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Ken, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 754
Experience:  GM Certified Technician, 25 Years Automotive Experience
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2002 Chevy Venture: Van..have smell of gas when I turn on the heat

Customer Question

I own a 2002 Chevy Venture Van and have smell of gas when I turn on the heat in my car.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  Ken replied 6 years ago.
This sounds like you have a fuel leak/seep under the hood by the motor. When you turn on the heater it pulls in air from the right frond of the windshield. Pop the hood and see if you smell gas or see any leaks. If you smell gas there is a leak some where on the van and you need to have it looked at as soon as possible. It does not take but a few drops of gas to make a fuel smell under the hood on a hot motor. Ken
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Expert:  Ken replied 6 years ago.
Fuel injectors can seep and fuel regulators. i will try to send you some pics. They can be hard to see on that motor. You may need to use your nose. Ken
Expert:  Ken replied 6 years ago.
Object Number: 531027  Size: SH
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

How expensive are the fuel injectors and the fuel regulators? Ballpark?

Expert:  Ken replied 6 years ago.

I want to say the injectors are about 80 each. You only need to replace the one that is leaking!!! Don't let any one sell you a hole set for seeping!!! 2.5 hours to replace it.

Regulator 45 each, 1 hour labor. Ken

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Besides those two areas any other potential areas that may leak?
Expert:  Ken replied 6 years ago.

Any where on the fuel system can be leaking. If you only smell it going down the road and heater on, then it must be coming from the motor/under the hood.

Now if you only smelled it one time, then you may have been smelling the car in front of you. I get this a lot, no one wants to smell gas in there cabin. Ken

Expert:  Ken replied 6 years ago.
I use a flash light, my eyes and my nose to find leaks/ seeps. Like I said, 2 drops of gas on a hot mot can smell like big leak. Ken
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The smell is there especially when the heater is on.
Expert:  Ken replied 6 years ago.
Fuel System Description

Fuel System Overview

The fuel tank stores the fuel supply. An electric fuel pump, located in the fuel tank with the fuel sender assembly, pumps fuel through an in-line fuel filter to the fuel rail assembly. The pump provides fuel at a pressure more than is needed by the injectors. The fuel pressure regulator, part of the fuel rail assembly, keeps fuel available to the injectors at a regulated pressure. A separate pipe returns unused fuel to the fuel tank.

Fuel Tank

Object Number: 49971  Size: SH

The fuel tank stores the fuel supply. The fuel tank is located in the rear of the vehicle. The fuel tank is held in place by 2 metal straps that attach to the frame. The fuel tank is molded from high density polyethylene.

Fuel Fill Pipe

Object Number: 61745  Size: SH

The fuel fill pipe (2) has a built-in restrictor and deflector in order to prevent refueling with leaded fuel.

Fuel Filler Cap

Object Number: 155471  Size: SH

Notice: If a fuel tank filler cap requires replacement, use only a fuel tank filler cap with the same features. Failure to use the correct fuel tank filler cap can result in a serious malfunction of the fuel and EVAP system.

The fuel fill pipe has a tethered quarter-turn type fuel filler cap. A torque-limiting device prevents the cap from being over tightened. To install the cap, turn the cap clockwise until you hear audible clicks. This indicates that the cap is correctly torqued and fully seated. A fuel filler cap that is not fully seated may cause a malfunction in the emission system.

Fuel Sender Assembly

Object Number: 61866  Size: SH

The fuel sender assembly consists of the following major components:

The fuel tank pressure (FTP) sensor (1)
The fuel tank fuel pump module (2)
The fuel strainer (3)
The fuel level sensor (4)

Fuel Level Sensor

Object Number: 50562  Size: SH

The fuel level sensor consists of a float, a wire float arm, and a ceramic resistor card. The position of the float arm indicates the fuel level. The fuel level sensor contains a variable resistor which changes resistance in correspondence with the amount of fuel in the fuel tank. The powertrain control module (PCM) sends the fuel level information via the class 2 circuit to the instrument panel (IP) cluster. This information is used for the IP fuel gauge and the low fuel warning indicator, if applicable. The PCM also monitors the fuel level input for various diagnostics.

Fuel Pump

Object Number: 49371  Size: SH

The fuel pump is mounted in the fuel sender assembly reservoir. The fuel pump is an electric high pressure pump. Fuel is pumped to the fuel rail at a specified flow and pressure. Excess fuel from the fuel rail assembly returns to the fuel tank through the fuel return pipe. The fuel pump delivers a constant flow of fuel to the engine even during low fuel conditions and aggressive vehicle maneuvers. The PCM controls the electric fuel pump operation through a fuel pump relay. The fuel pump flex pipe acts to dampen the fuel pulses and noise generated by the fuel pump.

