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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to resolve a problem with a transient smell of fuel in the cabin. This is only noticable when idling and when the climate control is enabled. The car is a 2002 Sable with the Duratec. I've replaced the upper and lower intake manifold gaskets already, but the smell persistents.

Suspect I have one or more hoses to replace. Can somebody confirm the hoses marked as being part of the vapor recovery system coming from the canister?

The hose marked by the red arrow is very dry and crumbling, an obvious candidate for replacement. But I'd like to confirm it is not holding fuel before I pull it off.

Thanks
 

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Before you loosen an under hood fuel or vapor recovery line, disable the fuel pump by thumping & tripping the in trunk inerta switch, or pulling the fuel pump power relay, or it's fuse, then crank the engine until it ceases trying to start. Then loosen the gas cap to equalize tank pressure.

These actions will take the pressure off fuel & vapor recovery lines when loosened.

DON'T disconnect & work on these lines in a closed in space, especially where you have open electrical or flame ignition points, like electric motors, gas water heater, gas or oil furnace close by, as gasoline fumes being heavier than air, can travel across the floor to those ignition points & cause the pucker factor to go WAY up!!!!!

On my 94, intermittent in cabin gas fumes were found to be caused by an under hood badly dryroted vapor recovery line, running between the intake manafold & an out of sight "T" connection, low down, sorta under the battery tray. So I think your likely on the right track, looking for dyrotted vapor recovery lines.

More thoughts for consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the tips. Yes the 2 pictures represent both ends of the same line. I've replaced the one on the firewall, which was clearly dry rotted. While not as strong, the fuel smell is still detectable.

I'm going to dig deeper this weekend looking for more bad hoses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've replace all the hoses on that fuel vapor recovery line and a few others to boot. Still have an occasional smell of fuel, scratching my head on other possible sources.

I see no evidence of any fuel leakage from the fuel injector O rings when running. But I can only visually inspect 5 of the 6 without tearing the intake out again.
 

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Iirc, some have changed lim gasket to remedy the fuel smell?
Yea there was a TSB I posted about in another thread, but IIRC, it was for 00-01 DOHCs. I think the 02+ models have the updated gasket from the factory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I resolved the problem. Not sure what the right terminology is, but the problem was improper sealing of those plastic pieces in the cowl below the windshield. The fresh air intake is there, and I didn't have a good fit of those pieces after a previous repair session. I added some more foam and made sure it was all properly put together. Problem resolved.
 

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Good find fix & feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Final solution is revealed

It's been over a year that I was chasing an elusive gas/exhaust odor coming from the rear of the engine and getting drawn into the cabin.

Making a long story short, the spark plug in cylinder 3 eventually blew out of the hole. That's right, it wasn't properly seated (probably cross threaded too). Mechanic told me it's not that uncommon with aluminum heads. They have a special tool to ream out the hole and put a steel insert in place so you can thread the plug. The fix was $100 and this time the gas/exhaust odor is completely gone.

Clearly the threads on that plug had been leaking ever since I replaced the plugs.

Live and learn.
 

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I resolved the problem. Not sure what the right terminology is, but the problem was improper sealing of those plastic pieces in the cowl below the windshield. The fresh air intake is there, and I didn't have a good fit of those pieces after a previous repair session. I added some more foam and made sure it was all properly put together. Problem resolved.
Not to be an alarmist, but aren't you saying you just blocked the smell from entering the cabin? So don't you still have a fuel leak?
 
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