Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Subaru Forester exhaust/fuel smell in cab



  • I have exactly the same problem with an 01 Forester. Although, seems to be just as bad whatever the weather now. The CEL evap code seems to come and go no matter what they replace and fix.

    Took it to the mechanic who phoned me to say that they're going to have to take the carpet up inside to inspect the fuel line - I thought he was joking, but apparently it's true: the fuel lines run INSIDE the car!

    Ho hum.
  • Fuel lines inside the car have their good aspects and their bad ones. The good news is that they are much less likely to rust and corrode, since they are not exposed to all the road salt and crud that they would be if they were outside the car. The bad news is that if they leak, the smell is horrible and almost impossible to get rid of.
  • fibber2fibber2 Mid Hudson Valley, NYPosts: 3,729
    edited April 2010
    I had a similar problem on my '02 OBW. The 'fuelline' link does a nice job showing the multiple hose to metal line connections on the drivers side, but there quite a few also located on the passenger side. All of them needed to be tightened, but these were my biggest source of smell on a single digit cold start. IIRC, there was at least on more down below the one circled on the left side of the picture, and there were 2 very difficult to get at clamps under the circled cover up front. There is a hole in that cover (see arrow) for access, but my clamps were rotated requiring the drilling of another hole to align with a screwdriver.

    I've had headgasket issues requiring intake removal twice. Removal and reinstallation of things that aren't meant to be taken apart is probably the main cause of repetitive leaks. I imagine that next year it will probably be time to replace some of these hoses and clamps.

    Hope this helps!

    imageSee more Car Pictures at
  • I was wondering if you've discovered more about what's causing your gasoline smell. We have a 2002 Forester that has a similar strong fuel smell on the passenger side of the car (near the rear wheel) after we drive the car for a while. It doesn't matter what temperature it is. The smoke machine didn't find leaks in our system either.
  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    edited October 2010
    ".... 2002 Forester... strong fuel smell on the passenger side of the car (near the rear wheel)..."

    Could be a rusty perforated fuel filler neck: - - /#post542647
  • I was just wondering if anyone got any concrete answers to the exhaust / fuel smell issues...


  • aathertonaatherton Posts: 617
    edited January 2011
    "I was just wondering if anyone got any concrete answers to the exhaust / fuel smell issues..."

    What more do you want on the subject of a fuel smell from the rear passenger area?
    Now an exhaust smell is another subject not presented by the original poster. Do you have both issues?
  • After temp went to 15 deg F I started getting a gas smell also
    I also periodically get a code for my emission system
    Says gas cap lose
    There is prob a hose cracked somewhere causing both problems?
    Not sure
  • jd_24jd_24 Posts: 92
    I have the fuel smell come and go in my 2001 Outback. Typically its a slightly loose connection to the fuel filter. The cold weather causes a little shrink. This last time I tightened the hose clamps myself. Not sure if that solved it or not since the next day was warmer, but the fuel smell was gone. I've never noticed actual leaking gas in the 3 or 4 times its happened over the years.
  • I have a 05 Forester XT, getting fuel smell in cold weather, did some search and it's been a common problem, a fuel leak due to the fuel line hose shrinking causing the clamp loosen up a little. There was even a recall on certain WRX models in 01 or 02 that had the same engine. It's easier to fix on a non turbo engine, but for the turbo, they have to take the intake manifold apart where the fuel lines are underneath. I could actually see the fuel dripping using a flash light. I called SOA and they were kind enough to cover my repair. Most dealers quote $800 for turbo engine, under $200 for non turbo. Do a search on youtube and Forester forum. there was a guide on how to DIY if you have the mechanical skill. Get it fixed, you are talking about fuel leaking, not safe to keep driving it.

  • My month old 2014 Forester xt has proven to be an enjoyable and fun decision. This is my first turbo experience and I'm quite impressed.
    However, I'd like someone to explain the smell coming from the vents. It smells like body odor. I only detect it when the car is idling or backing up as I park. Its winter and maybe I'm smelling fuel additives.
Sign In or Register to comment.