Exhaust odor in my '04 Subie...help!

subaru
legacy
exhaustsystems

#1

Can’t get a solution to this nagging odor in my car. Checked various websites that discuss fuel line problems in these vehicles, but the dealership (that I do trust) claims they cannot find a gasoline leak or an exhaust system leak. The check engine light is NOT ‘on’ and the car runs well for a car w/ 139K on it. I notice it briefly gets worse w/ harder acceleration. I’m driving w/ the windows partially open, which in New England right now is way ‘too’ cool to suit me. Any suggestions? Could this be an emissions system problem not tripping a sensor for the computer?


#2

Can you tell whether it’s a raw gasoline smell or an exhaust/sulfur smell? That would help narrow things down.

If it’s a raw gas smell, I’d suspect something like a broken/mouse-chewed gas vapor recovery hose. That happened to my parents’ Jetta, where a mouse chewed through a gas vapor recovery hose that ran from the tank to the charcoal canister in the engine compartment. The cabin smelled like raw gas all the time. The “check engine light” also came on, and the dealer found the leak by running smoke through the system.

Do you smell gas inside the cabin first thing in the morning, before starting the car? If so, it’s probably a gas vapor leak. An exhaust smell will dissipate overnight, but a gas vapor leak will stink 24/7.


#3

Thanks for the reply. I’m convinced it’s exhaust…but the repair guys either don’t notice it and/or can’t find anything wrong. After driving the car 139K, you can tell when something is wrong. They’ve tightened the clamps on the fuel lines, replaced plugs/wires due to a ‘missing problem’ (a coincidence) and even replaced a clamp to prevent grease from dripping on the exhaust from an axle boot or whatever. Since the computer is not triggering a ‘check engine’ reading, they haven’t looked @ the emissions system as far as I know. If I was really going crazy, it would be easier to fix my brain w/ some medications than it is to diagnose this car problem!


#4

There could be a rubber seal on the underside of the hood that fell off or is damaged. It will be near the air intake for the cabin. Air from under the hood may be getting through and going into the intake.


#5

Thanks for the suggestion. Looked under the hood and the rubber seal near the windshield end of the hood appears intact. I’m wondering if this is a function of high mileage and some problem w/ emissions since the usual suspects (fuel line leaks) have been checked for.