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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have gasoline leaking from the tank or associated hoses. It drips from the tray beneath the tank on the passenger side. Only when the tank is full or near full. I took it to my mechanic and he said the cost and work to remove the tank is prohibitive (2006, 170k miles) with expected broken bolts (Subaru hardware is crap, corrosion prone). The book says 6 hours to RR which would be more since my exhaust is now all welded (crap rusty connectors). The rear suspension must be unbolted and the driveshaft also. Estimated ~1500$ all said and done. The tank is $$ too... He suggests don't fill it up.

Anyway, what could be leaking from the top? I'm thinking of getting an inspection camera, endoscope, to take a look. THe mechanic said the smell was from the driver side. Perhaps it migrates to the passenger side to drip...

Is there a panel under the rear seat to gain access to the pump, etc?

There is a youtube video about removing the tank taken in a junkyard that is amusing.
Also a video about a Forester which seems similarly a major job.

I'm thinking this may be the straw. I hate to just throw the car away, it's pretty good otherwise. Should I expect another big bill with timing chains soon? Grr...
Thanks!
Clark
 

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One thing you can do is open up the two access covers, for the fuel pump and for the second fuel level sensor/Venturi pump. Those are under the back seat (2d row if you have three). This is where the plumbing is connected. Not much room to poke around, but a flashlight and an inspection mirror might help. Also check where the filler pipe connects to the tank. If nothing is amiss, then you'd have to suspect the tank is leaking, probably at the seam where the top portion is welded to the saddle-shaped "tub". My former Impreza developed the same symptom, but it was 22+ years old at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
THanks!

Knowing that there are inspection/access panels to remove gives me some hope. Perhaps it is the gasket around the pump, etc. at the top of the tank!
I'll check when I get a chance...
Clark
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Timely question.
Last week I finally relented and took the B9 to my mechanic to diagnose the leak. I had run the gasoline down to a gallon or 2 remaining in the tank. I printed out all the shop manual sections on tank (and seat) access and removal. They removed the plastic tray from under the tank and the 2nd row seats and access panels. Then they injected "smoke" into the tank via the filler pipe. The leak is from the seam on the front/passenger side (if not elsewhere also) where the top and bottom sections of the tank are joined together. So now they are ordering a new tank and all sorts of hose connection gadgets. To replace the tank requires all sorts of disassembly to the rear drivetrain, drive shaft, exhaust, ..... on this 12 year old car from the northeast (rusty bolts and nuts, etc). This will be expensive but the alternative is to scrap the vehicle. Job may be done by week's end... Diagnosis was performed a week ago today (Monday)
 

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Thanks for the quick response! Did you take it in as it had gotten worse? I’ve only just started to think I can smell something so if I can ‘ignore’ the problem for 12 months or so that suits me as the thought of trying to source a replacement in the UK fills me with dread!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was driving it and it was noticeable and annoying. During the summer I mostly drive another vehicle.
Parts won't be in till Wednesday. Some must come from Japan. Go figure...
I'll post more next week...
 

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Fuel filler pipes rust and leak all the time and are connected to the tank/easily missed - i've repaired them and they're common failure items in the rust belt. This should be carefully checked first before moving forward on anything else.

It happens, but Subaru gas tank leaks are extremely rare even on 90's rusted heaps, everything else rusts and fails before the tanks. This is so common I wouldn't replace a tank until I absolutely made sure it wasn't the fuel filler pipe and associated hose(s).

Here's an example on an outback:

https://pawlikautomotive.com/1999-subaru-outback-fuel-filler-neck-replacement/
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Gasoline Tank replaced

2006 B9.
Well, it took a lot of man hours and difficulties with stubborn/rusted bolts but I have a new steel (newer cars are plastic) gas tank, filler neck and a lot of ancillary parts. To do this pretty much everything in the rear suspension, diff, drive shaft, exhaust (which was all welded solid in repairs). Job cost over $2k. Leak was the seam where the 2 halves are joined.

Next I expect is the engine, presently with 183,000 miles.

I also had the transmission filter replaced and fluid flushed. I'll cut it open and post about that soon.
 

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My 07 smells of gas when I fill it full. Can't see anywhere that it is leaking. The smell goes away when it gets to 3/4 of a tank. I will check the filler pipe and poke around the access holes. I have to remove the rear seat to replace the rear wheel speed sensors as I understand they plug in under rear seat
(5 seater). Thanks for the info milo066 and
idosubaru.
 

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My 07 smells of gas when I fill it full. Can't see anywhere that it is leaking. The smell goes away when it gets to 3/4 of a tank. I will check the filler pipe and poke around the access holes. I have to remove the rear seat to replace the rear wheel speed sensors as I understand they plug in under rear seat
(5 seater). Thanks for the info milo066 and
idosubaru.
Check for a rusted off nipple on the gas tank going to a rubber hose. I put a vacuum fitting in there and attached it to the hose after pressure washing the heck out of the underside. I then applied tons of rust reformer to the bottom of the tank. So far so good.
 

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Thanks. I will check that out when I work on the rear wheel sensors. Just finished the passenger side strut replacement. Thing rides and steers so much better now with two new front struts.
 

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Check my situation out:


Rust never sleeps so hurry just in case. My vehicle is pretty darn rust free otherwise. Not sure what happened back there.
 

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Yeah man. I don't know how much longer I have but I don't think I want to spend that much on a gas tank especially after my recent head gasket scare.
 

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I had it on my list but sold the car (Still have the gaskets!). But there is a lot more room than outback engine compartments so I wasn't anticipating it being hard. Change the plugs at the same time.
 
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