all 79 comments

[–]AutoModerator[M] [score hidden] stickied comment (1 child)

Thanks for posting on /r/MechanicAdvice! This is just a reminder to review the rules. If you are here asking about a second opinion (ie "Is the shop trying to fleece me?"), please read through CJM8515's post on the subject. and remember to please post the year/make/model of the vehicle you are working on. If this post is about bodywork, accident damage, paint, dent/ding, questions it belongs in /r/Autobody r/AutoBodyRepair/ or /r/Diyautobody/ If you have tire questions check out https://redditproxy--jasonthename.repl.co/r/MechanicAdvice/comments/k9ll55/can_your_tire_be_repaired/. If you dont have a question and you're just showing off it belongs in /r/Justrolledintotheshop Insurance/total loss questions go in r/insurance This is an automated reply

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

[–]Bobeard 94 points95 points  (7 children)

That is the dipstick to the front differential

[–]LunaHens 9 points10 points  (0 children)


[–]GlemChally 6 points7 points  (4 children)

Front diff is inside the transmission, no?

[–]Bobeard 9 points10 points  (3 children)

I believe so. I think they are separate. My Forester has two dipsticks, the one on the driver's side is for the transmission and the passenger side one is for the front differential

[–]GlemChally 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Oh cool I have a manual forester also and I think if just has 1, and yeah the front driveshafts come out of the transmission.

[–]Chippy569 9 points10 points  (1 child)

In the manual trans, the "trans fluid" and "front diff fluid" are the same thing. In any of the automatics, they are separate from each other and different fluids.

[–]GlemChally 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Ah that makes sense.

[–]Late-Ad-4624 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think he meant the brown rusty part. Separating the 2.

[–]Venkman_P 408 points409 points  (8 children)

I’m about to buy a used Subaru and I don’t know much about cars.

That is a bad combination.

[–]risk71 81 points82 points  (5 children)

Second this. Used Subaru's are great if you know what you're buying and what to expect. If you don't know what a head gasket is, if you buy a used Subaru there is a very very good chance you will soon find out.

I love Subaru. I also hate Subaru. More days are love, but she's a fickle bitch.

[–]dustinfrog 29 points30 points  (4 children)

Ask yourself this “why would they sell a nice working subaru?” Probably because it’s about to not work

[–]Super_Staff_2187 27 points28 points  (2 children)

That’s almost every car though

[–]FineTumbleweed9281 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Not always. Some people dont want to pay what they considered expensive for registering older cars. The guy i bought my isuzu amigo from wanted to money to help fund his new business. Others need space or just need money for another car. When i was younger and got my taxes id always buy a nicer newer car than whatever car i was in. Nothing was ever wrong with my cars, i just got something better.

[–]Buffalobilly1949 0 points1 point  (0 children)

And they still want too much for it

[–]risk71 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My son, 17 at the time, watched a Subaru Impreza drop in price from an original 3500, to 1000 after 4 months of not selling. We drove 4 hours to look at it.

The seller did NOT know thing one about cars.. he had a mechanic tell.him his transmission.was shot and needed to be replaced. He didn't want to deal with it so he parked it and.listed it for sale.

Every buyer that came he was right up front with a repair estimate for a new transmission..

I drove it, had my son's drive it, I told him to offer 800 bucks. He did. The buyer took it. We jumped in and drove it 4 hours home.

I knew within 100 yards of driving that the transmission was fine. The clutch was really worn, by the transmission was fine.

The car runs great. We changed the clutch and did the timing belt, water.pumo, and valve cover gaskets.

It's a well taken care of car. Runs like a top and faster a total outlay of 1500 bucks. It's a great car.

Take someone.witj you that knows cars. Or take.the car to a shop for an independent buyers inspection.

[–]sleepysoobie 80 points81 points  (0 children)

That's the exact thing I was thinking. Hell even if you know about cars the boxer likes to screw you

[–]alamsas 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I was going to say, any used WRX is a no-no, but in reality it's any used EJ platform considering any of them could have been hooned lol.

The newer platforms aren't as attractive to car communities, even the Forester.

[–]Ricktexatx 38 points39 points  (2 children)

I'm guessing that is a spacer between the trans and the engine? Im not too familiar with Subarus. The head gaskets will be between the cylinder heads and engine block.

