Cars & Vehicles
Car Smells
Subaru Outback

The subaru outback has a bad gas smell while the car is ideling in this cold weather Any idea what might cause this?


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Wiki User
2010-12-14 21:45:59
2010-12-14 21:45:59

Damaged or faulty oxygen sensor or circuit; Plugged or damaged pcv valve; Leaking fuel filter or fuel filter connections; Clogged, damaged, defective or faulty catalytic converter; Plugged, dirty or poorly connected fuel injector; Punctured or damaged fuel tank; faulty fuel pump or fuel pump connections; Damaged or restricted exhaust system components.

It's a pretty common problem with the fuel line clamps. You notice it when you are ideling since the air is not moving past the engine, and you are smelling it at the worst - when you drive it dissipates, but it still occurring. You need to tighten the fuel line clasps - you can see photos of most of the places here:

Another possibility is the seal between the fuel pump and the gas tank. If you lift up the back seat and pull back the padding, you will see the access panels for the fuel tank. Remove the sheet metal panels and look at the assemblies on top of the gas tank. If the seals or lines are leaking the smell will be pretty strong in that area. Replacing the seals and/or the flexible fuel lines should solve the problem.


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plugged fuel filter is the cheap and easy fix. the expensive and difficult answer is the catalytic converter is shot. with my luck, it's the cat.

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