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Having Excessive Gas with my 2.2 Ecotec 2005 Cavalier

I have a 2005 Cavalier 2.2 Ecotec, for the last two weeks the car had some difficulty starting. Before, it would turn over at one turn of the key. The morning after replacing the fuel filter, the car has trouble starting but would level out and run OK, but this time during the drive to work, it ran very rough for about 3 to 5 seconds like it was losing power and about to die and then it would level off again and run fine. It had done this (cycled) about four times. At first, I thought it was just air pockets working their way out. On the drive home after work, the car started to lose power again, and this time it died. As I opened the hood, I smelled gas. As I looked around for a leak and not finding one in plain sight, I removed the black plastic (air intake flex pipe) from the engine that drew the air from the air filter into the carburetor. As I did this, I noticed a half of pint of raw gasoline spilling out because it was being collected inside. One I drained the gas out, I was able to start the car and carefully drive it home. Once at the house I removed the air intake pipe again and drained the gas from it. If you can please tell me how this happened and how can I get it fixed.

Many thanks.
Houston, Texas

I cannot for the life of me understand how gasoline could make its way into the air intake. This is a multiport injection system and the injectors should be firing right behnd the intake valves. For the gas to make its way into the intake suggests that either a vacuum line is improperly connected or that fuel is getting drawn up from the EVAP system (the canister probably) in volume, an EVAP system problem.

If the fuel pressure regulator were bad allowing excess pressure the engine should just flood, but the fuel would have no path that I can envision to get back into the intake.

I would recommend not driving this until you get it diagnosed and corrected. Have it towed to your favorite shop. This is a serious fire trying to happen.

Perhaps someone else here has seen this problem and can offer some better insight.

If your car is lying to you, then it’s a caviler. Otherwise, I’ll bet it’s a Cavalier.

Anyone out there got any additional ideas what this problem might be?

Only thought is the evap system is completely flooded, but even then, it would almost never run right, and there should be a CEL on.

Hang on…are you positive it’s fuel in that intake? Water (e.g. coolant) can cause hard starting, and if the intake has coolant running through it (to assist in warm-up and keep from getting too hot), there may be a leak.

With the water, and your engine not firing right, you could also be pushing fuel into your exhaust. You would also (of course) see dropping coolant levels. Should also see a CEL.

I know…I know…lots of “maybe’s” and “could be’s” but I can’t come up with anything more.