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Old 12-30-2020, 09:43 PM   #1
peerless
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Default Smelling Gasoline

Ok only had this 02 Wagon for a month now and today I got a new random issue. I will spell out the details and see what you guys think.

This morning I went out and started my car up to let it warm up. I left it unattended for approximately 10 minutes. Upon getting into the car there was a strong smell of gasoline inside the car, such as if there was a open 5 gallon container of gas in the car.

I got out of the car and looked under the car for leaking fuel, nothing and no smell from outside the car. Got back in the car and still the strong smell definitely inside the car. I popped the hood and again no leaks and no smell outside.

I rolled the windows down and drove to work and the smell went away. Didn't smell it any other time today or since I have owned the car.

Ok here are the details. 3/4 full tank of gas, cold start unattended for about 10 minutes, 35*F outside temp., heater set all the way hot on defrost, fan speed #2. No external leaks or outside smell, strong gasoline smell inside car. And the smell was not present when I first got into the car and started it.

My thought/theory is perhaps something in the tank vent system froze and running the car was producing fuel vapors that where being forced past fuel tank/fuel pump seals and entering the interior compartment?

Any other thoughts?
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Old 12-30-2020, 09:57 PM   #2
Elbert Bass
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If you don't have a check engine light and a code for large evap leak then it is usually seepage from the short pieces of hose on the fuel lines under the intake manifold. Time to replace those pieces of hose and the clamps. Might as well replace the hoses on the fuel filter and the return line too - nearly 20 years old.
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Old 12-30-2020, 10:45 PM   #3
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I second the hose/clamp issue. Had it happen to me on my previous 06.
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Old 12-30-2020, 11:24 PM   #4
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Definitely, intake manifold fuel lines leaking.

I have that exact problem on my FXT right now, this fix cannot be done without removing the intake manifold. So better replace the gaskets for that too!
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Old 12-31-2020, 07:18 AM   #5
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The car is old enough that it's about time to replace every single rubber piece on the car. Vacuum lines, brake lines, fuel lines, not to mention all the belts and hoses.
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elbert Bass View Post
If you don't have a check engine light and a code for large evap leak then it is usually seepage from the short pieces of hose on the fuel lines under the intake manifold. Time to replace those pieces of hose and the clamps. Might as well replace the hoses on the fuel filter and the return line too - nearly 20 years old.
This is definitely your issue. Had this happen on numerous occasions when it starts to get cold outside.

If these were fairly new hoses, you could just tighten the clamps and you would be fine.

Presuming that they probably are close to original hoses, best to completely replace all rubber fuel lines under the hood. Same would go for any other rubber hosing, ie; vacuum lines, heater hoses, etc. Bets to check them all over.

IIRC, there was a TSB on this issue many years ago so it's not surprising to hear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peerless
such as if there was a open 5 gallon container of gas in the car.
Question:
When have you carried an open 5 gallon pail of gasoline in your car?
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Old 12-31-2020, 03:44 PM   #7
Rtait190
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Sometimes in the cold the fuel regulator gets thrown off. It happens in mine to. Excess gas fumes get sent through the exhaust.
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Old 12-31-2020, 04:14 PM   #8
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Default gas smell

Hey there. I have an 04 wagon and have had this issue multiple times over the years. I have had my fuel lines repaired twice, but the issue persists. Last time i took the it in for it they found no leaks or other issues.

Worse in cold weather, or after I haven't driven in a couple days. Starting to think it just comes with the territory of an older Sube.
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Old 01-29-2021, 09:20 PM   #9
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Sorry for digging this topic up again, but I have this same issue. I have an 04' WRX and when it's cold out and I step into my garage, it smells heavily of gasoline fumes.

Casual investigation inside the engine compartment and underneath the vehicle shows no visible leaks or drips (although I know that gasoline evaporates very quickly)...

What is the recommended maintenance procedure to inspect, service, or replace fuel train components? Is there a guide somewhere?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-29-2021, 10:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRC9000 View Post
Sorry for digging this topic up again, but I have this same issue. I have an 04' WRX and when it's cold out and I step into my garage, it smells heavily of gasoline fumes.



