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Old 03-06-2012, 05:12 AM   #1
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Question Strong Gas smell while car is sitting idle?

I have a 2005 RX-8 and for the last week anytime the car is setting idle there is a really strong gas smell. It had a brand new motor installed 8 months ago right before i purchased it and I have used nothing but 93 octane since I got the car. ive done two oil changes since Ive had it so its not fuel mixing with the oil. I was thinking it could be the cat, but is there anything else I could check?

Edit: There is also no cel, Im gonna pull up the seats tomorrow and check the lines to the fuel pump, but you can smell it outside of the car as well as inside. There are no leaks that I have seen. The gas smell is not coming from the tail pipes. and I honestly cant tell if the smell is burnt fuel or raw fuel ( if I had to guess though I would say raw). The car has definitely not had the usual oomph. I want to get this fixed any help at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Last edited by Death Before Dawn; 03-06-2012 at 05:26 AM.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:29 AM   #2
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Check the fuel lines at the pump as well as at the engine in the engine bay. Fuel spills with resulting fireball and destruction of the 8 have happened far too many times after an engine replacement where the dealer reuses the fuel line instead of replacing. The clips are no designed to be used again, and don't grip as hard as when new. Fuel line wiggles/shakes loose, fuel pump hoses down the engine bay with gas and boom. Fortunately no deaths yet, but several very close calls. Get that checked asap, and if any evidence of fuel leaking, get it to a dealer without delay!
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:25 PM   #3
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Check the fuel lines at the pump as well as at the engine in the engine bay. Fuel spills with resulting fireball and destruction of the 8 have happened far too many times after an engine replacement where the dealer reuses the fuel line instead of replacing. The clips are no designed to be used again, and don't grip as hard as when new. Fuel line wiggles/shakes loose, fuel pump hoses down the engine bay with gas and boom. Fortunately no deaths yet, but several very close calls. Get that checked asap, and if any evidence of fuel leaking, get it to a dealer without delay!
I just got done checking all of the fuel lines and I couldn't find a leak anywhere, I couldn't even find evidence of there ever being a leak. I changed the oil last night, cause it was due. When I started the car during inspection of the fuel lines, the smell wasnt there. Could the oil change have done anything, and what would have caused such a strong gas smell that just an oil change could have gotten rid of it. Im still going to replace the cat when I get the cash, I was thinking of doing a straight pipe until i could get the 200 - 300 for a new cat. Anyone done this without a cel popping up due to the multiple o2 sensors?

Thanks for the heads up on the fuel lines, It was replaced at mazda for another dealership, so Im pretty sure they did only the minimum.
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:47 PM   #4
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No, there are no gas sources that have any impact on the quality of the oil. Even if you had heavy gas contamination of your oil, the smell wouldn't be penetrating any more than the smell of oil does.

You do keep saying "gas", and not "exhaust", so I'm guessing there is no connection to an exhaust part. Our exhaust can smell heavily of fumes once you have the cat removed, should be nearly odorless with a functioning cat in place. It's possible you have a failing cat and it's just the heavy fumes you are spelling, but if it really does smell just like "gas", and nothing else heavily mixed in, then there is a reason for it, and not the exhaust. Did you remove the rear seat cushion behind the driver? the panel for the fuel pump is right under there.


If you remove the cat, you may or may not get a CEL. It's completely unpredictable with our cars. Some never get a CEL, some get it constantly, and some get it intermittently.

Many just order an AccessPORT and block the CEL internally.

A new cat costs $1,300-$1,500 at a dealer. A used cat from the boards here could be $200-300. If you found a new cat for that cheap, then you can bet that it wasn't designed for a rotary's heat. Even a performance Davesport cat can disintegrate in less than 1 day under our exhaust temps. See the BHR Midpipe thread for proof.

There is a reason our OEM cats cost a small fortune, and it's not just dealer markup.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:28 PM   #5
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No, there are no gas sources that have any impact on the quality of the oil. Even if you had heavy gas contamination of your oil, the smell wouldn't be penetrating any more than the smell of oil does.

