2002 Saturn LW300 Q&A

2002 Saturn LW300 Question: Fuel Smell inside and outside with no apparent leaks

My wife is complaining of a fuel smell surrounding the car. I have smelled it too even after it has sat all night in the drive way when I go out to crank it in the morning for her. She says she also smells it through the A/C when she turns the car and A/C on. I have looked and do not see a leak on the ground. I told her that perhaps the fuel pump is going bad? Last night we lifted the hood and it seemed to smell stronger on the passenger side of the engine. What could be causing this? Is this of major concern? Thanks for your help. -
Answer 1
Any possible fuel leak is a major concern! The components of the fuel system are made of metal and rubber and they expand and contract when the temperature changes and sometimes leaks will only occur at certain temperatures, so they can be hard to locate. Fuel evaporates fairly quickly, so it can also be hard to see a small leak. If you can locate the fuel hoses, pipes and injectors, try looking at these very carefully and look for signs of leaks. If you have any doubts, take it to a shop and have it inspected. -
Answer 2
I too have a 2002 Saturn L300. About a month ago, the same problem as you described has been happening with my car. I am planning to have it looked at in the next week or so. I don't see any leaks, but I smell a strong gas odor, especially after the car has been shut off. If you've had your car looked at, I'd be interested to know the diagnosis. Thanks, AMG, Virginia Beach -
Comment 1
I too have a 2002 Saturn L300. About a 3 month ago, the same problem as you described has been happening with my car. I smell a strong gas odor, especially when and running and after the car has been shut off. I've had your car looked at and they told me it was the fuel filter . But the smell is still there. I'd to know the diagnosis. if anyone has found out. Thanks L.A. Fla -
Comment 2
It has been many years since I had my Saturn, but I remember the diagnosis I was given when the gas smell was repaired. There was a microscopic crack in the fuel tank. Yes, it was very dangerous and I had to have repaired ASAP. I needed a new fuel tank and with labor, it ran me about $1100 if I remember correctly. Soon after I paid for this repair, another part -electronic - went again. I had it at that point and threw in the towel. That was back in 2010. I bought a Toyota Rav 4, still have it with 0 repair issues, and couldn't be happier. -
Answer 3
I have a LW300 had same problem. It was the fuel valve that got loose. all machanic has to do is tighten it. While car is running you will see it slightly dripping from valve. -
Answer 4
I have a L300 2002, i've had that same issue twice with my car...both times it has been the O2 sensor. one on passanger and one on driver side. Replace them and you will see the smell go away quickly if it is not anything more serious. -
Answer 5
I had a similar problem which turned out to be the gas tank. It was perplexing at first because my wife would never fill the tank. She would always partially fill-up. This made it difficult to find the problem. One day we were out driving around and stopped at a gas station to fill up completely. Gas started just pouring out from under the car (a dangerous situation). We had the car towed to a repair shop and were told that there was a hole in the gas tank. It was high up on the tank which we would have never noticed unless the tank was full. It turned out to be a $1200 expense for a new gas tank. -
Answer 6
Incredible! I have a 2002 LW300 with EXACTLY the same issue. I am 450 miles away from home on a mini-vacation with my wife. After speaking with a local mechanic, he believes its one of three things: 1) a fuel line (quick connect) issue atop the tank; 2) the "O" ring and or/fuel pump (atop the tank); or 3) a cracked tank. His best guess is that its about a $1000.00 repair (minimum). I will pass this link onto the NHTSA as it seems more than coincidental that so many of us are experiencing the exact same issue - perhaps a recall is in order before someone gets killed! -