Casual investigation inside the engine compartment and underneath the vehicle shows no visible leaks or drips (although I know that gasoline evaporates very quickly)...



What is the recommended maintenance procedure to inspect, service, or replace fuel train components? Is there a guide somewhere?



Thanks in advance.


The fuel smell is probably from the fuel hoses under the intake manifold, itís a rather common and known issue on GDís such as yours.
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Old 01-30-2021, 09:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRC9000 View Post
Casual investigation inside the engine compartment and underneath the vehicle shows no visible leaks or drips
Typically, you will never find an actual leak. It doesn't really take much of a leak to get a smell like this.

As has been stated numerous times over the years, best, cheapest, fastest solution is to tighten all the fuel line hose clamps under the manifold.

If it is the standard, known issue, this will clear up the problem and most likely will not re-appear for another year.

If it doesn't work, you may need to replace the fuel lines under the manifold.
You can either buy OEM from the Dealer and pay out your butt or just go to a local auto parts store and buy some 3/8" fuel line.
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Old 01-30-2021, 06:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Rodman View Post
The fuel smell is probably from the fuel hoses under the intake manifold, it's a rather common and known issue on GD's such as yours.
Can anybody verify that the information in this guide is correct and complete? I don't want to start popping lines off and then find out that this guy missed something. Thanks!

Also, since the fuel system is involved, is there anything I need to be extra cautious about? Is fuel going to spill out everywhere as soon as I start removing the old lines? Does the system need to have some sort of purge after installing the new lines, or can you start the engine up at that point?
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Old 01-30-2021, 08:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRC9000 View Post
Can anybody verify that the information in this guide is correct and complete? I don't want to start popping lines off and then find out that this guy missed something. Thanks!

Also, since the fuel system is involved, is there anything I need to be extra cautious about? Is fuel going to spill out everywhere as soon as I start removing the old lines? Does the system need to have some sort of purge after installing the new lines, or can you start the engine up at that point?
I'm pretty sure Blingstrom is a Subaru tech so you should be good with following his write-up.

In my experience, the gasoline smell was usually a loose clamp. You can push on them with a screwdriver to see if they spin easily.

As for opening up the fuel system, if you have recently driven the car, then you will need to relieve the pressure in the fuel system after the car cools down. Pull the relay under the passenger kick panel (green harness, white relay; pic in link below). Start the car and let it run until it dies. If the car has sat overnight then I usually don't bother, but YMMV. Some fuel will still come out so have something ready to catch whatever you can.

https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho...21&postcount=3

Before starting the car, prime the fuel pump a few times to build pressure in the system. The sound of the pump will change and become more muted.
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Old 01-31-2021, 01:45 AM   #14
NewSilverWRX
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I would just like to interject on this thread based on a recent revelation on my 04 wrx. Raw fuel smell, stronger as it got colder, just assumed it was the damned clamps again. Then it got worse and I figured there was a hose leaking from when I replaced my fuel pump a couple years ago. Pull back seat and find out there is raw fuel leaching up from what I assume is a leaking tank What a **** storm thinking my kids car seat sits above that leak. Will respond when I drop the tank and confirm a leaking tank. Hate the salt belt.
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Old 01-31-2021, 06:57 AM   #15
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Had to replace the tank on one of my wagons 2 years ago, wasnít a fun job. It was easy to tell that the leak was from the fuel tank, I could see a small fuel puddle form on the ground as I filled up the tank. If fuel is leaking under the intake manifold is also easy to tell. After the car sits cold, start it and pop open the hood, stick you nose near the intake manifold, should be easy to smell raw fuel.
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Old 02-01-2021, 12:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRC9000 View Post
Sorry for digging this topic up again, but I have this same issue. I have an 04' WRX and when it's cold out and I step into my garage, it smells heavily of gasoline fumes.

Casual investigation inside the engine compartment and underneath the vehicle shows no visible leaks or drips (although I know that gasoline evaporates very quickly)...

What is the recommended maintenance procedure to inspect, service, or replace fuel train components? Is there a guide somewhere?

