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2002 pontiac grand am 3.4 V6. Problem started with smell of gas coming in from vent when defroster was turned on. I was told it wasn't that bad or a light would come on so I did not address it right away. One morning my car wouldn't crank/turn over. I tried for a bit on and off and finally got it to start. had the battery tested and found out it was bad so I replaced it. Hasn't not started since. It does occasionally seem to crank longer than normal and at times it makes a grinding type noise during the start. last night we had our coldest night so far so I warmed up my car with defroster on for a bit. When I went to leave I could smell the gas before I even opened the door. I turned off the defroster and drove to work about 3miles but could still smell gas on outside of car. After work I drove it about a mile maybe to an autozone and popped the hood. The fuel pressure regulator was very wet with gas. I still have no codes.... I turned it off and it dried out I came out of the store turned it on and a worker was searching for a sign of a leak. We let the car run for a bit but the regulator only got a very slight amount of gas on it. I drove it back home anothe 2miles and checked the regulator again but it seemed almost completely dry with an exception to a tiny spot. Is this just the regulator that is bad? I also think I have noticed the transmissions shifting being off a little for the last few days.

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2002 pontiac grand am V6 3.4 180k miles. gas smell started when defroster was turned on was told it wasn't a big deal since it wasn't throwing any codes so didn't address it right away. Being winter is...

The regulator will have either an O-ring seal or a regular gasket seal. Probably where the gas smell came from all along. Certain conditions may cause it to leak more than normal, but the seal should be replaced. It would be a good time to have your fuel pressure tested, just to see if you need a new pressure regulator as well. Not likely, but it's the right time to check-it will have to be removed to replace the gasket or O-ring on it.
A fuel line leak can contribute to hard starting.
As for any noise or about the transmission, just check your fluid after the car has reached normal operating temperature. If the fluid is at the full mark, and is a nice clear red, nothing else you can do- it will sort itself out. If the fluid is a dark brown, like dirty red, you could try a fluid and transmission filter change. Sometimes helps, sometimes not. Good luck.

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Engine temperature switch tells the fans when the engine reaches a temperature in which the fans should operate. Change this and you will more than likely solve the problem.

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