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Old 07-27-2000, 10:59 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Posts: 86
83' 500sl, car is running great but has aquired a gasoline smell while driving with the top down. Don't smell it all of the time. It does seem to be more frequent if driving agressively (more throttle). I have read some of the other posts on gasoline smell. This car does have the plastic expansion tank. Would this cause the smell though, since it is when the top is down and the expansion tank is behind the cabin? I would have the same question regarding the fuel filler cap. Is there anything in the engine compartment that could cause this? Injectors maybe? Since I seem to smell it more when I'm stepping on the gas. But I mention again that the car is running fine. I know it could be anything but I'm looking for common items inherent to this model.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-27-2000, 11:54 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
One inherent thing is that there is no inherent evaporative emissions system likely. In european models they vented to the atmosphere after a vapor condensing chamber. Anything brought into US compliance had to use a diffent system and I have seen many different aproaches.

The whole fuel system including evap system needs to be visually checked; mostly from underneath.

Steve Brotherton
Owner 24 bay BSC
Bosch Master, ASE master L1
26 years MB technician
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Old 07-28-2000, 11:48 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Posts: 86
Understood But, given that I seem to have the odor more when driving would it be reasonable to start in front of the cabin (engine compartment) or is there an air flow issue (like driving an SUV with the rear window open) that would cause the smell from the fuel (tank/evaporator tank area) to be more prevalent when driving. Where would you start?

Thanks is adavance

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Old 07-28-2000, 08:06 PM
Posts: n/a
my 1985 500sel had the same smell as you are talking about. the fuel injector had a crack in it and so did a hose carrying fuel to the engine have you checked the fuel injetors and hoses.

Dan Younes
1985 euro 500sel 220k
1981 300sd 278k sold
1979 240d 298k sold
1983 300sd 272k sold
1989 chrysler 2.2l Turbo
Leabaron 130k
1996 C220(hopefully soon)
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Old 07-28-2000, 11:20 PM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,935

Thanks for the refresher Steve, I was going to say that the expansion tank in front of the forward trunk panel would most likely be the cause. At least on US-spec SLs it usually accounts for a gasoline smell in the cabin.

Aaron Greenberg
MB technician
Precision Motorcars, Cincinnati, Ohio
'67 250SE Cabriolet
'77 450SL
'80 300SD
'85 380SE
'86 420SEL
'89 420SEL
'93 300E 2.8
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