Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Messages

Advanced

stinky gasoline smell in enclosed garage

Posted by Kelly 
February 22, 2013 02:46PM
Hi All,

Well, now there is a new Beemie mystery. It smells like gasoline suddenly.

After I drive to work in the morning, I park in a single car garage with a roll-up door. After the car sits for 3 hours or so, the garage has a gas smell. There are no drips on the floor. The gas lines were replaced maybe 5 years ago.

I stopped by the mechanic maybe 2 nights ago. The could not find anything obvious.

Where should I start looking for problems?

Thanks, Kelly
rkj
Quote
Kelly
Hi All,

Well, now there is a new Beemie mystery. It smells like gasoline suddenly.

After I drive to work in the morning, I park in a single car garage with a roll-up door. After the car sits for 3 hours or so, the garage has a gas smell. There are no drips on the floor. The gas lines were replaced maybe 5 years ago.

I stopped by the mechanic maybe 2 nights ago. The could not find anything obvious.

Where should I start looking for problems?

Thanks, Kelly

Hey Kelly, You'll want to find out where the smell is coming from if you can (front, middle or rear). One place to look at is just under the fill pipe; there is a smaller Y pipe overflow section of metal pipe that has a tendency to rust out. It will usually leave a stain in the undercoating on the long sheetmetal cover inside the right rear wheel well. You can, if you're careful, also look around the engine bay with the motor running and try to turn something up there too.

Rick
Quote
rkj
Quote
Kelly
Hi All,

Well, now there is a new Beemie mystery. It smells like gasoline suddenly.

After I drive to work in the morning, I park in a single car garage with a roll-up door. After the car sits for 3 hours or so, the garage has a gas smell. There are no drips on the floor. The gas lines were replaced maybe 5 years ago.

I stopped by the mechanic maybe 2 nights ago. The could not find anything obvious.

Where should I start looking for problems?

Thanks, Kelly

Hey Kelly, You'll want to find out where the smell is coming from if you can (front, middle or rear). One place to look at is just under the fill pipe; there is a smaller Y pipe overflow section of metal pipe that has a tendency to rust out. It will usually leave a stain in the undercoating on the long sheetmetal cover inside the right rear wheel well. You can, if you're careful, also look around the engine bay with the motor running and try to turn something up there too.

Rick

Hi Rick and All,

Thanks Rick!!!!

Based on Rick's advice, I looked around the filler pipe. While I can't see and rust or stains in the under coating (possibly due to dirt accumulation), there is a dark spot in the dirt under the pipe at the junction of what appears to be the fender's inward bulge that holds the pipe. My car has been unused for around 7 hours now. Most of the gas smell is gone. However I did smell an occasional whiff when my head was under the fender and looking up toward the pipe. I will try to snap a picture of the filler pipe tomorrow.

For your amusement, my boss, who is a pretty cool guy, arrived back at the office a few minutes ago. My car is parked in the single car garage which is under our office on level 2. There is a person door between the garage and the bathroom corridor. There is a stairway up to level 2. The gas smell has been wafting up the stairs today.

Boss: "What is that smell. Has someone been smoking pot?"
Me: "No. Sadly that is my car. "
Boss: "Your car has been smoking pot?"
Me: "I don't know what it does down there when I'm gone. It developed a fuel smell two days ago."
Boss: "Have you seen Fred?"
Me: "I think he ran out to pick up his child."
Boss: "oh. Right. Right. I think his girlfriend might have forgotten about the kid again. Maybe she has been smoking pot."
Me: "We can put her in the garage with my car."

Such are the days of my life...

Stay tuned, Kelly :-)
A possibility is the gas cap is not letting pressure out if the temp in the garage is warmer than outside. Could be the relief valve is holding pressure and forcing a leak at the filler pipe. Also might want to check under the inspection cover that is over the fuel pump. There are two hoses there that might need a hose clamp tightened. Fuel filter might also need clamps tightened.

