My 2005 Subaru Forester just passed Rhode Island inspection last week. I didn’t use for 6 days. Last night when we got home I moved the car and noticed a strong gas smell. This morning on I drove it cold on way to work right away I noticed lack of power at low gear (its automatic trans), a jumpy idle, and some smoke out back (not too much and looked whitish). Check engine light flashed a couple of times but didn’t stay on nor flashed continuously. I know flashing CEL is BAD, so I went right back home and parked, didnt even drive a mile.
I’m thinking some sort of cilynder misfire.
My mechanic is less than a mile from my home. My question to the forum is: Is it safe to drive there or should I go with a tow truck?
I think moisture might be affecting the ignition system, but I don’t like the “noticed a strong gas smell” comment.
If you have raw gas somewhere under the hood - dangerous. This can happen if a fuel rail splits. That would also cause other symptoms that you mention. If it is just a misfire problem you would be OK to drive to the mechanic. But if it is raw gas leaking somewhere - that means a tow.
If you can’t evaluate it further on your own the tow is the safe bet. You could call the mechanic and get his advice. My mechanic has a tow truck and wouldn’t charge much extra to tow it. If you have AAA or some other towing service included in your insurance I’d just go with a tow.
I agree with everything that Uncle Turbo stated except the reference to “towing” it.
Because of the AWD mechanism, this vehicle needs to be put on a flatbed vehicle transporter.
Luckily, many (perhaps most) towing companies can supply this equipment as long as they are told in advance that you have an AWD vehicle that cannot be towed.