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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got done reading this thread:

http://www.newtiburon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117731&highlight=smell+gas

I don't know if that single thread applies to my problem, but I've added more detail to my issue below:

- It doesn't matter how much gas is in my tank
- can only smell the gasoline smell in the car when it is hotter than 88 degrees or so outside
- not coming out of the vents that I can tell
- No gas smell under the hood at all
- the smell is MUCH stronger in the back seats where my son's car seat is
- Probably unrelated --- About 2 years ago I spilled about half a gallon of gas I was transporting in a little 1 gallon gas can in the trunk. It all went into the spare tire well and i got it up with some rags (it took the paint off..not cool!) It took forever, but that smell finally went away...but If you look under the rear of the car where the splitter is, there is a box hanging down (Is this the charcoal canister?) and there looks like some dried liquid coming down from the top in the shape of a "v" towards the ground. Now I'm not sure if that dried liquied is from 2 years ago or recent gasoline leakage from somewhere.

Any ideas where the gas is coming from and how to fix it? I'm not really sure if it's safe for my son and I...especially him. It's MUCH stronger in the back seat but only when it's really hot outside!
 

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Ahem, in order to properly diagnose your problem we may want to review the OSHA technical manual regarding PETROLEUM REFINING PROCESSES. This will better allow you to understand the effects of the fumes on your person and allow you to properly protect yourself while operating your vehicle.



  • INTRODUCTION.
    • The petroleum industry began with the successful drilling of the first commercial oil well in 1859, and the opening of the first refinery two years later to process the crude into kerosene. The evolution of petroleum refining from simple distillation to today's sophisticated processes has created a need for health and safety management procedures and safe work practices. To those unfamiliar with the industry, petroleum refineries may appear to be complex and confusing places. Refining is the processing of one complex mixture of hydrocarbons into a number of other complex mixtures of hydrocarbons. The safe and orderly processing of crude oil into flammable gases and liquids at high temperatures and pressures using vessels, equipment, and piping subjected to stress and corrosion requires considerable knowledge, control, and expertise.
    • Safety and health professionals, working with process, chemical, instrumentation, and metallurgical engineers, assure that potential physical, mechanical, chemical, and health hazards are recognized and provisions are made for safe operating practices and appropriate protective measures. These measures may include hard hats, safety glasses and goggles, safety shoes, hearing protection, respiratory protection, and protective clothing such as fire resistant clothing where required. In addition, procedures should be established to assure compliance with applicable regulations and standards such as hazard communications, confined space entry, and process safety management.
    • This chapter of the technical manual covers the history of refinery processing, characteristics of crude oil, hydrocarbon types and chemistry, and major refinery products and by-products. It presents information on technology as normally practiced in present operations. It describes the more common refinery processes and includes relevant safety and health information. Additional information covers refinery utilities and miscellaneous supporting activities related to hydrocarbon processing. Field personnel will learn what to expect in various facilities regarding typical materials and process methods, equipment, potential hazards, and exposures.
    • The information presented refers to fire prevention, industrial hygiene, and safe work practices, and is not intended to provide comprehensive guidelines for protective measures and/or compliance with regulatory requirements. As some of the terminology is industry-specific, a glossary is provided as an appendix. This chapter does not cover petrochemical processing.
  • OVERVIEW OF THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY.
    • BASIC REFINERY PROCESS: DESCRIPTION AND HISTORY. Petroleum refining has evolved continuously in response to changing consumer demand for better and different products. The original requirement was to produce kerosene as a cheaper and better source of light than whale oil. The development of the internal combustion engine led to the production of gasoline and diesel fuels. The evolution of the airplane created a need first for high-octane aviation gasoline and then for jet fuel, a sophisticated form of the original product, kerosene. Present-day refineries produce a variety of products including many required as feedstock for the petrochemical industry.
 

