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Discussion Starter #1
I received the dreaded raw fuel smell in my car last night. There is a TSB out (09-36-03) but it is for 2.0l WRX motors. I called the dealer and have an appointment Mon. So I will drop it off Sun night so it will be cold for them. It happens apparently when it gets darn cold out and fuel lines contract and a leak can/may occur under the hood.
Well, it was -1F when I got into my car after it sat all evening at work. We'll have to see how they respond to my 2.5 NA engine with the same smell/problem as the MY02 WRX's. Brian
 

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2000 Subaru Outback
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I'm having the same issue, and while turning on the recirculator makes it stop, I would rather not be stuck with it. I'll be taking my car in to a trusted mechanic as well - do you have any other references for this problem? I have a (new to me) 2000 Outback wagon.
 

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MY12 WRX, MY07 FXT
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Discussion Starter #3
My car only did it that one time. And as for TSB's, it was strictly for WRX's and the 2.0 liter turbo with the alleged problem. Other than that, you can check on NASIOC in the forums, very good info about this problem, but in WRX's only. Brian
 

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01 Outback 2.5
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I found a service campaign on subaru tech that says there is a problem with fuel hoses on outbacks. it is WXZ-83 My car is doing the exact same thing. I am sure you have had it fixed by now, but thought I would respond anyway.
 

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MY12 WRX, MY07 FXT
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Discussion Starter #5
You know what, Since that day I have not experienced the smell again. And I just came home from work, starting a cold engine @ 9 degrees F and no problem. As a matter of fact, I forgot about ever having the initial smell that one time. Brian
 

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2012 Outback Wagon
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I've been having the same fuel smell on my '00 wagon when the outside temperature is cold. Spoke to my Subaru service rep. yesterday about this, he said all Subaru's do this when it's cold out.
I find this hard to believe, will be searching for a fuel leak the next time I smell something.
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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"they all do that" is dealerspeak for "we don't feel like messing with it or wouldn't find it profitable to fix." on fuel leaks, add: "it's not our car or family that will roast if we're wrong"

you're right to track it down. it isn't normal or you would have seen more discussion on this board, yes? there is 35-50 psi behind it wanting very badly to go somewhere it has more space, like out of nasty restrictive lines and onto hot engine parts.

Brian, one idea: when one overfills the tank a little due to unfamiliar pump not shutting off at right time or whatever, gas vapor can sometimes be released from the carbon canister assy, not sure how but i've seen it with several vehicles.
 

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MY12 WRX, MY07 FXT
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Discussion Starter #8
Cpt, or just raw fuel going down the overflow back there. I have not heard too much m ore on the TSB since last winter. I wonder if most problems were corrected. Brian
 

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pedaler8090 said:
I've been having the same fuel smell on my '00 wagon when the outside temperature is cold. Spoke to my Subaru service rep. yesterday about this, he said all Subaru's do this when it's cold out.
Ask him to put it into writing. Explain that you want a letter, on SOA letterhead, signed by him stating what he told you verbally. If he refuses...get a tape recorder, and ask for his permission to record him making that statement.

I'm willing to bet he'll ask you to bring the car in "one more time" for them to investigate...
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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VERY good legal advice! amazing how they blow you off less if they know their blow-off may come back to haunt them......

as practical matter, even if he were willing, SOA wouldn;'t let him do that due to way it would open them up on any fuel system leakage product liability lawsuits......

i am trying to get over my deep innate distrust of and near-hate for dealers, but they make it tough......:(
 

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01 Outback 2.5
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fuel smell

on my 2001 outback it only does it when it is about 28 degrees or below. It is so bad you almost want to puke. I am going to talk to the dealer tomorrow about several problems my car has. Everyone of them is addressed in Subaru bulletins and campaigns. I think they have some sort or reponsibility to them. I went in the first of the week to get some sealer for the cooling system and they supplied and installed that for free! But they won't fix my supposed inefficient convertor because it is over 80k. It doesn't make any sense at all. I know my fuel smell is a real problem because it is so strong. Something is going wrong. I love the dealer comment, "they all do that"
 

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Fuel Smell

I found the source of my raw fuel smell this morning! I checked all my fuel lines when I first started my car this morning. All of the fuel line clamps were loose from fuel line shrinkage. The one that was leaking was the supply line to the RH fuel injector rail. The clamp on the line was loose, I had to drill a hole in the bracket to be able to get a screwdriver to the clamp to tighten it. I will check again tomorrow morning, but I believe I got it. :D
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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Bryan--

side bft of fixing that leak is that you shd see your fuel mileage go up.

longish term thot on yr situ....all rubber on a car gradually shrinks and turns to hard plastic over time. if your fuel lines had shrunk enough that clamps weren't sealing tightly, lines are getting that direction and shd be replaced before they get there. once they get hard, they crack from engine movement. hello, fuel leak at 35-50 psi, right above that nice hot horiz opposed engine......Outback to Pinto in 5 seconds...:eek: :eek:
 

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Ta Da!

It cured the fuel smell! probably next summer I will replace all the fuel lines. I will also see if I can replace the standard clamps with a spring clamp style for fuel injection. Spring style clamps shrink with the hose. No leaks!! Anybody seen spring style fuel injection clamps?:D
 

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Saturday morning it was below zero so I decided to look for the source of the fuel smell I have. Didn't take more than a couple of minutes to find the source of the leak and fix it. A fuel line hose clamp was loose on the right side of engine, it was very obvious leak. This morning it was -12 degrees, there was no fuel smell on my way to work. No thanks to my Subaru service department and their "they all do that" attitude.
 

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That is awesome that you found the source of your problem. I hope thar our postings of fuel problems helps somebody else out. :cool:
 

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they don't make spring type clamps for FI because they won't clamp tightly enough; even the screw type are different from those for carb'd cars.....they have a band underneath the drive slots so they won't cut the hoses at higher tightening torque needed.

so no, spring type hose clamps are NOt a good idea by themselves.

however, you gave me an idea. i also like the spring type due to exactly the effect you described....staying tight as hose shrinks. i may add a set of those to the screw clamps when it comes hose replacement time. double hose clamps for redundancy is old trick done by VW owners who didn't want their car to burn.
 

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this really did happen

Just a thought, but try looking under the hood where the fuel hose meets the fuel filter. It should be on the drivers side next to the wheel arch. The reason I mention this is because I had what I thought was the dreaded fuel rail loose clamp syndrome. Instead, what I had was an over zealous mechanic who thought that they'd do me a favout by tightening the fuel clamps due to contracting in cold weather. The result, they crimped the fuel hose and let me drive around for two weeks feeling sick and quezzy.

I went to another dealer and they diagnosed the problem as soon as they lifted the hood. Of course, I can't prove that it was the other mechanics fault, but they replaced the short length of fuel hose and the problem is now gone.

Just to let you know how good Subaru dealers in Canada are, one garage quoted me $400 to tighten the clamps on the fuel rail as per the TSB. It turned out that the TSB was for a different model, different year, and different engine. Subarus in Canada are getting a bad wrap due to incompetent mechanics doing zero preventative maintenance. It's high time Subaru Canada stepped in to save their brand equity.

Daniel S
 

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Re: this really did happen

Daniel S said:
J Subarus in Canada are getting a bad wrap due to incompetent mechanics doing zero preventative maintenance. It's high time Subaru Canada stepped in to save their brand equity.

Daniel S
Yep, and Subaru Canada seems to be unaware of it. In a recent interview, the president of SUbaru Canada declared that they had a very strong dealer network and were ready to move into the premium market.

Sheesh! He sure doesn't read much... The automobile press has been hammering them over that for the last 2-3 years.
 
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