Question about 2000 Ford Focus

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Smelling gas when just filled up tank on Ford Focus 2000

I drive a 2000 Ford Focus SE Wagon.

I've had the fuel pump replaced twice due to recall.

It's been in a rear accident on side w/ gas tank.

Now the check engine light comes on and I've had diagnosed twice w/ both times telling me it's a gas cap; twice replaced the gas cap and it doesn't turn off the light after it's been reset.

Now, in the past year, when I fill the gas tank, I can smell gas fumes inside the car (remember, it's a wagon).

I want to take it to a dealer again but I don't want to be told it's a gas cap again. Anyone have any idea of what it could be or at least something I can tell the dealer to check for?

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  • tczm Oct 28, 2008

    i meant to add, the accident was just something worth mentioning. It was fixed fully after the accident.

  • Anonymous Mar 31, 2014

    next day - check fuel cap light came on - I know the fuel cap is fine - will it go off by itself?

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Now, in the past year, when I fill the gas tank, I can smell gas fumes inside the car (remember, it's a wagon).
I have a lot of customers that run into this problem and get the same answers from the dealers.
Given the age of the car and that it has been in a accident, here is what I would look for first.
1. First, because of the accident I would look to see if all the work was performed properly around the gas tank. Check the filler neck to make sure that all hoses and clamps are tight and in good shape, if cracked or it has any bad spots in it, replace it. The tech. that repaired the car could have missed something by accident; this is always a good place to start with by double-checking the work that was done.
2. I've had the Fuel Pump replaced twice due to recall. Another possibility, when they installed the fuel pump they may not have put the seal in right or it could have slipped. There is usually a rubber ring that goes between the tank and the pump and it might have moved during installation. When you fill the tank to the top it may come out because the seal slipped out of position.
3. I'm not sure on this model but on a lot of the newer cars they have been mounting the charcoal canister in the quarter panel next to the fuel neck but it may be hidden behind a plastic cover. The charcoal canister may have been damaged from the accident or it could just be defective and when you fill the tank up it may be going into the canister and fumes are coming from it or gas may be leaking out of it.
4. I have found that some of my customers have been over filling the tank trying to put as much as they can squeeze into the tank, this is not a good idea. When it gets hot outside, the gas expands and has no where to go except into the canister or lines of the canister, this system is not meant to handle gas, it is only meant to handle fumes. You will smell gas if you try to over fill the tank. When you fill it at the station you should let it click off. Just try rounding it off to the fifty cent mark, (example: $10.03 only go to $10.50 not $11.00) this will help you to keep from over filling the tank and neck of the tank. Over filling the tank can clause damage to the canister and components in this emission system.
These are things that the average person with some mechanical knowledge can check out on their own. After this point, it will usually have to be looked into by a fully qualified tech. with good trouble shooting skills that can follow the flowcharts to find the problem.

Posted on Oct 28, 2008

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I think that the accident is very significant information. The fuel system on all cars has a vaccuum recovery system. The vaccuum that the engine produces is hooked to a cannister in the car and a system of hoses which is designed to **** the fumes out of the gas tank so that you do not smell gas inside the car. I would have that hose system checked for leaks. The accident could have damaged one of them. Good Luck. Please post the outcome of your problem.

Posted on Oct 28, 2008

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