2005 Subaru Forester Gas Smell And Won’t Start

Asked by Jan 25, 2019 at 06:12 PM about the 2005 Subaru Forester

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I just got a Subaru Forester with only about
150,000 miles on it. I can’t drive it yet so I’ve
been leaving it on the side of my house for
the past week or so. (Right now in Illinois it’s
below 0 temp and I’m not sure if that has
something to do with it). I drive it home and it
was just fine, but it smelled a little like gas.
But now it won’t start and when it smells
TERRIBLY of gas. Like toxic levels. Any

2 Answers


Could be a few things. Commonly I see rotted out fuel filler neck and cracked or broken fuel line at the the fuel pump connector. Pop up your back seat. You will see an access panel to the fuel pump. Take out the 4 screws and remove the cover be careful not to damage the wire harness. There should be 3 fuel lines on top of the pump. One is the the jet pump feed from other side of saddle tank, one is your fuel delivery line and one is your fuel return line. Most likely the line is cracked or the fitting on top of the pump has cracked at the base of the nipple where it meets the top of the fuel pump. If the line is cracked you’ll have to replace the line which is an in-depth repair where you will need a lift to do work under the car easily. Being in Chicago and working on these cars all day in Chicago I guarantee rust will be an issue. You will have to Lower the fuel tank which means lowering the rear cradle which from experience the bolts that go into the body are known to have the welded nuts break off inside the body and your stuck with a bolt that won’t come out and won’t tighten. Tank strap bolts are also known to break. If it’s the lines you’re best off taking to Subaru dealer. We deal with these repairs daily. If you’re lucky it will be cracked on top of the fuel pump where the nipple and top of pump meet. If it’s there then buy a new fuel pump ASSEMBLY, I say assembly because online you’ll find cheaper fuel pumps but that will only give you the pump mechanism and not the housing. The housing is where the leak is. Spend the $ to get a Subaru one because aftermarket ones tend to cause new issues like fuel gauge not reading right, stalling issues cause lower pressure and fitment issues. Also get a new rubber gasket and plastic seal. Both are 1 time use. When replacing the fuel pump GET PB BLASTER AND SOAK THE NUTS AND STUDS OVERNIGHT. You can use trans fluid or freeze off too but definitely soak them because of you break a stud off because the nut is frozen you have bigger problems. By hand remove the 10mm nuts disconnect the connector on top of the pump along with fuel lines. Highly recommend lining the access hole with absorbent pads. Depending on how full the tank is this could be messy. Ideally 1/2 tank or less when replacing pump. After everything is disconnected pull up on the pump. It takes some wiggling and twisting to get it out because of the level sensor arm but it’s not hard. Install the new one install the new gaskets and bolt it down. Reconnect the lines and harness. Before closing it up test it. You will test it the same way as checking for the leak location. What you do is turn the key to the on position but do not crank the motor. What this does is primes the pump and lines. If nothing is leaking after replacement you’re good. Close it all back up and your ready to crank over the Motor. One more tip is let the car sit at least 10 hours before disconnecting the fuel lines too. The feed like will hold pressure at 45psi for up to 6 hours. At 10 hours it should be down to about 10psi or less and won’t spray when line disconnected. Let me know if you need more help. I’m in the Chicago area too. Stay warm this week as we plunge to -40 temps and a ton of snow.

1 people found this helpful.

I too, had a bad gas smell in my 2002 Subaru Forester....I was told I needed a new gas tank Costs $450 + labor... estimated $400-$500. Perhaps more being the car is older and other things might break....I'm a 59 yr. old woman... I don't know if I'm being taken or not. How many hours should it take to install a gas tank??

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