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Old 10-28-2009, 01:10 PM   #2626
enkd
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Finally had my lines replaced to fix the fuel smell... seems to have worked. I don't know if anyone has noticed, but the NHTSA has re-opened this issue and upgraded it to an Engineering Analysis, so we may still see a recall.

Quote:
NHTSA Action Number: NHTSA Recall Campaign Number:
EA09011 N/A
Make: SUBARU Model: WRX
Manufacturer : SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC.
Year : 2002
Component :
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE: DELIVERY:HOSES, LINES/PIPING, AND FITTINGS

Date Investigation Opened : July 2, 2009
Date Investigation Closed : Open

COMPLAINANTS REPORT FUEL LEAKAGE MOST FREQUENTLY IN WINTER DURING INITIAL COLD ENGINE START-UP. OWNERS WILL EITHER NOTICE A FUEL ODOR INSIDE THE OCCUPANT COMPARTMENT OR FUEL ODOR/LEAKAGE AT THE FUEL LINES ON THE RIGHT SIDE ATOP THE ENGINE. ONCE THE ENGINE HAS WARMED, THE ODOR/LEAKAGE MAY CEASE. IN SEPTEMBER 2003, SUBARU REVISED THE FUEL PIPE/HOSE DESIGN FOR WRX VEHICLES. ODI HAS FOUND THAT MOST OF THE COMPLAINT REPORTS AND WARRANTY CLAIMS CONCERN VEHICLES PRODUCED PRIOR TO THE DESIGN CHANGE. SUBARU REPORTS 944 COMPLAINTS FOR MY 2002-03 WRX VEHICLES BUILT THROUGH AUGUST 2002. SUBARU ALSO REPORTS ONE FIRE ON A MY 2002 WRX VEHICLE THAT OCCURRED IN FEBRUARY 2006. IN MARCH 2009, ODI INSPECTED AND VIDEO TAPED A MY 2002 WRX VEHICLE WITH A FUEL LEAK DURING COLD ENGINE START UP. THE VIDEO WAS PROVIDED TO SUBARU AND IS IN THE PE09-017 INVESTIGATION FILE. THIS ENGINEERING ANALYSIS IS BEING OPENED TO FURTHER INVESTIGATE THE SUBJECT VEHICLES PRODUCED THROUGH AUGUST 2003.
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Old 10-28-2009, 02:26 PM   #2627
Darryl
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this is great news!! Perhaps finally the right thing will be done.
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:52 PM   #2628
Superorb
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About damn time!!
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:55 PM   #2629
TimStevens
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I cannot believe it's taken this long... wow.

FWIW I still haven't had this work done, but definitely hope to now.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:22 AM   #2630
nattydread77
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I never registered a complaint last winter (just got my WRX last year), but I'm doing it right now. I would think the more of us that send in complaints, the better. Even if you've already got it fixed with a recall you might be able to get reimbursed. It's quick and easy, just go here:

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/index.cfm

Maybe we'll get this thing fixed yet.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:49 AM   #2631
Mr.Sparkle
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I have only once smelled raw fuel during start up in my 03 WRX. I live in NE and it does get pretty cold where I am sometimes. I think when it happened it was a very cold day around 0. My car is not garaged so it is out in the cold all the time. I'm surprised it has only happened once though as I would expect it to happen more if it has the issue. Guess I am lucky.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:30 PM   #2632
sajohnson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sparkle View Post
I have only once smelled raw fuel during start up in my 03 WRX. I live in NE and it does get pretty cold where I am sometimes. I think when it happened it was a very cold day around 0. My car is not garaged so it is out in the cold all the time. I'm surprised it has only happened once though as I would expect it to happen more if it has the issue. Guess I am lucky.
In post #2626 I noticed that the NHTSA said that SOA has only had 944 complaints about the fuel leak problem.

This number is almost certainly low, but even so it seems that only a portion of the vehicles in question have the problem.

Unfortunately mine did, and I live in Central MD which is relatively warm compared to NE. Go figure.

