really awful
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
93,262 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 Impreza fuel system problems

fuel system problem

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2004 Subaru Impreza Owner Comments

problem #14

Jan 012010


  • miles


In tempatures less than freezing, a strong odor of gasoline is noticed within the cabin. Fuel lines are not cracked in any way, clamps have been tightened, all measures taken up to replacing all fuel lines, which is not needed. This is a known issues with prior models as well.

- Hamilton, NJ, USA

problem #13

Dec 012015


  • 144,000 miles
Please note that recalls have been done for the exact same problem on the 2002 & 2003 Subaru Impreza models, but not the 2004. When the vehicle is parked or being driven in colder temperatures (below 45 degrees), the fuel hose constricts causing fuel to spill out onto the intake manifold & the engine to heavily smoke. During warmer temperatures, the vehicle does not smoke but there is still a strong smell of gasoline in the passenger compartment. The fuel hoses are intact with no cracks or breaks of any kind. I have found hundreds of other 2004 model consumer's with the same issue. I have attached a copy of one of the forum's for your reference. I have called Subaru of America regarding this, but have been told my claim is not valid because the vehicle hasn't had this problem before. I explained that the vehicle hadn't lived in colder temperatures until we bought it. Still no help. This has the potential to cause an engine fire and poses a huge safety risk. Please help!

- Lake Arrowhead, CA, USA

problem #12

Dec 032014


  • 120,000 miles
Strong fuel smell when temperatures are below freezing that does not disipate. 2002-2003 models have been recalled for same design flaw in fuel line. Since I own a 2004, repair may cost upwards of $400 due to extensive labor involved. Found many others with same issue when researching situation online. I am concerned about potential fire hazard.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #11

Dec 242015


  • 70,000 miles


In cold weather <30 degrees F, gasoline leaks from the fuel lines under the intake manifold. The leak appears to be coming from where the rubber fuel line is connected to the metal fuel line on under the passenger side of the intake manifold. Looks to be a loose hose clamp. There is no access to this line to facilitate tightening.

- Casper, WY, USA

problem #10

Dec 192007


  • 44,604 miles
Raw fuel smell when starting our 2004 Subaru WRX in sub freezing weather. The fuel fumes fill the cabin and create a fire hazard under the hood.

- Billings, MT, USA

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problem #9

Feb 172015

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 95,000 miles
My 2004 Impreza WRX sti leaks gasoline out of a fuel line under the intake manifold every time the temperature drops below about 30 F. the rubber hose connecting the metal fuel lines isn't long enough and at that temperature the shrinkage is enough to make it visibly drip gasoline while the car is running. The hose location requires removing the intake manifold to gain access to fix the problem. I've researched this issue and there are many, many Subaru owners with the same problem. Subaru did a recall for 2000-2002 vehicles, but this problem affects many other years of Impreza with the exact same fuel rail setup.

- Oakton, VA, USA

problem #8

Dec 022013

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


There is a very strong smell of unburned fuel in the cabin on cold days (below 10F). The fuel smell dissipates when the car warms-up. The smell has caused passengers in the car to become sick and is a serious distraction to driving. When I contacted two different Subaru dealers, they acted like it was the first time they had heard of this issue and both wanted to take the engine apart. However, a quick search on the internet reveals this is a prevalent issue for the Subaru Impreza in cold weather.

- Saint Paul, MN, USA

problem #7

Jan 052015

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 148,000 miles
While under freezing temperatures outside car smells strongly of fuel while running. Sometimes it takes half an hour or more to just what I consider breathable air in the cabin. It was -20 degrees outside so opening windows is not an option and driving in gas fumes is not safe.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #6

Nov 072013

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
There is a strong gasoline odor when starting the car up in cold weather. The odor of gasoline fills the passenger compartment. It only happens when it's cold outside. We just purchased the car used in July.

- Olivebridge, NY, USA

problem #5

Nov 092012

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
As with the previous years of this vehicle, I am experiencing the fuel leak under my intake manifold from the rubber fuel lines in cold weather. I have not experienced fire but the danger is present as the leak is near the turbo inlet and exhaust. The 2002-03 Imprezas have been recalled.

- Great Falls, MT, USA

problem #4

Dec 012012

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 141,000 miles


In cold temperatures, most often during cold starts, the vehicle's cabin fills with the smell of gasoline. Usually takes about 15 to 30 minutes for odor to go away. During that time at stop signs, stop lights, etc the smell of gasoline persists.

- Florence, NJ, USA

problem #3

Jan 072013

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 91,000 miles
Upon cold starting the car there is a prominent raw fuel smell. It only seems to happen when temperatures outside are sub-freezing. The lower the temperature the worse the fuel smell becomes. After the car has warmed up the fuel smell goes away. It is very similar to the problem Subaru had with it's 02-03 Imprezas, which they issued a recall for the fuel lines, which were too short and in the cold would shrink further causing a leak until the car warmed up. I am submitting this complaint because Subaru of America denies the issue exists and is charging around $400 at the dealership to swap out the fuel lines.

- Woodstock, CT, USA

problem #2

Jan 242013


  • 95,068 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Subaru Impreza. The contact stated that they smelled fuel coming from the vents inside the cabin of the vehicle. The contact looked under the hood and found that the clamp going to the high pressure fuel rail for the injectors was loose and leaking fuel. The contact tightened the clamp and planned to take the vehicle to the dealer. The failure and the current mileages were 95,068.

- Kingston, NY, USA

problem #1

Dec 012012

Impreza 4-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
Upon starting the car during the colder winter months, a raw fuel smell will begin to fill the cabin if the HVAC system is turned on to vent fresh air. This smell is strong enough to cause lightheadedness and the sensation of nausea. Upon further investigation, the passenger side fuel line is leaking fuel underneath the intake manifold, to the extent that you can visibly see a puddle of fuel boiling on top of the engine block. This happens because there are two hard metal fuel lines running to the fuel injectors connected by a small piece of rubber hose with clamps. However this hose from the factory is cut too short, so when the temperature is cold enough the rubber looses its elastic properties and as the metal lines vibrate / move with the motor, it leaks fuel out of the rubber hose. This problem has been addressed by Subaru in the tsb #09-36-03. They offer to replace the rubber hose and hard metal fuel line for model years 2002 and 2003 Impreza WRX's free of charge. Having been an owner of a 2002 Impreza WRX before purchasing my 2004 Impreza WRX, I had this service performed at my local Subaru dealership. I am disgusted to find out that this coverage does not apply to the model year 2004 Impreza WRX, when it features an identical motor and drivetrain to the previous years (2002, 2003.) this means that the fueling system is identical as well, and that the previously acknowledged raw fuel leak is happening in my car as well. The fact that the 2004 Impreza WRX has the same motor. And same fuel system, and Subaru of America will openly deny coverage to have the parts replaced is truly disgusting in itself. Raw fuel leaking on top of a hot engine block, around sources of ignition is the most extreme of safety hazards, and now I own a vehicle in which I cannot Transport my wife and child. I am truly disappointed in Subaru for turning a cold shoulder to this.

- State College, PA, USA

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