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Petrol smell when stationary in garage

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I have a 1985 S3 NA. After a run there is a petrol smell in the garage. The smell goes after an hour. There is no smell when driving.  The car runs well and does 25 to 28mpg. I have run my hand over the carbs and fuel lines and cannot find any leaks. Any ideas?

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Could be your vent pipes that run between tanks - they're a common problem.  Is it definitely only after a drive?  What about when you're driving - can you smell it in the cabin?

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There is no smell when driving. Perhaps its just the petrol evaporating from the carbs after a fast run? Dellortos are vented and because the engine is canted over they do get warm.

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i had a similar issue ,found the vent pipes in pieces,so replaced them ,sorted :huh: no to simple!found the top of the tanks corroded ,seemed that there was just enough sloshing around to dampen the foam ,and give enough vapor,for the smell ,made new tanks ,bit the smell continued slightly after a run using mk1 nose seemed to be coming /stronger from the r/h ear fwd which is the cold air supply to the engine bay ,i think it was residual fuel in the paper air filter evaporating delortos apparently spit (uncouth) with a KN the smell is much less obvious ,anyway thats my story and im sticking to it !hope this helps a little very annoying smell!    

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Thanks Steve. Next run I will sniff the air filter in the hope its this not the tanks!

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Seriously, you need to look at the vent pipes.  Easiest, cheapest, and most likely to be rotten unless they've already been replaced.  Most times this is the issue; beyond that you need to check the tanks.  Sniffing the air filter after a run is not addressing the issue!

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My '86 rear compartment smells of petrol and everything is new or has been sealed etc. I figure its the vents working.

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mine is the same ,as i said the only thing i could think of was residual in the air box ,i understand the vent pipes as it made quite an improvement when i replaced mine, anyone know why they took the line all the way back around the car to the r/h side instead of directly back to the l/h side ??? sorry didnt mean to send someone on a wild goose chase 

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I've never understood the routing! Although best to have the atmosphere vent away from the exhaust.

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There is a hole in the bodywork on the underside of tanks, just big enough to squeeze your hand in or poke a light up. If you have a sniff in this area you should be able to say with certaintly whether or not a tank is leaking. Alternatively the cross over pipe or one of its hoses could have perished. 

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I agree with Sparky, if your vent lines have not been replaced yet, I'd start with that.

It seems the contact cement they use for the carpet where the vent lines go reacts with the material of the lines. Mine actually crumbled when I removed them.

But then again, mine would smell while I was driving with glass down.

Good luck

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Thanks to everyone for the advice. Last week it was warm enough to check the vent pipes and they seem intact. However the air filter did smell of petrol.  Perhaps the floats in the Dellortos are set too high?  The petrol smell is only there in the garage for an hour or two after a long run.

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With the car running, feel around the 'O' rings where the carbs join the inlet manifold particularly on the underside. They are meant to flex but being rubber they perish and can spit a bit of fuel. You will usually notice a deterioration in running as well but this could certainly be the cause of that smell  which goes after an hour or so.

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After checking everything, I have concluded that the smell of petrol after use is petrol evaporating due to the heat of the engine. There is no smell in the cabin and the car is doing around 28mpg and running well.

 

Thank you for your many suggestions.

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Well that petrol smell in my S3 I described earlier when stationary in the garage got worse and also noticed it after driving a few miles.

Last week I replaced the infamous breather tubes between the tanks and hey presto the problem was solved. The old tubes were very fragile. I used 3/8" petrol rubber tubing rather than the clear ploythene.

The tricky part was accessing the tube connection to the thick rubber pipe coming from the filler neck. The only way was to remove the metal support for the rear window struts held in place by 4 bolts. You will need to support the window by a piece of wood when you do this. You will find the connection held by a clip pop rivetted to this support. The connector is also an anti-surge valve and must be retained. The rest of the procedure is well documented elsewhere on this site for an S4

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Well, it seems that they didn't built two cars alike, I know didn't have to touch the strut support.

I had to disconnect the strut at the base though to remove the side panel.

 

It feels so much better and re-assuring not having those fumes anymore...

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