Last edited by sajohnson; 10-29-2009 at 02:31 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:56 PM   #2633
sourcandy
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My 03 does this but not all the time. Usually first starts I notice it. When I start it to go to school, when i leave school 12hrs later. I don't notice it when i leave work (8hr period)
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Old 11-05-2009, 03:11 PM   #2634
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I have lived with this damn fuel smell for 4 winters and am getting sick of smelling fuel and almost vomiting on myself living in western nc. The design of the fuel lines was changed after 03 correct? I was possibly going to buy a set of 04 plus fuel rails to fix this problem, has anyone done this and if so is it a permanent fix? Thanks guys
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Old 11-05-2009, 04:21 PM   #2635
nwood1976
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chizmo View Post
I have lived with this damn fuel smell for 4 winters and am getting sick of smelling fuel and almost vomiting on myself living in western nc. The design of the fuel lines was changed after 03 correct? I was possibly going to buy a set of 04 plus fuel rails to fix this problem, has anyone done this and if so is it a permanent fix? Thanks guys
I had a set of aluminum fuel rails put on my car to fix this issue. It would happen to me all the time during the winter months here in the desert. The new fuel rails definitly fixed the problem, as the issue is with the stock fuel lines. Specifically where the metal line attatches to the rubber line on the passenger side of the car. Apparantly, the two lines dont line up exactly and during the cold weather, the rubber hose will contract and pull away from the metal line causing a leak. When the engine is started and everything inside the engine compartment warms up, the rubber hose with usually re-seat itself on the metal line. This is supposedly why this issue is nearly impossible to duplicate at the dealership unless you park your car there overnight and let it cool all the way down. This really should have been fixed by now!!
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:09 PM   #2636
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chizmo View Post
I have lived with this damn fuel smell for 4 winters and am getting sick of smelling fuel and almost vomiting on myself living in western nc. The design of the fuel lines was changed after 03 correct? I was possibly going to buy a set of 04 plus fuel rails to fix this problem, has anyone done this and if so is it a permanent fix? Thanks guys
the tsb mentions that for some 2002 models. it didn't mention the 03's. although the tsb was posted 4-1-03

according to them, any engine number after 673467 has this fix already.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:14 PM   #2637
04 Wagon Boy
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I fixed this last winter with a buddy. We took off the intake manifold and replaced the rubber fuel lines that are underneath the intake mani. No more gas smell!
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:04 PM   #2638
sajohnson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chizmo View Post
I have lived with this damn fuel smell for 4 winters and am getting sick of smelling fuel and almost vomiting on myself living in western nc. The design of the fuel lines was changed after 03 correct? I was possibly going to buy a set of 04 plus fuel rails to fix this problem, has anyone done this and if so is it a permanent fix? Thanks guys
Just curious -- have you contacted SOA? You should be able to get the work done for free.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:17 PM   #2639
B-Units
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Just finished filing complaint. Stepped out of my car today and reeked of gas, so much it made me lightheaded. I parked my car in the garage and it's now under storage status until I can fix the problem. Found the leak, underneath the turbo inlet hose and possibly two others as well. It's ridiculous they don't have a recall by now.
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Old 11-09-2009, 01:55 PM   #2640
Gixxer1K
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Someone should make a standard form for the complaint
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Old 11-09-2009, 02:24 PM   #2641
anthonyfur
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I have this dam leak also.. But I have an 04.. Wat should I do? I've tried tightening the clamps but still comes back.. Don't really wanna pay the dealer hundreds of dollars to fix it LOL..
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:09 PM   #2642
sajohnson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gixxer1K View Post
Someone should make a standard form for the complaint
That would make it too easy!

Seriously, there doesn't seem to be any standard procedure, other than contacting SOA. From there -- it's anyone's guess. WRX owners with similar mileage on their cars have gotten wildly different responses from both SOA and their local Subaru dealer(s). Everything from:

"Yes sir, right away sir. We apologize for the inconvenience. Will you be requiring a loaner car? How about a brand new STI? Can we paint your house while we're at it?

To:

"What part of no don't you understand you moron?"

This seems to be the result of treating each failure as if it were an isolated incident -- just another random repair.

SOA likely does this on purpose. If they had a standard form/procedure it would be tantamount to admitting that this is a common problem that should be the subject of a recall.

