Subaru Legacy Gas smell (cold weather)


#1

My '02 Subaru Legacy wagon has had a problem for the last two winters. When it’s cold out, I get a powerful gasoline odor upon starting the engine. It doesn’t go away after the car is warmed up. I don’t smell it while driving, but I do when I stop, so I assume it’s happening while driving but the laws of physics prevent it from stinking up the car. The smell is both outside and inside the car. I’m assuming my fuel isn’t burning completely, but I don’t know why. Yes, my mileage goes down, and yes, I’ve had my mechanic look at it. Also, I had the known recall issue taken care of in April '07 (head gasket replaced, conditioner added), and cleaning of everything related to air and fluids that can get gunked up, but last winter and now this winter that nasty gas odor and mileage loss are quite noticeable.



Any ideas?


#2

This is a common issue on early 2000’s Subaru.

The problem is the fuel hoses is shrinking a bit in the cold weather between the fuel rail and another component typically and letting a bit of fuel leak. It is not typically a combustion issue like you believe.


#3

Thanks for the tip. Any idea how I stop it? Is it at least partly responsible for my mileage loss?


#4

Any mechanics around versed in Subaru? It is a common fix, I believe replacing the fuel hoses or sometimes simply checking/tightening the clamps takes care of it.

What kind of mileage loss? Winter itself you lose mileage due to vehicle warm ups, different fuel used at pumps, loss of tire pressure if not maintained/checked.

If you smell fuel all the time not just on cold engine/mornings get this addressed by a decent mechanic or Subaru dealership(should be experienced in this).