The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was out today in my 2001 Esprit, and when I got on it, I could smell fuel. Just cruising it seemed OK. Does that give anyone a hint as to where the leak is coming from?

Thanks
Rock
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
I was out today in my 2001 Esprit, and when I got on it, I could smell fuel. Just cruising it seemed OK. Does that give anyone a hint as to where the leak is coming from?

Thanks
Rock
No codes? This happened to me (no codes). Ended up being o2 sensors loose and worn spark plugs (did both at the same time). I'd start by pulling the spark plugs and checking how worn...I'd also look at how tight the exhaust bolts and o2 bungs are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
744 Posts
Rock -- better check it good.
Without starting the engine, turn the ignition you will hear the fuel pump starts and it will build a fuel pressure. That's about 60 psi - enough for you to visually check few areas.
Check the two secondary fuel injectors (front corner right & left of the top plenum).
Check the fuel regulator at the back of plenum (almost behind your head).
Check the fuel feed at the back of the plenum (almost behind the passenger head).
Lastly and very important to check the fuel plastic lines near the accelerator linkage.
Make sure the black plastic line is fully inserted and locked.
Get a small flashlight.

If negative, there is another place you need to look at the passenger side fuel tank.
You need to work a little bit to remove the right hand side cover (cover with the carpet).
Do not disregard the gasoline smell in a lotus.

Are you cruising at I-84 today?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
Hey Rock, I think they had this fixed by the 2001 MY Esprit, But the earlier S4S and I believe early V8's use to have fuel hose rot. The balancer hose that ran behind the rear window would rot and start to leak. This was a hose that balanced pressure and vented gas fumes between the L & R tanks.
Possible with Ethanol in some modern gasoline it may have taken a toll.

Just a thought.
Good luck with it.

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Hmmm, I wouldn't have thought O2 sensor, but easy enough to check if it's loose. Would spark plugs cause a fuel smell? Not that it hurts to check/replace them since I haven't looked at them. No codes.

Thanks s2ksteven, those are detailed items to look at. I'll check them out. I recently had the right cover off replacing the fuel filter (I know what you're thinking :) ) but I ran the fuel pump from the ignition about 5 times and then checked it when I installed it and it looked good. But I guess it's an obvious one to check again.

I thought maybe that vent hose could be a culprit (did Lotus ever fix that?) but the fact that it only seems to happen on throttle would SEEM to indicate something else. Unless the pressure in the fuel tank increases when on throttle?

I was on I-691. Turned about before I made it to I-84.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,419 Posts
The V-8's do not have the problem with the vent hose. Make sure you have the gas cap on tightly. Check that the fill pipe is not deformed. It can get bent from putting the nozzle in and leaning on it. Make sure you have the correct gas cap. Do you get the smell when the tank is full or the level doesn't matter? Can't hurt to check the O2 sensors and the plugs but that is not likely. Without error codes you have to consider you have a fuel leak. Under acceleration you should check the secondary injectors. They work under high boost/load conditions. Could have bad "O" rings. As mentioned it is dangerous to drive a Lotus with a fuel smell! Bad things can happen! This is not normal and should be fixed.
David Teitelbaum
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
Rock,
I know it sounds weird with the plugs/o2 sensors...but, it did get rid of my issues...I think the biggest thing though was the plugs. They were pretty worn - I don't think it would have burnt all the fuel. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,885 Posts
Is it a raw fuel vapor smell?

Or is it the smell of un-burnt fuel passing through the engine and out the exhaust?

Cause the two smell totally different to me...

Raw fuel smell could be leaking fuel tanks, or leaking fuel tank pump o-ring or something like that. it could also be a leak where the charcoal canister vents to the intake, or the charcoal canister itself. It could be that the one way valve to the charcoal canister has failed and is allowing boost pressures to go toward the canister and the tanks.

Un-burnt fuel smell from the exhaust could be a poor spark, excessive charcoal canister purge, excessive fuel pressure, leaking injectors... things like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I'm pretty sure it's a raw fuel smell.

I have a couple cars vying for attention suddenly, but I pulled the floor out to prepare to start smelling. I checked the O2 sensors and they're tight. We'll see what happens, but IF it really only happens under lots of throttle it may be hard to reproduce. Secondary injectors sound like a strong possibility, or if boost pressure can get into the tanks via the charcoal canister that's a big candidate.

The gas cap is suspect, and I don't know why I haven't grabbed a new one yet. I did have gas seeping out the cap when I filled the tank (possibly overfilled) months ago, but I have it between 1/2 and 3/4 full of gas right now (gauge doesn't seem very accurate). And there was no leak around the cap as that was the first place I checked now. But could still be vapors.

I'll get further in a day or so.

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,885 Posts
overfilling the Esprit isn't good, and can lead to fuel getting sloshed to the charcoal canister.

Check underneath the tanks as well, since they tend to rust.

But since you mention that it was only smelled under boost, and that you may have overfilled the charcoal canister, then that kinda points to that.

Do definitely check around the secondary injectors, their o-rings tend to get messed up when work is done on the plenum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I'm trying to bone up on the service manual details around these areas. Sounds like the O-rings on the secondary injectors should be very easy to replace, so I'll probably do those and get a new fuel cap.

As far as the charcoal canister; it is in the wheel well? If we think it got loaded with fuel, what should I do? Can I remove it and empty it, or is it mainly sealed?

As for the one-way valve to the canister (in case it's broken and letting boost pressure into the tanks), is that the valve right along the firewall basically behind the driver's head? I can check that with a pressure/vacuum pump.

I noticed in the service manuals that there is a fuel tank pressure sensor? If boost pressure was getting in there, would that set a code? Or is the sensor used for something else?

FYI, the driver's side tank does show more rust than I'd like to see, but no fuel smell. I ran the pumps a few times and still no smells.

Thanks
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top