Bob in Everett
I would start looking for the easy places first.
Search the fuel pump, under the car to the right, check hoses and clamps there.
On the engine bay, look up for the fuel filter, follow the hoses to the injector rail, fuel pressure regulator etc, check all hoses and clamps.
In case no leaks are found there, there is the rear. Check the filler pipes as rick said, and you may pull the back seat to gain access to the tank below, again check all hoses and clamps.

This is very tricky, I have gasoline smell in the Citroen, renewed most hoses and clamps, carburator gaskets and no luck.
sad smiley
Quote
Kelly
Quote
rkj
Quote
Kelly
Hi All,

Well, now there is a new Beemie mystery. It smells like gasoline suddenly.

After I drive to work in the morning, I park in a single car garage with a roll-up door. After the car sits for 3 hours or so, the garage has a gas smell. There are no drips on the floor. The gas lines were replaced maybe 5 years ago.

I stopped by the mechanic maybe 2 nights ago. The could not find anything obvious.

Where should I start looking for problems?

Thanks, Kelly

Hey Kelly, You'll want to find out where the smell is coming from if you can (front, middle or rear). One place to look at is just under the fill pipe; there is a smaller Y pipe overflow section of metal pipe that has a tendency to rust out. It will usually leave a stain in the undercoating on the long sheetmetal cover inside the right rear wheel well. You can, if you're careful, also look around the engine bay with the motor running and try to turn something up there too.

Rick

...

For your amusement, my boss, who is a pretty cool guy, arrived back at the office a few minutes ago. My car is parked in the single car garage which is under our office on level 2. There is a person door between the garage and the bathroom corridor. There is a stairway up to level 2. The gas smell has been wafting up the stairs today.

Boss: "What is that smell. Has someone been smoking pot?"
Me: "No. Sadly that is my car. "
Boss: "Your car has been smoking pot?"
Me: "I don't know what it does down there when I'm gone. It developed a fuel smell two days ago."
Boss: "Have you seen Fred?"
Me: "I think he ran out to pick up his child."
Boss: "oh. Right. Right. I think his girlfriend might have forgotten about the kid again. Maybe she has been smoking pot."
Me: "We can put her in the garage with my car."

Such are the days of my life...

Stay tuned, Kelly :-)

Kelly, That is priceless! You must have a good boss :cool:

I think Rick may be on to something. But if it turns out not to be the case; you should also check the lines from the evaporative purge cannister which lives under the intake manifold directly below the throttle body. There is a valve that has a hose to the intake manifold and back to the cannister which can come loose. It's easy to miss but get your mechanic to check it anyway.

My bet is still on Rick's suggestion :clap:
Quote
Jose Pinto
you may pull the back seat to gain access to the tank below, again check all hoses and clamps.
That's where my E30 was leaking fuel: the pipe that runs across the top of the tank had rusted through and was leaking whenever the fuel tank was more than about 3/4 full. It's easy to see any fuel pooled on top of the tank if you pull out the seat bottom and remove the two access panels. This is a common problem on E30s.

Does the smell go away if the tank is less full?

Another place my E30 has leaked in the past is at the fuel pressure regulator, which Jose also mentioned. Any fuel leak is scary, but a leak under the hood is especially so!

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
That's right, fuel leaks under the hood require an immediate fix. That's why my 318iS hasn't been started for almost 2 years now, it's got a fuel leak at the injector rail, leaking over the starter. Don't want to start it twice!
Quote
Michiel 318iS
That's right, fuel leaks under the hood require an immediate fix. That's why my 318iS hasn't been started for almost 2 years now, it's got a fuel leak at the injector rail, leaking over the starter. Don't want to start it twice!

What a waste of a perfectly good 318is! Get those O-rings and seals replaced and enjoy it! :stickpoke:



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/26/2013 04:34PM by Jose Pinto.
Quote
Jose Pinto
Quote
Michiel 318iS
That's right, fuel leaks under the hood require an immediate fix. That's why my 318iS hasn't been started for almost 2 years now, it's got a fuel leak at the injector rail, leaking over the starter. Don't want to start it twice!

