1.5

hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
109,982 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Subaru Forester fuel system problems

fuel system problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Subaru Forester:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Subaru Forester Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #44

Dec 232016

Forester

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

There is a terrible gas smell during cold weather from some leak in the fuel line. Other Subaru models have been recalled for this same problem, but not the Forester. The smell is so bad that it has given me headaches and nausea. The smell is particularly awful when the heat is turned on, which is problematic since one wants the heat on when it's that cold out. Smell persists around the car even when it isn't running and is so bad I can't park it inside my attached garage because it comes into the house. Subaru really needs to address this. I have mentioned it to my mechanic several times and they have tried to correct it by tightening fuel line connections, which has not solved the issue. They told me about the other models being recalled, and when I researched it myself I discovered that there are hundreds (at least) of Subaru Forester owners who have complained about the same problem. This is a health hazard. I don't think anyone should be breathing these concentrated fumes. Subaru needs to do a recall and replace these faulty lines. This problem has been ongoing for at least the past 2 years/winters. My most recent visit to the mechanic (to address the fuel smell again) was December 23, 2016.

- Crystal Lake, IL, USA

problem #43

Dec 192016

Forester

  • miles
Car leaks fuel profusely from fuel line near engine block when running during cold weather temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

- East Chatham, NY, USA

problem #42

Dec 162016

Forester

  • 90,000 miles
In very cold weather, there is a strong gasoline smell inside the car that remains as the car warms up. This only occurs when temperatures are well below freezing.

- Helena, MT, USA

problem #41

Dec 142016

Forester

  • 146,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Foresters have a common problem of a very common problem of the fuel line leaking. The cold causes shrink to the fuel lines causing a leak into the engine and fuel vapors to enter the cabin. This issue occurs whether it's stationary or in motion as well as all other conceivable states that the vehicle can be in. A recall was issued for the WRX, the same should occur with the Forester. This issue occurs every winter when the temp drops below 20 degrees.

- Blacklick, OH, USA

problem #40

Dec 072016

Forester

  • 143,000 miles
Strong fuel odor has been entering the cabin during startup on cold mornings. This is caused by a fuel line leaking onto the engine. The leak can be seen but is inaccessible without removing the intake manifold. Once the vehicle heats up and the line expands the leak stops. I am very concerned about the potential for a vehicle fire and the danger of inhaling gasoline flames.

- Lakewood, CO, USA

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

problem #39

Dec 072016

Forester

  • 149,966 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Subaru Forester. When the vehicle was started, a very strong fuel odor emerged from the engine compartment. The fuel tank leaked fuel onto the manifold. The failure was diagnosed by an independent mechanic as a fuel tank leak. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 149,966.

- Windsor, CO, USA

problem #38

Jan 182016

Forester

  • 89,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Fuel lines seep fuel onto the top of engine block and near turbo inlet area when temperatures are below ~20 degrees Fahrenheit. The seepage occurs at the clamps between the metal and gas lines below the intake manifold. These clamps are not accessible without removal of many parts by a professional mechanic. Gas fumes fill the cabin when this occurs as well. Fumes are not bad when moving but if stopped at a stop sign or after starting the vehicle the fumes are very strong. This has been a known issue with other model Subaru (2002 - 2003 Subaru impreza & impreza WRX) that have a very similar engine configuration but has never been addressed with the Subaru Forester. The concerns I have are 1) fire hazard of gas pooling on top of engine block near turbo and other components 2) fumes building up in the passenger cabin.

- Moorefield, WV, USA

problem #37

Jan 242014

Forester

  • 107,000 miles
There is a strong gasoline smell inside the car when the heat is on and the outside air temperature is around 30F or colder. The odor occurs regardless of whether the car is moving or not.

- Wayne, PA, USA

problem #36

Jan 122016

Forester

  • 90,000 miles
Leaking gas under the intake manifold when it is cold out, 90K miles on the car.

- Waltham, MA, USA

problem #35

Jan 042016

Forester

  • 148,000 miles
In cold weather there is a fuel smell in the cabin. I'm told this is a common Subaru problem that results from the metal fuel line joining with a rubber/plastic hose in the engine compartment. The metal and rubber expand/contract at different rates as the temperature changes resulting in a fuel leak. It is most noticeable when stationary idling during cold weather.

