Strong gas smell from car


#1

I have an Oldsmobile Achieva with 193K on it. it’s got the 4 cylinder OHV engine. Here are it’s symptoms:



1. It always smells like unburned gasoline, very strongly

2. Gas milage is down about 4 mpg

3. Car jerks violently when down shifting at about 40 mph accelerating up hills

4. 93 Octane gas makes jerking problem better (but not completely).

5. Some, but minimal, oil consumption (a quart every 4000 miles)



Things I have done to the care:



1. Always changed oil regularly

2. Recently changed plugs and boots

3. Changed fuel and air filters about 6 months ago



Any suggestions as to where the problem may lie? Mechanic replaced broken O2 sensor but it made no difference.




#2

Sounds dangerous. I, for one, would not drive it. You may have several problems, but one seems to be a fuel leak.


#3

Have you checked for fuel leaks. Sounds like a fuel line may be leaking.


#4

For some odd reason GM vehicles seem tro have more of a tendency for fuel injector leaks when they get older than other makes. I honestly do not know why.

It needs to be looked at and the leak repaired. Post back with what the mechanic found. I’m curious.


#5

I had a feeling, based on it’s behavior, that it was either a malfunctioning injector or the electronic injector control. I did not make the connection with a leaking injector, I thought it might just be wide open and pushing too much fuel, a percentage which was not being burned. I’ve driven it for almost 6 months this way, assuming the transmission or engine would probably die of some malady before I could fix the injector. To my great surprise, she just keeps on kicking. Thanks for the tip. I should probably put a muffler on it also, so now I have 2 reasons to bring it in!


#6

It turns out it was the gas tank. It was a small hole at the seam which was barely even dripping. When they put it up on the lift it opened up significantly.


#7

Glad you found the problem before becoming a rolling Molotov cocktail. Now stop wasting money on premium fuel- regular gas is expensive enough!

What about the rough downshifting? Any solution found?


#8

related story: Early 80’s I was working as a tech. and a guy comes in with an early 70’s Deville complaining about a suspension knock. I put it on the lift and as always, I walked under the car back to front just observing. I pointed up to the gas tank and told the guy “you might want a price on this” showing him a hole in the front of the tank the size of a grapefruit. His response was “So, that’s where all my gas has been going”. I just giggled and shook my head. You think he could have seen or smelled that.


#9

Yep, they say the remaining problem sounds just like the lock-up solenoid. But now that I have a new gas tank AND a new exhaust system, it seems to be less pronounced. The lock-up solenoid is a $300 bill. They said if I don’t mind shifting into 3rd when I know it’s going to start sputtering, I could drive it that way forever. That’s what I have been doing for a year when accelerating up hills. So I may just do that, this last trip was a pretty heavy hit. The gas tank and exhaust replacement was $920 (only $252 which was labor).

Oh, and because I literally had nothing left but the catalytic converter, they thought I probably would not have blown up- just dumped 12 gallons of fuel where ever I happened to be at the time.