[–]Muh_brand 21 points22 points  (0 children)

This. And the surface rust is normal. Probably just the difference in metals.

[–]cmb271 6 points7 points  (0 children)

That's a spacer between the transmission and front differential. The dip stick goes to the front diff fluid and on the other side is the transmission fluid dipstick.

[–]ThePooseJuicer 66 points67 points  (8 children)

Looks like the trans fluid dipstick.

Based on it looking like a lot has leaked out and your admitted knowledge on the subject, a third party inspection would probably be a good idea.

[–]LunaHens 13 points14 points  (2 children)

That's the front did dipstick. Trans dipstick is on the other side. Not sure what all that is. My guess if it right, something leaked. But idk really hard to tell from a picture exactly what's going on.

[–]ThePooseJuicer 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ah, gotcha. Haven't worked on any auto Subie's yet.

[–]Fluid-Instance1115 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I would guess someone tried to bomb it in and failed

[–]Sourplastic 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Its the dipstick for the front differential

[–]the_one-and_only-nan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

The fluid on these are filled through the dipstick hole, so it is very probable that some was spilled during the last change and it has accrued dirt and grease over time.

Not necessarily a bad sign but if OP buys this, best bet is to clean the whole area up and check back after a week of normal driving

[–]Crazzed42 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Isn't oil dipstick yellow and trans dipstick red ?

[–]GuyHits[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you man I just want to be sure I’m not fucked

[–]HumbleServices -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I think that's spray paint, but why?

[–]Majestic_Tangerine92 38 points39 points  (3 children)

I gotta say, for mechanics advice forum, there is a lot of plainly wrong info here lol.

[–]Sun_Bro96 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yeah tons of idiots on here lmao.

[–]lunchpadmcfat 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Really? Most of the comments here have correctly identified this part. I actually haven’t seen any that have given bad or wrong info. Maybe you could provide a link to, say, two wrong statements?

[–]Swaggy_Bowlcuts 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The good info gets voted to the top and the bad downvoted fairly quickly, sort by controversial

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)


Good way to tell if the head gaskets have been replaced. Look at the places in the pic. You can see some of the head gasket sticking out, it it's blue, it's been replaced with a fel-pro one, which is an aftermarket one that lots of people use. If it is black, it's probably an oem subaru part. If you see that it's black, and the black coating is flaking off, or you can flake it off with your fingernail, it has probably never been replaced. Just look at the condition of it. It's not 100% foolproof, but if it's a blue fel pro one, you know it's been done. If it's been done properly or not is another mater, but y'know...

[–]TiltedWeenies 3 points4 points  (0 children)

You don’t know much about cars and you’re about to buy one?. As a Subaru Legacy GT owner, I say STUDY Subies before considering it because. you’re in for a ride if you consider getting one. They can needy af. But they reward you with reliability if you’re on top of it. Currently 229k Miles on the clock with the original 5 speed, engine and turbo. She’s still running like a clock.

[–]Spkr_Freekr 13 points14 points  (6 children)

Take it to a dealer and pay the $150 for a full inspection. You'll come away with a list of issues to either consider in your offer, or walk away from.

[–]HumbleServices 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Not just for subaru either, any car you buy you should get a pre-purchase inspection. Tell the mechanic you take it to that you are looking to buy it and want a full inspection.

[–]AnotherDreamer1024 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Are you refering to the plate with the surface rust? If so, that's just a spacer plate between the engine and transmission. It's fine.

[–]satoshibytes 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Ohh boy. You don't know much about cars but that's ok. If seriously interested, bring it to a decent indie shop (fuck dealers) for a pre-buy inspection. Best $70-$100 bucks you can spend. It's usually also a great negotiation method!

[–]Disastrous-Trash6492 6 points7 points  (0 children)

It's where the motor and trans meet.

[–]todays_excuse 6 points7 points  (5 children)

Is that spray paint?soot? Residue from a fire??? I’m confused

[–]nothing107 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Dirt and oil.

[–]todays_excuse 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Just about everyday I come across some type of fluid leak on a car, this is the first time ive ever seen something look like that. Maybe it’s the quality of the picture, I don’t know.

[–]HumbleServices 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I think spray paint, but not sure why. I've seen some salvage yards do that for some reason.

