1997 Lexus ES 300 Gas fumes

Tiny
VALCHEK
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 LEXUS ES 300
  • 200,300 MILES
I have a 1997 Lexus es300 I am smelling gasoline fumes inside and outside the car, Each shop have a different way of fixing the problem. I don't have the money to experiment. How should I approach my machanic on where to start diagnosing the problem?
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Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 AT 9:30 PM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Need more detail than that. What are those different ways you're referring to? Do you mean they found different causes or they found the same cause but have offered different solutions? Has anyone pointed out the leak to you? If so, what is it?
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Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 AT 9:42 PM
Tiny
VALCHEK
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I took the car into the shop cause the brake light was on. I was told the front needed new brake pads. I decided to come back another time and he suggested that I filled up on the brake fuel which I said okay.

The next day I started smelling fumes. I had smoke test was done. I was told exhausts manifold - 257.00, exhaust gasket - 25.85, lower exhaust gasket.10.00, airflow ratio 160.00 and labor 210.00.

Another shop suggest changing the gas tank 75.00 plus 325.00 for labor.

I knows nothing about cars, but the fumes are driving me crazy. I don 't know where to start. I'll appreciate any suggestions.
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Thursday, June 27th, 2013 AT 5:56 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
First of all, you should not fill the brake fluid. You won't damage anything but it's going to create quite a mess later. The fluid level goes down as the disc brake pads wear. As they do, the pistons in the brake calipers move out and brake fluid fills in the space behind them. That's how all disc brakes self-adjust. Later, when new, thicker pads are installed, the pistons have to be pushed back in to make room for them, and that pushes the brake fluid back up to the reservoir. If it was previously filled there will be no place for that fluid to go and it will spill over. Brake fluid will eat paint off the car if it's not washed off right away.

When the brake fluid is low in the reservoir it means you either have a leak that must be addressed right away or the pads are worn down and it's time to inspect the brakes and most likely replace them. Also, as long as we're on the subject, be absolutely certain to never get any type of petroleum product mixed in with brake fluid. That will lead to a REAL expensive repair. Those include engine oil, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and axle grease. Professionals even wash their hands first to avoid getting fingerprint oil in the brake fluid.

The two shops are talking about two totally different things related to fumes. First you have to determine what you're smelling. A fuel leak will smell different than an exhaust leak. You will only smell an exhaust system leak when the engine is running, and typically you'll hear a clicking or tapping sound to go with it. A fuel leak depends on the cause. If it's in part of the system that's pressurized you will see a wet spot somewhere, usually on the ground, and the smell may go away after the engine has been off a while. If the leak is in something that is not under pressure, like the gas tank, you'll be able to smell those fumes any time the car is sitting, but usually not when it's moving.
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Thursday, June 27th, 2013 AT 6:30 PM

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