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  1. Distillation Processes. The first refinery, opened in 1861, produced kerosene by simple atmospheric distillation. Its by-products included tar and naphtha. It was soon discovered that high-quality lubricating oils could be produced by distilling petroleum under vacuum. However, for the next 30 years kerosene was the product consumers wanted. Two significant events changed this situation: (1) invention of the electric light decreased the demand for kerosene, and (2) invention of the internal combustion engine created a demand for diesel fuel and gasoline (naphtha).
  2. Thermal Cracking Processes. With the advent of mass production and World War I, the number of gasoline-powered vehicles increased dramatically and the demand for gasoline grew accordingly. However, distillation processes produced only a certain amount of gasoline from crude oil. In 1913, the thermal cracking process was developed, which subjected heavy fuels to both pressure and intense heat, physically breaking the large molecules into smaller ones to produce additional gasoline and distillate fuels. Visbreaking, another form of thermal cracking, was developed in the late 1930's to produce more desirable and valuable products.
  3. Catalytic Processes. Higher-compression gasoline engines required higher-octane gasoline with better antiknock characteristics. The introduction of catalytic cracking and polymerization processes in the mid- to late 1930's met the demand by providing improved gasoline yields and higher octane numbers.

    Alkylation, another catalytic process developed in the early 1940's, produced more high-octane aviation gasoline and petrochemical feedstock for explosives and synthetic rubber. Subsequently, catalytic isomerization was developed to convert hydrocarbons to produce increased quantities of alkylation feedstock. Improved catalysts and process methods such as hydrocracking and reforming were developed throughout the 1960's to increase gasoline yields and improve antiknock characteristics. These catalytic processes also produced hydrocarbon molecules with a double bond (alkenes) and formed the basis of the modern petrochemical industry.
  4. Treatment Processes. Throughout the history of refining, various treatment methods have been used to remove nonhydrocarbons, impurities, and other constituents that adversely affect the properties of finished products or reduce the efficiency of the conversion processes. Treating can involve chemical reaction and/or physical separation. Typical examples of treating are chemical sweetening, acid treating, clay contacting, caustic washing, hydrotreating, drying, solvent extraction, and solvent dewaxing. Sweetening compounds and acids desulfurize crude oil before processing and treat products during and after processing.

    Following the Second World War, various reforming processes improved gasoline quality and yield and produced higher-quality products. Some of these involved the use of catalysts and/or hydrogen to change molecules and remove sulfur. A number of the more commonly used treating and reforming processes are described in this chapter of the manual.
TABLE IV: 2-1. HISTORY OF REFININGYear Process name Purpose By-products, etc. 1862Atmospheric distillationProduce keroseneNaphtha, tar, etc.1870Vacuum distillationLubricants (original)

Cracking feedstocks (1930's)Asphalt, residual
coker feedstocks1913Thermal crackingIncrease gasolineResidual, bunker fuel1916Sweeteningreduce sulfur & odorSulfur1930Thermal reformingImprove octane numberResidual1932HydrogenationRemove sulfurSulfur1932CokingProduce gasoline basestocksCoke1933Solvent extractionImprove lubricant viscosity indexAromatics1935Solvent dewaxingImprove pour pointWaxes1935Cat. polymerizationImprove gasoline yield
& octane numberPetrochemical
feedstocks1937Catalytic crackingHigher octane gasolinePetrochemical




