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Old 03-03-2007, 06:11 PM   #1376
ZACKARU
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So just started reading this thread, been trying to figure out what this rotten smell is that occurs in my cabin after about 8 minutes of driving, it is cold here in reno, but seems to happen at the exact same spot on the road when I drive home from work. MY06 WRX. Will continue searching this thread, but 50+pages seems like a lot. No mods, but I did remove the air vent flaps in the trunk, can't tell where the smell is coming from. An overview of these 50 pages would be appreciated. Been trying to figure out what/where the smell is coming from.
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Old 03-03-2007, 07:36 PM   #1377
sajohnson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZACKARU View Post
So just started reading this thread, been trying to figure out what this rotten smell is that occurs in my cabin after about 8 minutes of driving, it is cold here in reno, but seems to happen at the exact same spot on the road when I drive home from work. MY06 WRX. Will continue searching this thread, but 50+pages seems like a lot. No mods, but I did remove the air vent flaps in the trunk, can't tell where the smell is coming from. An overview of these 50 pages would be appreciated. Been trying to figure out what/where the smell is coming from.
I don't know if anyone has read this entire thread -- I know I haven't!

I started reading from the beginning and then skipped to the last few pages, so I can't really give you a comprehensive overview, but from what I've read most people who are posting here have experienced the "Raw Fuel Smell" problem described in the SOA TSB (posted above).

People seem to be getting a wide range of responses from dealers and/or SOA -- regardless of the number of miles on their car. Some are treated politely and professionally and the repair is taken care of with a minimum of hassles and SOA pays 100% of the cost. Others have been jerked around before SOA reluctantly agrees to pay some or all of the cost. Still others have been told flat out that they must pay, period, end of discussion. In addition, people have been given wildly different quotes to fix this problem -- everywhere from $300 to $700 IIRC.

In your case, is the "rotten" smell you describe the smell of raw (liquid) gasoline, or is it similar to a 'rotten egg' smell? Or something else?

Just curious -- why did you remove the vent flaps in the trunk? If they are what I think you are referring to, they are intended as one-way 'valves' to allow stale cabin air to escape out of the rear of the vehicle. If so, I'm wondering if you aren't smelling your cat(s) warming up after 8 minutes of driving? With those flaps removed, it's possible that exhaust might be getting into the cabin.

Just a thought.
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Old 03-05-2007, 12:50 PM   #1378
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbrunner View Post
So I'm smelling the raw fuel more so when I'm outside of the car, but I did smell it pretty bad a couple months ago inside the cabin when it was really cold. Will SOA help me out and pay for everything even if I'm out of warranty with 90k miles? I really haven't had time to bother getting it fixed. Although it does seem dangerous driving around knowing I have fuel leaking around the turbo, so I'm thinking about printing out the TSB and taking it in this weekend to at least see what they say.
My car is also out of warranty, but was covered. I went to the dealer on a cold morning, and let them take a wiff after the car was sitting idling.
Sevice guys face ->
He checked with their service rep, and ok'ed the work to be covered under warranty (I provided them a copy of the TSB listed in this thread). I didn't have to call SOA or anything, which was a great relief. These folks at Madison Square Subaru are good at taking care of customers.
You may want to see if you can get it there on a cold day when you can re-create the issue. That might help your case. I think it did mine.

Also, if you are experiencing this problem, be sure to file a report with the NHTSA. The more they hear about it, the closer it gets to recall status.
I provided a direct link to the complaint page above. It only takes a few minutes.
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Old 03-05-2007, 03:57 PM   #1379
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sajohnson View Post
It would be interesting to hear from anyone who has experienced this fuel leak what the temp was when they first noticed it.
The first time I noticed it, it was single digits and the temps had dipped below 0*F overnight. Now, it's pretty much guaranteed whenever the temps are single digits, my car will smell like a gas station for at least a few miles.
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Old 03-06-2007, 10:23 AM   #1380
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Just an update. Repairs cost $477. SOA just contacted me, they are reimbursing me 50% of the repair cost (still waiting for check). They claim the TSB is ONLY for MY02 vehicles with a certain engine code. My vehicle is an MY03 but it was mfgd in 7/02 and had the required engine code per the TSB. They acted like that shouldn't matter.

I find it disturbing that my car is an '03 by the VIN#, but all the parts are 02. I've already had problems with brakes and AC compressor because '02s and '03s have different parts, so the '03 gets ordered, it doesnt fit my car, so then the '02 part has to be ordered!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnmarshall View Post
Just adding mine to the growing list. Filling out the NHTSA form and contacting SOA.
3 local dealers, all quoted the same $500 charge. Not covered (out of warranty). 2 dealer's specifically warned me that the engine could catch fire if not repaired!

