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Discussion Starter #1
My 1998 Subaru Legacy was smelling gas and I noticed gas spots on the ground. I took it to my mechanic and he said it appears to be leaking above the tank, apparently a common spot on Subarus. Anyone familiar with leaks up in that area? It seemed to got worse after I put 3/4th's tank full gas in a few days ago. Anyways, I am leaning strongly to replacing the car very shortly as it has 237,000 miles on it with rust issues on the rockers. I was planning to replace the car in May, and I am wondering if this kind of leak can last another 10-12 weeks or should I bite the bullet and replace it as early as this weekend. I suspect it has been leaking some as far back as last fall, as I smelled some gas then, but couldn't locate it and the real cold hit and smell went away. Any suggestions appreciated. Not sure keeping tank low on gas will help, but I am not familiar how gas lines run int hat area. I fix the problem (they estimate several hundred bucks as tank needs to be lowered) , but I don't want to put any more money in the car.
 

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'98 Outback
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It's risky to drive a car with a gasoline leak, or with any sort of problem with a gas line. I'm a retired firefighter--don't risk it.

I heard on this forum that it's possible to replace the steel lines with braided flex lines that do not require the labor to drop the tank. I bet the lines and couplings are expensive, though.
 

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I own 4 Subarus. A 95,97,02 and a 14. The first two are 2.2 and the last two 2.5.
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I second the suggestion to not drive it! Its is very common on 90's subarus to have the brake lines rust out above the gas tank. So I guess it shouldn't be surprising that the gas lines would corrode too. You can remove the access plate behind the rear seat and possible see which line is leaking and where. Most likely the gas supply line of course. It's possible that it's an easy fix right at the fitting on top of the gas tank. I'm sure that in the worst case a skilled mechanic can run a new line and bypass the corroded line. This is how the leaking brake lines are fixed.

By the way, I hope that you don't sell the car to some unsuspecting person without informing them of the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Plan to take to local junk yard, most likely this weekend will get new car. Trying to decide on Outback, Forester or Impreza. Looks like later year Imprezas increased in size, so probably just a big as my 1998 nowadays. Sadly, my 1998 has the 2.2 engine and still strong despite the other issues which will lead to the junk yard at this point.
 

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2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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Plan to take to local junk yard, most likely this weekend will get new car. Trying to decide on Outback, Forester or Impreza. Looks like later year Imprezas increased in size, so probably just a big as my 1998 nowadays. Sadly, my 1998 has the 2.2 engine and still strong despite the other issues which will lead to the junk yard at this point.

too bad,...I was hoping such a thing on your car could be a typical hose, but

many a 90s subaru with rust has gone down the road to the crusher, due to a gas tank failure and with rust and too many miles it maybe too hard to get the old tank out and a new one in without building a new car around it.




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impreza got bigger and nicer in 2008. forester has taller glass, but

outbacks and legacy wagon, have actually usable space with the biggest load floor.,

and all those 2008-09 have the same EJ253, and 4EAT. (last impreza EJ253 4EAT is a 2011, last forester is a 2010)

outbacks and legacy got the CVT in 2010 when they got bigger.

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impreza 2012-15 are FB20 with CVT. (both extended warranty to 100,000 miles,...so after that who knows what subaru will do).
forester 2011 -15 are FB25B with CVT (both extended warranty to 100,000 miles,...so after that who knows what subaru will do).

outbacks / legacy = CVT (extended warranty to 100,000 2010-15) FB25B extended warranty (13-15).
 

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1. if you can keep the gas below 1/2 tank and no leakage happens then that will mitigate leakage temporarily.

2. There's a reasonable chance they're guessing it's the gas tank but its' not. Most of the fuel leakage points on that car are not the gas tank and are reasonable enough to repair to last you until may and give you time to make a good decision. Tell us where the drips are coming from or look under the car and take a picture. i've repaired a bunch of mid-late 90's subaru's leaking gas and it's never been the tank, though I realize it does happen sometimes, but usually if someone just guesses without actually pinpointing the leak - they're probably wrong by guessing the gas tank.

A. the fuel filler neck. $100 part and $100 for an hour labor. this is the most common. pull rear passengers side wheel and swap the neck.

B. the lines under the vehicle - bypass them with quality fuel grade hose from NAPA.

C. check the fuel pump access plate under the rear seat for any breaches there. you pull the rear seat bottom - it's only 2 12mm bolts, so it's really easy. seat comes off, pull up access plate and there's a few fuel lines and fuel pump. splice/repair any leaking lines there.

