Gas smell only in cold weather

subaru
outback

#1

my 2003 Subaru outback has a gas smell when i first start it on very cold mornings. I live in New England. It goes away after the engine is warm. Also, it never happens in warm weather. Has anyone experienced this? Thanks


#2

You’ll want to find out where the gas smell is coming from. If it is from under the hood, then my first guess would be that your fuel injectors are leaking externally. This would not be unusual. The o-rings that seal them are a good 12 years old (at least), They will have hardened up some, and when its cold two things happen. They are stiffer/harder, and everything contracts from the cold. Once things warm up, stuff gets more supple and expands and is able to seal up.

In any case, the next cold morning pop the hood, start the car and look and sniff at the fuel injectors. Replacing the o-rings should not be a big deal for any competent shop.


#3

My Subaru shop diagnosed it as old fuel line, which shrink a bit and leak in the cold weather. They replaced the fuel line and it disappeared.


#4

I’m assuming GeeDub is not the same poster as the OP. Another idea to consider for the OP, when the ECM detects the coolant being cold, it will inject extra gasoline during the start sequence. Some of this may be going through the exhaust unburned, and coming out the tailpipe. Depending on your nose’s sensitivity, and that this doesn’t happen when the engine is warm or when the weather is warm, what you are experiencing may be normal.