feedstocks1939Visbreakingreduce viscosityIncreased distillate,tar1940AlkylationIncrease gasoline octane & yieldHigh-octane aviation gasoline1940IsomerizationProduce alkylation feedstockNaphtha1942Fluid catalytic crackingIncrease gasoline yield & octanePetrochemical feedstocks1950DeasphaltingIncrease cracking feedstockAsphalt1952Catalytic reformingConvert low-quality naphthaAromatics1954HydrodesulfurizationRemove sulfurSulfur1956Inhibitor sweeteningRemove mercaptanDisulfides1957Catalytic isomerizationConvert to molecules with high octane numberAlkylation feedstocks1960HydrocrackingImprove quality and reduce sulfurAlkylation feedstocks1974Catalytic dewaxingImprove pour pointWax1975Residual hydrocrackingIncrease gasoline yield from residualHeavy residuals
    • BASICS OF CRUDE OIL.
      1. Crude oils are complex mixtures containing many different hydrocarbon compounds that vary in appearance and composition from one oil field to another. Crude oils range in consistency from water to tar-like solids, and in color from clear to black. An "average" crude oil contains about 84% carbon, 14% hydrogen, 1%-3% sulfur, and less than 1% each of nitrogen, oxygen, metals, and salts. Crude oils are generally classified as paraffinic, naphthenic, or aromatic, based on the predominant proportion of similar hydrocarbon molecules. Mixed-base crudes have varying amounts of each type of hydrocarbon. Refinery crude base stocks usually consist of mixtures of two or more different crude oils.
      2. Relatively simple crude oil assays are used to classify crude oils as paraffinic, naphthenic, aromatic, or mixed. One assay method (United States Bureau of Mines) is based on distillation, and another method (UOP "K" factor) is based on gravity and boiling points. More comprehensive crude assays determine the value of the crude (i.e., its yield and quality of useful products) and processing parameters. Crude oils are usually grouped according to yield structure.
      3. Crude oils are also defined in terms of API (American Petroleum Institute) gravity. The higher the API gravity, the lighter the crude. For example, light crude oils have high API gravities and low specific gravities. Crude oils with low carbon, high hydrogen, and high API gravity are usually rich in paraffins and tend to yield greater proportions of gasoline and light petroleum products; those with high carbon, low hydrogen, and low API gravities are usually rich in aromatics.
 

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  1. Crude oils that contain appreciable quantities of hydrogen sulfide or other reactive sulfur compounds are called "sour." Those with less sulfur are called "sweet." Some exceptions to this rule are West Texas crudes, which are always considered "sour" regardless of their H2S content, and Arabian high-sulfur crudes, which are not considered "sour" because their sulfur compounds are not highly reactive.
  2. TABLE IV: 2-2. TYPICAL APPROXIMATE CHARACTERISTICS AND
  3. PROPERTIES AND GASOLINE POTENTIAL OF VARIOUS CRUDES
  4. (Representative average numbers)Crude source Paraffins
  5. (% vol) Aromatics
  6. (% vol) Naphthenes
  7. (% vol) Sulfur
  8. (% wt) API gravity
  9. (approx.) Napht. yield
  10. (% vol) Octane no
  11. (typical) Nigerian
  12. -Light379540.2362860Saudi
  13. -Light6319182342240Saudi
  14. -Heavy6015252.1282335Venezuela
  15. -Heavy3512532.330260Venezuela
  16. -Light5214341.5241850USA
  17. -Midcont. Sweet---0.440--USA
  18. -W. Texas Sour4622321.9323355North Sea
  19. -Brent5016340.4373150
  20. BASICS OF HYDROCARBON CHEMISTRY. Crude oil is a mixture of hydrocarbon molecules, which are organic compounds of carbon and hydrogen atoms that may include from one to 60 carbon atoms. The properties of hydrocarbons depend on the number and arrangement of the carbon and hydrogen atoms in the molecules. The simplest hydrocarbon molecule is one carbon atom linked with four hydrogen atoms: methane. All other variations of petroleum hydrocarbons evolve from this molecule.
  21. Hydrocarbons containing up to four carbon atoms are usually gases, those with 5 to 19 carbon atoms are usually liquids, and those with 20 or more are solids. The refining process uses chemicals, catalysts, heat, and pressure to separate and combine the basic types of hydrocarbon molecules naturally found in crude oil into groups of similar molecules. The refining process also rearranges their structures and bonding patterns into different hydrocarbon molecules and compounds. Therefore it is the type of hydrocarbon (paraffinic, naphthenic, or aromatic) rather than its specific chemical compounds that is significant in the refining process.
  22. Three Principal Groups or Series of Hydrocarbon Compounds that Occur Naturally in Crude Oil.

    a. Paraffins. The paraffinic series of hydrocarbon compounds found in crude oil have the general formula CnH2n+2 and can be either straight chains (normal) or branched chains (isomers) of carbon atoms. The lighter, straight-chain paraffin molecules are found in gases and paraffin waxes. Examples of straight-chain molecules are methane, ethane, propane, and butane (gases containing from one to four carbon atoms), and pentane and hexane (liquids with five to six carbon atoms). The branched-chain (isomer) paraffins are usually found in heavier fractions of crude oil and have higher octane numbers than normal paraffins. These compounds are saturated hydrocarbons, with all carbon bonds satisfied, that is, the hydrocarbon chain carries the full complement of hydrogen atoms.