Known Cause: Tempature below 32deg.
Location of smell's origin: Passanger side of engine
Date of MFG: 07/02 (MY03)
Mods: JDM Exhaust, Cobb programmer.
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:11 PM   #1381
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Had mine done under extended warranty (had to pay $100 deductible) however now I can feel the engine revs vibration through the Accelarator pedal (right around 3000 rpm) and they cracked the power steering reservoir tank clip, coolant in tank is now dark green? They put some cheesy bolt on the BOV mount to intercooler (lost it or stripped it).
I'm done with Subaru... its time to move on.
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Old 03-06-2007, 09:17 PM   #1382
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blokespeed View Post
Had mine done under extended warranty (had to pay $100 deductible) however now I can feel the engine revs vibration through the Accelarator pedal (right around 3000 rpm) and they cracked the power steering reservoir tank clip, coolant in tank is now dark green? They put some cheesy bolt on the BOV mount to intercooler (lost it or stripped it).
I'm done with Subaru... its time to move on.
IMO, you, jnmarshall, and anyone else who had to pay for even a _portion_ of this repair should take SOA to small claims court.

a) It's the right thing to do.

b) There's a very good chance they'll settle because it would cost them more to appear in court.

Even if they do show, it seems to me you've got a solid case. Why should anyone have to pay a deductible or a percentage of the repair (usually 50%) when others (many with higher mileage vehicles) are reimbursed 100%?!

My WRX had 119,000 miles on it when it was repaired. I do not have any kind of extended warranty, and they paid 100%. Granted, it wasn't easy -- I had to make several calls, etc, but they did end up paying.

Others have had even better luck. Some didn't even have to call SOA -- it was all covered by the dealership!

Needless to say, it's up to you. You may feel that filling out the small claims paperwork isn't worth it for $100, or $250 (up to $600 or $700 in some cases).

Personally, I'd do it in a heartbeat -- as much for general principles (GP) as for the money. They should not be treating their customers like this.
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Old 03-06-2007, 10:31 PM   #1383
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I have the raw fuel smell too... I live in Maine, and its been really chilly -5Fish

02 WRX, 120,000 mi.


I havn't been able to see raw fuel, but I can most surely smell it. strong too, no doubt theres a leak.

I'm going to contact my local dealer tomorrow and reference TSB 030906. I have had very poor luck with this dealer so I'm prepareing to be bent over.

I am glad I found this thread. Thanks for the great posts and TSB

Mike
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:25 AM   #1384
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so i found out today i can leak on demand now by coming to sudden stops or stoppin downhill. i think its time to contact somebody now that i can prove it.

had the smell randomly for the past 2 or 3 monthes when it was extremely cold. went away for awhile because it got warmer and so i figure it was ok and i didn't want to waste time at the dealer. today got cold again, not very cold though. got in and drove around and there was no smell until on the way home i came to a stop at a light at the bottom of a hill and the smell came back. when i got back i checked under the hood on the passenger side under the intake manifold. i saw gas dripping off the screw holding the clamp at an alarming rate but stopped when i turned off the motor. i got back in the car bout an hour later, and no smell, until i got back to the same light on the hill and it starts again. later after some shopping, no smell, until i came to a hard stop at a stop sign and more gas leaking.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:39 AM   #1385
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Where is the link to the TSB?
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Old 03-08-2007, 04:06 AM   #1386
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Originally Posted by d40winker View Post
Where is the link to the TSB?
Page 34, post 1018 is one.
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Old 03-08-2007, 11:31 AM   #1387
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I'm about to go through this process myself and am confused how to approach SOA. I called the local dealer, and they said full price must be paid and nothing was under warranty. With reading so many posts on how SOA fully paid some and denied others, I am not sure what to say for them to be willing to pay for the repair. If they are not required to, why do they? If they are, why do they deny people?
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:30 PM   #1388
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My warranty just covered the service. I had to call SOA and have them talk to the service mananger at the dealership, but in the end my warranty paid for all but $45 which is the cost of the rubber hoses that were replaced.
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Old 03-08-2007, 01:37 PM   #1389
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Originally Posted by Augie 1 View Post
My warranty just covered the service. I had to call SOA and have them talk to the service mananger at the dealership, but in the end my warranty paid for all but $45 which is the cost of the rubber hoses that were replaced.
Wow -- what sort of warranty do you have?!
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Old 03-08-2007, 01:49 PM   #1390
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d40winker View Post
I'm about to go through this process myself and am confused how to approach SOA. I called the local dealer, and they said full price must be paid and nothing was under warranty. With reading so many posts on how SOA fully paid some and denied others, I am not sure what to say for them to be willing to pay for the repair. If they are not required to, why do they? If they are, why do they deny people?
In addition to the stars being aligned correctly, and them liking the sound of your voice...

It seems to depend a lot on how serious you sound and how persistent you are.

