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Old 01-29-07, 09:44 AM   #1
Francis
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Default Smell of gasoline

When I start the car in my garage with the garage door open, I always smell of strong gasoline when I am outside the car. I have done the 30k, 60k and 90k maintenance at the dealer. The car is 115k miles now. My mpg is about the same 21. I donít see any smoke from the exhaust pipe. It happens since half year ago. What do you think the problem is? I need smoke check pretty soon. Do you think I will pass?
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Old 01-29-07, 10:08 AM   #2
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I assume you are talking about unburnt gas smell.

Depending on the wind and garage opening, you can get burnt gas fumes back in the garage.

To confirm you dont have a leak in the tank, use the gas pumped in to tank and odo to determine mpg. The mpg you quoted looks very good and indicates no leaks.

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Old 01-29-07, 05:58 PM   #3
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Years ago, I had a Mazda that sprung a leak in the fuel filter. The filter was in the engine compartment - not a good place for a leak with the hot engine and exhaust parts!!

I don't think the fuel filter is up front in an RX, but the point is that I'd definitely try to track down the source of the smell. It could be as simple as evaporative emissions (vapors) escaping from the fuel tank. The tanks are so tight these days (because of EPA regulations) that any little smell of gas would be noticeable. If that's the problem and the computer notices it and lights the Check Engine light, then you won't pass a smog test.
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Old 01-29-07, 10:38 PM   #4
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I don't know if it would help, but there are pretty sensitive if low-tech ways to trace any closed system for integrity. I haven't tried this in years, but here is a trick that might be helpful someday: My Dad was an engineer and worked in a large manufacturing plant. They had a problem with air leakage into a large annealing furnace that couldn't be traced. After a couple minutes thought, he came up with a safe way to pinpoint the leak.

Now Dad was a born tinkerer, who built his own air conditioning system for the house, long before central air was common. He had read up on procedures and purchased the proper tools to build and service his creation - and really became quite an expert in troubleshooting the leaks that usually accompanied his earliest efforts.

After shutting down the annealing furnace and allowing it to cool for a couple of days, he reached inside with a copper line from a bottle of Freon and valved off a two or three second burst, then sealed the furnace up and walked away to lunch. I'm sure his maintenance guys were scratching their heads - another engineer who'd lost his mind.

When he came back, he was carrying his trusty sniffer (the old school type that used an open propane flame with a three or four foot hose to a venturi port). To check an area for the presence of Freon, you stuck the hose up to the suspect area and the propane-fueled flame would turn from a light blue to a bright green when even the smallest wisp of Freon was sucked into the burner. The test was incredibly sensitive and they found the leak in the furnace in about ten minutes of running the hose over the exterior surfaces. A tiny hairline crack in the firebrick that was admitting air was patched with no further problems.

Dad demonstrated the effectiveness of the technique to me years later by putting that sniffer hose up to a closed garbage can that contained an "empty" 1-lb freon can from the day before, and I watched as the flame went to an emerald green instantly.

Smelling raw gas much as you have, he traced the evap control system on his Buick the same way by valving a bit of freon (gas) into the fuel tank, replacing the gas cap tightly and rocking the car to slosh the fuel and starting it a couple of times to distribute the vapors. After an hour or so after all traces of Freon had dissipated from the outside of the car, he came back and began running the sniffer hose along the lines of the evap control system, paying particular attention to the joints. Sure enough, the flame flashed green at the underhood cannister - where one of the rubber connections had cracked with age down on the underside.

Of course, Freon 12 isn't around anymore, but there are electronic sensors for the newer refrigeration compounds that are just as incredibly sensitive and probably safer than an open flame. They usually set off an electronic siren that will wail loudly when the probe detects even the smallest concentration of gas. These refrigerants usually have the advantage of being chemically inert, but check the label carefully before using in this application.

If all other techniques fail, this trick should allow you to trace this system using a sample gas that will set off the detector at a VERY low level and pinpoint even the smallest leak. Check your local auto supply or even a refrigeration supply to see if you can rent a detector and buy a small can of refrigerant. It doesn't take but the tiniest amount, and given an hour or so, sufficient quantities will migrate through the lines to give you a good test of the system's integrity, and pinpoint the leak to within an inch or less.
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Old 02-06-07, 10:57 AM   #5
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I just passed the smog check.

May be the car is in my garage and the wind blow the smell back to the garage. Anyway, Thanks guys.
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Old 02-06-07, 02:46 PM   #6
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Congrats.

When your starter cransk the engine, first couple of stokes are not ignited and the unburnt gas goes out of the exhaust. The wind direction may bring it back inside the garage.

Your mpg was too good to be leaking gas beyound the measure point.

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Old 02-06-07, 04:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lil4X View Post
When he came back, he was carrying his trusty sniffer (the old school type that used an open propane flame with a three or four foot hose to a venturi port).
Good idea, but PLEASE!!! do not go looking for Freon leaks with an open flame. That pretty green flame is producing phosgene...

The electronic detectors work well and are quite safe.
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Old 02-15-07, 02:25 PM   #8
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I am also have the same problem, I might take it to the dealer and have them look at it.. my warranty expires this yr..
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Old 02-15-07, 06:02 PM   #9
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Let us know what was the diagnosis.

It very well could be that there is no problem.

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Old 08-02-07, 12:04 PM   #10
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Anyone was able to get this fixed by the dealership?
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Old 09-05-07, 03:44 AM   #11
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This may be late but I just wanted to add...
I have the same exact issue...if not worse because the smell stays in my cabin for about 10 minutes.
I think it's either what salimshah said or maybe a exhaust leak?
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Old 09-05-07, 05:11 AM   #12
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Exhaust leaks can occur, but most of the time it is just unburned gas as Salim mentioned.

This issue is EXTREMELY common in Mexico where the gas is not the same quality as that in the United States and is tougher to burn and such smell is often noticeable when vehicles start up here.
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Old 12-01-08, 08:29 PM   #13
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I have the same issue, and it is a recent issue and is further worse when the heat is turned on and the fan is switched up high. I recently had the Air servo thing fixed, heading to dealer tomorrow.
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Old 10-22-09, 09:23 AM   #14
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I started to notice the same smell with my RX if im at a stop or a drive threw with the windows down or if i have my AC vents open. I took the car to the dealership for an oil change and they couldnt find anything wrong. Problem still persists. Not sure what to do. The car only had 69k on it approx.
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Old 10-22-09, 12:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertrios View Post
I started to notice the same smell with my RX if im at a stop or a drive threw with the windows down or if i have my AC vents open. I took the car to the dealership for an oil change and they couldnt find anything wrong. Problem still persists. Not sure what to do. The car only had 69k on it approx.
My girlfriend's Expedition has such a smell and I know it is an interaction with the fuel/oil because of a piston seal issue she has been having. I have to use a seal additive every so often to cure it. An exhaust leak can also be a culrpit, even if the CEL doesn't come on.

I have a suspicion with Florida gasoline, as some people have told me before ethanol started to be added they didn't notice such a smell as much.
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Old 10-22-09, 12:25 PM
 
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2007, 460, es300, exhaust, fumes, gas, gasoline, is250, leaks, lexus, ls460l, raw, rx330, sc300, smell, troubleshooting

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