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Subaru Fuel Tank leaking

I have a 1997 Subaru Legacy Wagon and the fuel tank is leaking on the top. I have taken it to the local dealer to price replacing the tank and they quoted
“at least $3,000” It seems that you have to take out the exhaust system , then the rear drive train to even get to the tank. It was not a problem for quite awhile but now the check engine light is on and it won’t pass inspection. Is there a way I can fix this without taking out the tank?

No. If the gas tank is leaking at the top, it means it’s proabaly rusted on the top. So it has to be replaced.

It would appear that all the things you mention do need to be removed prior to replacing the gas tank. I would suggest that you have an independent shop quote you a price for replacement of the gas tank.


I agree with tester about the independent shop. However if the tank is rusted (metal) and not cracked (plastic), I would wager your suspension and exsaust is rusted as well which is going to drive up the difficulty level and cost.

With that said, one question. Is there any chance you have an access hole in the floor under the seat or in the trunk area to get at the fuel pump/fuel sending unit. Maybe it has a bad gasket and the tank is really ok?? I don’t know if subbaru, has this or not.

It could be the filler neck. That’s actually a very common item to rot out when it leaks fuel.
The tank will need to drop for that, though.

There is a limit as to how far you can go with 15 year old, high-mileage cars…If the engine and transmission are serviceable, it might have some salvage value…

A gas tank plus the old rusted straps is about $250 plus labor. Labor should be about 2 hours on the high side. I had this done recently at a good chain store. my price was higher but I had other work done and they got it done pretty fast.

There is a temporary repair material, like a 2-part putty, that can be applied if you can access the leak, but it’s TEMPORARY. Is is NOT intended to be permanent. Fuel leaks are extremely dangerous, both to breath and to risk it igniting, and it needs a permanent fix…a noew tank.

price shop, but please, I urge you, get the tank replaced, unless of course it turns out to be a a vapor line or fill tube or somethin gexternal to the tank.