WRX - Make My Valve Stem Seals Leak

Joined
Feb 12, 2004
Messages
1,325
Location
Western Washington
Hello everyone,

I've got a 2018 WRX that is starting to see puffs of oil smoke on morning startups. It looks like valve stem seals are starting to leak. I've got 30k more miles of extended warranty coverage, but my problem is that it doesn't smoke every day, so I can't reliably reproduce the problem for the dealer.

My question is: How can I make these valve stem seals leak more consistently, without ruining the rest of the engine?

I've got 30k miles left to get them to smoke consistently, otherwise I'll probably have to eat the repair. So far I've been taking every opportunity I have to wring the engine out (after a proper warmup of course).

Thoughts? I'd appreciate any ideas you may have.

Thanks!
 

Astro14

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Oct 10, 2010
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I suspect that they are leaking rather consistently, and that the variation in smoke has to do with changes in the amount of time it sits, coupled with the atmospherics on start up. Longer sit equals more oil. Humid days, or colder days, will increase the perception of smoke. Still days make the smoke easier to see.

Could you leave it at the dealer for a couple of days, then have them start it up? I realize that there is a chance that the lot jockey will move it a couple times and ruin the experiment, but I would want it to sit for longer so that they can see the smoke that you see.
 

TCL

Joined
Nov 13, 2020
Messages
233
Keep beating the snot out of it! That'll make it easier for them to see when you bring it in.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2010
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pa
hope you didn't mod it!! subuaru is tough on warranty issues! valve stem leaks are generally more after setting as well as when going downhill off the throttle, good luck!
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
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3,474
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Kentucky
I doubt the dealer will do anything at all unless the engine burning a considerable amount of oil, at which point they'd probably just do an oil consumption test where they monitor oil usage over a period of time. I don't think they'll get too excited over a puff of smoke at startup. Most manufacturers consider some amount of oil burning normal. It can take a lot of oil burning to cross that threshold, some manufacturers say 1qt in 1000 miles is okay.
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Messages
641
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Central NY
Sell it before the warranty is up unless you can figure out what causes it to smoke in the morning. My old vette only smokes when parked facing downhill because the front valve stem seals are leaking.

I get a feeling it’s going to be a major PITA to convince the SA that you’re burning oil. Most likely a oil consumption test will be within spec and unless they see it smoking it’ll be denied. Been there done that. It’s why I won’t buy a Subaru again.
 

Palut

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 12, 2004
Messages
1,325
Location
Western Washington
I think I found an electronic solution to this problem: I made a spreadsheet on google drive so that I could keep track of when it smoked, no matter where I was. It's been two weeks since I did that and it hasn't smoked since!

Somehow it knows! Ha!
 
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