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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I have a question about the fuel system. In the past year I discovered a constant odor of fuel at the rear of the vehicle on the drivers side, it is faint, but there 100% of the time I check. Detection is possible only in a closed airtight garage and the smell is localized to the area near the drivers side rear wheel. It is near the frame member and the fuel tank (of course) is right there. I suspected this odor has something to do with the emission system and may be a vent issue. 2 years ago a shop told me the vehicle needed a Solenoid vent connector but I never addressed the issue. There is a Black canister mounted on the frame at the rear and a hose (pipe) travels from there to the emission parts located near the center area of the vehicle. If I need a vent connector, I assume I would just buy the vent solenoid period? Is there something I am missing on diagnosis?
 

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If I need a vent connector, I assume I would just buy the vent solenoid period? Is there something I am missing on diagnosis?
I want to ask you a question - are you seriously asking us to recommend the purchase of a part, to fix a problem that you can't describe, on a vehicle that we haven't seen?

Why would the vent solenoid connector be on the vent solenoid and not the connector on the wiring harness that plugs into the solenoid, and since I'm fairly certain that the vent solenoid is under the hood, why would/should that cause an odor of fuel near the rear of the vehicle? If there is a problem with the vent solenoid I would expect there to be a check engine code set, and the check engine light on, but you haven't told us that that is so.

You're constantly smelling a fuel odor near the right rear of the car, which happens to be where the fuel filler is, is the cap possibly loose,the rubber hose to the tank cracked, the fuel filter is under the car in that area, is it possibly leaking fuel?

There are too many possible faults for a remote diagnosis.
 

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Man that's one rusty tracker!

I think the USA model V6 Trackers moved the vent canister from the engine compartment to the driver rear. Near the gas tank. I think that's the black plastic thing behind the rusty frame in the photo. Probably where the smell is coming from if your vent solenoid is bad. I once nuked my canister by overfilling my gas tank, so the mechanic told me (different vehicle). So in terms of location, I think you may be on to something Kathred. I'd defer to others for diagnosis.
 

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You're constantly smelling a fuel odor near the right rear of the car, which happens to be where the fuel filler is,
I believe he said driver side, which is opposite the gas tank filler on USA models at least... Right? I've been confused before, so...
 

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Doesn't matter, if he smokes the system he will see the leak.. No guessing, no discussion/guessing...
 

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When my evap canister went out on my Ford Expedition, there was a gas smell but no leak of liquid fuel. I think he said the canister was soaked with gas.

Where does a backyard mechanic find a smoke tester? I'd probably like to have one... But in the absence of same, this is one example where I'd start hanging parts. The evap system isnt complicated. But Kathred you should probably listen to the experts since as i say, I'm a backyard mechanic and I'm just learning some of these diagnostic techniques.
 

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plenty of u tube sites on how to build a smoke machine easily and cheaply

heres one

 

