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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This specific scenario seems to be repeatable about 25% of the time.

I start the vehicle up cold and I drive approximately 10 minutes / 3½ miles, park the car and shut off the motor.

About 5-7 minutes elapse.

I start the vehicle up, and get a faint whiff of gasoline.

This occurs two to three times per week, exact same drive.

At first I had convinced myself I was parked over a puddle of spilled gasoline (e.g. someone working on their vehicle on the side of the road). However, this has persisted for about 60 days and has occurred in two different locations as of this morning.

After reading the handful of threads here, it appears as if this happens, albeit infrequently, among some of the members here. What I cannot tell is what symptoms should be checked, or what specific scenarios this was experienced in. I believe fuel in the oil was an indication; I'll check that after the engine cools.

That said, any other advice on obvious items to inspect would be helpful. The odds are not in my favor that this will be replicated if brought to the dealer for inspection.
 

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This has been reported by users for a couple years now. I just came back here to see if I could find what other people found was the solution from the dealership since our Ascent has had this problem for over a year but only recently had them take a look at the dealership while the kid was on school break since we can't afford to be without a car (no loaners around here available). While driving we have to make sure the ac/heat is on recirculate otherwise the cabin fills with oil/fuel smell giving us a headache and the car stinks up our garage worse than the wife's previous car that had almost 200k miles on it.

I recall other users reporting an issue with oil level rising as shown on the dipstick and one person going to far as having their oil independently tested that showed fuel in the oil. The odor in our car seems to go away temporarily after oil changes leading us to believe it is a rising oil level issue in addition to the dipstick reading high a week or so after an oil change depending on how much we have driven. This last time we had them take a look at the dealer they did an oil change and the fuel impeller recall before looking into the smell so of course the tech and service advisor didn't smell anything. They said it was probably the fuel impeller recall that was causing our problem and it would go away. Lo and behold a few days afterwards the fuel/oil smell is back. Unfortunately the dealership is about 45min away and they don't have loaners so it makes it difficult to get our car back in there on top of having to take at least a half day off of work for drop-off and pickup since they get so busy.
 

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2019 Subaru Ascent Touring (Canadian Edition) -- Ice Silver Metallic
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With the pandemic and my office permanently closed last summer I only drive the Ascent on weekends, I guess this allows the odours to accumulate and build up. I haven't noticed it much previously.

I just started noticing this smell in my garage recently. I open the drivers side door and there's definitely a faint smell in there too.

I don't smell anything coming from the engine compartment.

I have a 2019 Ascent (Canadian) Touring with 25,000km. Fuel pump recall was completed last year many months ago.

Has anyone located the source yet?
 

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21 Ascent Premium, 18 Outback Ltd 2.5
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I have the gas smell but do not have a rising oil level. The smell is noticeable when approaching the car while it's parked (typically after it has been driven within the last hour or so) and also will come through the vents if I'm stopped and air is not on recirc.

I had it at the dealer last week and, as predicted, they could not smell it so there was nothing they could do.
 

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21 Ascent Premium, 18 Outback Ltd 2.5
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Years later and no answer for this one. You can hound your dealership and waste the time or just hit the recirc.
When I run into a store and leave my family in the car and forget to hit recirc the car always reeks when I come back.

The real issue is that dealer service never seems to be able to corroborate the problem. In my case, I asked them to leave my Ascent running for a while as I headed over to pick it up. The moment I stepped out of my car I could smell it, but 4 people came out and said they couldn't smell anything.
 

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Is there any estimate on how prevalent this problem is? I have an Ascent Limited on order (delivery “March/April”), and I’ve seen this complaint several times in the month I’ve been lurking in this forum. I’m thinking of leasing instead of buying. I’ve never leased a car before, but I’ve also never owned a car that smells like gas.
 

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Is there any estimate on how prevalent this problem is? I have an Ascent Limited on order (delivery “March/April”), and I’ve seen this complaint several times in the month I’ve been lurking in this forum. I’m thinking of leasing instead of buying. I’ve never leased a car before, but I’ve also never owned a car that smells like gas.
im sure some would say not prevelant at all, but I imagine its going unnoticed in many cases. Some 2022s do have this problem though, so worth checking out after your first drive or at the dealer. There really doesn’t appear to be any rhyme or reason. Mines a 2020.
 

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I don't think mine smelled immediately after purchase. I'm interested to see if it will go away for a bit after my first oil change. I don't think it will, since I can smell it pretty prevalently on the outside of the car, away from the engine bay. IMO the crankcase would have to be filled with gas to smell it from the back of the car, so I personally am not convinced that this is related to oil dilution at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The vast majority don't have this issue.
Objectively I believe this has everything to do with how a vehicle is consistently driven, e.g. short trips only for weeks on end.

I am willing to bet* that if you and I swapped vehicles, you would not encounter the problem on my car, and I would encounter it on yours.

(* 5¢... I'm willing to bet 5¢ ... one shiny nickel)
 

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2020 Ascent Touring / 2020 Forester Touring
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I do short drive 5-6 times a week 5-9mi roundtrip , parked in closed garage and no gasoline smell
i dont think you get generic solution for your problem ..
 

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I do short drive 5-6 times a week 5-9mi roundtrip , parked in closed garage and no gasoline smell
i dont think you get generic solution for your problem ..
I do drives similar to this, along with several commutes a week, which is +-20 minute highway trip each way. I have no dilution, but have the gas smell. As you said, I don't think it's as simple.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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Objectively I believe this has everything to do with how a vehicle is consistently driven, e.g. short trips only for weeks on end.

I am willing to bet* that if you and I swapped vehicles, you would not encounter the problem on my car, and I would encounter it on yours.
I didn't have any gasoline smell even after the low pressure fuel pump replacement and they had to access the tank via the vehicle interior...maybe I'm just lucky. I've been in both sides of the driving thing since I've owned the Ascent. Long round trips to Florida early on and limited driving with shorter trips more recently. Honestly, I'm not sure what to think about this particular problem as like several others, it only appears in certain vehicles. It's not universal.
 

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2020 Ascent Touring / 2020 Forester Touring
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over 4 Subaru forums i recall 3 problems posted before
line leak at connection fitting due to pressure build up after (HOT)engine is off ,smell 3-10min after stop driving
evap test compressor/canister defective ,smell 4-6 hours after stop driving

1 was fuel pump pressure too high, explanation did not make sense , fuel pump was replaced


+ incorrectly done fuel pump recall
 

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2019 Subaru Ascent Touring (Canadian Edition) -- Ice Silver Metallic
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I was also searching older threads and found this one where someone mentioned it could be the CVT fluid... Due to the "sweet" smell


Has anyone discovered any fluid seepage from their Ascent? I don't see any puddles or anything, but I found this TSB.


Could that be a source of the smell?

I'll get the dealer to check mine whenever I bring it in for the next service.
 

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I was also searching older threads and found this one where someone mentioned it could be the CVT fluid... Due to the "sweet" smell


Has anyone discovered any fluid seepage from their Ascent? I don't see any puddles or anything, but I found this TSB.


Could that be a source of the smell?

I'll get the dealer to check mine whenever I bring it in for the next service.
I don't think either of these issues is what I'm smelling. It's not a sweet smell, it's more like an old gas smell. I haven't been under my Ascent yet but when I do my first oil change I'll definitely look around.
 
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