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Fuel smell coming from new car

CarGuy693CarGuy693 Posts: 2
edited August 2019 in Kia
I bought a new 2019 Kia Forte FE in January. The car has about 2,000 mile on it. Shortly after getting it, and particularly after the weather began to warm up, I noticed the car emitting a raw gasoline odor. The smell appears a little when driving, particularly when stopped at a light, etc. It is especially noticeable in the 1.5 car garage where the car is parked after a drive, again it seems particularly strong when it's hotter out. If the car sits a day or so in the garage, the smell passes. There's not much I haven't done on a car, including a couple full engine rebuilds, but my knowledge is a little dated & I'm not completely up to speed on the current state of the art of pollution controls, computers/electronics, etc. I fully inspected the car looking for leaks, but found nothing damp with fuel anywhere on the car, or the floor under it. The only source of smell I was able to find is in the area of the fuel rail/injectors and where the injectors enter the head. I have replaced a few injectors on older cars, but I can't recall if it's "normal" for injectors to smell of fuel. I'd think it isn't, particularly on a brand new car. I took the car back to the dealer but, surprise, surprise, they claimed they were not able to "reproduce the problem." I wasn't shocked by this, dealers being what they are, but I was more expecting the usual "Oh, they ALL do that" nonsense. The tech did say he believed the car was "safe to drive." I'd love to hear some thoughts on this issue, particularly regarding the fuel odor in the area of the injectors, if that's normal, or if the odor source might be in the pollution control/fuel vapor containment system. If it might be the latter, which component(s) should I check out, and where are they usually located? Not a huge issue to replace the 8 o-rings which seal the injectors to the rail & head, I can do that myself, though at this point I'm an older guy without a ton of extra $$$ & I'd prefer the dealer to DO THEIR JOB and fix this issue.

Thanks!

Comments

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,389
    edited August 2019
    CarGuy693 said:

    I fully inspected the car looking for leaks, but found nothing damp with fuel anywhere on the car, or the floor under it. The only source of smell I was able to find is in the area of the fuel rail/injectors and where the injectors enter the head. I have replaced a few injectors on older cars, but I can't recall if it's "normal" for injectors to smell of fuel.

    While there would be no problem with the seals from the injectors to the cylinder head that would cause a fuel odor, fuel leaking from the fuel rail, an injector, or their o-rings could collect there. Fuel leaks are not normal and won't get better by themselves, not to mention the potential danger of leaking fuel igniting.
    CarGuy693 said:


    I'd think it isn't, particularly on a brand new car. I took the car back to the dealer but, surprise, surprise, they claimed they were not able to "reproduce the problem." I wasn't shocked by this, dealers being what they are, but I was more expecting the usual "Oh, they ALL do that" nonsense.

    Dealer service departments are not without these kinds of problems, but put the blame exactly where it belongs on the management. If the tech checks the car and cannot find/confirm the reported issue he/she doesn't get paid for the time that they spend on the car. If they take a guess, even if it is based on something that happened to a different car and they aren't lucky then the repair get's charged back and the money taken back away from the tech. Time and again people act like this isn't a consumer issue but decades of this kind of treatment has caused a shortage of exerienced and talented people in the bays.
    CarGuy693 said:


    The tech did say he believed the car was "safe to drive." I'd love to hear some thoughts on this issue, particularly regarding the fuel odor in the area of the injectors, if that's normal, or if the odor source might be in the pollution control/fuel vapor containment system.

    It absolutely is an emissions issue. Today's ULEV, SULEV, and especially PZEV (Ultra low, Super Low, and Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles) should have no evaporative emissions at all and if you can smell fuel then it is leaking. Trying to decide if it is safe to drive or not is very subjective. What might fail to actually cause a fire today could evolve into something different at another moment in time. Based on your description this is something that is a little random at this time and needs the right conditions to be observed.
    CarGuy693 said:


    If it might be the latter, which component(s) should I check out, and where are they usually located? Not a huge issue to replace the 8 o-rings which seal the injectors to the rail & head, I can do that myself, though at this point I'm an older guy without a ton of extra $$$ & I'd prefer the dealer to DO THEIR JOB and fix this issue.

    Thanks!

    I had to try ad look up the engine in a 2019 and it appears to be a MPI (multiport injection system) and not a GDI (gasoline direct injection) system. The most likely suspects would be one or more of the injectors, the fuel rail, or the seals between the rail and the injectors. (the ones at the head would only be a vacuum leak)

    What you really need to solve this is a way to prove what is going on and it's not really likely that the ambient temperature is having a big influence on that, but underhood temperatures might. I would try running the pump without the engine running for five to ten minutes and see if something shows up with an inspection camera. I could also force underhood temperatures high and repeat the test. With the engine not running there would be less air moving under the hood and it would be easier to detect the source of the fuel.
  • CarGuy693CarGuy693 Posts: 2
    edited August 2019
    Cardoc - Thanks for the thoughtful reply. You are correct, this is a MPI engine, not the GDI which Hyundai/Kia have had some issues with. It's the 2.0 liter NU engine, MPI. I think at this point I'll replace the injector seals myself, pretty easy. Two questions 1) as I said, I'm an old guy with minimal assets. Can you suggest a good source for cheap replacement seals? Online, perhaps? 2) Also, as part of this process, I'd need to disconnect the fuel pump & run the engine to clear the pressure in the fuel line/rail. There's a Hyundai manual online that suggests pulling the pump relay to do this, BUT states that this can cause an error code in the system which would need to be removed with a GDS unit, which I don't have. http://www.hemanual.org/removal-1341.html or http://www.hemanual.org/removal-1473.html The other options are pulling the pump fuse, or removing the back seat & accessing the top of the tank/pump area & disconnecting the hot lead. I can do any of these but again am concerned about the trouble code issue. Please pass on any suggestions, and again thanks, I appreciate your time. BTW, I didn't know about how the system hoses the techs if they don't find the problem IMMEDIATELY, but I'm not at all surprised by that!
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,389
    The seals are pretty cheap no matter where you get them if they are a standard part. The easiest thing to do is price them at the dealer and get the part number and then shop around if you want to by searching for them by the O.E. number. As far as draining the fuel pressure, MPI isn't all that high of pressure so it's usually nothing that cannot be controlled with a shop towel. What you do have to consider is the volume that will be drained from the rail, that's going to take a couple shop towels. I would reccomend do this on a cold engine if you insist on doing it yourself. Just make sure that you don't have to start it to move it to where you want to do (or cycle the key) this and that would have allowed most of the fuel pressure to have dropped while the car was parked (overnight).

    When you really learn the details about what the career has been like for the last twenty-thirty years the question you would be asking isn't why is it so hard to find experienced technicians, it would be why do you ever find any.
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