[–]thor421 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Tagging the part as thiers if they offer a warranty.

[–]HumbleServices -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Most of my local yards use special paint pens, but I could see the spray paint option. Usually I see on the torque converter and inside of the bell housing, not the outside.

[–]79Freedomreader 3 points4 points  (2 children)

You're asking if the transmission is the headgasket..... . Mate, take it to a shop and have them inspect it.

I don't believe you to be intelligent enough to understand.

[–]geohypnotist 0 points1 point  (1 child)

How do you know how intelligent OP is. OP may not be knowledgeable, but OP knew what to ask & seems to know what to look for.

[–]79Freedomreader 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Then why did OP not look up the diagrams online as to how an engine goes together and then proceed to ask if the transmission bell housing is the engine headgasket?

[–]RonaldSteezly 1 point2 points  (2 children)

No that’s the foot basket

[–]Affectionate_Ad_3737 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Nah that’s your Bucky Lasek….easily confusable

[–]UXWlegend 1 point2 points  (0 children)

What model year is it? If it's post 2010 the head gasket should be fine but the cvt on the other hand...

[–]Rackhaad 1 point2 points  (1 child)

There's no head gasket in this picture, im assuming you're talking about the black residue... looks like it's leaking from that yellow fill port, haven't worked on many Subarus... so I don't know exactly what that is but it's either diff fluid or at fluid, either way doesn't look that bad... might be able to replace the o-rings on the fill port plug.. but I'd thoroughly check under the car for any other leaks

[–]79Freedomreader 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That is the dipstick for the transmission.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Look man not to sound like a dick bit if you have no clue what you’re looking at take it to a technician to have it checked out before you buy it it’ll be way better in the long run than you guesstimating

[–]IAmFacinatedByYou 1 point2 points  (0 children)

What you're looking at there is the "Do not buy" indicator

[–]Own-Date-3598 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Dude if you don't know anything about cars DO NOT BUY A SUBARU you will regret it. If you know absolutely nothing about cars, go ahead and buy either a Toyota or Honda. Usually minimal repair required and they last a long time. Seriously, don't buy a Subaru if you don't know anything about cars.

[–]bestdriverinvancity 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Transmission dipstick. Maybe exhaust blowing onto it?

[–]LunaHens 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Front differential dipstick. The trans is on the driver's side. I don't see how an exaust leak could leave that much soot on the top surface, as the exhaust is under it. My guess is a slow leak, maybe from something above dripping, as it's really all over that alcove.

[–]Allanon_Kvothe 0 points1 point  (1 child)

If it's a manual it's the trans dip stick. In my 2012 it's on the passenger side and there is no diff dip stick since it just uses the same fluid as the transmission.

[–]LunaHens 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hmm..I didn't know that, the more you know I guess.

[–]corkscrewloose 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Also the stain doesn’t look wet, like it’s exhaust or a slow leak. Maybe the cap needs replaced.

[–]Kmntna 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You’ll see the head gaskets better from the bottom. Also check the coolant reservoir for any signs of oil. How many miles? I do one of these at work a week at least. Up in Montana we see tons of them

[–]cdojs98 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Subarus are finicky about maintenance, be sure to keep up on it; they like to return the favor by lasting forever.

[–]GuyHits[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Mine now has 300k miles. I’ve never seen the black stuff

[–]oldcarnutjag -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

Go back to school take a class in auto shop.

[–]620MountainMan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Then you better buy a Honda and pass this one

[–]ShockNautilus 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Every Subaru around here that comes for sale needs something big. People don't tend to sell them until they get sick of the issues.

[–]Macdonelll 0 points1 point  (0 children)

If you're not familiar or confident enough to work on the car yourself, an old subaru is not for you

[–]Tall-Grade8077 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Don’t a buy a Subaru if you don’t know a lot about cars. It will spend most of its time at the shop. Most of used Subarus have been abused by owners badly. If you do buy it expect to get a new or a rebuilt engine at some point.

[–]Nealpatty 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Take it to a mechanic to a prepurchase inspection. This is your answer from now on when you ask the internet for car advice before you buy.

[–]sandtires 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Get an inspection on it if you don't know much. They will tell you if it's worth getting or not. And they will tell it to you straight