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Old 02-06-2007, 03:43 PM   #1251
Maccgyver
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well I can gladly say after this extra chilly weekend and still chilly now I have not had any problems.
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Old 02-06-2007, 05:16 PM   #1252
sajohnson
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Default Raw Fuel Smell

As everyone in the Northeast knows, it's been way cold the last two or three nights -- down into the single digits. It was close to zero at our house last night, well below with the wind chill. It has been this cold (probably colder) during the almost 6 years since I bought my '02 WRX, but I keep it in a garage (unheated, but built into a hill) at home, which may explain why I haven't noticed this problem before. Of course, it's parked outside for 8 hours at work so I'm not sure about that theory.

Anyway, my car has almost 119,000 miles on it now. Last night my wife and I were driving around Frederick and parked it for a while at a restaurant. When we started driving again, we both noticed a strong raw fuel smell. Coincidentally, we happened to be driving past an old gas station that is being torn down so at first we though that was the source of the odor. Unfortunately, the smell continued and by the time we got to our next stop it was _really_ strong. I half expected to see fuel pouring out under the car (nothing there). I popped the hood and checked the connections around the fuel filter (hoping for something easy). All dry. Then I noticed a bit of vapor rising up from under the intake runners on the passenger side. D'oh! When we got home I asked my wife to cycle the fuel pump a few times and confirmed that the leak is definitely under the manifold on the right side.

I called SOA today and spoke with Chenell. She said that the problem must be diagnosed by a dealer. Then, SOA will work with the dealer on a "case by case" basis on "good will assistance".

Then I called Sharrett Subaru in Hagerstown and set up an appointment to have the work done Monday. The service manager took my word for it that the problem was the one described in TSB#09-36-03, and said he would go ahead and order the parts, so I don't have to go over there twice. I thought that was a nice gesture on his part (after hearing some of the stories on this thread).

I do have the grounding mod so I'll probably disconnect the two wires on the intake. I recently installed a Cobb catted DP an went to Stage 2. I'm inclined to leave that alone, since it obviously has _nothing_ to do with the fuel leak. Sharrett has been good to me in the past, hopefully this will work out alright.
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Old 02-06-2007, 05:49 PM   #1253
2gsxtasy
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So on a whim I just randomly called a local subaru dealer in Colorado and I said, "Hi, I have an 02 wrx I'm calling about Service Bulletin 09-36-03 Raw Fuel Smell in cold weather". He said ok ya it's a known issue usually it's the fuel rail on the cars, what year is yours again. "I said it's an 02 and how much will this cost to fix?" He said you have an 02, it's a known issue we won't charge your anything for the repair!


So of course I took his FULL name and info and wrote it on the back of the bulletin I printed from the page. Pretty excited and just wanted to tell you guys. I'll let you know if they ACTUALLY fix it for free. If not I will be sure to raise some hell.

Jesse
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Old 02-06-2007, 06:40 PM   #1254
sajohnson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2gsxtasy View Post
So on a whim I just randomly called a local subaru dealer in Colorado and I said, "Hi, I have an 02 wrx I'm calling about Service Bulletin 09-36-03 Raw Fuel Smell in cold weather". He said ok ya it's a known issue usually it's the fuel rail on the cars, what year is yours again. "I said it's an 02 and how much will this cost to fix?" He said you have an 02, it's a known issue we won't charge your anything for the repair!


So of course I took his FULL name and info and wrote it on the back of the bulletin I printed from the page. Pretty excited and just wanted to tell you guys. I'll let you know if they ACTUALLY fix it for free. If not I will be sure to raise some hell.

Jesse
Jesse,

Thanks for posting this, it should be a big help if they try to charge anyone else to fix this problem (at least anyone with an '02).

I don't see how the repair can be anywhere from $0.00 to $600.00, but that seems to be what people on this thread have reported.

I may call the guy at Sharrett back and see if I can't get a hard answer on the cost up front. The woman at SOA sounded like they would pay something, but she was non-committal -- talking about how it depends on mileage, model year, etc.

Really strange how so many people get different answers from different dealers. I don't want to pay a dime for this -- especially if others have gotten the work done for free.
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Old 02-06-2007, 07:16 PM   #1255
Superorb
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What's this grounding mod I keep hearing about?
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Old 02-06-2007, 07:36 PM   #1256
sajohnson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superorb View Post
What's this grounding mod I keep hearing about?
Early on, the '02 WRX's had a hesitation/stumble on acceleration that seemed to be eliminated (or at least reduced significantly) by adding extra ground wires from the negative (-) terminal of the battery to various points under the hood -- strut tower bolts, intake manifold, firewall, etc.

I started a thread on this mod that was made into a 'sticky', IIRC. I think the title was "Miracle Mod" or something similar.

If you search for "grounding mod" you should find it.

BTW: The grounding mod really did seem to be a huge improvement, but IIRC the hesitation came back after a while.