    FIGURE IV:2-1. TYPICAL PARAFFINS.Example of simplest
    HC molecule (CH4):Examples of straight chain paraffin molecule (Butane) and branched paraffin molecule (Isobutane) with same chemical formula (C4H10):METHANE (CH4)BUTANE (C4H10)ISOBUTANE (C4H10)


 

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  1. b. Aromatics are unsaturated ring-type (cyclic) compounds which react readily because they have carbon atoms that are deficient in hydrogen. All aromatics have at least one benzene ring (a single-ring compound characterized by three double bonds alternating with three single bonds between six carbon atoms) as part of their molecular structure. Naphthalenes are fused double-ring aromatic compounds. The most complex aromatics, polynuclears (three or more fused aromatic rings), are found in heavier fractions of crude oil.
  2. c. Naphthenes are saturated hydrocarbon groupings with the general formula CnH2n, arranged in the form of closed rings (cyclic) and found in all fractions of crude oil except the very lightest. Single-ring naphthenes (monocycloparaffins) with five and six carbon atoms predominate, with two-ring naphthenes (dicycloparaffins) found in the heavier ends of naphtha.
  3. Other Hydrocarbons.

    a. Alkenes are mono-olefins with the general formula CnH2n and contain only one carbon-carbon double bond in the chain. The simplest alkene is ethylene, with two carbon atoms joined by a double bond and four hydrogen atoms. Olefins are usually formed by thermal and catalytic cracking and rarely occur naturally in unprocessed crude oil.

  4. FIGURE IV:2-2. TYPICAL AROMATICS.Example of simple aromatic compound:Examples of simple double-ring aromatic compound:BENZENE (C6H6)NAPTHALENE (C10H8)
  5. FIGURE IV:2-3. TYPICAL NAPHTHENES.Example of typical single-ring naphthene:Examples of naphthene with same chemical formula (C6H12) but different molecular structure:CYCLOHEXANE (C6H12)METHYL CYCLOPENTANE (C6H12)
  6. FIGURE IV:2-4. TYPICAL ALKENES.Simplest Alkene (C2H4):Typical Alkenes with the same chemical formula (C4H8) but different molecular structures:ETHYLENE (C2H4)1-BUTENE (C4H8)ISOBUTENE (C4H8)
  7. b. Dienes and Alkynes. Dienes, also known as diolefins, have two carbon-carbon double bonds. The alkynes, another class of unsaturated hydrocarbons, have a carbon-carbon triple bond within the molecule. Both these series of hydrocarbons have the general formula CnH2n-2. Diolefins such as 1,2-butadiene and 1,3-butadiene, and alkynes such as acetylene, occur in C5 and lighter fractions from cracking. The olefins, diolefins, and alkynes are said to be unsaturated because they contain less than the amount of hydrogen necessary to saturate all the valences of the carbon atoms. These compounds are more reactive than paraffins or naphthenes and readily combine with other elements such as hydrogen, chlorine, and bromine.
  8. FIGURE IV:2-5. TYPICAL DIOLEFINS AND ALKYNES.Simplest Alkyne: (C2H2):Typical Diolefins with the same chemical formula (C4H6) but different molecular structures:ACETYLENE (C2H2)1,2-BUTADIENE (C4H6)1,3-BUTADIENE (C4H6)
  9. Nonhydrocarbons.

    a. Sulfur Compounds. Sulfur may be present in crude oil as hydrogen sulfide (H2S), as compounds (e.g. mercaptans, sulfides, disulfides, thiophenes, etc.) or as elemental sulfur. Each crude oil has different amounts and types of sulfur compounds, but as a rule the proportion, stability, and complexity of the compounds are greater in heavier crude-oil fractions. Hydrogen sulfide is a primary contributor to corrosion in refinery processing units. Other corrosive substances are elemental sulfur and mercaptans. Moreover, the corrosive sulfur compounds have an obnoxious odor.

