Question about 1989 Mercedes-Benz 190

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Smell of Gas When Driving

I just purchased a mint condition 1989 190E and after driving for about 10 minutes we started getting a strong gas fume smell in the car. We arrived at our destination 10 minutes later and let the car sit for an hour on dry pavement so when we came out of the store, could view it there was a fuel leak or gas on the ground. There was not.

When I started the car again, within a minute or two there was a strong smell of gas fumes again and we had to open all the windows until we arrived home.

Any idea of what this could be and what I may have to do to correct it?

John in Halifax

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John,
Given the age of the car, it is likely that there is a leak in the fuel line from the tank to the engine compartment. It may be leaking slowly enough to give you the smell, but not fast enough to actually drip on the ground, evaporating before dripping.. The car needs to lifted up to examine closely all lines under the car. If you can, put it up on ramps and crawl around underneath with a flashlight, NOT an electric drop light. If you can not safely get the car high enough to get a good look around, take it to a garage and get it up in the air. Tell the mechanic that you want to see the problem. Don't let them sell you a bill of goods. Insist on seeing the leak yourself. If you are lucky, you may be able to just have a section of line replaced, but it is likely that most of the line will be corroded to the point where it all needs to go. There is also a good possibility that the leak is under the hood somewhere, and the smell is drifting in through the duct work into the cabin as you drive. Also, driving with the windows may actually pull the smell into the car from under the car...Good luck. Chip

Posted on Nov 19, 2008

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