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    Thread: I smell gas from the front driver's side fender.

    1. Member golfcabriolet90's Avatar
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      07-04-2006 12:38 PM #1
      Hi.
      When driving in warm weather I can sometimes smell a little gas from the front fender.
      I know this is where the carbon canister is located.
      What does this mean?
      Is it not allowed to leak gas fumes at all?
      BTW it's a 1990 2H engined A1 cabbie.
      Thanks for your help.

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    3. Member Holden McNeil's Avatar
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      07-04-2006 01:00 PM #2
      check the fuel filter which sits on that side of the car (not sure if it does with your motor)... The washers are really cheap and are prone to leakage if reused with a new fuel filter...

    4. Member VeeDubDriver1990's Avatar
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      07-04-2006 02:06 PM #3
      Quote, originally posted by golfcabriolet90 »
      Hi.
      When driving in warm weather I can sometimes smell a little gas from the front fender.
      I know this is where the carbon canister is located.
      What does this mean?
      Is it not allowed to leak gas fumes at all?

      It is supposed to vent some fuel vapor, but I believe the carbon canister
      should not be giving off that smell.
      If you have access to it, when the car has cooled off for a few hours, see
      if you could get to the carbon canister. See if the hoses are tightly
      fitted or if there are any cracks in the canister.

    5. Member golfcabriolet90's Avatar
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      07-04-2006 04:05 PM #4
      Ok thanks, I'll try to visually inspect it, I hope I can get to it without removing the fender.
      My fuel filter is underneath the car, at the rear. But it could have been a possibility though.

    6. Member tolusina's Avatar
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      07-04-2006 06:46 PM #5
      Andreas,
      Quote, originally posted by golfcabriolet90 »
      .....smell a little gas from the front fender.
      I know this is where the carbon canister is located......

      U.S. spec cars have a canister vent valve mounted under the fender near the canister. Ported vacuum from the throttle body is applied to the vent valve diaphragm via the purple line at the top, excess accumulated vapor is then drawn into the intake by manifold vacuum at the throttle body through the white line.
      Using a spare piece of vacuum hose, apply vacuum to the purple hose, the diaphragm should hold vacuum. While vacuum is applied to the purple, vapors should vent through the white. When purple vacuum is released, white should close.
      The tests above assume good vacuum hoses, open vacuum ports on the throttle body.
      If all that checks, your canister is shot and leaking.

      ____________________

      Your mileage on this topic may vary due to spec differences between U.S. and European market cars.
      ____________________

      Ron
      Quote Originally Posted by kamzcab86
      I hate reading: "But I bought this car for $500 and don't want to put another dime into it."
      ____(hey, it's VW AND it's electrical, what's not to fail?) neoBentley+



    7. Member golfcabriolet90's Avatar
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      07-05-2006 02:31 PM #6
      Thank you very much Ron.
      I'll run your tests through.
      Your saying the carbon canister itself should always be completely sealed tight, right?
      And the wiff of gas I smell is never supposed to be there.

    8. Member kamzcab86's Avatar
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      07-05-2006 03:30 PM #7
      Quote, originally posted by golfcabriolet90 »
      Ok thanks, I'll try to visually inspect it, I hope I can get to it without removing the fender.

      If the canister is the issue, remove the wheel well liner, not the fender, unless you really, really want to remove the fender.
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    9. Member tolusina's Avatar
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      07-06-2006 12:21 AM #8
      Quote, originally posted by golfcabriolet90 »
      .......
      Your saying the carbon canister itself should always be completely sealed tight, right?
      And the wiff of gas I smell is never supposed to be there.

