Strong Fuel Smell Inside Pluriel
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Thread: Strong Fuel Smell Inside Pluriel

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Strong Fuel Smell Inside Pluriel

    Just got the Pluriel back after hibernating it at our local dealer for 12 months while I got the gearbox repaired. With a new clutch actuator the repair came to $4600. Dealer labour was $2980.35 to pull the gearbox out and replace it, plus the initial diagnostic charge. The actual gearbox repair was extra.

    Never, ever, ever own a Citroen or Peugeot outside of warranty!

    Anyway the car now has a very strong and permanent petrol smell inside. It sat for 12 months with a window open.

    I thought it might be the tank or a vent hose or similar, but removing the cap allows a nice vacuum "suck" to take place, eliminating the input side as the source of the problem.

    Any suggestions? I am happy to pay to get the problem fixed but finding someone who is willing to do it could be a problem.

    My son (who also fixed the gearbox itself) thinks it must be on the pump (output) side but he's not nearby... Any ideas?

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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! young 4 old pug's Avatar
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    12 months????

    To fix an actuator????

    Really?????

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  3. #3
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    Default Mayber tracked it down approximately?

    The smell has been overpowering as I drove around today, even with all windows down.

    As I would open the door to get in, even with all windows down, a big waft of petrol fumes would flow out of the car.

    Then suddenly, just a kilometre from home, the fumes stopped.

    Once home I sniffed around and could not really detect anything strong, until I sniffed out the upper seat belt exit, which sits just behind the driver's right shoulder (or pasesenger's left shoulder) and adjacent to the door rear edge. Strong petrol smell. That might explain why opening the door brings out fumes.

    This seat belt exit sits at the top of the body panel.

    There must be a leak which occurs when fuel is added. Maybe it pools somewhere on top of the tank, which is integral with the body shell. Or something like that.

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    It may be that the C3 has a regulator on top of the tank, with only one line forward to the motor (like a Berlingo). There is also a vapour return line that fits onto an elbow at the tank top. I am confident the tank is not integrated with the body - it is listed as a service part.

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    An impressive invoice no doubt ... I wouldn't have thought the R&R job was much different to a Berlingo clutch job, which would be unlikely to cost $3K.

    The fuel vapour is meant to vent via a carbon filter and would also have a valve to purge it to the inlet manifold. You should make sure it's all connected after the R&R or take it back to the dealer if it's their responsibility. Also lift the back seat cushion, remove the large black cap and see if the sender unit has a cracked elbow and is leaking. From memory, but you'd need to confirm this, the regulator is inside the sender unit after the return line. The Pluriel is a 1.6, not a 1.4 Berlingo/C3, which I think had the regulator on the rail. Look for fuel pooling on top of the tank. If so, replace the pump.sender unit. They can be horribly expensive to buy.
    Last edited by David S; 8th April 2014 at 03:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by young 4 old pug View Post
    12 months????

    To fix an actuator????

    Really?????

    Via the aussiefrogs App
    The actuator is part of the clutch mechanism. It had to be replaced after the gearbox job was done.

    It took me 9 months to decide to pull the gearbox out. (I also had no money to spend on it at the time.) I had to find someone who would do the job of repairing it - the dealer was happy to pull it out but didn't want to touch it. Why are people so afraid of gearboxes?

    In other words, it was the gearbox failure (locked in gear) which disabled the car. In typical berlingo/pluriel fashion the rivet holding the selector mechanism together failed. It's a big rivet (we used a high tensile bolt as replacement - it's a big sucker) but obviously has some inherent weakness.

    Perhaps the dealer didn't read the service manual when removing the actuator and testing it, because their test method is absolutely forbidden in the manual. What could I do? A replacement was only $750.

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    Maybe toss in a match?

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    You are right, it is a bolt-on item, but why does it only smell for a period (these days more intently and for much longer) after you add fuel?

    I only added $20 to a virtually bone dry tank yesterday.

    The only thing that I am suspicious of (and always have been) is that the upper part of the fuel filler appears to run inside the bodywork before exiting at the bottom and entering the tank via flexible rubber-type tubing. I might have to pull some of the inside panelling out of the boot to see what the filler tube looks like.

    The big question is: How can fuel exit the system while still maintaining vacuum at the filler cap?

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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    ... Also lift the back seat cushion, remove the large black cap and see if the sender unit has a cracked elbow and is leaking.
    You da man!

    How come you always know everything about these bombs? ;-)

    Takes 10 seconds to remove the seat - only to see that the rubber bung is sitting on top of the hole, slightly displaced.

    So that's where the dust used to come in? And the fumes, too!
    Strong Fuel Smell Inside Pluriel-dscf8887.jpgStrong Fuel Smell Inside Pluriel-dscf8888.jpg

    You can see the fuel pooled on top of the pump/sender, even in the thumbnail.

    Now what do I do?
    Last edited by Trevor G; 8th April 2014 at 07:23 PM. Reason: Quote David S correctly and identify him as the source of much wisdom

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    Where do they leak from?

