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Old 01-03-2009, 07:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Gas smell - BAD.

Howdy,

Just got my 05. Enjoying every moment of it. Though, I do have a question.

I mentioned this in another thread and did a search and found that overfilling the tank can result in a gas scent. I do not think this is it however. Does anyone else have this issue or an idea of WTF is going on?

The smell seems to be coming from the front of the car. It is a strong petroleum scent. My eyes water and burn as I'm driving. My throat is sore from driving it with the fumes.

If I roll the windows up with the top on, the smell diminishes to nil. If I crack the window, it's back again at any speed.

It's stronger at slower speeds, but very detectable at highway speeds also. I stink like gas/oil when I get out of the car after driving.

Ideas?
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Check the gasket between the exhaust manifold and exhaust pipe. The aerodynamics of the car will suck exhaust leaks in the engine compartment into the interior and it will seem like they are coming from the front of the car...Dave
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well for starters it can't come from the front of the car unless you are following a gas truck.

I would start by looking, or rather smelling, the injectors and where they sit in the fuel rail. Next would be under the coolant bottle and the fuel line connector that is secured there.

With the car off, turn it on and off a few times to pressurize the fuel system, but don't start it. Then just go around and follow the fuel line and smell, look, feel to see if there are any leaks.

You might be able to check the entire fuel line system if you pulled the air box out as the lines run under there as well.

When you crack the window I'm assuming it's the driver side and not the passenger side?
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Check the gasket between the exhaust manifold and exhaust pipe. The aerodynamics of the car will suck exhaust leaks in the engine compartment into the interior and it will seem like they are coming from the front of the car...Dave

Exhaust smell is different from fuel though. But it is true that any odor in the engine bay will get sucked into the cabin while in motion. Just the aerodynamics of the car.
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Old 01-03-2009, 08:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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...it shouldn't be strong or omnipresent, but to occasionally catch scent of petroleum fumes from time to time, particularly open-topped amongst surface street traffic, isn't abnormal...

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Old 01-03-2009, 09:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Exhaust leaks in the Elise smell like gas, not exhaust. I have had this very same thing happen and ,yes, it also made me nauseous. Certainly could be a fuel leak as these fumes or any others in the engine bay get sucked right into the cabin. Unless it's a high volume leak, I doubt if enough would vaporize to make you sick. That said, I was driving down the Ohio Turnpike in the late '70's in a 3 year old BMW 2002 and my wife started whining that she could smell gas. I ignored her until I couldn't take the nagging anymore then pulled over and lifted the hood. There was a steady high pressure stream of gas spraying right on the exhaust manifold. The wife still reminds me of that one...dave
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Exhaust leaks in the Elise smell like gas, not exhaust. I have had this very same thing happen and ,yes, it also made me nauseous. Certainly could be a fuel leak as these fumes or any others in the engine bay get sucked right into the cabin. Unless it's a high volume leak, I doubt if enough would vaporize to make you sick. That said, I was driving down the Ohio Turnpike in the late '70's in a 3 year old BMW 2002 and my wife started whining that she could smell gas. I ignored her until I couldn't take the nagging anymore then pulled over and lifted the hood. There was a steady high pressure stream of gas spraying right on the exhaust manifold. The wife still reminds me of that one...dave
That's a rough one... Thanks for sharing.

I can believe the exhaust leak but not the fuel leak at this point simply because of my mileage. I drove 262.4 miles before refueling and put 8.31 gallons in. Wouldn't it show up in economy if this was the issue?

I have opened the hood while the car is running and can't confirm any sounds, smells, or visual displays of gas leaking. I would think that after letting it idle for 10-15 minutes it would have left a puddle in the garage. Then again, it may be a small leak that only happens when the pedal is somewhat depressed.