    Pyrophoric iron sulfide results from the corrosive action of sulfur compounds on the iron and steel used in refinery process equipment, piping, and tanks. The combustion of petroleum products containing sulfur compounds produces undesirables such as sulfuric acid and sulfur dioxide. Catalytic hydrotreating processes such as hydrodesulfurization remove sulfur compounds from refinery product streams. Sweetening processes either remove the obnoxious sulfur compounds or convert them to odorless disulfides, as in the case of mercaptans.

    b. Oxygen Compounds. Oxygen compounds such as phenols, ketones, and carboxylic acids occur in crude oils in varying amounts.

    c. Nitrogen Compounds. Nitrogen is found in lighter fractions of crude oil as basic compounds, and more often in heavier fractions of crude oil as nonbasic compounds that may also include trace metals such as copper, vanadium, and/or nickel. Nitrogen oxides can form in process furnaces. The decomposition of nitrogen compounds in catalytic cracking and hydrocracking processes forms ammonia and cyanides that can cause corrosion.

    d. Trace Metals. Metals, including nickel, iron, and vanadium are often found in crude oils in small quantities and are removed during the refining process. Burning heavy fuel oils in refinery furnaces and boilers can leave deposits of vanadium oxide and nickel oxide in furnace boxes, ducts, and tubes. It is also desirable to remove trace amounts of arsenic, vanadium, and nickel prior to processing as they can poison certain catalysts.

    e. Salts. Crude oils often contain inorganic salts such as sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, and calcium chloride in suspension or dissolved in entrained water (brine). These salts must be removed or neutralized before processing to prevent catalyst poisoning, equipment corrosion, and fouling. Salt corrosion is caused by the hydrolysis of some metal chlorides to hydrogen chloride (HCl) and the subsequent formation of hydrochloric acid when crude is heated. Hydrogen chloride may also combine with ammonia to form ammonium chloride (NH4Cl), which causes fouling and corrosion.

    f. Carbon Dioxide. Carbon dioxide may result from the decomposition of bicarbonates present in or added to crude, or from steam used in the distillation process.

    g. Naphthenic Acids. Some crude oils contain naphthenic (organic) acids, which may become corrosive at temperatures above 450° F when the acid value of the crude is above a certain level.
  10. MAJOR REFINERY PRODUCTS.
  11. Gasoline. The most important refinery product is motor gasoline, a blend of hydrocarbons with boiling ranges from ambient temperatures to about 400 °F. The important qualities for gasoline are octane number (antiknock), volatility (starting and vapor lock), and vapor pressure (environmental control). Additives are often used to enhance performance and provide protection against oxidation and rust formation.
  12. Kerosene. Kerosene is a refined middle-distillate petroleum product that finds considerable use as a jet fuel and around the world in cooking and space heating. When used as a jet fuel, some of the critical qualities are freeze point, flash point, and smoke point. Commercial jet fuel has a boiling range of about 375°-525° F, and military jet fuel 130°-550° F. Kerosene, with less-critical specifications, is used for lighting, heating, solvents, and blending into diesel fuel.
  13. Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG). LPG, which consists principally of propane and butane, is produced for use as fuel and is an intermediate material in the manufacture of petrochemicals. The important specifications for proper performance include vapor pressure and control of contaminants.
 

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take out your backseats and see if you can see a leak your fuel tank is right there... might be a cracked line, fuel pump, idk for sure cause i ain't there but thats where your tank is
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ahem, in order to properly diagnose your problem we may want to review the OSHA technical manual regarding PETROLEUM REFINING PROCESSES. This will better allow you to understand the effects of the fumes on your person and allow you to properly protect yourself while operating your vehicle.



