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shilaprincess

Help please? Fuel leak + strong fuel smell

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Hello. I just recently purchased a 1994 Esprit S4 Turbo. I absolutely LOVE it, but, I'm very concerned at the moment about a fuel leak and a strong fuel smell that has been occuring.

I've been reading the info available in the Fact Files and Forums, and it's certainly gotten me pointed in the right direction, but, I'm needing a bit more targeted guidance before I can proceed further. I hope someone here can help me? Here's the data I've been able to collect so far:

1) Strong fuel smell that can be detected outside of vehicle, and an even STRONGER fuel smell inside the cabin. The smell is strongest from the seat belt holes. But, absolutely NO fuel smell at all in the engine compartment.

2) I've been in the engine compartment, tracing the fuel lines there, and, they all appear brand new and intact. I am unable to detect any leaks or leak opportunities here.

3) Under the vehicle, immediately under the driver's seat only, there is a very inconsistent fuel drip. This drip does not occur all the time. When the drip DOES occur, it is very slow - maybe once or twice a minute. The drip appears to originate from a bolt/screw under the vehicle. No other drips/leaks can be detected.

That's all the data I've gathered so far.

The vehicle still starts and runs without any difficulty. But, should I be starting this vehicle at all? Or, should I refrain from starting the engine again until the fuel leak/smell problem has been fixed.

And then, I'm not sure what my next step should be here. Any suggestions?

Thank you.

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Hello.  I just recently purchased a 1994 Esprit S4 Turbo.  I absolutely LOVE it, but, I'm very concerned at the moment about a fuel leak and a strong fuel smell that has been occuring.

I've been reading the info available in the Fact Files and Forums, and it's certainly gotten me pointed in the right direction, but, I'm needing a bit more targeted guidance before I can proceed further. I hope someone here can help me?  Here's the data I've been able to collect so far:

1) Strong fuel smell that can be detected outside of vehicle, and an even STRONGER fuel smell inside the cabin.  The smell is strongest from the seat belt holes.  But, absolutely NO fuel smell at all in the engine compartment.

2) I've been in the engine compartment, tracing the fuel lines there, and, they all appear brand new and intact.  I am unable to detect any leaks or leak opportunities here.

3) Under the vehicle, immediately under the driver's seat only, there is a very inconsistent fuel drip.  This drip does not occur all the time.  When the drip DOES occur, it is very slow - maybe once or twice a minute.  The drip appears to originate from a bolt/screw under the vehicle.  No other drips/leaks can be detected.

That's all the data I've gathered so far. 

The vehicle still starts and runs without any difficulty.  But, should I be starting this vehicle at all?  Or, should I refrain from starting the engine again until the fuel leak/smell problem has been fixed.

And then, I'm not sure what my next step should be here.  Any suggestions?

Thank you.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hi there <_<

Congrats on your purchase of s4 :mellow:;):o , we have an s4 also, and had similar problem some years ago, it turned out to be the washer on the fuel drain plug which is located under fuel tank. Take your under tray off and have a look to see where its coming from.

Good luck

Lisa


lady esprit drivers do it fast and furious

fahr03.gif 1st lieutenant to the Fearless red squadron

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Hi Shila - welcome to the Forum and congrats on owning an S4 - quite a car!

Fuel smell problems are pretty common and you will have seen that the solution can be quick and cheap, or difficult and expensive depending on the problem!

Absolutely the first thing to do is to check the condition of the fuel breather hose. There is a full guide here. This is almost certainly not the only problem, since it won't cause fuel to drip from the underside of the car, but it is so common that it may well be a problem as well. It is so easy to check and fix yourself that it is definitely something worth doing.

It is a sad fact that even the S4 tanks are prone to rust. They can get perforated with one or more small pinholes which cause fuel to leak out of the tank and down through the car. If you notice the fuel leak when the tanks are filled to a certain level it maybe that there is a leak a certain distance up the tank. The only solution is to remove the tank and either refurb it or replace it. If you replace it, you can get alloy tanks that will never rust for less than the original tanks. The job is harder on one side than the other and there are guides on Lotus Esprit World.

Hopefully though, it maybe just a loose connection like the one described by Lisa and tightening a nut or two will solve it.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.


Ian

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Hello.  I just recently purchased a 1994 Esprit S4 Turbo.  I absolutely LOVE it, but, I'm very concerned at the moment about a fuel leak and a strong fuel smell that has been occuring.

I've been reading the info available in the Fact Files and Forums, and it's certainly gotten me pointed in the right direction, but, I'm needing a bit more targeted guidance before I can proceed further. I hope someone here can help me?  Here's the data I've been able to collect so far:

1) Strong fuel smell that can be detected outside of vehicle, and an even STRONGER fuel smell inside the cabin.  The smell is strongest from the seat belt holes.  But, absolutely NO fuel smell at all in the engine compartment.

2) I've been in the engine compartment, tracing the fuel lines there, and, they all appear brand new and intact.  I am unable to detect any leaks or leak opportunities here.

3) Under the vehicle, immediately under the driver's seat only, there is a very inconsistent fuel drip.  This drip does not occur all the time.  When the drip DOES occur, it is very slow - maybe once or twice a minute.  The drip appears to originate from a bolt/screw under the vehicle.  No other drips/leaks can be detected.

That's all the data I've gathered so far. 

The vehicle still starts and runs without any difficulty.  But, should I be starting this vehicle at all?  Or, should I refrain from starting the engine again until the fuel leak/smell problem has been fixed.

And then, I'm not sure what my next step should be here.  Any suggestions?

Thank you.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well for a start you probably don't want to smoke while driving! Being serious for a minute - sounds like your driver side fuel tank has rusted through, and driver side tank (if LHD) is a bitch to get out. Recommend you get it fixed quickly - good luck and stay safe.

Edited by fmxa

Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!

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You should check your clear breathing hoses that are connected to your gas tank fueling tubes on both sides. I have a 1991 Esprit Turbo SE and both sides were crystalized and broken alowing gas fumes to get into the cockpit. I replaced them with some fuel line hose and haven't smelled anymore gas fumes. Mine was really bad on a full tank and heavy cornering.

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Guest esprit geoff

If you've got drips underneath as guys have already pointed out - you could well have a fuel tank problem. Good luck in sorting it out - and welcome.

geoff.

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Thanks for the advice everyone. Very much appreciated. It's certainly a fuel tank issue for me. I'll be sending it off for restoration (cheaper than replacing it). I'm glad that there's a forum full of interested people with good information to share!

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While you've got the tanks drained, it might be a good idea to replace the crossflow pipe that runs between the tanks with a length of 1 inch diameter stainless steel pipe. The original will rust where it connects to the rubber hoses.

Alan

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