I hope it is a simple fix. I will enjoy it that much more if they could help me with this one item.
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Old 01-03-2009, 09:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Look around (under) the intake air filter boxes (OK I don’t know what to call it) the fuel lines run under it, and if something is a little not in the right place, the fuel lines can get cut. It happened to me. Was covered under warranty. The filter box rubbed the fuel lines and wore thou one and started spraying a bit of fuel, vary stinky.
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Old 01-03-2009, 10:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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exhaust: You can usually hear them, but if not you can feel them on your hand. but, you have only moments on a cold system before it gets hot. start on the most likely spots, or closest to engine before heats up.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:17 AM   #11 (permalink)
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That's a rough one... Thanks for sharing.

I can believe the exhaust leak but not the fuel leak at this point simply because of my mileage. I drove 262.4 miles before refueling and put 8.31 gallons in. Wouldn't it show up in economy if this was the issue?

I have opened the hood while the car is running and can't confirm any sounds, smells, or visual displays of gas leaking. I would think that after letting it idle for 10-15 minutes it would have left a puddle in the garage. Then again, it may be a small leak that only happens when the pedal is somewhat depressed.

I hope it is a simple fix. I will enjoy it that much more if they could help me with this one item.
Not really. Just a little leak won't use much if any fuel.

Again, if a minor leak it would evaporate very quickly from a running motor. It will leak when you first turn your key on just as much as if you were at WOT. The rail is pressurized...

If no smells then you are good. Check your exhaust from manifold to tip. Especially around any of the fittings or welds.
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:56 AM   #12 (permalink)
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the various evaps seem to recirculate into the car with the windows down, so if its an oily smell thats probably what it is.
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Old 01-04-2009, 01:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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the various evaps seem to recirculate into the car with the windows down, so if its an oily smell thats probably what it is.
It's oily, but VERY much like gas. My eyes are still watering and burning from my ride this morning.

My clothes stink too. I left the windows down so I didn't feel too woosy or tired this time.

What a smelly situation. My car has bad gas. I thought my wife's gas was bad enough - now my car has it too. And what's worse? It lingers longer than my wife's bad gas!
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
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If it's a strong gas smell then I personally wouldn't drive it until I found it. Leaking injectors has burned more than one car to the ground before. It's even more likely in cold weather on cars that use hose clamps to secure the lines as the rubber hoses shrink allowing fuel to leak around a loose clamp.

My wife doesn't like to ride in my Exige because it "smells like a motor" inside. But it doesn't smell like gas at any point during my driving.

Exhaust doesn't smell like gas.
Oil doesn't smell like gas.
Gas smells like gas.

Pull the injector cover off and see if your fuel rail is leaking, other than that like I said earlier follow all the fuel lines around and find where your smell is coming from. Don't forget the passenger side and the charcoal canister too.

Or if you can't find it take it to someone that knows Lotus' and get them to locate the leak for you. Or tell you to man up and it's a normal smell and your nose is just too sensitive.

Really don't want to read a post from you about how your Elise burnt to the ground...
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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yeah if its that bad somethings up it usually takes a while for the oil off the evaps to permeate and i don't always even notice it.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:00 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Remember the fuel tank (along with the pump) is behind you. It could be one of the fuel lines to the tank or a gasket on the tank its self, quite a bit going on back there. And + 1 for don’t drive it till you find what’s up.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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It's oily, but VERY much like gas. My eyes are still watering and burning from my ride this morning.

My clothes stink too. I left the windows down so I didn't feel too woosy or tired this time.

What a smelly situation. My car has bad gas. I thought my wife's gas was bad enough - now my car has it too. And what's worse? It lingers longer than my wife's bad gas!
Its a bit concerning you continue to drive the car in this condition...
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I have the same issue right now....although I did upgrade to a 255 fuel pump. This is on top of the BWR s/c.

My gas smell is quite strong, but more noticeable on WOT - which then smells like pure gas in my cabin...I think it might be a fuel line or injectors?
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:45 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Plastique999, I was wondering how your car was doing (if you had found the problem yet), and thinking of you when reading this post.
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:53 PM   #20 (permalink)
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If you not running a proper tune for the 255 then you will be running way rich due to higher fuel presure and volume of the fuel pump.
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