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Yep - smoke it. I made a smoke tester with a large jar, some rubber hose, a charcoal briquette, and a small piece of rag with some oil on it... following some youtube instructions. Similar scenario to yours. Turned out the steel evap purge line and the tank vent line for the filler were both rotted through. Replaced them and no more gas smell.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks to all for the replies. I did get one email notice of a reply for the smoke test recommendation but was unaware of the other answers till now. I figure this is a no-brainer when I can use my nose to isolate the location. The location, as I stated above, is directly inside the rear drivers wheel and the fuel odor is coming from the side of the fuel tank which happens to be where a black canister is mounted to the top of the main frame there. The fuel filler hose and its parts (door/cap) are on the opposite side of the car (Passenger side) and I doubt the odor is coming all the way across the top of the tank or whatever and exiting where I smell fuel (Which is why I said "Airtight garage" above). Logic: Gasoline is denser then air and vapors will immediately sink to the floor if there is no air current pushing them. The reason I wrote my concern is because (Yes) I have seen a problem with a Ford I once owned where the fuel odor/leak was on the top of the tank because the gasket for the fuel pump mount went bad. From forums I have indulged in over the years, it seemed to me vehicles of one make have similar problems which affect that vehicle because of one thing or another (Bad part; Poor factory installation; Design, etc...). If everyone could describe a part exactly then I guess most of the members here are auto mechanics and would not need this forum? I am bordering on just taking this 18 year old vehicle to a shop and listening to how they need $200 to replace a part which appears difficult to get as well. I have already viewed numerous Youtube videos on this subject but have seen none which describe the black canister I have spotted, mounted to the frame next to the fuel tank and so believe Rallison203 is correct--thank you much sir. I noted nothing under the hood for emissions except maybe a return fuel hose. My nose suggests this canister is the part I need to look at but my brain tells me I will never be able to remove it because of its most difficult location (Which speaks for most everything on this Tracker). Then there are the other mysteries: Electrical? Is the computer shutting/opening valves causing this problem. Before I choose to rip into a difficult removal job, I simply thought maybe someone knew something about this mystery canister, surely I am not alone in having it located where it is. I love the vehicle, but yes, it is heavily rusted and I paid little for it and had the pleasure of driving it for over 6 years now. If I decide to go after the part I mentioned, then I figure maybe someone here has already been there; done it. THAT info would be a big help. And yes, I got the vehicle in late 2013 with an emission code showing, and 2 years ago (Early 2018), as mentioned above, a shop explained I needed a vent connector BUT this fuel odor did not exist prior to later last year. At this point if someone can tell me what the canister on the frame is and does, then I will be a long way down the road. If I have a fuel problem on the top of the tank, then it becomes a shop matter for sure. I can understand a smoke test would "Smoke" that out.
 

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Well it took you longer to type out this story than it would have taken to put together a simple smoke emitter, what can I say !

BTW, even dogs (they have 1000's of scent receptors more than humans) can only approximate a location of an odor/ smell, don;t put any money on yours as perfect...
 

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smoke test it and confirm whats leaking. Its fuel vapour and it is combustible. Do not take chances.
It is called an evap cannister, yes they do crack, yes the hoses split, yes the valves get faults. Smoke test it and see whats wrong. 90% of the time its a simple fix. the longer you leave it, the more likelihood of a stray ignition source igniting it then all your problems will be solved.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks 2013GV for the confirmation. Frankly, I am surprised a canister is mounted so far AFT and hard to reach. Yes, I am sure I need to smoke test this... For now, the canister is 18 years old and I will see if I can get my hands around it and remove it for inspection along with looking at the connectors. If I can manage the job, fine. If not, the Tracker goes to a shop. And yes, I am aware of the situation and this is why I asked here for help. :)
 

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Thanks 2013GV for the confirmation. Frankly, I am surprised a canister is mounted so far AFT and hard to reach. Yes, I am sure I need to smoke test this... For now, the canister is 18 years old and I will see if I can get my hands around it and remove it for inspection along with looking at the connectors. If I can manage the job, fine. If not, the Tracker goes to a shop. And yes, I am aware of the situation and this is why I asked here for help. :)
common place for them on many vehicles. Closer to the tank, being the vapor source.
 

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I've read where new evap canisters for these vehicles are hard to find. I'd be surprised if anything else was unavailable.

Maybe a junkyard item? Or you could try a parts interchange with the earlier canisters (99-01) or with the 4 cylinder models. Its possible they're the same design across all USA Trackers and Vitara/GV/XL7 vehicles. In any case I'm sure there's a workaround.

Check the downloadable manual under the FAQ link for removal / fitment and troubleshooting.
 

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Evap canisters are pretty standard in function, I have replaced them with ones from other makes and models and as long as the plumbing is correct, they function normally.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have not confirmed any leakage and decided to keep this project simple after using photos to confirm my thoughts about the tank area. I am going to fix the vent solenoid connector; Replace the vent solenoid and the adjoining canister. These are located on a tray located in the center of the tracker. I ordered the parts from Rockauto.com. If the system then works and eliminates the fuel vapor problem, then I am done. DSC08590.JPG Image001.jpg Image004.jpg Image005.jpg
 

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why throw the parts cannon at what will more than likely be a $2 fix? diagnose first. Connector can be had from an auto parts supplier for minimal cost, that may solve the entire issue if its been pressurising and causing a leaking at a hose connection.
 
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