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    The elbow splits just on top of the sender unit. Look for a split in what was once white plastic. You could try to plastic weld it if you are good, but replacement is really the best and safest option. It is possible you will need to alter the gauge calibration in the BSI using the diagnostic tool. Either drop it off at your dealer OR look up Citroen Service, get the part number for your VIN and then price the part. Also the large rubber seal, but fitting them can be a fiddle as cross-threading is easy. You might get lucky with a used pump/sender (BM Spares, Martin Bray ...), but there are also Euro/eBay vendors selling these parts.

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    For a good number of sender/pump units, you can "mix and match" upper and lower bits. The pump-to-top s-shaped flex pipe is usually led on with some sort of single use crimp.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/150622373626

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    2002-08 CITROEN C3 FUEL TANK SENDER UNIT | eBay

    its a fuel pump + fuel sender

    It looks to me like both the fuel lines just slide on - how on earth does that work? surely its not just that union which is leaking?

    1525 CJ part number
    Last edited by s900t8v; 8th April 2014 at 05:51 PM.

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    I'd presume a click fitting like the outfeed. It's what they usually are.

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    Completely
    Incompetent
    Technical
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    Engineering
    Needs

    Why should a fuel sender unit (faulty since just out of warranty, probably earlier) cost $400 via the aftermarket?

    One can only hope that their engineering competence has improved somewhat since the Chinese took over.

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    can the click fittings be renewed without renewing the fuel line? (which could be the problem not the elbow)

    heres the place to buy a replacement

    http://www.citroencarparts.net/?s=%09++1525+CJ
    Last edited by s900t8v; 8th April 2014 at 06:18 PM.

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    If you're handy with a heat gun, it might be possible to replace a fitting - but it's highly likely to be the elbow as David described.

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    I think it would be possible to repair the plastic elbow on the sender if you are competent welding plastic. It splits where there is a steel barb embedded in the plastic. Presumably, the plastic shrinks or it eventually cracks due to different expansion/contraction rates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    I think it would be possible to repair the plastic elbow on the sender if you are competent welding plastic. It splits where there is a steel barb embedded in the plastic. Presumably, the plastic shrinks or it eventually cracks due to different expansion/contraction rates.
    No sign of cracks when viewed in-situ, but fuel weeps out quite fast, really.

    I don't weld plastic but I know a man who bought a business so that he could.

    I guess because they weld with high temp air (I think) there should be no problem doing a job like that in an explosive environment? I'll ask him tomorrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s900t8v View Post
    can the click fittings be renewed without renewing the fuel line? (which could be the problem not the elbow)

    Here's the place to buy a replacement

    1525 CJ ę Search Results ę Citroen car parts
    $401 plus shipping out of Melbourne. Thanks for the links and texts.

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    New pump and seal arrived yesterday - took them to the dealer with the car this morning.

    Just get a phone call - "We need to break the locking ring off, we cannot get it undone. A new one is $40."

    I ask "Do you have the special tool - I believe that it is almost impossible to remove without the special tool?"

    "No, we don't. It wouldn't make any difference - he's been trying for an hour and a half to get it undone."

    "I understand that it is virtually impossible to get off without the special tool>"

    "I'll leave it with you - let me know what you want done."

    Obviously, I would like them to order the special tool but that isn't going to happen.

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    LOL, there is a cheap enough universal version that often works and is available locally.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor G View Post
    New pump and seal arrived yesterday - took them to the dealer with the car this morning.

    Just get a phone call - "We need to break the locking ring off, we cannot get it undone. A new one is $40."

    I ask "Do you have the special tool - I believe that it is almost impossible to remove without the special tool?"

    "No, we don't. It wouldn't make any difference - he's been trying for an hour and a half to get it undone."

    "I understand that it is virtually impossible to get off without the special tool>"

    "I'll leave it with you - let me know what you want done."

    Obviously, I would like them to order the special tool but that isn't going to happen.

    Sounds like there are too many 'special tools' in the workshop already.

    Jo

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    Internet helps (European Auto Imports who supplied the pump are out of stock of the ring) - Paradise Garage (which I thought would be in South Australia but is actually in Sydney) has a very friendly man (Gaspar?) in spare parts.

    "Oh, get the Peugeot one, it'll be cheaper. You've got a Peugeot dealer near you? Here's the part number..."

    Wow. That's service. The local Pugery didn't have one but will by Tuesday morning, for $12. A Citroen one would be $21 from paradise.

    Now to find the Peugeot part number for the plastic bung which covers the fuel pump on a 207.

  25. #25
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    Gaspare is a good bloke, hard working. He fronted the parts counter at Rick Damelian with Dwayne Bullen.

    Jo is right, furthermore the locking ring indexes upon reinstallation - it is not simply FT but there are distinctive match marks to realign. If these monkeys cannot get the original off without breaking, there is no chance they are going to correctly fit the new one. You are either being sold a lie (as in, they have already busted the original through hamfistedness) or they sorely need a kick up the bum for lacking a basic piece of kit you would expect in a workshop with more than one hoist.

    FACOM DM.J FUEL PUMP SENDER UNIT REMOVER TOOL | eBay - I can vouch for the seller, too.

    BTW the body plug over the tank sender, is the same part number for Pluriel as for the 207.
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