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2003 Outback won't accept gas - lightning strike to blame?

Here is my Subaru Outback mystery: The first days after my local Sinclair gas station (the office portion not the gas tanks) was struck by lightning I stopped to purchase some gas. Now this is in La Verkin, Utah where many strange events happen and we’ve had some interesting monsoon weather this year. However, I tried to swipe my debit card and it didn’t work. I tried to put gas into my Subaru and it didn’t work either. This is when I learned about the lightning strike and how the entire station was still trying to re-boot,.Of course the electromagnetic event clearly would effect the debit swipe and perhaps the gasoline pump but since this day no gasoline will easily enter my gas tank. I can’t put in more than $1.79 in gas before it spits it out. Maybe the Outback has developed TESLA envy? Is this a related event? Or just a bizarre coincidence? Please advise. By the way I’ve played your Car Talk: Doesn’t Anyone Screen These Calls Animal stories CD to my students (mostly young men) and they loved it! PS: If you have a mechanic of the year award it needs to go to my Mechanic Mike and Tyson (they call Tyson the professor) at Red Rock Collision and Repair, in St. George, Utah. The whole crew have hearts of gold! And while he advises that it’s probably time to think about purchasing a new car, he still tries his best to fix things for me.

Have someone inspect the Onboard Refueling Vapor Recovery system

This is part of the EVAP system that allows the gas tank to vent while refueling.

If there’s a restriction in this system, the gas tank can’t vent and the gas pump keeps shutting off.

One thing that can cause this problem is spiders building webs and laying egg sacs in the system causing a restriction.


Seems like with the cap off the gas tank during refueling the tank would be vented to the atmosphere.

Coincidence is all!!! The card readers would have nothing to do with the filler tube.

Check for an obstruction in the filler neck.


Then that would imply you have no understanding on how the EVAP/ORVR system works.


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