5250 High Performance Dyno Shop Blog

Subaru fuel leaks | Fuel System Tech

[fa icon="calendar"] Jan 20, 2017 11:00:00 AM / by Mike Wiener

Manufacturing-07.pngSubaru WRX tech | Do you smell fuel when you start your car in the morning? Is it more noticeable the colder it is outside?

If you have a Subaru, this is a known fuel leak issue and may even be fixed for free.

There are fuel lines that run under the intake manifold and just above the engine block. These lines are subject to very high temperatures. After a few years of heat cycles, the rubber sections of fuel line become hard and brittle. When it is below freezing outside, the rubber will shrink just enough to let fuel seep past the hose clamp.

Fuel System Tech | This only happens first thing in the morning when you start the car. Everything is cold but the fuel pressure is high. With as little as 30 seconds of running time, enough heat has been produced to expand the rubber hose and seal the leak.

This became such a widespread issue that Subaru issued a recall. If you have a 2002 or 2003 WRX and you live in Colorado or any other NOAA Zone 1 state, you can have the recall service performed at no charge to you.

  • All you have to do is call the dealership and schedule an appointment.

But this issue affected many other years and models of Subaru's. It wasn't until they became much older that they started to have the fuel smell. Unfortunately, Subaru didn't issue a recall for any other years or models with fuel leaks. This leaves the current owner to foot the bill. How important is this issue to fix? Does fuel dripping on top of your motor and onto the hot exhaust sound safe?

Subaru WRX.png

The repair is quite simple, but getting to the affected fuel leak is a bit difficult. The entire intake manifold has to be removed to get access to the fuel lines underneath it.

Once the manifold is off the car, it's simply a matter of loosening the hose clamps, removing the old rubber lines, and replacing them with new ethanol safe lines.

The whole process can take the better part of a day so be prepared to leave your car at the shop while you go out for the day.

Fuel System Troubleshooting & Repair  

Topics: fuel injectors

Mike Wiener

Written by Mike Wiener