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Gas smell inside the car

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Old 05-11-10, 01:11 PM   #1
JFNash
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Default Gas smell inside the car

Was driving back to work this afternoon when I opened the driver's window to swipe my magnetic card to get in. As soon as I opened the window, I smelled gas. I didn't pay much attention to it.

Later in the evening (6 hours later) I opened the driver's door to get in, the smell came out of the car from inside.

Started the car, warmed up and then drove it back. No problems at all, no messages no lights nothing at all.

I called a mechanic to see if it was safe to drive it in this condition. He said might be the o-ring of the fuel filter since there is no smell from outside.

What do you guys think?

My car has 28.6K miles on it. Never changed fuel filter. Fill in 95 octane if that makes a difference
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Old 05-11-10, 02:29 PM   #2
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Whatever you do, DON'T LIGHT A MATCH INSIDE THE CAR!

Did you have the fuel rail recall done? (if that applies to your car)
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Old 05-11-10, 09:13 PM   #3
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obvious, but take the gas cap off and then put it back on to make sure its seated properly, your supposed to get a light to let you know its not tight, but I have seen instances on my GS where it didnt acknowledge it and I smelled gas in and out of the car
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Old 05-12-10, 03:11 AM   #4
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I had that issue with my other car (Q-45); knock on wood I don't have to go through it again with the 460. Your mechanic's diagnosis of an o-ring (or something else within the engine compartment) is likely right. In my case it was a fuel hose between the engine and firewall, which I thought they would never track down. The smell in the passenger compartment was very strong and certainly didn't make me feel safe. I was constantly planning my escape should the engine catch fire and cursing other drivers that flicked cigarette butts out their windows. On my second mechanic and third trip in the right hose was replaced and the car was back to normal. I hope your issue turns out to be something simple. Please let us know what the cause turns out to be.
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Old 05-12-10, 08:35 AM   #5
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I had a gas smell also whenever I would deaccelerate from 35mph to stop at a stop sign after a 1 hr drive. Turned out it was a leaking gasket in the new fuel header they installed for the recall. The gasket was internal and allowed the fuel injector to leak gas into the cylinder causing the engine to run rich for a short time (I did not have any gas leak in the engine compartment).

Lexus dealer at first said it was due to the gas brand and not buying high octane all the time since there was a TSIB on the gas smell due to gas type. We later pinned the smell to the fuel injector gasket. The smell appeared to be in the passenger cabin, but of course it was not
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Old 05-12-10, 12:06 PM   #6
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Nospinzone: You're right. This is probably not the best time to light a match inside the car. As for having the recall done, well my car is 2008 so I guess it didn't have the issue you're talking about, did it?

cmasten: First thing I did when I smelled the gas was to check the gas cap. There was no traces for gas leakage in that area. The cap appeared to be properly tightened.

KYLS: Will check the hoses out to make sure they're all in good condition. BTW, the fuel filter is beneath the rear seat behind the driver's seat. Thanks for the headsup.

donald823: Ummm I didn't have the same symptoms as you did. While driving, I couldn't smell anything even when I allowed the exterior ventilation. However I'm taking notes of all the possible spots at least to have them checked out. Hopefully will turn out to be something simple.

New developments: today I parked the car after an hour of driving. When I got out, I smelled gas as if the car was radiating gas with the heat. I traced the smell down to the rear left tire. The smell was stronger on top of the tire and below the gas cap, like it was coming from behind the tire.

Took it to the mechanic, and obviously the smell was not there (grrrrr hate when this happens). He was convinced that there was nothing wrong but he lifted it up anyways. Well, he and his crew looked everywhere beneath the car and couldn't locate any evidence of leakage. He said all was great. He then removed the back seat and checked the fuel filter. It was perfectly fine.

Now, I have 140 miles after refueling and have about half the tank. I usually reach half the tank at 200+ miles or 180 miles at least when driving in congested areas but never 140 miles.