What a waste of a perfectly good 318is! Get those O-rings and seals replaced and enjoy it! :stickpoke:

AGREED. No E30 deserves to sit and waste away...... :rally:
Quote
bam_loves_his_bmw_325i
Quote
Jose Pinto
Quote
Michiel 318iS
That's right, fuel leaks under the hood require an immediate fix. That's why my 318iS hasn't been started for almost 2 years now, it's got a fuel leak at the injector rail, leaking over the starter. Don't want to start it twice!

What a waste of a perfectly good 318is! Get those O-rings and seals replaced and enjoy it! :stickpoke:

AGREED. No E30 deserves to sit and waste away...... :rally:

Isn't there a law against that? smiling smiley

alan
Sh*t... Next step you'll throw me off this forum... But I've got excuses! The brakes are blocked! And need to work on the house! And entertain wife and kid! And as it isn't an oldtimer yet (>25 year), I have to pay a lot to put it back on the road.
rkj
Quote
Michiel 318iS
Sh*t... Next step you'll throw me off this forum... But I've got excuses! The brakes are blocked! And need to work on the house! And entertain wife and kid! And as it isn't an oldtimer yet (>25 year), I have to pay a lot to put it back on the road.

Hagerty took me before my 325 was 25 years old Michiel. 200 bucks a year is a lot better than 1,000.00.

just sayin winking smiley
Quote
Michiel 318iS
Sh*t... Next step you'll throw me off this forum... But I've got excuses! The brakes are blocked! And need to work on the house! And entertain wife and kid! And as it isn't an oldtimer yet (>25 year), I have to pay a lot to put it back on the road.

I will let this slide, but I'm watching you! hot smiley
grinning smiley
Insurance is not the issue, I could get a classic car insurance for it. It's the government trying to beat the last penny out of us, punishing cars with high CO2 output, as the E30's.


Earlier this week I was very tempted to buy a good looking (in pictures) 325iX touring, just 180.000 km. Price was a bit high (€5000) but the wife did say I could buy it if I wanted to. How is she trying to stop me? Still would want to have one...
Quote
Dave_G
Quote
Jose Pinto
you may pull the back seat to gain access to the tank below, again check all hoses and clamps.
That's where my E30 was leaking fuel: the pipe that runs across the top of the tank had rusted through and was leaking whenever the fuel tank was more than about 3/4 full. It's easy to see any fuel pooled on top of the tank if you pull out the seat bottom and remove the two access panels. This is a common problem on E30s.

Does the smell go away if the tank is less full?

Another place my E30 has leaked in the past is at the fuel pressure regulator, which Jose also mentioned. Any fuel leak is scary, but a leak under the hood is especially so!

Hi All,

Well, there is news leading nowhere on the fuel smell. I dropped the car at the mechs. They tried a pressurized smoke test on the gas tank, but the test did not reveal any leaks. For the present, the smell seems to have abaited.

On Monday, Beemie returns to the mechs becuse of the whirring noise. I'll ask them to check the fuel system items listed above.

Thanks, Kelly
rkj
Quote
Kelly
Quote
Dave_G
Quote
Jose Pinto
you may pull the back seat to gain access to the tank below, again check all hoses and clamps.
That's where my E30 was leaking fuel: the pipe that runs across the top of the tank had rusted through and was leaking whenever the fuel tank was more than about 3/4 full. It's easy to see any fuel pooled on top of the tank if you pull out the seat bottom and remove the two access panels. This is a common problem on E30s.

Does the smell go away if the tank is less full?

Another place my E30 has leaked in the past is at the fuel pressure regulator, which Jose also mentioned. Any fuel leak is scary, but a leak under the hood is especially so!

Hi All,

Well, there is news leading nowhere on the fuel smell. I dropped the car at the mechs. They tried a pressurized smoke test on the gas tank, but the test did not reveal any leaks. For the present, the smell seems to have abaited.

