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Old 11-23-2002, 08:45 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 259
Gas smell, where to start looking?

I have noticed a bit of gas smell in the cockpit of my 560sl and after driving and notice a gas smell in the garage. Not overwhelming but noticeable.

Where would be a good place to suspect a leak?


J. Boggs
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Old 11-23-2002, 08:59 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 563
I'm going through the same thing right now with my 560SL. My wife has been smelling gas for two or three weeks now, but I don't seem to smell it (but I don't have a garage). Well, last week I noticed it wasn't starting up right away, 2 or 3 seconds of cranking instead of immediate. This morning, I had to crank it 3 or 4 times before it started. This afternoon, it took forever to start it, then it was fuel-starved going up steep hills.

Tomorrow, I'm going to replace the fuel filter that I got about a month ago, but hadn't put on yet. I'm hoping that will do it, but I'm not holding my breath. A month ago or so, my fuel pump was whining, but I haven't heard that for a couple of weeks now.

I'll be following this thread closely.
Mike Heath
1988 560SL Black/Palomino
1988 300SEL Black Pearl/Burgandy
1984 500SEC Anthracite Grey/Palomino
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Old 11-23-2002, 09:34 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC area
Posts: 24
Gas cap

Check your gas cap. My 1986 300e has a cap that if you insert it and turn it the wrong way, the center stem is dislocated (can't think of a good word to describe it) and the fumes will get into the cabin.

You have to re-center this sort of cross piece.

Just in case, open the hood and sniff around. If the smell is ok, not overpowering, then the fumes could be filtering in from the back.

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Old 11-24-2002, 12:33 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 259
Sorry, the what?

Don't get your drift?


J. Boggs
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Old 11-24-2002, 01:33 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 52
No reason to suspect this particularly over other causes, but on my 1980 450SL the 4" long old fabric style line between the rear mounted fuel pump and the other widget -- I think its an accumulator -- right next to it started seeping and dripping. The fix took five minutes. You just stick your head under the rear of the car and there is the pump and hose right under the trunk. If its leaking, you can see it's all wet.
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Old 11-24-2002, 03:23 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 33
Check your gas tank for leaks. Sometimes the smell gets inside all the way from a tank leak. Check the seams of the tank toward the rear of the car.

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Old 12-07-2002, 05:30 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 4
Gas Smell

I just had to have my EHA valve replaced after noticing a strong gas smell in the cockpit after shutting down. THe EHA is not cheap, $210.00 at my non-MB shop, but it did stop the smell.

David Saidel
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Old 12-07-2002, 10:46 AM
pmizell's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 838
Check your fuel filter also for leaks. If it is not tightened properly with a copper washer on each side, it will leak.

'01 E430, Sport 72,000 mi
'98 C280, 126,500 mi
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Old 12-08-2002, 03:00 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Trenton, NJ
Posts: 248
J. Boggs,

Also check the condition of the two flexible lines running from the left fender area, over the valve cover, to the fuel distributor. I just had to replace one of these on my 560SEL.


'87 560SEL 267K (177K on motor) Blue/Blue
'98 Buick LeSebre 60K (wife's car)
'56 Imperial Sedan 124K
Past Cars:
'67 Dodge Monaco 130K (Sold)
'87 Chrysler 5th Ave 245K and going strong (sold)
'73 Plymouth Satillite 175K (sold)
'96 Chrysler LHS 80K (totaled)
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Old 12-08-2002, 08:16 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Niceville, FL
Posts: 471
I'm also experiencing the same problem on occasion. However, the smell appears to be coming from the trunk instead of the engine. Stopped by my mechanic's garage the other day and mentioned the problem to him. He said there is a plastic piece that mounts between the trunk wall and the seat back that could be cracked. Said you just have to unscrew the trunk wall from the frame to get to it and see if that's the problem.

He said that if this is indeed the problem that it's not an expensive fix. If true, this will be the first inexpensive fix I've had in a long time. ha!

Will probably drop the car off to him in the next week or so and let him find the problem.
'85 500SL (Euro) - 186,000 w/a complete restoration and engine rebuild at 154,000
'95 C280 - 174,000
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Old 12-08-2002, 08:17 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 75
Started smelling a faint gas smell in garage at first then got stronger moving to the cabin. This was over a two week period or so.

Brought it in to MB and it was a bad EHA valve that had started to drip drops of gasoline when made there way into the cabin. They are expensive but the shop had several fuel assemblys laying around. They had to try a few before they found a good one. They didn't charge me for that, only the other work they had done.

Guess it was a good business move on his part (owner of Shop) as he did tell me they were in the neighborhood of 200.00 to replace.

It did stop the gasoline smell and has been fine every since.
My bet is on the EHA valve as others have stated.

1989 420SEL 105575 miles
Pearl Black/Grey

1990 Chevrolet E-Cab C-1500
293,000 miles

1989 Olds Toranado Trofeo'
132,000 miles
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