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Old 07-27-2011, 08:11 AM   #1
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Default Gas smell, dealer can't find

Has anyone else experienced a strong gas smell in the cabin while driving and parked in the garage?I took the car to the dealership and they did a complete pressure test of the entire evaporative system three times and found no leaks. It only seems to happen on warm days when the tank is about 3/4 full or so. Its pretty unnerving to walk into a garage filled with gas fumes. My only other option is to wait until it happens again and then drive the 30 miles to the dealership (while breathing gas fumes) and let them see if they can track it down.

Anyone else experienced this? Thoughts, ideas, silly remarks?
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:35 AM   #2
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Nothing silly about a gas smell, it is potentially VERY serious. No modern car should emit any gas odors. Any chance there is something else in the garage venting fumes? Lawn equipment, gas cans, another car? Does it ever happen when you park elsewhere?
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:55 AM   #3
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Yep 2 people had this happen who posted here a while back:

1 was from a fautly aluminum fuel rail that looked like it had either a bad weld that cracked, or just a spot on the line itself that cracked - it was seeping fuel into the engine compartment.

1 was from a pinched seal where the injector mounts into the engine. The seal being pinched allowed fuel to seep out.


Get this checked out ASAP by the dealer.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:01 AM   #4
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The dealer did check it out already and couldn't find anything at all. They actually had it apart doing the recall for the thermostat and they said the checked the fuel rails. They found no leaks anywhere and did a pressure test on the entire evaporative system.

As far as other things in the garage, thats what I originally thought was the problem. However, its also smelling like gas while driving around town. It only happens when its very warm outside and the tank is nearly full. The rest of the time, it has no gas smell at all. The garage only smells when that car is in there after it has been driven around on a warm day and the tank is full. The car only smells when driving around if its warm and the tank is full.

I'm very much concerned about it as the smell is nauseating and the garage full of gas fumes is very dangerous. But the dealership not finding the problem has put a damper into getting this resolved.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:11 AM   #5
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Then I would drive it straight to the dealer the next time it happens. Is there a sniffer type instrument they can use to localize the smell to a certain part or area of the car?
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:22 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by RedMagma2011S4 View Post
Then I would drive it straight to the dealer the next time it happens. Is there a sniffer type instrument they can use to localize the smell to a certain part or area of the car?
Funny enough, my wife actually has one of these at her job she can borrow. She works at an environmental engineering company and has a meter than can measure gas ppm measurements. I just need to wait for it to warm up enough and I'll try to track it down. I was just hoping someone had a similar experience and could recommend something.
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Old 07-27-2011, 09:41 AM   #7
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Funny enough, my wife actually has one of these at her job she can borrow. She works at an environmental engineering company and has a meter than can measure gas ppm measurements. I just need to wait for it to warm up enough and I'll try to track it down. I was just hoping someone had a similar experience and could recommend something.
That's a great idea - you might be able to point the dealer in the right direction and at the very least prove to them that there is a leak. Then make them keep the car and give you a loaner until they can find it.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:10 AM   #8
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Bump with some more information:

Its been a couple weeks since this happened, but the weather heated up and its happening again. As a side note, I have a buddy in town (I live in Albuquerque, NM) and his 2011 S4 is smelling like gas too.

When the car is warmed up (driving for around 40 minutes) and its HOT outside (95F +), I start to smell a gas smell while driving. Once the car is warmed up and I have smelled this, if I leave the car running (in a well ventilated place!!), I go outside the vehicle and smell around. The strongest smell seems to be underneath the driver's rear fender well.

I took the vehicle to the dealer, as they requested, when the smell returned. The technician did come out and verify that the smell is coming from the driver's side rear fender well, where he informed me the fuel pump is located. They kept it overnight and will try to replicate it today. They didn't have any luck last time they tried to replicate it as the car apparently has to warm up enough and the day be hot enough for this smell to come back.

I will let you know what I find out from the dealer if and when they find anything. As it stands, I think I may be in a unique position as I have not heard of others having this problem on the forums. I am in a HOT climate at high altitude (6000+ feet elevation) which might be causing the gas vapor leak that is hard to replicate or detect. I have never seen visible gas liquid anywhere, just the smell, so I assume its a gas vapor leak. I will post more information once its available.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:30 AM   #9
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I wonder if their is some sort of dye coloring they can add to the fuel so they can check for any leaks? I know air conditioning techs use dye to find leaks...
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:59 AM   #10
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there have been a couple of bad fuel pumps on B8 S4s on forums, but they were dismissed as one offs. I wouldn't be shocked if that's what it is in your case. Not all out failure, but maybe getting ready to go.

Guess it could potentially be more far reaching than people originally thought. Still only a few. Wonder if the other guys were in hot places too?
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:59 AM
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