1997 Mercury Villager Smelly 1997 Mercury Villager

  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • 168,000 MILES
There is a strong ordor of gas coming from the engine compartment and blowing into the cabin through the heating vents. The ordor is prevelant when the temps. Out side are usually below 40 degrees F. And the vehicle is first started after sitting for several hours or overnight.

Some days the ordor of gas is so strong that I can smell it when walking to the car in the morning before I even start it.

So far I am out over $300 and the problem still persists. A local Lincoln Mercury dealer has done a smoke test and a fuel system pressure test and have found no leaks. Then they said that the smell was not gas, but rich exhasut fumes. They said that I had a leak somewhere in the exhaust system.

I took the car to Midas and they said. "Oh yeah you have an exhaust leak." They even showed me. $200 later the gas smell is as strong as ever.

Note that the engine runs fine with plenty of power. And when restarted after warm up, there is no smell of gas. New plugs and wires were installed less than 1,000 miles ago.

I worked for Ford Motor Company in finance for many years and we purchased this vehicle new in 1997. It has been well maintained. Please give me some advice as another L/M dealer wants me to bring the van in for another round of costly tests.
Do you
have the same problem?
Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 AT 2:13 PM

1 Reply

If you can smell it when you walk to the car, it is a sizeable leak. If I had to guess, I would tell you to check the injectors for leaks. Sitting overnight allows the engine to cool and unlike water, steel shrinks when it gets cold. If the orings on the injectors are bad, that is when they could leak. Also, if they checked fuel pump pressure, they wouldn't have checked the injectors. They would have only checked to the fuel rail and no further.

Also, are you sure the smell is coming from under the hood. The vehicle is 12 years old and it is possible that a fuel line may have rusted and allowed fuel to seep out. When you shut the engine, there is still pressure in the fuel system with no where to go. That could also be a consideration.

Finally, and sorry for being so wordy, check the fuel line along where it comes up the firewall. That area would give the vent system the best opportunity for the smell to come in the vehicle. And between you and I, there is a big difference between the smell of raw gas and a rich exhaust smell. If you smell gas, that is what it most likely is. The next time you walk out and smell it, before starting it, smell under the vehicle and then under the hood. Make sure you check under the hood last because as soon as you open it, if it is the source, you will loose the smell quickly.

Let me know what you find.

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Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 AT 5:08 PM

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