Fuel Strainer

Object Number: 50673  Size: SH

The fuel strainer attaches to the lower end of the fuel sender. The fuel strainer is made of woven plastic. The functions of the fuel strainer are to filter contaminants and to wick fuel. The fuel strainer is self-cleaning and normally requires no maintenance. Fuel stoppage at this point indicates that the fuel tank contains an abnormal amount of sediment or water.

Fuel Filter

Object Number: 12628  Size: SH

The fuel filter is located on the fuel feed pipe, between the fuel pump and the fuel injectors. The paper filter element (2) traps particles in the fuel that may damage the fuel injection system. The filter housing (1) is made to withstand maximum fuel system pressure, exposure to fuel additives, and changes in temperature. There is no service interval for fuel filter replacement. Replace a restricted fuel filter.

Fuel Feed and Return Pipes

The fuel feed pipe carries fuel from the fuel tank to the fuel rail assembly. The fuel return pipe carries fuel from the fuel rail assembly back to the fuel tank. The fuel pipes consist of 2 sections:

The rear fuel pipe assemblies are located from the top of the fuel tank to the chassis fuel pipes. The rear fuel pipes are constructed of nylon.
The chassis fuel pipes are located under the vehicle and connect the rear fuel pipes to the fuel rail pipes. The pipes are constructed of steel.

Nylon Fuel Pipes

Nylon pipes are constructed to withstand maximum fuel system pressure, exposure to fuel additives, and changes in temperature. There are 3 sizes of nylon pipes used:

3/8 inch (9.53 mm). ID for the fuel feed
5/16 inch (7.94 mm). ID for the fuel return
1/2 inch (12.7 mm). D for the vent

Heat resistant rubber hose or corrugated plastic conduit protect the sections of the pipes that are exposed to chafing, high temperature, or vibration.

Nylon fuel pipes are somewhat flexible and can be formed around gradual turns under the vehicle. However, if nylon fuel pipes are forced into sharp bends, the pipes kink and restrict the fuel flow. Also, once exposed to fuel, nylon pipes may become stiffer and are more likely to kink if bent too far. Take special care when working on a vehicle with nylon fuel pipes.

Quick-Connect Fittings

Quick-connect fittings provide a simplified means of installing and connecting fuel system components. The fittings consist of a unique female connector and a compatible male pipe end. O-rings, located inside the female connector, provide the fuel seal. Integral locking tabs inside the female connector hold the fittings together.

Fuel Pipe O-Rings

O-rings seal the connections in the fuel system. Fuel system O-ring seals are made of special material. Service the O-ring seals with the correct service part.

Fuel Rail Assembly

Object Number: 531027  Size: SH

The fuel rail assembly attaches to the engine intake manifold. The fuel rail assembly performs the following functions:

Positions the injectors in the intake manifold
Distributes fuel evenly to the injectors
Integrates the fuel pressure regulator with the fuel metering system

Fuel Injectors

Object Number: 537314  Size: SH

The Multec 2 fuel injector assembly is a solenoid operated device, controlled by the PCM, that meters pressurized fuel to a single engine cylinder. The PCM energizes the high-impedance (12.0 ohms) injector solenoid (2) to open a normally closed ball valve (3). This allows fuel to flow into the top of the injector, past the ball valve, and through a director plate at the injector outlet. The director plate has four machined holes that control the fuel flow, generating a spray of finely atomized fuel at the injector tip. Fuel from the injector tip is directed at the intake valve, causing the intake valve to become further atomized and vaporized before entering the combustion chamber. An injector stuck partly open can cause a loss of pressure after engine shutdown. Consequently, long cranking times would be noticed on some engines.

Fuel Pressure Regulator Assembly

Object Number: 69059  Size: SH

The fuel pressure regulator is a vacuum operated diaphragm relief valve with fuel pump pressure on one side and regulator spring pressure and intake manifold vacuum on the other side. The fuel pressure regulator maintains a constant pressure differential across the injectors at all times. The pressure regulator compensates for engine load by increasing fuel pressure as the engine vacuum drops.

Expert:  Ken replied 6 years ago.
Run the motor for 5 mins then pop the hood. turn off motor and smell for gas. Ken

Edited by Ken on 1/26/2011 at 4:18 AM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Where would u start first to look?
Expert:  Ken replied 6 years ago.
Under the hood. fuel rails and injectors. Ken
Ken and 6 other Chevy Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ken replied 6 years ago.
if you can smell it under the hood or around the van and can not see it get some help. Friend or take it to a shop. You need to know what is leaking! Thank You Ken