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Started smelling gas and noticed a black/tarry substance…

Started smelling gas and...

Started smelling gas and noticed a black/tarry substance near the right rear tire. substance hardens after it cools on the garage floor.

Mechanic's Assistant: Has the vehicle turned into a gas hog? And how does it start -- same as usual?

Starts fine - not noticing extreme fuel usage.The leak is greater when I've ran it hard, nothing when an easy drive - just the gas smell.

Mechanic's Assistant: What is the make/model/year of your car?

2003 Maserati Spyder GT 6-speed manual tranny

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your spider GT yourself? What have you tried so far?

I haven't tried anything yet. trying to determine the problem. Jacked it up and removed the wheels to see if it was something at the trans/differential,but limited visual space. something leaking from behind the heat shield

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?

I know there was a recall for this year/model for gas leaks, but info I got was it was in the engine compartment.

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Answered in 9 hours by:
1/20/2018
Eric
Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 35,209
Experience: Automotive Repair Shop Manager, Technician/JA Mentor
Verified

HI,

I am sorry that you have not been helped yet. I just came online and saw your question

Which heatshield exactly is the substance leaking from behind?

Does it have a fuel/charcoal smell to it = this may be from the charcoal vapor canister

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
The shield is in front of the right rear wheel, above the suspension member. I'm not sure if it has a vapor canister.
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
If it is a charcoal filter, would the substance that leaks out be almost like a tar? It does smell like fuel and it is so black it almost stains my finger when I touched it.

HI,

It is attached to the fuel tank on the passenger side and is roughly just in front of the rear right wheel well area

The canister has charcoal filters inside and if it fills with fuel from either having absorbed all it could over the years or from over filling the tank and having raw fuel go down the fuel filler vapor tube directly into the canister, it can leak a tarry substance which is from the fuel melting the charcoal filters.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Do you know if it's a costly repair? Things are so tight under there, not sure how to access it.

The only other cause would be a fuel leak from either a line, connection, or around the fuel pump seal that is getting on rubberized undercoating and melting it and causing it to drip. That would also cause the tarry substance with fuel smell.

In either case you are going to have to drop alot of the suspension, the rear exhaust and heat shields to inspect and then repair.

As to costs, if it is the vapor canister, you are looking at around $550 for the part and around 4 hours labor, about $400 or so. Total around $950

If it is either a fuel line, fuel pump seal or connection, you are looking at from $80 for a seal, $200 for line, and around 5 hours labor to drop the tank, about $500. Total $580 to $780

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Eric
Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 35,209
Experience: Automotive Repair Shop Manager, Technician/JA Mentor
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Okay, thank you.
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