My guess is that there are many causes of hesitation. Just a couple months ago I had the timing belt in my WRX replaced. I'm not sure why, but the engine ran much smoother afterwards. The only other work done was the drive belts were replaced.
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Old 02-07-2007, 08:00 AM   #1257
Envy_Petter
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Default One problem fixed, found another!

Took my car to my non-warranty Subaru Guru, they found the problem within 1 minute without any help from this blog (I printed MANY entries). It was a clamp on the top right side of the engine, looked to be around the injectors (couldn't really see that well and didn't want to be a pain). So, I think that's rectified. Still had a slight odor this morning, but want to give what was there a chance to burn off.

HOWEVER! Now I discovered that I am leaking something reddish brown from under the engine, looks to be around the tranny, right in the middle of the car. YIKES! Seems to only do it when cold (this is recent and its FRIGGIN COLD HERE NOW!). Initially thought it was my father in law's junky plow truck leaking something, but parked my car in fresh snow last night and found the trail when I started and then moved it this morning. Uh oh...
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Old 02-07-2007, 08:15 AM   #1258
Superorb
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sajohnson View Post
Early on, the '02 WRX's had a hesitation/stumble on acceleration that seemed to be eliminated (or at least reduced significantly) by adding extra ground wires from the negative (-) terminal of the battery to various points under the hood -- strut tower bolts, intake manifold, firewall, etc.

I started a thread on this mod that was made into a 'sticky', IIRC. I think the title was "Miracle Mod" or something similar.

If you search for "grounding mod" you should find it.

BTW: The grounding mod really did seem to be a huge improvement, but IIRC the hesitation came back after a while.

My guess is that there are many causes of hesitation. Just a couple months ago I had the timing belt in my WRX replaced. I'm not sure why, but the engine ran much smoother afterwards. The only other work done was the drive belts were replaced.
Ahhh. Thanks.
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:30 AM   #1259
loudog800
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OK, I started noticing the smell on monday with 58k miles. It was strong on mon. and tues. morning commute, but afternoon commute was much less noticeable...and temp was still below 10F This morning I didn't notice the smell. I am bringing my car into subaru tonight for evaluation tomorrow. And now i'm worried they will say there is no problem. So, is this something that completely comes and goes. I know it is temp dependant, but it seems there are other variables.
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:16 AM   #1260
taerron
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when i finally got tired of my fuel leak, it was only 34F outside. by the time i made it to the dealer, it was about 44F or so and an hour and half later. so the temp thing isn't really true in my opinion, nor is the time that the tsb says.
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Old 02-07-2007, 12:15 PM   #1261
WagonMonster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2gsxtasy View Post
So on a whim I just randomly called a local subaru dealer in Colorado and I said, "Hi, I have an 02 wrx I'm calling about Service Bulletin 09-36-03 Raw Fuel Smell in cold weather". He said ok ya it's a known issue usually it's the fuel rail on the cars, what year is yours again. "I said it's an 02 and how much will this cost to fix?" He said you have an 02, it's a known issue we won't charge your anything for the repair!


So of course I took his FULL name and info and wrote it on the back of the bulletin I printed from the page. Pretty excited and just wanted to tell you guys. I'll let you know if they ACTUALLY fix it for free. If not I will be sure to raise some hell.

Jesse
Which dealer?

Burt wanted $400 to fix it, child-eating bastards.
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Old 02-07-2007, 01:21 PM   #1262
SeaRex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterex View Post
Hey, just curious - anyone getting the raw fuel smell AFTER the dealer fix???

My dealer installed the updated fuel lines a year ago, and I'm now noticing a raw fuel smell again for the first thirty seconds or so when the car is started after sitting in the cold overnight. It's not a catless smell, either - I do know the difference. Raw eggs = catless; Gas station = raw fuel.

This is a bit disturbing, since if they were too dumb to install it right the first time, I'd be afraid to bring it back to them.
Yes....
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Old 02-07-2007, 01:38 PM   #1263
encoded
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OK, so I had the fuel leak issue fixed by my local dealer about a month ago. About two weeks after, the fuel smell came back, this time it happened all the time, not just when it is cold out. So I took it back in, and they're telling me that two of my fuel injector o-rings are leaking, causing the smell. They tell me that this could have been going on before, but it was masked by the fuel line problem.

I can't help but think this problem was probably caused by them when they did the fuel line work. I never smelled gas before, unless it was really cold, now it is all the time, and it didn't start until two weeks after they did the original work.

Any one else have issues like this?

Thanks,

e.
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Old 02-07-2007, 02:39 PM   #1264
jakejoseph
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Default What size are the fuel lines in question?

I want to buy spare fuel lines before I tear it apart - what size are the rubber fuel lines in question?
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:22 PM   #1265
sajohnson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakejoseph View Post
I want to buy spare fuel lines before I tear it apart - what size are the rubber fuel lines in question?
You might call a Subie dealer parts dept. and give them the part #807707140 from the TSB.

