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Old 11-29-2012, 06:35 AM   #1
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Strong Fuel Smell

Tried searching around for several days seeing if anyone else ran into this issue.

Mine is a very strong fuel smell when at a stop after the car has warmed up. When I was tinkering around with the car yesterday I was able to clearly tell the strong smell was coming from the gas cap area (surprise surprise), and would make sense why when at a stop, with the fan on, I would get a strong fuel smell in the cabin since the air is drawn in right next to the fuel cap.

So, does anyone know if things go bad around that area? Could it be as simple as a new gas cap with a better seal? Would rather hear some ideas and suggestions before taking off the wheel and wheel liner and poking around aimlessly.

There is no fuel leakage that I have noticed, and the smell certainly isn't coming from the engine area, very strongly on the passenger front area.




SOLVED: The issue was a cracked fuel sending unit. Fresh fuel sending unit put in with a new O-ring seal and it the smell went away 100%. Much more pleasant when sitting at a stoplight now.

Last edited by MConte05; 05-03-2013 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:38 AM   #2
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A new cap is a good place to start, but if it was really failing, I'd expect a CEL. Any CEL's??

Could also be a failed/failing charcoal canister.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:09 AM   #3
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Check all the fittings of the bleeder valve under the fuel cap or even the bleeder valve itself (I've seen those break) the part# for the valve is 996 201 143 01. The bleeder controls the air going in and out of the tank including overflow.....
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:22 AM   #4
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Could be the valve for the canister going bad. I replaced mine and it fixed the smell, however, I was popping a code for that.
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Last edited by Eric G; 11-29-2012 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:17 AM   #5
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No CEL's at all. Friend of mine at Reid Vann (indy shop in STL) says it shouldn't be the charcoal canister, since that would prevent the car from filling up with fuel. Might try a new cap and see what happens. The little rubber strap is broken anyways.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:30 AM   #6
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Maybe your CEL light bulb is out, or pulled by the prior owner.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:39 AM   #7
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I have a scangaugeII that I leave plugged in and do a scan every once in a while, with no codes that pop up. Plus the CEL light illuminates when the key is put in so I am confident there are no CEL's.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:03 PM   #8
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New fuel cap on, fuel smell still there.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:23 AM   #9
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The fuel level sending unit seal at the top of the gas tank under the battery tray, seem to have a tough life & when they go bad allow the odor into the interior. While searching in PET I saw that the seal is available individually. This surprised me since a dealer replaced the whole sending unit to cure the oder when my Box was still under warranty.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:43 PM   #10
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Yep, I was talking with my friend at Reid Vann today and he mentioned checking that seal since he checked the valve behind the gas cap and that was still good. Will be checking that this weekend.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:15 PM   #11
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Well finally got around to pulling the battery to look, and to my surprise, raw fuel all over the fuel sending unit. Basically a pool. There seems to be a missing hose connection (but not sure if it's a vent?). Does anyone have any pictures or diagrams outlining the fuel sending unit?
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:58 PM   #12
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Is this the area you're concerned about?

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Old 03-15-2013, 09:14 PM   #13
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Yep, I had raw fuel pooled up on the cap (#2 in the diagram). It appears to be because of a bad connection maybe... Thought maybe O-Ring seal (Part #3) but the actual tank itself is relatively dry. I disconnected and reconnected the fuel line a few times. We'll see if it "seats" itself correctly and maybe the issue goes away....
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:18 PM   #14
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Fuel smell

I had the same thing happen tonight. I filled up and noticed fuel smell from drivers side wheel well. Don't think I spilled any fuel and no leaks under the car. Any ideas? Haven't smelled this strong before.
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Old 03-30-2013, 08:39 AM   #15
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I replaced the big O-ring seal that goes between the unit and the fuel tank, that didn't help. There are two quick disconnect hoses (one a return, one a pickup) that is on the unit. Inside those hoses there is a small blue O-ring that I think is the culprit on one of the hoses. Trying to find whether I can just replace that tiny O-ring.... but knowing Porsche, I probably have to buy the entire hose. Which it seems like the only way to replace that is to drop the fuel tank.

Does anyone have a full parts list where I could get a particular part number for this little part?
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:58 PM   #16
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Here's the URL that will show part numbers for the diagram I posted earlier: Porsche Boxster Fuel Tank Parts
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:04 PM   #17
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Fuel smell

The smell I'm getting is strongest in the passenger wheel well. Maybe one of the parts in #11 on the diagram? I removed the battery and checked the top of the fuel tank and it looks good. What is the best way to access the hose or tube that goes from the fuel gap to the gas tank? Remove wheel and wheel well?
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:44 AM   #18
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For me, discovered it was a cracked fuel sender unit. Apparently somewhat common on Porsches.
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:34 PM   #19
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Annnnd replaced the fuel sender unit with a new one. Fuel smell 100% gone!
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:45 PM   #20
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Fuel smell

My issue was fuel sending unit as well. Had it replaced and I am good to go
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