On Monday, Beemie returns to the mechs becuse of the whirring noise. I'll ask them to check the fuel system items listed above.

Thanks, Kelly

Kelly

You need a little more info to get a better idea where that gas smell is coming from; does it get worse (or noticeable when you fill the tank, park on a hill with the car to one side or the other, do you smell gas fumes when the motor is running and or stopped?

Even something you don't think relates might help us, them, figure this out. Gas fumes are nothing to take lightly :wavey:

Cheers, Rick
Every time I get the gas smell on my 87 325, it is always from a rubber fuel line, and usually under the hood. California puts something in the gas which while environmentally friendly, seems to eat the fuel lines prematurely, at least IMHO. Take a very good look around the clamps on the rubber fuel lines, give them a little wiggle while the engine is idling and if you see any gas at all, just replace them ( or it )

Doug S
Quote
rkj
Quote
Kelly
Quote
Dave_G
Quote
Jose Pinto
you may pull the back seat to gain access to the tank below, again check all hoses and clamps.
That's where my E30 was leaking fuel: the pipe that runs across the top of the tank had rusted through and was leaking whenever the fuel tank was more than about 3/4 full. It's easy to see any fuel pooled on top of the tank if you pull out the seat bottom and remove the two access panels. This is a common problem on E30s.

Does the smell go away if the tank is less full?

Another place my E30 has leaked in the past is at the fuel pressure regulator, which Jose also mentioned. Any fuel leak is scary, but a leak under the hood is especially so!

Hi All,

Well, there is news leading nowhere on the fuel smell. I dropped the car at the mechs. They tried a pressurized smoke test on the gas tank, but the test did not reveal any leaks. For the present, the smell seems to have abaited.

On Monday, Beemie returns to the mechs becuse of the whirring noise. I'll ask them to check the fuel system items listed above.

Thanks, Kelly

Kelly

You need a little more info to get a better idea where that gas smell is coming from; does it get worse (or noticeable when you fill the tank, park on a hill with the car to one side or the other, do you smell gas fumes when the motor is running and or stopped?

Even something you don't think relates might help us, them, figure this out. Gas fumes are nothing to take lightly :wavey:

Cheers, Rick

Hi Rick and All,

Today Beemie was stinking again in the garage. Before moving it outdoors to fresh air, I started sniffing again. I started with my head under the filler pipe, worked along under the rocker panel moving toward the front end with my head on the ground. The smell is by far the strongest about 4" in front of the passenger door handle and below/under the rocker panel. The smell was OVERWHELMING. I thought surely the gas would drip on my face at any second. But there is nothing to see at all. At this point the tank is 1/4 full according to the dashboard gauge.

The smell is always the strongest after I drive to work. The car sits in the garage for at least 20 minutes. Then the smell becomes noticeable.

The smell seems worse when the tank is 1/4 full to empty.

There is good news on the whirring noise. I'll post that soon.

Now what to do next?

Thanks,

Kelly :-)
Try using a hand mirror to inspect the underside of the car when it stinks. Use a flashlight as you can point it at the mirror and make it illuminate what you want to see on the bottom of the car. Might see a stain where fuel is leaking but not enough to form a drip on the floor. I thought the gas lines were on the drivers side, but inspect both sides. Fuel vapor is heavier than air so it will flow downhill near the floor for quite a ways before dissipating. Be careful of sparks or open flames in the vicinity such as water heaters and furnaces.

The location you have indicated could be leaking at the hoses on the top of the tank where the fuel pump access is. To inspect it there, one must remove the rear seat bottom cushion. The technique for doing this is to push rearward on the lower front edge of the cushion nearest the right and left ends. At the same time pull upward smartly or "bump" it with your other hand as you push rearward. The spring retainer may be a little rusty so it has some reluctance to release. Once the seat cushion is removed, there are two phillips screws holding the cover over the pump. Remove these and lift the cover off taking care of the gasket as it will need to be used over again. There should be two hoses there with clamps on both ends. Check the hoses for cracks and the clamps for tightness.

