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Discussion Starter #1
My 02 C230 seems to have developed an intermittent raw gas smell, which I can smell inside when driving, and outside after parking. Can't track it down, but sometimes seems to be strong in the rear driver's side wheelwell. Had it in for service last week, and, happy day, the smell was there when I drove in. They checked it all over and couldn't locate the source, though the service manager confirmed that the gas smell was there when I drove in.

This happened once before some time ago, then went away. It's happened now about three times in the past two weeks. Doesn't seem to have anything to do with how full the gas tank is (it's happened at a 1/4 tank, and also on a full tank).

Anyone else experienced this? Car has 77k+ miles, and otherwise runs well. Driving is a mix of town and highway (mostly highway) with very little stop-and-go.

Thanks.
 

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Do some Googling and searching on the various forums. It sounds like one of the common problems with the overflow system for the gas tank/filler neck. I believe one of the common issues is the disintegration of the vent pipe(s).

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Doug. Will research and mention it to the service guys. Car's going in early next week to see if they can trouble-shoot.

What's puzzling them is that the check-engine light never comes on, which indicates "no problem" in the fuel system. I had it in there briefly yesterday, and they can smell it on the driver's side of the engine, but not on the passenger side nor at the back of the car. (So the wheelwell odor might have been incidental.)

I'll post results once we pinpoint the source. In the meantime, anyone else with experience/thoughts feel free to chime in.
 

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This may be casued by the charcoal canister located below the gas tank.

This canister is supposed to absorb the gas vapor. If you overfill your gas tank, the gas will go into this canister.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the thought, mis3. Had the car in last week, but they "could not find and could not duplicate". This is the classic challenge with intermittent problems. I guess the plan now is to wait till it happens again and take it to the shop when the smell is there. I'll mention the cannister possibility, though I'm very careful never to overfill by topping off; when the pump shuts off automatically, I stop pumping.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Problem solved! See new post dated 1/19. Source was the fuel pressure regulator on the fuel bar (not sure if that's the right name) that delivers fuel to the injectors. It's located under the front-most engine cover.

Thanks again for the suggestions.
 
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