- Elizabethtown, PA, USA

problem #34

Jan 042016

Forester

  • 95,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Approx. 90000 miles - strong smell of gasoline inside passenger cabin. Leaking seal as described by 1000's of other Subaru owners. Why no recall or advisory on what owner's should look for. Between GM fires, etc, not exactly sure what you all need to issue recall order/notifications. Sad.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #33

Dec 022015

Forester

  • 185,000 miles
Dangerous!! I am the recent proud owner of a 2004 Subaru Forester xt. A couple of days ago we got our first freeze. I walk out to start my car and it's not turning over and a strong fuel smell is filling the cabin. I keep trying thinking that it may turn over. With no luck, and fearing something is wrong (or may possibly blow up), I stop and get out. Taking a closer look having parked it some dirt, I see that it is visibly moist under my car. The ground is saturated with gas. Luckily it didn't contact any spark in the engine or I wasn't smoking, because I wouldn't be here today to tell this story. It was a ton of gas. Please fix this before someone dies or gets seriously injured.

- North Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #32

Nov 232015

Forester

  • 120,000 miles
During winter months 2004 Forester xt emits noxious fuel smell into cabin. Source is from engine compartment in area of turbo/exhaust manifold as discover from puddle on garage floor during warm

- Charles Town, WV, USA

problem #31

Nov 112015

Forester

  • 150,000 miles
The fuel lines under the manifold on the passenger side are leaking fuel when first starting and it is cold outside(below 50F). The fumes and filling the cab of the car when the heater it on.

- Colorado Springs, CO, USA

problem #30

Nov 112015

Forester

  • miles
Fuel rail hoes clamps/rubber line is faulty, causing pooling of gas on the top of the engine. Major fire hazard.

- East Dubuque, IL, USA

problem #29

Apr 282015

Forester

  • 126,400 miles
I started the car on a cold morning and the whole vehicle smelled of gasoline. I'm unable to drive my children in the vehicle until this issue is resolved as I fear they may be inhaling fumes or may suffer a horrible fiery death I risk my own life back and forth to work and notice the smell starts to go away after the car warms up either that or I'm just used to it. My 02 WRX had the same issue and it was recalled. Why haven't the xt issues been recalled? haddad Subaru in pittsfield MA tightened up what they could reach but the issue lies beneath the intake.

- Stephentown, NY, USA

problem #28

Feb 012014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
My car has a strong gas odor smell coming from the air vents and from the outside of the car while I'm driving or even while the car is warming up and not moving. This has been happening since last year and I just recently found out another friend of mine with the same type of car told me to report it to the NHTSA website.

- Elkins, WV, USA

problem #27

Dec 082014

Forester 4-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
In cold weather (below 30 degrees), fuel lines leak under the intake manifold, causing a severe fuel smell in the cabin, most likely also a fire hazard. Dealer claims not a recall issue. Upon research a large majority of Subaru in model range have the issue, with no fix in sight.

- Merrick, NY, USA

problem #26

Feb 132015

Forester 4-cyl

  • 105,800 miles
There is a very strong and distinct smell of raw fuel coming from the engine compartment when the weather is below freezing (20F or below). The smell comes through the air vents into the passenger compartment and is strong enough to cause a headache for the passengers in the car. The smell is worst when the car is stopped after a drive. It seems that this is a known problem with Subaru WRX 2002 & 2003 cars and Subaru has issued a recall for them. This also seems to be a common enough problem for Subaru forrester cars from the same timeframe. On the website www.aboutautomobile.com/complaint/2004/Subaru/Forester, almost 50% of the complaints out of 154 complaints is about this fuel leak issue. This seems to be a well known problem according to dealers and other Subaru forrester owners as well (www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/F87/smell-gas-cold-starts-41319/). it has also been documented by other owners at NHTSA: Https://sites.google.com/site/20042005foresterxtfuelleaks/ Subaru of America seems to have implicitly acknowledged the systemic problem as they have been reimbursing some owners (but not all) for their service costs which can be in the range for $800 (www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/F88/fixing-leaking-fuel-gas-line-86782/). however, Subaru has not recalled these cars and is expecting owners to fix the problems which may may cause health issues and given fuel leaking on hot engine parts, may lead to an engine fire if not fixed.

- New York, NY, USA

problem #25

Feb 202015

Forester 4-cyl

  • 129,000 miles
Strong odor of gas when outside temperature drops.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Search CarComplaints.com for these popular complaint phrases...

Not what you are looking for?