I honestly felt (and feel) that this should have been the subject of a recall years ago. It is a serious safety issue -- your car could go up in flames. Even if it doesn't catch fire, breathing in raw fuel vapors isn't exactly good for your health. It is also an environmental issue -- the reason for much of the pollution control devices on our cars and for the vapor recovery fuel nozzles at service stations is to keep raw fuel vapors out of the air.

Be polite. Explain that this concerns you and you know it is a known defect because of the TSB issued back in 2003.

Mention each of the above issues. If they still refuse, tell them that if they do not pay 100% you will have no choice but to contact your state AG's office, Consumer's Union (CU), the EPA, the NHTSA, the Center for Auto Safety, etc, etc.

You might also point out that you know that they have paid 100% for other WRX owners.

Keep going up the 'chain of command'. Keep asking for the person's supervisor if you don't get help.

Good luck.
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Old 03-11-2007, 01:12 AM   #1391
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I went to two dealerships today about this raw fuel smell. One was saying they've never heard of such a thing (it's more of a Chevy dealer than a Subaru dealer), the service advisor just nodded his head and told me I should just talk to SOA.

So then I decided to make my way to a real Subaru dealership and the service advisor there was telling me it's not worth spending $$ to fix it when you're only going to smell it 2 months out of the year. I said I'm not planning on spending a dime, SOA should be paying every cent of this repair as it's hazardous and should honestly be a recall. He went on about all multi-port fuel injected cars will smell like raw fuel, blah blah. I didn't really listen, I'm the type of guy that just walks out the door and doesn't bother. If I had pushed the issue, I may have gotten somewhere.. maybe.

So now I'm just going to have a chat with SOA and tell them whats going on since I'm obviously not getting anywhere with the service guys where I live. I even brought in my TSB and mentioned that many WRX owners have had this problem and had every cent paid by SOA.
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Old 03-11-2007, 03:48 PM   #1392
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbrunner View Post
I went to two dealerships today about this raw fuel smell. One was saying they've never heard of such a thing (it's more of a Chevy dealer than a Subaru dealer), the service advisor just nodded his head and told me I should just talk to SOA.

So then I decided to make my way to a real Subaru dealership and the service advisor there was telling me it's not worth spending $$ to fix it when you're only going to smell it 2 months out of the year. I said I'm not planning on spending a dime, SOA should be paying every cent of this repair as it's hazardous and should honestly be a recall. He went on about all multi-port fuel injected cars will smell like raw fuel, blah blah. I didn't really listen, I'm the type of guy that just walks out the door and doesn't bother. If I had pushed the issue, I may have gotten somewhere.. maybe.

So now I'm just going to have a chat with SOA and tell them whats going on since I'm obviously not getting anywhere with the service guys where I live. I even brought in my TSB and mentioned that many WRX owners have had this problem and had every cent paid by SOA.
Quote:
He went on about all multi-port fuel injected cars will smell like raw fuel, blah blah.
I swear some of these Service Advisers have sold their soul to the Devil.

All fuel injected cars smell like raw fuel?!! How can anyone spout such total crap with a straight face?

I've always thought that after I retire (about 3 1/2 years, woo-hoo!!) it would be fun to repair cars for spare cash and do my best to counter what these guys are doing to people.
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Old 03-16-2007, 12:52 PM   #1393
bobabrown
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Smile SoA covered my gas leak

Thanks to this forum and to my helpful Subaru dealer, SoA agreed, today, to cover the entire $450 cost of doing the fix described in TSB 09-36-03, which I found out about on this forum. I walked into the dealer's service department with a copy of the TSB, messages from this forum showing that some dealers had been successful getting their service rep to cover the cost. I also pointed out that when the NHTSA inquired about this problem, in 2003, they were told that in very cold weather as much as a teaspoon could leak, but then, once the engine got warm, it stopped so there was never a vapor concentration that could represent a safty hazard. I pointed out that when I let my car warm up 5 minutes with the heater running the fumes in the cabin were so strong that I had to drive with my window open all day. Also, that after driving quite awhile and then stopping the car raw gas was still very noticeable around the front of the car. In other words, what they claimed in 2003 is clearly not true in 2007. And that I thought maybe NHTSA should take another look at the problem.

The dealer's service manager listened sympathetically, sent an email to their service rep with all the info SoA requires, and then had a phone conversation with the service rep. Result: SoA paid the whole bill.

My car is a 2002 WRX sedan with 53000 miles. This problem first came to my attention on a zero degree morning in January. The dealer who went to bat for me was Mitchell Subaru in Canton, CT.

