Gas smell inside the car, near the backseat.

Tiny
DYNAMIKE16
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 SATURN L200
  • 2.2L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
At first, it started to smell once in a while, and was never a problem, but now, it is so strong that you cant ride inside the car. It seems to be coming from the backseat area, which I know, sits right over the fuel pump and tank. What would you suggest I check first, rather than take it straight to a mechanic for a fuel pump? I have heard that this is a common problem, and that most of the repairs have been to the nipple that comes off of the fuel pump. If this is the case, I will have to drop the tank, and half of the exhaust to get the tank out, and I'm not really able to spend that much time on it.
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Thursday, November 6th, 2014 AT 12:02 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Its really common for the the fuel pump module nipple to leak fuel on those car I just replaced one on a 2004 L300 with a 2.2L engine that was leaking fuel. You have to remove the rear part of the exhaust to drop the tank. More the likely its the fuel pump module nipple if you can't see the fuel leaking. You might be able to get a hand held camera up there to see the gas stain. From a leak.
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Thursday, November 6th, 2014 AT 4:53 AM
Tiny
DYNAMIKE16
  • MEMBER
Thank you very much for your help, I will be doing that today.
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Saturday, November 8th, 2014 AT 9:06 AM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Keep posted on what you find.
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Monday, November 17th, 2014 AT 9:05 PM
Tiny
DYNAMIKE16
  • MEMBER
Ok, job done! Thanks to a few catalytic converter replacements, because of California Smog laws, I had to first drop the exhaust, which is now one continuous piece all the way to the firewall. When I got that monstrosity out of the way, it was pretty simple, removed 2 rock guards and the rear heat shield, disconnected the fuel filter, and then the tank was accessible. Following the manual to the T, was necessary, when it came to the fuel lines and electrical connecters, because if I didn't do it in order, I would definitely have missed one! Next, used my floor jack with a small piece of plywood, which held the tank while I disconnected the 2 straps and lowered the tank. When I got the tank out, I cleaned it up quite a bit before pulling out the fuel pump, which looked perfect. I could not see any cracks or anything that would cause a problem, so I set it off to the side, figuring my problem was something else. After checking everything on the tank, and putting new o rings and retainer clips in all disconnected fuel lines, I was still not convinced that the fuel pump had any cracks, etc, so I put it back in, and buttoned everything up. The gas smell got better for a day, then came back 10x stronger, now with a big fuel leak. This time, I went straight to the pump, replaced it, and the smell immediately got better, for a day. When I took that new pump back to the auto parts store, we looked it over with a magnifying glass, and sure enough, under the nipple, a barely visible crack. We checked the new, new pump, and we were good. When I got home, the old pump was checked, and same exact crack. You guys called it! I really appreciate your help, and thank you for helping me save some money! The next day was my daughters' birthday, and I happily spent the saved money on her, so she says thank you too!
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Monday, November 17th, 2014 AT 10:51 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
I have seen a few gas tanks leak on those but that's the exception not the rule. Glad to hear that you got it fixed a fuel leak can be dangerous.I have worked for saturn for over 16yrs so I know my Saturn's and really enjoy sharing my knowledge of them to help people on here.I have seen a lot of those fuel leaks the first ones that came into the dealer were a pain to just verify that there was a leak. Most of them you couldn't even smell the gas fumes. But after a couple then you knew what your looking for. Tell your daughter happy birthday for me also tell all your friends about our site.
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Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 AT 6:52 AM

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