Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:13 am Post subject: Gas smell - dealer didn't find anything
I am having similar symptoms to what this guy had in my 07 SS. Smells like gas when I first get in the car or open the trunk. Then it either fades or my nose becomes numb to it. Bought it used and since then put in a K&N CAI and Magnaflow cat-back, but it smelled like gas before I did any of that. I thought it was just maybe something the dealer used to clean the inside leather and dash and stuff, but after having the car for 4+ weeks, I'm now 99% sure it's gas (the other 1% to account for my ignorance). I can feel it in the back of my throat after I drive a few blocks too.
My frustration is that I took it to the dealer, they checked out the whole fuel system and gas tank and didn't find anything. Still smells like gas when I hop in. I did replace the gas cap because I was getting that stupid "tighten gas cap" message, and the check engine light went on. That was 3 weeks ago and the CEL hasn't gone on again, but the tighten gas cap message did pop up once in those 3 weeks. Pretty sure the gas cap isn't causing the whole inside of the car to smell, though. I don't smell it on the outside of the car at all.
Any suggestions what to do next? Should I take it back to the dealer and ask them to check out the cat? I do have a bumper to bumper warranty so if the cat is bad, that should cover it.
Can you crawl under your car? Visually inspecting your exhaust is a pretty easy task. Jack a front corner up, and squeeze yourself underneath. Once there, it'll be pretty easy to identify the exhaust- it's the only pipe that runs down the middle of your car. What you are looking for is excessive rust before your catalytic converter, usually found around a weld or exhaust clamp.
How to tell if the rust is excessive? Poke it with your finger. If the rust comes off in big flakes, that may be your problem. If you don't find anything after the visual inspection, then start the car, and inspect while it's running. You will be able to hear if the exhaust is leaking while it runs. It takes a couple of minutes before the exhaust gets hot enough to burn you, so you have time to poke around a little. You can also just run your hand along the exhaust, about an inch away. You will feel the exhaust escaping through the leak when your hand passes over it.
There is a thread around here somewhere with pics of a complete exhaust system, if your not familiar with the different parts of it. I just can't find it at the moment.
Don't dis ma base man! Besides it's human nature to complain. When one starts doing it the rest follow.
Jimi Hendrix wrote:
I've got my own world to live through, and I ain't gonna copy you.
I'm assuming you're smelling gasoline. If there is unburned fuel travelling through the exhaust system, the cat is getting ruined. I would check around, especially the fuel filter. It's possible that there is a small leak from recent fuel filter replacement, especially given that you bought the car a month ago.
The dealer said they checked the whole fuel system when I brought it in... though I guess that could be subjective. I could double-check. Is the fuel filter by the gas tank? Haynes manual should be coming tomorrow so I can look it up, but I thought it was inaccessible by someone with limited ability and tools like myself?
In the 06+ models it may be in the tank, but hopefully not.
On the 00-05 models, it is below the rear driverside door, about a foot in, underneath the car.
I would be suprised to see it, but on older cars the fuel filler neck will rust and develop a leak.
You should get under the car and check everything yourself. The dealer really will not see much more than you do, unless they drop the tank (which I doubt they would do just to "check".
yup, 06+ are in tank
check the trunk floor and around the rear seat (even remove the bottom of the rear seat) and look for holes. Someone before you may have mounted some audio equipment and drilled into the tank. Been done on here by someone before.
Quick update. Looked in the trunk, under the seats, and under the car. Couldn't find any holes or bad looking hoses. Cat looks fine as far as I can tell too.
Consulting this thread in the Knowledge Database, I found the canister valve/vent solenoid (I found it's called a number of different things depending where you look - I'm talking about #3 on his list) goes bad commonly and gives the symptoms I'm experiencing. Haynes manual says the same thing. Could this be the problem even if the CEL isn't on? I did have the Tighten Gas Cap message but it only popped on once about 2-3 weeks ago, a few days after I replaced the gas cap. Hasn't come back on again though.
Anyway, I tried to take that solenoid off but I couldn't get the hose off and don't really have a good way to test it without buying some stuff. Going to call the dealer on Monday and see if they'll take a look at it... I don't recall them mentioning it.
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