Without the info from this forum, I doubt that I would even have tried to get it covered. If I had, I wouldn't have had much ammunition to bring to the discussion. Obviously, I'm glad with the outcome.
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Old 03-16-2007, 02:07 PM   #1394
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobabrown View Post
Thanks to this forum and to my helpful Subaru dealer, SoA agreed, today, to cover the entire $450 cost of doing the fix described in TSB 09-36-03, which I found out about on this forum. I walked into the dealer's service department with a copy of the TSB, messages from this forum showing that some dealers had been successful getting their service rep to cover the cost. I also pointed out that when the NHTSA inquired about this problem, in 2003, they were told that in very cold weather as much as a teaspoon could leak, but then, once the engine got warm, it stopped so there was never a vapor concentration that could represent a safty hazard. I pointed out that when I let my car warm up 5 minutes with the heater running the fumes in the cabin were so strong that I had to drive with my window open all day. Also, that after driving quite awhile and then stopping the car raw gas was still very noticeable around the front of the car. In other words, what they claimed in 2003 is clearly not true in 2007. And that I thought maybe NHTSA should take another look at the problem.

The dealer's service manager listened sympathetically, sent an email to their service rep with all the info SoA requires, and then had a phone conversation with the service rep. Result: SoA paid the whole bill.

My car is a 2002 WRX sedan with 53000 miles. This problem first came to my attention on a zero degree morning in January. The dealer who went to bat for me was Mitchell Subaru in Canton, CT.

Without the info from this forum, I doubt that I would even have tried to get it covered. If I had, I wouldn't have had much ammunition to bring to the discussion. Obviously, I'm glad with the outcome.
Congratulations!
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Old 03-19-2007, 04:27 PM   #1395
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Any idea how to contact SoA? I experienced this fuel smell during some cold weather a few weeks ago but now the dealer (Chaplins, Bellevue WA) is saying they cannot guarantee that Subaru will pay for the repair, and in that case I'd also be out the fee they want to charge for their tech to try to "verify" that the issue is on my car (which they will not be able to do since their dealership is not in a cold climate)

So basically they want me to pay to have their tech not find something, then I'd have to pay for the repair myself since they wouldn't be able to find it.
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Old 03-20-2007, 11:40 PM   #1396
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I've had this problem for a while and even brought my car in to the dealership when it was still under warranty. The dealership stated that the smell was faint but, nothing serious. Coincidentally, the weather was not as cold that day.

I called SOA a couple of days ago and referenced the TSB # found in this forum. The rep stated that that TSB# is just reference material showing mechanics how to repair pipings for the Subaru. She stated that a TSB# is not a valid claim and that all TSB's are handled case by case. She even said that she hasn't really heard of this problem. How the **** can they claim they haven't heard of this problem when this many people call in to complain.

What I find extremely frustrating is that SOA refuses to acknowledge this issue and refuses to issue some kind of recall notification. With this many 02 WRX owners having this problem, how can they flat out say there is not a problem.

The SOA rep. stated that since I'm out of warranty there's a good chance they will not cover anything. I'm bringing the car back to a dealership tomorrow to see what the mechanic says.

This is absolutely unacceptable.
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:33 AM   #1397
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My question is, is SoA in any kind of legal peril, or is this all standard for car safety issues? E.g. would you have to convince the numbnuts over at NHTSA before getting any satisfaction, or just point out to SoA that they aren't following some law?
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:48 AM   #1398
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gixxer1K View Post
My question is, is SoA in any kind of legal peril, or is this all standard for car safety issues? E.g. would you have to convince the numbnuts over at NHTSA before getting any satisfaction, or just point out to SoA that they aren't following some law?
I seriously doubt that SOA has violated the law at this point.

That doesn't mean there aren't grounds for civil suits.

I'd say this is pretty standard behavior for an auto mfr. Remember, this is an industry that is so cold and calculating that they will sit down and figure out the probable cost of lawsuits from survivors and if that is less than the cost of doing the right thing and correcting the problem, they will sit back and watch people die or be seriously injured.

As far as getting satisfaction, plenty of people have been able to convince SOA that it is in their best interest to fix the leak free of charge, but you must be polite and persistent. It seems that they have to be convinced that you will cause them a lot more than $475 worth of trouble if they refuse.

The NHTSA has the power to force any mfr. to initiate a recall, but they seem _extremely_ reluctant to do so -- as if they have been paid off. But if they do their job, then everyone who has this problem could get it fixed without all this hassle.

As a last resort, I would suggest taking SOA to small claims court. They would almost certainly settle before hand because the legal fees and travel expenses (they must come to your local court) would be excessive.

Keep us informed and good luck!
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Old 03-21-2007, 01:33 AM   #1399
timmyp
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Has anyone replaced the fuel lines under the manifold/inlet with hose from the auto parts store (like goodyear hose or similar)?

What size (I.D.), and brand did you use?
What kind of hose clamps did you use?

Thanks, just wanted to try and order stuff before I have the manifold off.
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Old 03-21-2007, 02:08 AM   #1400
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^^^ditto
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