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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Mon, Sep-11-2017, 01:57:40 PM   #1
ReturnToS54
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Default Fuel smell near passenger rear well with car parked. No drip.

I'll preface that I searched this topic a fair amount, and do not think it is related to the tank, sender unit, pump seals, etc...

I noticed the smell originating from the area around the passenger rear wheel. It is particularly noticeable when the car is parked after taking quick turns. Fortunately, it is not noticeable inside the car, which makes me think it is related to fuel heading back up the filler neck under cornering.

I pulled the fender liner out, which was dry on the back side and didn't have a hint of gas smell on it. However, when I smelled around the filler neck area it seemed to be the source. With that said, I can't pinpoint where it is specifically originating from. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the worst, I'd say the strength of the smell rates at a 4 when you're working in the wheel well close to these lines. Any thoughts? Attached is a picture I took of the area in and around the filler neck. I used the flash to try and make it easier to spot signs of a leak. I've drawn an arrow towards a line that I'm guessing is a drain line that looks like it could've seen some exterior moisture at one point, but I'm not sure if that line is fuel related.

Any thoughts? I didn't notice any odor after the last fill-up, but I intend to drive conservatively over to a gas station and see if I notice anything after putting gas in.
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File Type: jpg M3 fuel neck.jpg (253.4 KB, 34 views)
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Old Mon, Sep-11-2017, 02:10:27 PM   #2
ReturnToS54
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Default Re: Fuel smell near passenger rear well with car parked. No drip.

Here are some additional photos. I've drawn an arrow on one of them towards a slight hairline crack in the neck, but that seems like it could just be a surface crack related to manufacturing. No evidence of fuel around it.
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File Type: jpg M3 fuel neck 5.jpg (780.8 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg M3 fuel neck 2.jpg (267.6 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg M3 fuel neck 3.jpg (265.0 KB, 11 views)
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Old Mon, Sep-11-2017, 02:41:37 PM   #3
pbonsalb
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Default Re: Fuel smell near passenger rear well with car parked. No drip.

Any chance this happens only after filling up and that maybe the vent system is not working and forcing some gas out onto the top of the tank where it puddles?
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Old Mon, Sep-11-2017, 03:03:51 PM   #4
ReturnToS54
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Default Re: Fuel smell near passenger rear well with car parked. No drip.

Haven't filled up in about two weeks, and noticed it yesterday. It is only noticeable after hard driving.
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Old Mon, Sep-11-2017, 07:19:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Fuel smell near passenger rear well with car parked. No drip.

I have a friend with the same exact issue but I haven't had a chance to go look at it in depth yet. He had a shop replace the tank gaskets and that did nothing.
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Old Mon, Sep-11-2017, 07:23:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: Fuel smell near passenger rear well with car parked. No drip.

Interesting. Look forward to hearing what you think after checking out his car. For what it's worth, mine is a '97 coupe.
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Old Mon, Sep-11-2017, 07:34:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Fuel smell near passenger rear well with car parked. No drip.

His is a 97 as well, although he is Dinan Supercharged (that can play a role).
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Old Mon, Sep-11-2017, 07:41:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Fuel smell near passenger rear well with car parked. No drip.

Check the big rubber hose connecting the filler neck to tank. Mine was dry rotted and starting to crack. Also check your gas cap is sealing properly. There are a lot of lines under there that can perish. I pulled all of mine out and redid them.
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Old Mon, Sep-11-2017, 11:23:22 PM   #9
ReturnToS54
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Default Re: Fuel smell near passenger rear well with car parked. No drip.

At your advice, I checked the gas cap and noticed some fuel present. (photo attached) Do you suppose the fuel that is present is due to hard cornering, or leftover from the fill-up two weeks ago? If the latter, I'm guessing the seal on the cap is working well enough that it prevented the gas from evaporating?
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Old Tue, Sep-12-2017, 02:23:29 AM   #10
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Default Re: Fuel smell near passenger rear well with car parked. No drip.

Gasoline is very volatile and evaporates quickly. It would not be present for 2 weeks after a fill up.
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Discussing thinking of selling my E36 M3 in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)