Thanks in advance.
https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho....php?t=2740715
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Old 02-01-2021, 12:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewSilverWRX View Post
I would just like to interject on this thread based on a recent revelation on my 04 wrx. Raw fuel smell, stronger as it got colder, just assumed it was the damned clamps again. Then it got worse and I figured there was a hose leaking from when I replaced my fuel pump a couple years ago. Pull back seat and find out there is raw fuel leaching up from what I assume is a leaking tank What a **** storm thinking my kids car seat sits above that leak. Will respond when I drop the tank and confirm a leaking tank. Hate the salt belt.
Many fuel tank based smells are simply the gasket that seals the cover you remove when you mess with the fuel pump. Get a new gasket, swap over and see....that's way simpler than dropping the ding dong tank.
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Old 02-01-2021, 11:09 PM   #18
D-Rodman
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My tank was leaking thru a seam, northeast rust related.
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Old 02-03-2021, 08:06 PM   #19
Ernest
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I had this for years. Smelled when it got into the teens. Finally took the manifold off and changed all the rubber fuel lines and the metal lines. Subaru sells a kit with most of the stuff.
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Old 02-04-2021, 05:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Rodman View Post
My tank was leaking thru a seam, northeast rust related.
Gf has an 06 and it was doing the same thing as it was originally from new york and I guess never was coated and daily driven.
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Old 02-21-2021, 09:59 AM   #21
strohausii
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Default fuel smell

I had the same smell in 03 or 04, there was a recall for fuel injector orings that when cold out would harden or contract enough for exactly the same symptoms you described.
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Old 03-04-2021, 02:49 AM   #22
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maybe your cars running rich... easily could need a tune and be smelling a lot of gas...
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Old 03-30-2021, 09:30 AM   #23
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Default recall

I'm surprised nobody in this thread mentioned the recall. Fuel smell at cold temps is a standard problem with bugeyes. Subaru issued a recall a long time ago and I had mine fixed at the dealer for free.

The issue is the fuel rail connections under the intake manifold. There are numerous pics of TSBs and recall notices here on nasioc somewhere if you search.

And yes the smell was much worse INSIDE the cabin than outside. Not exactly sure why though.
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:49 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ofeach View Post
I'm surprised nobody in this thread mentioned the recall. Fuel smell at cold temps is a standard problem with bugeyes. Subaru issued a recall a long time ago and I had mine fixed at the dealer for free.

The issue is the fuel rail connections under the intake manifold. There are numerous pics of TSBs and recall notices here on nasioc somewhere if you search.

And yes the smell was much worse INSIDE the cabin than outside. Not exactly sure why though.
It was a technical service bulletin rather than a formal recall based on what I was told by my Subaru tech and was only covered for ~10 years of original purchase. Still good thing to mention tho....
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Old 03-30-2021, 12:01 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K3rm1tth3fr0g View Post
It was a technical service bulletin rather than a formal recall based on what I was told by my Subaru tech and was only covered for ~10 years of original purchase. Still good thing to mention tho....
It was a full-out recall. Below is the text from the NHTSA website. I do not believe that recalls have a time limit. But clearly this one depends on what state the vehicle is registered, which is too bad because CA, OR, WA, UT all have areas that regularly get into the teens in the mornings. For my car, anything around 15 degrees in the morning and it would leak.

Summary

SUBARU IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2002 AND 2003 IMPREZA WRX VEHICLES ORIGINALLY SOLD IN OR CURRENTLY REGISTERED IN THE STATES OF SOUTH DAKOTA, NEBRASKA, NORTH DAKOTA, MINNESOTA, IDAHO, IOWA, MONTANA, COLORADO, WISCONSIN, NEW YORK, WYOMING, MICHIGAN, ALASKA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, VERMONT, AND MAINE. DURING COLD STARTS, TYPICALLY UNDER EXTREMELY COLD TEMPERATURES, FUEL LEAKS IN THE FUEL DELIVERY LINE COULD OCCUR WHERE THE LINE CONNECTS WITH A RUBBER HOSE.

Remedy

DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE FUEL LINE FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON DECEMBER 31, 2009. OWNERS MAY CONTACT SUBARU AT 1-800-782-2783.
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