As it is, each time a WRX owner complains SOA just acts surprised -- like they've never heard of the problem before.
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:23 PM   #2643
sajohnson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthonyfur View Post
I have this dam leak also.. But I have an 04.. Wat should I do? I've tried tightening the clamps but still comes back.. Don't really wanna pay the dealer hundreds of dollars to fix it LOL..
This problem was supposed to have been fixed fairly early on.

The TSB came out in the Spring of 2003, and IIRC the factory started using the new fuel line and hose in 2002. If you search this thread there is an actual engine serial # after which their should be no fuel leak problem.

It stands to reason that once SOA became aware of the problem they would not continue to mfr WRXs without fixing it.

When I first read reports from owners of '03 and later model WRXs I thought that they were either paranoid (my car has that too!) or they did have some sort of fuel leak or fuel vapor escaping and simply misdiagnosed the problem.

Now I'm not so sure. There seem to be an awful lot of later model WRXs, and even other Subaru models with what sounds like the same problem.

Does anyone have an answer for this?

Did FHI continue using the original parts on later model WRXs?

Do other Subarus have the same fuel line/hose setup? It would stand to reason actually -- it would be less expensive to use essentially the same 2.0 L engine in as many models as possible.
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:31 PM   #2644
Superorb
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I got a call back from someone at DOT two weeks ago. He said up until no no one has actually mentioned that they could see a) leaking fuel obr b) puddle of fuel while the motor is running. That's the key thing they're looking for. He's like to see my car, but I live in NC where it only gets this cold a few days a year or when I hit the slopes.
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:44 PM   #2645
420WRX
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You'd think this would be worth someone using cold storage to reproduce.. If all the DOT goons needs is a credible example.. ?
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:35 AM   #2646
nattydread77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superorb View Post
I got a call back from someone at DOT two weeks ago. He said up until no no one has actually mentioned that they could see a) leaking fuel obr b) puddle of fuel while the motor is running. That's the key thing they're looking for. He's like to see my car, but I live in NC where it only gets this cold a few days a year or when I hit the slopes.
I also got a call from the DOT guy and talked with him for a while. I'm up in MA but things are suddenly warm here. Give it another month when I have consistent leaking (not just odor like Subaru apparently claims) and he wants to bring out someone from Subaru to see the drips. I do have an '03 built in June of 2002, so I'm not sure if it's going to help anyone with a car post "the fix", but it's a start.

And I started this by filing a complaint with the NHTSA. Forget going to SoA. It's their job to make money. Go to the government. It's their job (supposedly) to keep us safe. I got a call within hours of filing my complaint online:

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/
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Old 11-10-2009, 12:45 PM   #2647
B-Units
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I live in Germany btw, I filed my complaint with NHTSA yesterday and am awaiting a response. I hope Subaru fixes the problem for free because I'm sure ze Germans will charge me a lot for this fix. I might as well upgrade my fuel lines then in that case and do it myself, good thing I have two cars. Trying to find the nearest dealer here, but can't seem to locate anyone. I live near Kaiserslautern if anyone knows of a dealer.
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:50 PM   #2648
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nattydread77 View Post
I also got a call from the DOT guy and talked with him for a while. I'm up in MA but things are suddenly warm here. Give it another month when I have consistent leaking (not just odor like Subaru apparently claims) and he wants to bring out someone from Subaru to see the drips. I do have an '03 built in June of 2002, so I'm not sure if it's going to help anyone with a car post "the fix", but it's a start.

And I started this by filing a complaint with the NHTSA. Forget going to SoA. It's their job to make money. Go to the government. It's their job (supposedly) to keep us safe. I got a call within hours of filing my complaint online:

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/
Yup, it took a few hours before I got the call as well. But, if you're farther north and also have the drip on an 02/03 it's good news for us
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Old 11-10-2009, 02:57 PM   #2649
kevin2.5rs
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I get the fuel smell when im above 1/2 tank of gas on 04 wrx made in 03

The dealships fix was "yea we smell it" cant find it though

As a smoker it does make me a bit nervous......
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Old 11-10-2009, 06:52 PM   #2650
Superorb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevin2.5rs View Post
I get the fuel smell when im above 1/2 tank of gas on 04 wrx made in 03

The dealships fix was "yea we smell it" cant find it though

As a smoker it does make me a bit nervous......
Always, or only below freezing?
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