      Canister info I have is a bit sketchy, here's the best I can figure without having one in hand to test.
      Excess fuel tank vapors flow to the canister and are stored there until the car starts. There is an atmospheric inlet, I think on the bottom on these cars (others vary), there may be an inlet filter there, there may be a check valve.
      IF the canister vent valve system is operating properly, intake manifold vacuum draws the fumes from the charcoal into the intake, atmospheric air displaces the vapors in the canister and all is well. Why this whole system does not create vacuum leak symptoms is beyond me, perhaps there is an in-line restrictor to limit flow.
      Anyway, if the vent valve system malfunctions, the canister doesn't get purged, it saturates instead.
      Yours is either saturated or busted.
      Test the vent system as described above, if the vent system is all good, replace the canister. If the vent system needs repair, do that and re-test. It may be as simple as a failed or mis-connected vacuum hose.
      Quote Originally Posted by kamzcab86
      I hate reading: "But I bought this car for $500 and don't want to put another dime into it."
      ____(hey, it's VW AND it's electrical, what's not to fail?) neoBentley+



    10. Member golfcabriolet90's Avatar
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      07-06-2006 07:05 AM #9
      Once again you've been of great help Ron.
      If I should ever come to California, the first is on me!

    11. Member tolusina's Avatar
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      07-06-2006 11:35 AM #10
      Quote, originally posted by golfcabriolet90 »
      ........ the first is on me!

      [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      Quote Originally Posted by kamzcab86
      I hate reading: "But I bought this car for $500 and don't want to put another dime into it."
      ____(hey, it's VW AND it's electrical, what's not to fail?) neoBentley+



    12. Member golfcabriolet90's Avatar
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      08-15-2006 05:35 PM #11
      Quote, originally posted by tolusina »
      Yours is either saturated or busted.
      Test the vent system as described above

      Alright.
      I did Ron's tests and sure enough the vent system functions correctly.
      I can hear the valve open when vacuum is applied, and petrol fumes will then rise from the white tube as you explained. So that part is fine. [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      But when I connected my vacuum apparatus, I noticed that the vacuum connectors were a little 'weak' on the intake manifold, both of them.

      My questions are then these:
      Do you think this could have caused the canister to fill up and emit gas fumes at the site indicated above?
      If the canister no longer smells of gas after this fix, is it then safe to say that it works correctly?
      I mean could it have been damaged by the prolonged gas saturation?
      Thanks again

    13. Member Moljinar's Avatar
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      08-15-2006 07:08 PM #12
      Not to say you're all barking up the wrong tree but just last week I smelled gas by my front fender. The pinhole leak in the bottom of the fuel filter was the more likely suspect!

    14. Member golfcabriolet90's Avatar
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      08-16-2006 05:48 AM #13
      Could have been, but my fuel filter is located at the rear of the car.
      No the gas smell definitely comes out of that little funnel like thing at the bottom of the canister.

    15. Member tolusina's Avatar
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      08-16-2006 02:25 PM #14
      Quote, originally posted by golfcabriolet90 »
      ....... I noticed that the vacuum connectors were a little 'weak' on the intake manifold, both of them.....

      If there was insufficient vacuum to operate the vent valve, yes, the canister should saturate.
      If, after fixing those vacuum leaks, the canister doesn't fully purge within a few days, replace it.
      Quote Originally Posted by kamzcab86
      I hate reading: "But I bought this car for $500 and don't want to put another dime into it."
      ____(hey, it's VW AND it's electrical, what's not to fail?) neoBentley+



    16. Member golfcabriolet90's Avatar
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      08-16-2006 02:58 PM #15
      Thanks Ron.
      I can hardly smell any gas at all now, so I guess it's working.
      Wasn't a leak, they were more kind of pinched off.

    17. Junior Member
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      01-07-2009 07:19 PM #16
      My carbon canister is sucking in snow and making my car run crappy..Even if there is no snow it has slight bog between gears,Does this mean it needs to be changed?

    18. Member tolusina's Avatar
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      01-08-2009 11:08 PM #17
      Quote, originally posted by 94golfjari »
      My carbon canister is sucking in snow.........


      Now you know why the factory used inner fender liners.


      Quote Originally Posted by kamzcab86
      I hate reading: "But I bought this car for $500 and don't want to put another dime into it."
      ____(hey, it's VW AND it's electrical, what's not to fail?) neoBentley+



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