  • INTRODUCTION.
    • The petroleum industry began with the successful drilling of the first commercial oil well in 1859, and the opening of the first refinery two years later to process the crude into kerosene. The evolution of petroleum refining from simple distillation to today's sophisticated processes has created a need for health and safety management procedures and safe work practices. To those unfamiliar with the industry, petroleum refineries may appear to be complex and confusing places. Refining is the processing of one complex mixture of hydrocarbons into a number of other complex mixtures of hydrocarbons. The safe and orderly processing of crude oil into flammable gases and liquids at high temperatures and pressures using vessels, equipment, and piping subjected to stress and corrosion requires considerable knowledge, control, and expertise.
    • Safety and health professionals, working with process, chemical, instrumentation, and metallurgical engineers, assure that potential physical, mechanical, chemical, and health hazards are recognized and provisions are made for safe operating practices and appropriate protective measures. These measures may include hard hats, safety glasses and goggles, safety shoes, hearing protection, respiratory protection, and protective clothing such as fire resistant clothing where required. In addition, procedures should be established to assure compliance with applicable regulations and standards such as hazard communications, confined space entry, and process safety management.
    • This chapter of the technical manual covers the history of refinery processing, characteristics of crude oil, hydrocarbon types and chemistry, and major refinery products and by-products. It presents information on technology as normally practiced in present operations. It describes the more common refinery processes and includes relevant safety and health information. Additional information covers refinery utilities and miscellaneous supporting activities related to hydrocarbon processing. Field personnel will learn what to expect in various facilities regarding typical materials and process methods, equipment, potential hazards, and exposures.
    • The information presented refers to fire prevention, industrial hygiene, and safe work practices, and is not intended to provide comprehensive guidelines for protective measures and/or compliance with regulatory requirements. As some of the terminology is industry-specific, a glossary is provided as an appendix. This chapter does not cover petrochemical processing.
  • OVERVIEW OF THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY.
    • BASIC REFINERY PROCESS: DESCRIPTION AND HISTORY. Petroleum refining has evolved continuously in response to changing consumer demand for better and different products. The original requirement was to produce kerosene as a cheaper and better source of light than whale oil. The development of the internal combustion engine led to the production of gasoline and diesel fuels. The evolution of the airplane created a need first for high-octane aviation gasoline and then for jet fuel, a sophisticated form of the original product, kerosene. Present-day refineries produce a variety of products including many required as feedstock for the petrochemical industry.

You really should stop reading....it's hazardous to YOUR health!
 

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heat makes things smell stronger and more noticable...shampoo the infected carpets
 

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Check fuel lines for cracks maybe. Or did you ever spill or get any gas on the carpet of your car?
 

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check the charcoal canister in the rear of the car....might be the culprit. Are you the origional owner? In order to put teh origional SSA exhasut on 03's the charcoal canister had to be moved. Some people put it in the spare tire well. I dont know what your situation is, but I would check that.
 

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That box is the charcoal canister. If it's causing the problem then the problem will be most pronounced only when you fill up the tank, and you should be able to smell it next to the box too. I have mine nestled into my spare tire and filling the tank sometimes causes a minute or two of gas-smell.
 

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i also think the back seats should be pulled and check your lines and everything found under that little cover underneath the back seats.

i know i got some gas/fuel cleaner (commercial grade not the stuff you buy at the stores) on the soundproofing stuff and the only way to get rid of the smell was remove the affected soundproofing.
 

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Yeah I recommend doing the essential stuff like taking out your backseat, checking for any leaks, going into your trunk, into your spare tire area and see if you smell anything strong there.

I would say you need to try and pinpoint the problem, but don't go inhaling too much X_X


AND WTF IS UP WITH THESE ARROWS? >.<
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No, I think mine is stronger then too. But it's weird, for the last week, I haven't noticed ANY gas smell in my car at all. Regardless of how hard I drive it.

I will say this also. When I drove the car with my foot closer to the floor, the gas smell would intensify. But for the last week, there has been no gas smell at all.


WTF!
 

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i had this problem once too, i took it too a mechanic and he found a leak in one of my fuel lines, he replaced it and havent smelled gas inside in over a year
 

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This may sound stupid but underneath the rear seat is your fuel pump...Id just check to make sure that your fuel pump cover still has a proper seal..theres also fuel lines that run under the seat. check those too..Id say that would be a good start..
 
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