You do keep saying "gas", and not "exhaust", so I'm guessing there is no connection to an exhaust part. Our exhaust can smell heavily of fumes once you have the cat removed, should be nearly odorless with a functioning cat in place. It's possible you have a failing cat and it's just the heavy fumes you are spelling, but if it really does smell just like "gas", and nothing else heavily mixed in, then there is a reason for it, and not the exhaust. Did you remove the rear seat cushion behind the driver? the panel for the fuel pump is right under there.


If you remove the cat, you may or may not get a CEL. It's completely unpredictable with our cars. Some never get a CEL, some get it constantly, and some get it intermittently.

Many just order an AccessPORT and block the CEL internally.

A new cat costs $1,300-$1,500 at a dealer. A used cat from the boards here could be $200-300. If you found a new cat for that cheap, then you can bet that it wasn't designed for a rotary's heat. Even a performance Davesport cat can disintegrate in less than 1 day under our exhaust temps. See the BHR Midpipe thread for proof.

There is a reason our OEM cats cost a small fortune, and it's not just dealer markup.
The smell isnt coming from the exhaust. I lifted up the seat and the panel, everything looks ok there. I think ive got the smell down to that its coming from under the hood, but all connections look fine and no leaks.

I was looking at universal cats, but now knowing this information on the heat issue, I might just go with a straight pipe in its place.

Thanks for all the great info, this is my first rotary and I dont want to screw it up.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Death Before Dawn View Post
The smell isnt coming from the exhaust. I lifted up the seat and the panel, everything looks ok there. I think ive got the smell down to that its coming from under the hood, but all connections look fine and no leaks.

I was looking at universal cats, but now knowing this information on the heat issue, I might just go with a straight pipe in its place.

Thanks for all the great info, this is my first rotary and I dont want to screw it up.

Go Catless, remove the air-pump too, and use the Cobb AP to turn off the "I don't have a Cat or air-pump" CELs"..
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:36 PM   #7
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Check that the connector between the fuel rails isn't leaking. We have had a few car fires from the connectors under the intake manifold when the motors have been replaced
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:58 PM   #8
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it's happened to my 8 as well, but it's happen only when I accelerate.. No leaks at all and my 8 still running with his stock engine, no rotor replacement before. When idle no smell, when accelerate with an opened sunroof the strong raw fuel smell came from the front side of the car. But smells nothing when I close all the windows as well as when I switch on the fresh air tunnel from the AC duct.. (day by day this 8 make me headache..)
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:59 PM   #9
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You are probably spewing fuel under acceleration and one not-so-lucky ignition from a fireball. After what we have seen with that fuel line, i'd be terrified to drive it at all with a known gas smell.

Please get it checked asap!
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:09 AM   #10
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Sorry, i was gone for awhile. Upon further inspection Im thinking the smell is due to the cat. It definitely is burnt fuel (it smells like the car is just running really rich). Im thinking of swapping the cat out with this
http://www.autozone.com/autozone/par...85536_0_17487_
Has anyone the forum used this or are there any better recommendations.

Last edited by Death Before Dawn; 03-09-2012 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:36 AM   #11
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You are probably spewing fuel under acceleration and one not-so-lucky ignition from a fireball. After what we have seen with that fuel line, i'd be terrified to drive it at all with a known gas smell.

Please get it checked asap!
I found a mud mixture of fuel and dust in the tunnel between the air filter box and the throttle, but there's no leak and the throttle works perfect.. I forgot to tell you something that I've install Pivot Throttle Controller before this incident happened, can it be cause by this small electronic device?
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:48 AM   #12
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Are you sure you found fuel there? If you did, there is something seriously wrong. Usually petroleum there is oil, which is either condensed fumes from the venting and/or an overfilling of oil that burped back through the vent into the intake.


Just picture the fuel system for a moment. Tank, lines from tank to fuel rail at the engine, injectors on the fuel rail into the ports in the engine.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:48 AM
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