will smell quite strong and compare it to the smell of new oil, plus the color will have a red color to it...

  • Jason Maurirere
    Jason Maurirere Aug 31, 2010

    No to the diff oil because this is nowhere near the engine to get the oil in there.

    If you have a look online for an oil analysis company they can test your oil after you give them a sample.

    Gough, Gough and Hamer or Caterpillar do this service and its quite cheap about $10.00 US plus postage and packaging,this will definitely sort the transmission or Diff oil in the engine oil.

    This is the only way that you will get this sorted, then once you find out you have a big job of getting it repaired.

    Good Luck

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