Or use that as an access point to run some of that NAPA hose I mentioned above and fish it across the tank to the bottom of the car to bypass a leaking hose.
 

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Are you saying that the 2014 Outback with 6MT has an extended warranty to 100,000??
outbacks / legacy = CVT (extended warranty to 100,000 2010-15) FB25B extended warranty (13-15).
 

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Are you saying that the 2014 Outback with 6MT has an extended warranty to 100,000??
outbacks / legacy = CVT (extended warranty to 100,000 2010-15) FB25B extended warranty (13-15).
on the engine. ...no problem with the 6MT.
 

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2006 Outback 2.5i Limited 4AT EJ253 King Springs (raised) Falken Wildcat Trail 255/25/17
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There are two ports on the top of the tank for the fuel gauge sensors. They have rubber gaskets. Could be one of those has dried out. You can access them by getting in behind the back seat under the floor panel adjacent to where the back seat back's pivot. (Sorry, don't have a picture.) This is where the fuel pump (in tank) is and pressurized hose to the engine, and return line enter the tank. Several sources there for leaks.
 

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FYI for anyone experiencing this issue:
I had a similar issue where the filler neck would leak when the gas tank was filled up all the way. It would leak where the filler neck connects to the tank with a rubber hose and hose clamp. I ended up scrapping the chassis due to rust, but like as has been said already don't assume a shop is correct in prejudging the tank as the leak. Lots of rubber in there to fail first.
 

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2014 Outback 2.5i 6MT1997 Legacy Brighton 2.2L 5MT
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Also FYI for others with gas-smell symptoms:
In line with what idosubaru and turdwagon said, folks experiencing gas smell might simply have a rusted fuel filler neck. Easy and quick to replace.

My 1997 Legacy Brighton developed this problem in 2015 at 184K miles. The first 2 years of its life were in a CA coastal town, and otherwise not in rust-prone areas. Over several weeks I noticed a raw gas smell outside the car (not inside) whenever the gas tank was more than 2/3 full.
 

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2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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There are several other vent and sensor nipples. They can rust off and the tank will leak when very full.
 

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2014 Outback 2.5i 6MT1997 Legacy Brighton 2.2L 5MT
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Yes, thanks traildog -- several possibilities, and yes a gas leak is very dangerous. Need to deal with it faster than I did!

My note was meant as encouragement for folks who smell gas and see this thread to check whether their own repair would be big or small before despairing. When I started smelling gas and identified that the tank was involved somehow, I was afraid I had a very big problem and I started thinking it might be the end of the road for my car.

The OP also saw gas spots on the ground, so a different problem than mine.
 

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2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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Yes, thanks traildog -- several possibilities, and yes a gas leak is very dangerous. Need to deal with it faster than I did!

My note was meant as encouragement for folks who smell gas and see this thread to check whether their own repair would be big or small before despairing. When I started smelling gas and identified that the tank was involved somehow, I was afraid I had a very big problem and I started thinking it might be the end of the road for my car.

The OP also saw gas spots on the ground, so a different problem than mine.
I have changed (2) gas tanks in the past year. One for rotten nipples (sorry ... it was just hanging fruit)
 

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2009 Subaru Outback 3.0R
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fuel leak

I just bought a '98 Outback wagon for a winter car. It has 221K but is very clean and runs great. I also have a fuel leak right behind the r/r tire, from the bottom of a large rubber hose, which I'm guessing is part of the filler neck. The car has virtually no rust and the undercarriage has little surface rust, so I'm hoping to not have issues with rusted lines but I'm wondering if we have the same leak. I just noticed it today, going to try and find the source. My tank is 3/4 full right now.
 

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I just bought a '98 Outback wagon for a winter car. It has 221K but is very clean and runs great. I also have a fuel leak right behind the r/r tire, from the bottom of a large rubber hose, which I'm guessing is part of the filler neck. The car has virtually no rust and the undercarriage has little surface rust, so I'm hoping to not have issues with rusted lines but I'm wondering if we have the same leak. I just noticed it today, going to try and find the source. My tank is 3/4 full right now.
Yup, that's the classic fuel filler neck corrosion. Cheap, easy fix.
 

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Yup, that's the classic fuel filler neck corrosion. Cheap, easy fix.
Thanks for confirming this, I'm glad to hear, I really like the car. This is why I join these forums, people who know these cars and help others. The more info you can gather, the better your ownership experience will be.
 
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