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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2003 Elantra GT (hatch):

Over the past month I've been smelling fuel in the cabin. It's more of a light 'fume' kind of smell rather than a heavy fuel smell. Here are some observations:

- It smells most of the time but not always, and it varies in intensity.
- It doesn't seem to be affected by whether the car is moving or not.
- I can't isolate where it's coming from.
- You can also sometimes smell it outside the car.
- I don't see any puddles under the car.
- Not sure if this is related, but about once a month the car has real trouble starting. No apparent rhyme or reason to that, and no codes.

I've had it looked at and the shop said they didn't see anything. They did a smoke test. I don't have 100% confidence in their competency (but they're fantastically nice!). They thought it might have been residue from a previous repair they did - because their technicians aren't clean and might have gotten it in the car?! :)

I read a similar problem where people suggested a seal on the fuel rail dampener. I have no idea what that is or where to look.

Any thoughts?
 

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2003 Elantra GT (hatch):



I've had it looked at and the shop said they didn't see anything. They did a smoke test. I don't have 100% confidence in their competency (but they're fantastically nice!). They thought it might have been residue from a previous repair they did - because their technicians aren't clean and might have gotten it in the car?
Only reason for smoke test is to visually find an EVAP leak, which in most respect you do not have, because,,, the self test of EVAP has determined that there is no leak detected (no EVAP leak DTC).. this only valid for fuel tank and canister vapors.. we did not inspect liquid fuel lines or charcol effectivenees at trapping fuel smell in the vent portion.

I read a similar problem where people suggested a seal on the fuel rail dampener.
Pulsation damper on fuel rail to dampen bump noises caused by injector firing and pulsing the under pressure fuel.. similar to open/close faucet at kitchen sink and the plumbing "bumps"..

On the fuel rail you have the fuel line that feeds rail.. on the opposite end you will spy a metal canister looking thing threaded into the rail.. look at it... it should be clean and dry, other than maybe a little dirt.. if you see wetness and gummy look, stick you finger in it and smell.. if it smell like old rotten gas or fresh gas,, the damper is seeping over time.. best/easiest way to service is to just replace the rail.. majority of time they stuck in so tight the rail breaks off when try to remove the damper.


I have no idea what that is or where to look.
On end of fuel rail.. metal canister looking thing,, fuel line at other end

Any thoughts?
Smoke test is for vapor side of EVAP.. you dont have leak there since PCM via EVAP self test says you have no leak.. now we have to go look for liquid leak.. pressure line from tank to fuel rail.. easist with car running, runs 51-55psi,, so leak will drip/dribble/spray out,, and you complain of very poor fuel mileage since fuel hitting ground, rather than into cylinders.

Look at the pulse damper for signs of wetness/staining, and the injectors/intake right there for signs of fuel staining,, sometimes you can smell rotten fuel smell there.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks (again) sbr! And thanks for the image!

Just to clarify, I'm not noticing any decrease in fuel economy. I get about 36mpg/highway (at 65-70mph) and about 24mpg/city.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The shop had actually been diagnosing and fixing another EVAP issue, possibly more than one. It took multiple visits for them to fix it but the check engine light stopped coming on. It was after the last shop visit that I noticed the fuel smell (hence why they thought it might have been caused by their 'smelly' technicians). I brought it back in and they did another EVAP check and there is still no check engine light.

It's very possible they're not so competent. If the fuel line/pulse damper is ok would you recommend I take it in for another EVAP check?
 

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don't top off when filling the gas tank. often, fuel splashes back to the charcoal canister, overloading it and creating a smell.

yes, it can be that simple.
 
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