2004 Buick Rendezvous Gak Leak

Dear Discussion Group,

We need help soon on this problem as I am getting worried.

I have a 2004 Buick Rendezvous that has a strong gas smell outside the car and comes thru the A/C vents. It is usually when I enter the garage after the car has been sitting all night in the garage. It has also occurred when starting after being parked in the hot Arizona sun for a hour or so.

I have checked for leaks by putting paper underneath the car but there have been no leak spots on the paper. I researched and found out that some of the 2004 Rendezvous have a bad weld on one of the gas tank connections and were on the way for a possible recall. So I have taken the car into 2 AAA mechanics and 4 different Buick dealerships and none of them have been able to find anything even though when we brought in the car they could smell the strong gas smell and we made them aware of the weld problem. They advised me that they have checked the welds and run other tests but, are still unable to find anything. My wife drives my 3 small children around in this vehichle and it has me worried. Can you shed any light on the subject?

Gasoline leaks are hard to find because gasoline, particularly in Arizona weather, evaporates quickly. I had a problem with noticing a little damp spot on my driveway under the engine compartment when I would get out of the car after coming home from work. I would go into the house, drink a beer, and then go look for the problem. When I would go back out to check the car, the spot on the driveway would be gone. Of course, I assumed that drinking the beer solved the problem. However, I did have the good sense to raise the hood and look before going into the house one evening and found that the fuel pump was leaking (this is an old car that doesn’t have the pump in the tank). In your case, rather than using the one beer approach, have a mechanic with an exhaust emission tester which detects unburned fuel, run the tester’s probe over the fuel system while the engine is running. If this doesn’t detect the problem, have him run it over the engine immediately after it is shut off. You do need to find this problem. I knew of a couple of people that were killed when the gasoline fumes built up in the engine compartment of a boat and exploded when the owner attempted to start the boat. While it would be unlikely under the hood of an automobile, it could still happen.


I like your approach to solving the problem. Especially the beer part. I’ll will see if this solves the problem. It should atleast find what the problem is and then what steps need to be taken. Thanks for your help.

[b]Try pulling the oil dipstick and take a whiff of the oil on the dipstick. If it has a gas odor to it, gas is leaking into the engine as it sits idle.

The first thing to check for this condition is a leaking fuel pressure regulator. If the regulator diaphram has a leak, fuel will be pushed into the intake manifold as the vehicle sits idle.