Pictured below is the fuel line under the bracket that bolts to the intake manifold on the passenger side of the 2000 to 2004 Legacy and Outback models. I have mentioned this before as being problematic for minor fuel leaks that create a major fuel smell mostly during cold weather. As the temperature has just dropped in the Puget Sound region we have already seen this three times in three days this week. The reason for this is excessive contraction rates during cold weather coupled with less pliable rubber due to age and mileage.
While there are other models and other issues that may arise this has continued to be the most common reason for a fuel smell we have encountered. If you own a different year and model you most likely have something else going on that would require a separate inspection.
In the event you smell fuel and you are comfortable having a look your self this is one area to inspect, sometimes tightening the clamps is okay as a temporary measure but in many cases the fuel line may actually need to be replaced as rubber over time becomes hard and brittle.
If you are local to us know that this is something we try to keep an eye on year around and even more so during cold weather.
Thanks for reading