View Full Version : Gas fumes, heavy after cold snap

01-18-2009, 02:20 PM
I have a 2002 Outback with about 96K on it. The other night we got down to 14 degrees. My tank was on empty...the light had come on. We were late for a movie so I figured I'd get gas afterward. On driving home, we smelled fuel. Heavy. It seemed to be most strong while idling. Got gas the next day. Same thing. Thought maybe there was something going on with the gas cap. Opened, securely closed. Same thing. Not conclusive yet, but tt does appear, though, that if I start the car and idle but not turn on the heater (thus, the fan). At least the one time I tried this. I'm going to try it again, but any ideas as to what is causing heavy gas fumes to enter the car now? Was the very cold start on empty just a coincidence?

Also, under "Strange smells" category: I have smelled, for some time, what seems to smell like plastic (actually it smells like candle wax), from the right front when I have driven awhile...or come home (I live up on a mountain and I usually drive up and down in second gear).

By the way, the brakes have been replaced - twice! Not just the pads but roaters (sp!)

Any ideas would be appreciated. I have an appointment Monday to take it to my mechanic, but would like some other impressions as well.

01-19-2009, 05:07 PM
This is a known problem that we have been fighting to get a recall on for years now. I have an 02 wrx with the same problem. I don't know if soa is waiting for someones car to blow up or what?

I think someone priced it to just get rid of the problem, and it was out of everyone's budget.....

01-20-2009, 09:28 AM
Does having the clamps tightened help? Got it back from the shop and they looked everywhere for something to do and there was no signs of the leak (because it's now 40 degrees). They did what they could. I hope we didn't make it worse. But, we don't get that cold that often, so we'll have to wait and see, I guess.

01-20-2009, 07:35 PM
Yea, if it doesn't drop below 15, you will not smell the gas. It's in the fuel distribution on the rear left under the hood!

01-24-2009, 05:18 PM
Yea, if it doesn't drop below 15, you will not smell the gas.

Is it possible you have water condensation freezing in the tank vent, forcing fumes to escape "another way"? Has anyone tried some repeated applications of "Heet" to see if it has any effect?

12-11-2009, 01:06 PM
Hello, I'm a NEWB and am having this problem too with my wifes '03 WRX.
I Know this thread is nearly a year old now, but perhaps someones got some new news on this issue. Someone suggested to me that I go through and check all the fuel line connections to make sure these 12 degree mornings are not causing the lines to come loose. Is this a valid suggestion?

01-31-2011, 10:44 AM
any news on this?

01-31-2011, 01:52 PM
wvk-21 recall for 02 and 03 wrx for fuel smell under cold weather. It replaces the fuel lines under the intake.

02-03-2011, 10:23 AM
If you are having fuel issues I would get those replaced and then when that's all said and done I would use Sea Foam Motor Treatment for carbon cleaning.

02-04-2011, 10:20 AM
There hasn't been a recall on this issue. They're fix is to tighten the clamps every now and then. My mechanic quoted $150 to replace the lines as they are old. I may do that later "when it's broke" but I can live with the fumes for a couple more weeks if we get that cold again.

There was a recall on the WRX so the poster who has one (I think it's his wife) may want to see about getting them replaced. It was the turbo, I think the dealer said, but they can look it up for you.

In the meantime, get your philips screwdrivers out and occasionally tighten the clamps.

03-12-2011, 12:37 AM
great! my problem solved thanks for sharing