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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 12-02-2009, 10:58 AM   #1
pjo33us
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Interior gas smell

I smell gas inside the cabin of my car before starting it up. The smell than goes away. There is no smell in thetrunk or engine bay, with the engine off or on.

What would cause fuel vapor in the cabin with the engine off? Fuel filter?
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:19 PM   #2
xi_ter
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Check if your evaporative canister is saturated and leaking gas as a result. Since cabin air intake is at the base of the windshield you would pick up the gas fumes smell. The canister can become saturated by overfilling just once.
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:25 PM   #3
bumere46
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fuel filter
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:37 PM   #4
pjo33us
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smell seems to have gone away now... I will get under the car and check the fuel filter and canister tonight as you guys have mentioned tonight.
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:11 PM   #5
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keep me posted on what you find, im having a similiar problem with my canister.. any easy fix guys?
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:12 PM   #6
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lift up the rear bench and remove the rubber cap dome things and look for some gas there. If there is any at all, your o ring may need replacement. cheap and easy fix, no biggie.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by abrogan0319 View Post
keep me posted on what you find, im having a similiar problem with my canister.. any easy fix guys?
I noticed it again this morning... The smell is only in the cabin and only present before starting the car... as soon as I start it the smell disappears. It does not appear to be as strong as originally stated although it is friggin cold outside here today (7d). I could not figure out exactly where the cansiter is on my car but ther is no smell anywher near the engine.

I will take a look under the seat tonight and I have not ruled out the fuel filter connections either. But, what would cause vapor from the tank/lines when the system is NOT in use? I see no leak/drip under car either.
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:06 PM   #8
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This is a realoem.com diagram of the fuel ventilation

some components can be stressed by a saturated canister which is below the trunk. Also check the purge valve and fuel injection rail. There is less fuel evaporation in cold weather.
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:04 PM   #9
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im having the same issue

would anyone be kind enough to walk me through some of the steps on how to check things out? it would be greatly appreciated
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:09 PM   #10
pjo33us
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Originally Posted by xi_ter View Post
This is a realoem.com diagram of the fuel ventilation

some components can be stressed by a saturated canister which is below the trunk. Also check the purge valve and fuel injection rail. There is less fuel evaporation in cold weather.
If there is less evaporation in cold weather, wouldn't the smell be stronger now? Or can the canister get saturated by some one time event?

Any idea why the smell disappears once I start the car?

Thanks everyone for your input.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:05 PM   #11
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UPDATE: Smell is completely gone. I have done nothing. I have not even checked the fuel filter. I am now under the assumption that the evaporative canister in the rear near the fuel tank was saturated and that excess fuel has worked its way thru.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:13 PM   #12
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:44 PM   #13
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Hello Fanatics,

I know it's an old thread but i don't want to start a new one, I've noticed the smell right after refueling and sometimes without. Also my fuel gauge is not so accurate, are they related, any idea on a DIY on how to take care of this issue, Help will be greatly appreciated.

thanks
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:01 PM   #14
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Parents jag had the same issue. Popped the rear seat bench off to inspect the gas tank seals, sure enough, they were in need of replacement. I'm guessing that could very well be the cause in e46's as well
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