I'm quite convinced that there is something but don't know where it is nor do I know the magnitude of this something. I have a feeling that this issue is going to reveal itself as time goes by. It's just a matter of time.

Will post back should anything happens. Probably will have it checked by another mech.

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Old 05-12-10, 02:02 PM   #7
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JF, I hope this link works (let me know if it doesn't), it will tell you if your car was included in the recall.

http://www.lambros.net/LexusTechInfo...9LA-0001-W.pdf

Of course I'm not even sure if this is your problem anyway.
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Old 05-13-10, 08:14 AM   #8
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Nospinzone: Thanks for the link. Apparently my car's VIN isn't within the announced range.
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Old 05-20-10, 07:16 AM   #9
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Little update:

The smell has been on & off for the past several days. It was quite noticeable after a heavy city driving. I noticed that when the gas tank is in the lower half, no smell whatsoever. However, when the gas is in the upper half, the smell will come out on on&off basis.

Today I got the fuel filter replaced. Filled up gas and drove about 50 miles in the HOT afternoon. Not a bit of smell so far. Will see how things go in the coming days. The thing is that I'm not sure if replacing the fuel filter has completely resolved the issue or not. Thus will keep an alert nose when I'm in or around the car until everything is confirmed.

Little hint: If you (for whatever reason) want to take your car to a mechanic/dealership to replace the fuel filter, make sure that the gas tank is EMPTY.

The reason I'm saying this is that the fuel filter is located under the backseat. If there is gas, you'll be under the risk of gas spilling all over the place in the backseat when the filter cover is removed.

I was lucky that the service man was alert and VERY careful when he removed the cover. Though some gas spilled over but all was cleaned up before the new filter was installed.
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Old 05-29-10, 08:44 AM   #10
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Alright, here is the latest update: The smell is still there. It's confirmed: The smell is NOT coming from inside the car. It's coming from the gas cap area.

The smell is present in the following conditions:
- When the weather is hot (110 degrees and above, which explains why I only smell it in the afternoon & early evening).
- After at least 10 minutes of driving

If I leave the engine running in the above conditions (even though idle), the smell still comes out. If I leave it running in the above conditions but in the shade, the smell isn't as strong though it's still present. When I look on my side mirror while in the above conditions, I see what appears to be gas evaporating from the gas cap area and it looks A LOT of it is evaporating.

The gas cap is properly tightened, and there is no gas traces in that area whatsoever.

What could be the cause?
Is it the cap needs to be replaced?
How can I test whether it is from the cap or from something else?

All suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 05-29-10, 10:31 AM   #11
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There are volitile hydrocarbon vapour monitors that could be used to check the areas of suspected leaking. I'm not sure where you might locate one but you might want to try consulting engineering firms or environmental service companies. There are firms that specialise in gas station construction/repair work and they may be of help. You don't want to purchase the monitor just get them to do spot testing for you - it should be easy.
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Old 05-29-10, 12:46 PM   #12
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it could be a bad cap, the seals only last a few years, or the return vent on the line that connects the cap area into the gas tank. The cap is cheap enough that I would just buy one and try it, if that is not it, then your not out much, if it is, then your on down the road.

If its the line between the cap area and the tank that gets a bit more complicated but not bad, any dealer should be able to figure this out pretty quickly I would think?
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Old 05-25-11, 03:09 PM   #13
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Dear JFNash
Have you found a solution to this problem; I have the same problem exactly as you described.
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Old 05-27-11, 11:11 AM   #14
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Hope some one respond to me.
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Old 05-27-11, 11:25 AM   #15
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take it to the dealer. There was a fuel rail recall. Why are we always trying to figure stuff out with these pricey high end cars. Let them do it. Thats what they are there for
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Old 05-27-11, 11:25 AM
 
 
 
 
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350, 460, car, compartment, driving, fuel, gas, gs, inside, leak, lexus, ls, mell, mountain, odor, smell

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