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Old 07-27-2012, 03:24 PM   #1
02_FL_L200
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Fuel smell 2002 L200

Hi, I'm new to this forum, but so far i've found some really good info.

My 2002 L200 has had a P0442 code for a couple years that i have ignored, because my dealer at the time said it was likely a purge solenoid on top of the tank, and it wasnt likely to cause any emmision or running issue. At some point, a P0440 code has replaced the P0442 and recently a raw fuel smell occurs at the rear of the car. The smell is noticeable after the car has sit in the garage overnight. In trying to sniff it out, I believe it's coming from the top of the tank. THe filler pipes are not rusted, and the fuel cap has been replaced to rule those out.

I found in a thread that the fuel pump sending unit nipples can crack and leak, and the o-rings can leak on the molded fuel lines that connect to the pump. I am going to pull the tank this weekend. In the diagram below, 11 and 21 are fuel lines. Are these teh molded lines that connect to the sending unit? If so, they can be purchased under part numbers 22720681 and 22720680. Am i correct to think that the o-ring's cannot reliably be replaced?

Any thoughts on other things to check when I drop the tank, or suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks also to Tom for the PM earlier.

Phil
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:36 AM   #2
ronway77
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Default Re: Fuel smell 2002 L200

I have a 2002 L300 that had a fuel odor, I went to replace the fuel filter and noticed that the top of the tank was wet above and behind the filter, I dropped the exhaust and tank, when removing the pump from the tank the pump came apart in several pieces, with springs rolling around in the bottom of the tank, replacing the pump, and associated o-ring have made the smell go away. If you have access to a lift I'de recommend using it, otherwise you have to jack the car up pretty high in the rear to get the exhaust, heat shield, and tank down out of the car.

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Old 07-28-2012, 06:08 PM   #3
02_FL_L200
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Default Re: Fuel smell 2002 L200

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronway77 View Post
I have a 2002 L300 that had a fuel odor, I went to replace the fuel filter and noticed that the top of the tank was wet above and behind the filter, I dropped the exhaust and tank, when removing the pump from the tank the pump came apart in several pieces, with springs rolling around in the bottom of the tank, replacing the pump, and associated o-ring have made the smell go away. If you have access to a lift I'de recommend using it, otherwise you have to jack the car up pretty high in the rear to get the exhaust, heat shield, and tank down out of the car.
Thanks for the reply,

THis wasnt the case for me. There was a little damp dust around the fittings that attach to the in and output fittings. There was no evidence the pump has anything wrong with it, and the nipples are solid not brittle. I may have to replace it at some point, but not now.

The car has 105k miles and runs great. HOpefully this fixes the fuel smell.

Phil

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Old 07-29-2012, 08:06 PM   #4
Frostman
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Wagon
1993 SL1
Default Re: Fuel smell 2002 L200

I have the same code and was told it was the purge solenoid as well. Although I don't have any specifics to the other issues, the guy that told me it was probably the solenoid said it was from over pumping when filling up.

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Old 08-18-2012, 02:00 PM   #5
02_FL_L200
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Default Re: Fuel smell 2002 L200

Thanks for the replies and info. As it turns out, ronway77 was right on. when replacing the molded nylon lines, the fuel pump assembly nipples crumbled. When I pulled the pump, the assembly had broken inside and I too had springs and pieces in the tank. I replaced it with an Airtex unit along with the molded lines and fuel filter. So far, no more smell.

I also replaced the purge solenoid. Turned out that it is on the filler neck behind the rear passenger inner fender and would not require that the tank be pulled. I dont know if replacing it has fixed the code yet, but just finished and reset it today. So far, looks good. So the dealer lied (surprise), the tank does not have to be dropped to replace this solenoid. If the code comes back, I will post it.

Phil

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Old 08-18-2012, 04:27 PM   #6
Frostman
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Default Re: Fuel smell 2002 L200

Thanks for letting me know about the solenoid Phil! That makes me feel a bit better not having to drop the tank :P

And keep us posted about if any codes pop up.

Nick

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Old 08-18-2012, 08:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Fuel smell 2002 L200

The other thing that can cause this is a rotted out filler neck pipe, including the small steel tube to the purge valve. If it is only the small steel tube, it can be bypassed with a rubber hose.

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Old 08-18-2012, 09:31 PM   #8
Frostman
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Default Re: Fuel smell 2002 L200

Yah I have to look at mine too, doesn't look great. I'm going to take a good guess that rubber fuel line can be used as a substitute if it needs to be changed. Don't know why they wouldn't have used that in the first place. Hopefully it slows down a bit, this summer has been the busiest it's ever been for me.

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Old 08-19-2012, 01:58 AM   #9
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Default Re: Fuel smell 2002 L200

I had the fuel smell in my 2001 and had a mechanic drop the tank after several tests to avoid this. (smoke test was one) he showed me a crimped o-ring in the nylon hose that returns to the tank. It looked suspect enough even though I told him I had read here that the pump is usually the culprit. After waiting for a week for the lines to be shipped from two different locations...long story short it WAS the fuel pump and he did replace that for free, and admit that he was stumped that he couldn't find it in the pump even after it was replaced. But it did fix the problem. Lesson learned is it most likely IS the fuel pump fittings and the cracks are impossible to detect with the naked eye. FWIW.

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Old 08-19-2012, 05:40 AM   #10
L100andSW2
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
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Default Re: Fuel smell 2002 L200

Quote:
Originally Posted by born again View Post
The other thing that can cause this is a rotted out filler neck pipe, including the small steel tube to the purge valve. If it is only the small steel tube, it can be bypassed with a rubber hose.
Do you recall what size on the rubber hose? I've been looking and see rubber fuel lines in 1/4", 5/16" or 1/2" sizes. My vent hose has rotted and have been trying to find that metal replacement, but haven't been able to.

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Old 03-19-2014, 10:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: Fuel smell 2002 L200

I replaced the tires on my 2002 Saturn L200 in November and a day or so later I noticed a fuel smell near the rear passenger side. It has 90K miles. I looked on this forum and others and had a neighbor look at it and didn't like what I read and heard. I don't want to put a lot of money into the car because it is old, rusty and too small for our family's need, but I am not ready to replace. I am pretty sure that having it diagnosed and fixed will be expensive. So I have some questions. Do I go ahead and have it repaired and hope nothing else goes wrong with it? Is there anything wrong with driving a couple of days a week for the next 8-12 months as is? Can I sell it as is privately disclosing all the details?

For what it is worth, we already replaced the filler cap. I am not someone who is super knowledgeable about repairing cars, so I would have to take it to a shop.

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