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Old 11-30-2012, 07:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Gas Smell

I am a first time Subaru owner and I just bought a 2012 subaru outback 2.5i premium cvt (6000 miles). I absolutely love the vehicle, but tonight i experienced a strong gas smell in the cabin. I thought it might be from outside maybe another car, but it continued. Since I have been home tonight I have been reading that this has been a common problem with Subaru vehicles in the past. The descriptions I have been reading about are exactly what is happening with my car! Most of the posts I have read were from 2001 to 2006 models. Just wondering if anyone with a new outback has had this problem and has it been fixed. I am heading to the dealership in the morning and i will give an update as soon as I can. Funny thing is I was going to go to the dealership this weekend to trade my other vehicle for another Subaru. I think i will be waiting on that now. My wife wanted another Honda or Toyota and I talked her into this. I hope I did not make a mistake.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well just make sure the dealership finds and fixes it. Traditionally on various sooob models this has happened when it gets cold out, and one or more of the rubber fuel hoses under the intake manifold leak slightly. It takes only one drop of gasoline and you will be able to smell it.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I remember the Car Talk guys suggesting that an emissions tester could be used to sniff out the source of a gas leak.
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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mmm yes that's a good point, the good evap smoke machines vaporize mineral oil into super tiny size smoke particles, injects it into the fuel system at low pressure, and they will be visible out even the tiniest leak.
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Update- I dropped my Outback off at the dealer this morning to see where the fuel is leaking from. Unfortunately they could not find the problem, but thankfully the technician who checked the car in this morning smelled the gas and they have agreed to keep it until they do find it. They were very nice and gave us an identical loaner car to drive until it is fixed.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default fuel leak

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Originally Posted by porcupine73 View Post
Well just make sure the dealership finds and fixes it. Traditionally on various sooob models this has happened when it gets cold out, and one or more of the rubber fuel hoses under the intake manifold leak slightly. It takes only one drop of gasoline and you will be able to smell it.
Wonder if it's that garbage gas we have to use now. Ethanol at 10% is already eating rubber and plastic fuel system parts, and the gov't is planning to raise the percentage to 15%. Some manufacturers will not honor an engine warranty if the damage is related to the moonshine they're making us use.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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We are picking the car up this evening with no solution. They say they can't find anything and do not smell it anymore. I informed them that maybe they should check the internet for a solution since it seems to be a fairly common problem with other models. They argued that the car is completely different now. I argued that the symptoms are exactly the same as the other cases so it might be worth looking into. Anyway we will document everything and take it back as soon as we smell it. We will be sending Subaru a certified letter getting this on record.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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One thing I have learned, when the fuel filling nozzle clicks off, stop right there. I would try to squeeze it all the way to nearly overflowing, there are evap tubes in there and the gas can go down those and most likely stink through the evap canister.

I concur with the "watered-down gas" that has ethanol in it. It gets worse gas mileage than the gas w/o ethanol. Basically, you are spending 10% more per gallon of gas. Not to mention that it does, in fact deteriorate rubber hoses, diaphrams, parts, etc.

Talk to any small engine-service person, it is a fact that small engines have all kinds of problems when you use that piss.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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On trick I've used is use a small length of hose, like aquarium tubing, and sniff through that. It sounds weird but you can pinpoint the source of fuel smells that way. The nose is extremely sensitive to that sweet smell of the benzene (and others like toluene and xylene) in gasoline. Gasoline is actually pretty nasty stuff. So don't sniff it too much.

In the gov't subsidies the ethanol fuel costs us even more than we pay at the pump. It's a complete and absolute sham that offers no true solution to the issue. Instead of allowing more drilling they are now paranoid after deep horizon of spills. No matter other countries will continue to cash in and then Chavez will shut down the straight of hormuz on a whim.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I will let my wife know to pay close attention to the fuel she puts in the car. The dealership just recommended that we document as much as we can when we smell the gas. It did seem to come about as we hit a cold weather spell. Today it was 75 and the dealer could not smell anything. I have a feeling this is going to be a long process. I have read about people who have been dealing with this for a year or more. My wife can be unbelievably persistent so i think we will get it fixed sooner
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