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Zincubus

Petrol Leak !? Help !

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Help I'm panicking again !

Went out to the Rav ( W 2000) a few minutes ago and I got a strong scent of petrol !!

We had been running on the orange light until last night when we filled up to the top ....

Anyways , I looked underneath and could see no drips but there is an oily patch under the back n/ s wheel arch under the fuel cap . There doesn't seem to have been any change in the fuel level on the dial .

Please tell me the worst ...... I'm already thinking of taking into the local garage on Thursday - presuming we need a new petrol tank ..... Any ideas what it's likely to cost parts and labour ??

Thanks !!

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If you search for 'petrol leak' on this forum, you will find reference to a possible leak on the feedpipe into the tank exactly where you say your leak is. The plastic wheel arch cover at that point, which is there to protect the pipes, gathers dirt which then starts the corrosion of the pipe. Its almost certainly not the tank itself and it is most likely not as bad as you fear.

The parts may have to be ordered but it is a known problem and there should be a simple solution.

Bryan

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If you search for 'petrol leak' on this forum, you will find reference to a possible leak on the feedpipe into the tank exactly where you say your leak is. The plastic wheel arch cover at that point, which is there to protect the pipes, gathers dirt which then starts the corrosion of the pipe. Its almost certainly not the tank itself and it is most likely not as bad as you fear.

The parts may have to be ordered but it is a known problem and there should be a simple solution.

Bryan

Thanks .

Is there any emergency here . Any danger to us whilst driving do you think ?

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Without sounding too dramatic, petrol is such a volatile liquid that any leak needs to be attended to asap.

I personally would not like to drive a car very far with a leak however slight.

I would also not park it in a closed garage. Best to be safe.

Bryan

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I'd bet a few bob that its the breather pipe on the petrol - which runs from the filler neck down to the tank. The other bit is the filler tube itself.

Best would be safer to get replaced. You can make up a suitable plastic pipe to replace it using petrol-safe tubing. The filler pipe can be replaced with a reinforced hose suitable for petrol and available from hydraulic hose shops or Demon Tweeks. (same with the breather pipe).

Cos they are in the rear wheel arch, they are exposed to road salt etc - even behind the plastic protection shroud as the shroud is only screwed on and not sealed.

You will get a smell if the tank is topped up as the breather pipe is probably open to the air and what you smell is the fumes.

If anyone was to place a lighted match near to the pipe in the wheel arch behind the filler, then yes its dangerous.

You won't lose much petrol at all - its all fumes. I ran one of my cars like that for a wee while before realising what it was.... then just kept the tank half-full until I could change the pipes.

If the pipes are changed carefully, then there will be no damage to the tank.

You will notice the smell when stopped - as when you're driving you are leaving the smell of fumes behind.

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Thanks guys . I'll tek it to the local garage on Thursday .

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Good news and very BAD news ..

The local guys took a good look around and under the car and found there to be nothing obviously wrong with the petrol tank or connecting tubes / pipes and no sign of any petrol smells - so no idea what happened exactly with the terrible petrol smell and oily patch.

The BAD news .... they discovered that the front passenger side wishbone / suspension thingy needs replacing as it is dangerously corroded ! Anyways Its booked in for Monday , price quoted and agreed £250 :(

I guess it was good that they found the fault as that could have ended badly ?!

PS the driver- side wishbone was replaced for the same reason about 18 months ago ...

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A bit on the expensive side! Assuming you're not fitting a genuine Toyota wishbone - a good aftermarket part would be around £65 - add to this an hours labour and you're at around half the price quoted. If you fit a replacement bottom ball joint - this would be an additional £29 - no additional labour required.

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A bit on the expensive side! Assuming you're not fitting a genuine Toyota wishbone - a good aftermarket part would be around £65 - add to this an hours labour and you're at around half the price quoted. If you fit a replacement bottom ball joint - this would be an additional £29 - no additional labour required.

I'm using the local guys rather than the Toyota dealer but I've opted for a genuine Toyata wishbone as the generic one was just £30 less apparently .... These guys did the last wishbone job about 18 months ago and other routine stuff .

PS

It's probably too late to order a bottom ball joint whatever that is ... does it connect the two wishbones together or something ??

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The ball joint bolts on to the end of the wishbone - it provides a connection to the hub - it's fine to reuse the old one, but often it's worn or the rubber gaiter is perished and will need replacing in the short to medium term. Replacing the joint, if it's past it's best, when replacing the wishbone doesn't incur any additional labour.

It's always worth, if possible, getting a couple of prices for mechanical repairs even though you have a trusted regular garage.

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Well a little more good news .

I spoke with the garage this morning and the price of £250 already includes a new ball joint as well and all the parts have arrived and ready for Monday .

He also said he'd replace the petrol feeder pipe of he needs to ...

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All sorted , phew !

£258 paid .

The garage checked the fuel pipe and said it a little rusty but nothing to worry about ...

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The last time I had a fuel smell was on my old Vauxhall Carlton - took ages to find and it was one of the fuel lines under the bonnet. It only leaked a tiny amount (just due to age and heat cracking) but the small drip of petrol landed on a hot manifold so the smell was really noticeable!

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