Bob in Everett
Quote
Kelly
The smell is by far the strongest about 4" in front of the passenger door handle and below/under the rocker panel. The smell was OVERWHELMING.
Kelly,

If the smell is that strong by the passenger side rocker panel, check the vent lines in the rear passenger wheel well. It's a little farther back that what you're describing, but sometimes smells can travel a bit. There's a fuel vent line that goes from the filler tube to the fuel tank, and it passes through the right rear wheel well, outside the car. If you remove the right rear wheel, you can see a long, thin metal cover that covers these lines. Here's what it looks like after it's removed:

The biggest one is the vent hose, and it's notorious for rusting through and leaking. Stick your nose back there as close to the inside of the right rear wheel as you can get it. Could that be the source of the smell?

The fuel filter and fuel lines run under the left side of the car, so I would not suspect those. But just to rule it out, sniff around just in front of the left rear wheel. That's where the smell would be strongest if the fuel filter or fuel lines were leaking under the car.

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
Quote
Dave_G
Quote
Kelly
The smell is by far the strongest about 4" in front of the passenger door handle and below/under the rocker panel. The smell was OVERWHELMING.
Kelly,

If the smell is that strong by the passenger side rocker panel, check the vent lines in the rear passenger wheel well. It's a little farther back that what you're describing, but sometimes smells can travel a bit. There's a fuel vent line that goes from the filler tube to the fuel tank, and it passes through the right rear wheel well, outside the car. If you remove the right rear wheel, you can see a long, thin metal cover that covers these lines. Here's what it looks like after it's removed:

The biggest one is the vent hose, and it's notorious for rusting through and leaking. Stick your nose back there as close to the inside of the right rear wheel as you can get it. Could that be the source of the smell?

The fuel filter and fuel lines run under the left side of the car, so I would not suspect those. But just to rule it out, sniff around just in front of the left rear wheel. That's where the smell would be strongest if the fuel filter or fuel lines were leaking under the car.



Hi Dave, Bob, Rick, Peter, Jose, Michael, and -All,

Leak found at fuel lines at top of tank under back seat. Mechs replaced at 8:30 this evening. I held the carpet back.

More later.


Thank you, Kelly
rkj
Quote
Kelly
Quote
Dave_G
Quote
Kelly
The smell is by far the strongest about 4" in front of the passenger door handle and below/under the rocker panel. The smell was OVERWHELMING.
Kelly,

If the smell is that strong by the passenger side rocker panel, check the vent lines in the rear passenger wheel well. It's a little farther back that what you're describing, but sometimes smells can travel a bit. There's a fuel vent line that goes from the filler tube to the fuel tank, and it passes through the right rear wheel well, outside the car. If you remove the right rear wheel, you can see a long, thin metal cover that covers these lines. Here's what it looks like after it's removed:

The biggest one is the vent hose, and it's notorious for rusting through and leaking. Stick your nose back there as close to the inside of the right rear wheel as you can get it. Could that be the source of the smell?

The fuel filter and fuel lines run under the left side of the car, so I would not suspect those. But just to rule it out, sniff around just in front of the left rear wheel. That's where the smell would be strongest if the fuel filter or fuel lines were leaking under the car.



Hi Dave, Bob, Rick, Peter, Jose, Michael, and -All,

Leak found at fuel lines at top of tank under back seat. Mechs replaced at 8:30 this evening. I held the carpet back.

More later.


Thank you, Kelly

Ahhh, I love it when a plan comes together thumbs up Make sure you keep an eye on all the things we've sugested though Kelly; our cars are reaching a certain age and, like brake lines, it all becomes suspect at some point.

