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post #1 of (permalink) Old 20th March 2012 Thread Starter
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Espace 3 fuel tank & petrol smell / odour

Wife and I just went to pick up the 'new' Grand Espace. was not exactly fortuitous with her Scenic Auto coming up with a flashing 'D' and 'box sign on start-up. First time that's ever happened in 3 years of owning it. Drove 'round the block in 3rd (?) (limp-mode?), and cycled ignition and it went away. Phew... it's either telling us it is time to change, or the old girl is getting stroppy about the prospect of being replaced!

I digress...

So I filled the Espace up, but not to 'full' as I have had the experience of leaks from elderly cars with high fill levels before, so better to inch up to full rather than all at once so there's not such a big leak, if there is one! But the forecourt price was tempting and I must've filled close to top anyhow (1 bar not lit on the gauge, after filling).

Anyhow, a few bends on the way home both I and my wife, driving behind me, both smelt a little petrol, and a goodly odour wafted from under-body on parking up.

Having read up on the other threads, this seems to be possibly a defective seal on the top of the tank, possible from warping of the tank with a full load, or split pipework.

The smell has mostly dissipated an hour later, so I don't think it is anything major. There was no such smell on the test drives I gave it. Par for the course, I guess, when you buy a 10 year old car. Question is, what next?

I am planning to fit LPG to it, that is if the thing proves to be a worth-while car for a conversion and doesn't go 'bang' in the next couple of months!! So I guess if I am committed to that, then I should just ignore it at I'd only keep a 1/4 tank of petrol topped up if I have an LPG tank also, and can just do part-fills until then.

...or am I storing up trouble and should just investigate and fix it?

Seems a simple enough job to drop the tank (once I've burnt the fuel off!! Shouldn't take long!). Any comments/observations/tips/sympathy!?

PS, the other thing I was going to mention was that the tank seems to be in quite a vulnerable place against side impacts - the fuel tank is mounted right up to the side of the vehicle. Not sure I really like the idea of a big tank of petrol right under my seat!

PPS, should 'fuel tanks' be in 'bodywork', or elsewhere?
Currently in donald68's garage:
Grand Espace 3 16v Auto, Scenic Dti Auto & Fluence ZE
donald68 is offline  
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