Hopefully, the size would be in their description, or they might have the hose in stock and could check it for you.

Have you tried calling SOA -- they might take care of the repair for free, or at least cut you some slack. Several people on this thread have reported that they got the repair done for no charge -- even well after their car was out of warranty.
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:19 PM   #1266
subhero
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ok, i read something about a gushing sound... and you guys said it must be the cooland working/recirculating...is that normal for a rex? never heard it on my previous cars...
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:23 PM   #1267
2gsxtasy
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I've had about a billion dsm's and never heard it... i hear it in my dub and in my friends evos... I think it's normal but eh... if not I'm screwed
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:25 PM   #1268
2gsxtasy
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and I would describe it as more of a swishing rushing sound... not so much gushing lol
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Old 02-08-2007, 12:29 AM   #1269
nich0lai
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I'm pretty sure it's in the manual and it's normal. The noise that is. It's too late and I'm too lazy to go read it for you though. My car does it even in summer, pretty sure it's not related.
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Old 02-11-2007, 09:36 PM   #1270
travman733
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Well, figured I'd tell my experience since it just happened last week. I've owned the car for 5+ years and just went stg 2 in May (93 oct COBB map). Haven't had any problems whatsoever with the car. ~5 hours of highway driving on Monday (anywhere from 40-75 depending on the road conditions). Both Tuesday and Wednesday I got the heavy gas smell when stopped. Problem was gone Thursday. Temps were in the single digits both Tues/Wed and in the teens Thursday. Originally I thought it could've been a gas leak, but there was no smell after storing in the garage for the night. Then I thought maybe the computer was running rich due to the combo of cold weather and highway traveling on Monday. Temps are supposed to get back into the lower teens this week so we'll see what happens...
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Old 02-12-2007, 07:18 AM   #1271
Envy_Petter
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Default Update

Well, no more fuel smell. They tightened the clamps around the injectors again (I still smelled it, but less after the first repair). Second time must be the charm.

Also, my tranny filter was loose. The guru couldn't say anything because he had just changed the fluid and filter about a month ago. That problem is solved now too.
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Old 02-12-2007, 02:01 PM   #1272
whtrex91
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I have an 02 wrx with the cold outside fuel smell. I am currently talking with SOA to see if they will help me with getting this fixed. My dealership wants800 to fix it! Has anyone had any good luck with SOA fixing this problem?
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Old 02-12-2007, 02:15 PM   #1273
Envy_Petter
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Just be persistent and don't let them fluff you off. Be a pain in the ass...has worked for me on various things! Keep going up the chain of command until you can't go any further.
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Old 02-12-2007, 02:38 PM   #1274
sajohnson
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Default Bad News

Sharrett Subaru looked at my WRX today and confirmed the leak. When they called SOA, they were told they would only cover 50% of the cost.

Ordinarily, I might say 50% would be fair but in this case:

1) It is an ongoing, known problem -- the TSB is dated 4-1-03.

2) It is (or certainly can be) a serious health, environmental, and/or safety concern.

3) It should have been the subject of a recall, or at the very least a "customer satisfaction" campaign -- where they notify owners of the potential problem and leave it up to them whether they want the work done at no charge. That is what they did with the ABS problem ('minor' intermittent defect -- causing almost complete loss of braking force!).

I've called the Attorney General's office in Hagerstown. They said I should write up a complaint and send it in. I guess I'll do that -- I was just hoping to find someone who could call SOA today and convince them to do the right thing.

I've contacted www.ConsumerDefense.com.

I've filed a complaint with the NHTSA.

I've called SOA myself again today and spoke with a rep who said he would have my case reviewed by a supervisor. I'm still waiting to hear back from them, but I don't have much hope since they've stonewalled the dealer twice.

I tried to call the CR main office in New York, but they're closed for the holiday. I did post a message on their forum though.

I haven't called the BBB, but IMO they typically aren't very much help.

As it is now, I told Sharrett not to do the work. We are picking up the WRX later today. At least I should get written confirmation that there is a leak (or at least _was_, when it was colder).

Any suggestions?
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:44 PM   #1275
rane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superorb View Post
Call SOA and complain of the safety/fire hazard and how it's making you lightheaded while driving and you feel like you will pass out. Then tell them that they even know about the design flaw and that they should take care of the problem. File a report with the NTHSB. Who knows the correct acronym?
Called Subaru thrice and mentioned all of the above. The customer service rep. listened to everything and then told me that as I had over 100 k miles on my car, Subaru cannot do anything. So I am screwed out of $600 to get it fixed at the dealer. To make matters worse, the service manager at the dealer tells me that the loaner they gave me (due to delay on their part in getting the replacement parts in time) was a big favor to me & I should be thankful! Talk about customer service, especially since I am paying $600.

I think I am done with Subaru...my next car is definitely not going to be a Subie.
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