Rick
Quote
rkj
Quote
Kelly
Quote
Dave_G
Quote
Kelly
The smell is by far the strongest about 4" in front of the passenger door handle and below/under the rocker panel. The smell was OVERWHELMING.
Kelly,

If the smell is that strong by the passenger side rocker panel, check the vent lines in the rear passenger wheel well. It's a little farther back that what you're describing, but sometimes smells can travel a bit. There's a fuel vent line that goes from the filler tube to the fuel tank, and it passes through the right rear wheel well, outside the car. If you remove the right rear wheel, you can see a long, thin metal cover that covers these lines. Here's what it looks like after it's removed:

The biggest one is the vent hose, and it's notorious for rusting through and leaking. Stick your nose back there as close to the inside of the right rear wheel as you can get it. Could that be the source of the smell?

The fuel filter and fuel lines run under the left side of the car, so I would not suspect those. But just to rule it out, sniff around just in front of the left rear wheel. That's where the smell would be strongest if the fuel filter or fuel lines were leaking under the car.



Hi Dave, Bob, Rick, Peter, Jose, Michael, and -All,

Leak found at fuel lines at top of tank under back seat. Mechs replaced at 8:30 this evening. I held the carpet back.

More later.


Thank you, Kelly

Ahhh, I love it when a plan comes together thumbs up Make sure you keep an eye on all the things we've suggested though Kelly; our cars are reaching a certain age and, like brake lines, it all becomes suspect at some point.

Rick

Hi All,

Michiel - sorry for misspelling your name. I was about to literally drop into bed when i posted. I just did not want you all to worry that I had been immolated.

Full story - as you noticed before, I posted around noon yesterday. Shortly thereafter, I moved Beemie outdoors to dissipate the smell. I called the mechs who told me to bring the car around in the morning. About 5 pm I changed clothes at the office, because I needed to look polished for a professional association meeting at 6pm. I drove to the meeting and luckily found street parking. I returned to the car around 8:15. When I opened the car door, the gas smell was very strong. Then I opened both doors for maximum airing. After the smell dissipated, I decided to drive directly to the mechs. At worst I could have left Beemie in their parking lot until morning. I said "Beemie, it's only 2.5 miles to the mechs. Let's just arrive in one piece. You've driven 145,000 miles. How about another 2?" The journey was blissfully uneventful.

Happily the mechs were working late. I think they repair client's cars during the day and tune theirs at night. First the mech looks under the car. I said "Why don't I clean out the back seat?" I always have an assortment of towels. Ahh, life with a cabrio. The mech pops up the back seat and removes the cover over the fuel pump. Viola - there is the leak. The thick rubber line from the pump is damp. The mech quickly replaces it. I hold back the carpet until the point when he recommend that I step back because the gas might squirt out. Given that I have on nice clothes, I followed his instructions. Fortunately, the gas did not squirt from the line. He asks me to restart the engine. VROOM - we are running smoothly again. I drove home with no problems.

This AM, there was a little gas smell in the passenger cabin when I opened the door. I assume this was residual scent from last night. I parked the car in the enclosed garage today. There was no significant gas smell. Yipee!!

About 6 years ago, these mechs replaced all the gas lines. I could understand that the little one under the back seat could have been missed. While the gas smell was rather stressful, in the end all was well. Now I know another place to look for gas leaks.

I owe you all another post on the whirring noise. I pray this is also now fixed. As a teaser, I will say that the front brake lines are new. Let your imagination run wild! But this is a story for another night. :-)

Thanks for keeping us running,

Kelly :-)
Quote
Kelly
Michiel - sorry for misspelling your name. I was about to literally drop into bed when i posted. I just did not want you all to worry that I had been immolated.

Don't worry about that, I'm quite used to it. English speaking people often call me that and I let them, as it is way more easy for them to call me Michael than trying to pronounce Michiel. Then they usually end up with something like Mickel.

Anyway, glad that your problem has been solved. Look at this guy, he's been filling up his car with LPG but must have had a leak somewhere. When starting his car there's been a spark...



Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 39
Record Number of Users: 3 on September 29, 2015
Record Number of Guests: 116 on November 11, 2017