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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!
I would like a little help with a problem I'm having with my 159 tbi..

Last night while I was returning from a friend's house, I smelt petrol with the front windows down.. even my wife smelt it! I was cruising at low speed. Today when idling the car parked outside my home, after a few seconds, again the same... I think that the smell is coming from under the bonnet.. I inspected the rear wheels and no smell.. No engine light on and the idle is very smooth.. no other problems what so ever except the smell. I will also hook up the obd to read if there are any faults. No fuel leaks as far as I can see either... no smoke..

Tha car has done 99.000 Km with original turbo.. Do you have any idea what it could be the problem???

Thanks in advance!
 

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Sounds like you might have a petrol leak, start by opening the bonnet and taking off the plastic engine cover, check all the visible pipes you can see for leaks. Use your nose, you should be able to tell where its coming from.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was wrong... the smell is not coming from under the bonnet... I inspected all the pipes in the engine bay and it's not from there.. I located the smell from behind the rear right wheel... I took of the wheel and the surrounding carpet and used my nose (!).. I have a strong smell from behind the suspension spring and my guess is that it's coming from the pipe that goes from the refuel cap to the fuel tank... might be a loose clamp or a broken connection somewhere along the way to the fuel tank??? And all I smell is petrol vapor fumes?? I have a 3/4 full tank so I didn't had the chance to refuel and see if there is a leak.. and it was hard for me to follow the pipeline as it was hiding under plastic cover and didn't have ramp to work properly..
Any thoughts??? Is there a possibility of loose connection to that pipeline??
 

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Filler neck might be damaged or loose. I wouldn't risk it, get it into a garage and get them to sort it out as soon as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My thoughts too..!! Is it possible the fuel pump seal gasket has gone bad and vapor fumes come out from underneath instead inside the cabin??
 

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Possibly, but not likely on such a new car as an Alfa 159 TBI.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I will try to remove the rear seat (I've read in the forum that is quick tricky..) and take a look at the pump before I take it to a garage.. Will keep you posted..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Got back from an Alfa specialist garage today and they told me that is 100% the fuel pump. They said that it's often for the telfon hose on top of the fuel pump, where the fuel pipeline goes, to form cracks due to high temperatures especially in the summer time which creates enormous pressure to that point. To be honest they didn't check the actual pump, just looked where the smell was coming from and they said in their experience that all the issues with similar problems came down to that little hose.. It does kind make sense because before I start the car this morning I couldn't smell anything and by the time the engine was running, it started to smell.. so I guess it did because the pressure in the hose rised and open the crack.. They also said that it's unlikely the fuel pump seal gasket..

What are your thoughs?? Are they probably right?? A fuel pump here in Greece costs around € 350,00 - € 370,00.. it's not that cheap to play arround..
 

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I would say it is time to get the tools out and have a look, then you will see if it is the fuel pump housing itself that has cracked or if it is just one of the pipes, or a union.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm afraid you are right.. I will try this afternoon to remove the rear seat and have a look, because imagine my surprise to find out that it is only a pipe or a union that has gone bad and had to pay for an unnecessary fuel pump!! Will keep you posted..
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good morning! Last night after 2.5 hours of brutal force I managed to remove the rear seat (broke the clips though..!). I opened the fuel pump cover only to discover what the Alfa specialist told me yesterday..:disappointed: It indeed has a crack on top of the housing as shown in the attached photo where the red circle is.. and it did leak petrol as soon as I started the engine.. The reason that I couldn't smell any fumes inside the cabin is that the cover has a rubber seal just for that purpose.. The pump is Siemens "Made in Germany"..!!! Did the Germans started lowering their quality...??? Anyway, I guess it is time for a new one.. The old one last for 99.000 kms..

Thanks for your time and effort to assist me!! Cheers!
 

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Good morning! Last night after 2.5 hours of brutal force I managed to remove the rear seat (broke the clips though..!). I opened the fuel pump cover only to discover what the Alfa specialist told me yesterday..:disappointed: It indeed has a crack on top of the housing as shown in the attached photo where the red circle is.. and it did leak petrol as soon as I started the engine.. The reason that I couldn't smell any fumes inside the cabin is that the cover has a rubber seal just for that purpose.. The pump is Siemens "Made in Germany"..!!! Did the Germans started lowering their quality...??? Anyway, I guess it is time for a new one.. The old one last for 99.000 kms..

Thanks for your time and effort to assist me!! Cheers!
Hello friends.
I'm having exactly the same problem with my Spider 939 3.2 V6 with just 45,000 km, made in 8 years.
The problem occurred in August during a trip to France. At first I thought it was the kind of French gasoline, but after several full of gas in the tank here in Italy, I smell the gas coming from behind the right rear wheel.
Thanks to your description, I know what I'm going to.
I keep you up to date as soon as I bring the car to the workshop.
Again, thank you for this precious thread.
 

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Hello.
Unfortunately, the pump has broken.
The smell of gas came from there.
In the attached photo, you can see where it is cracked.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Good morning!
Sorry to hear that... it brakes at this exact position due to bad quality of fuel.. at list mine did... my old pump had a purple-red color which indicates that at some point I put inside the tank bad quality of fuel.. here in Greece it is often to mix gasoline with water and other chemicals that brake down the water to H2 and O...!!!
 

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Hello,
Thank you for this golden information regarding fuel fumes during driving.
I will check the pump in my Delta III Di 844 2009 (TBi engined)
Many motor problems on the Delta Di seem common to the Alfa TBi's.

Nope! Not the bad quality of Fuel! Easy conclusion!
Ethanol or not. The plastic is not presure resistant nor to the high volume of vibrations that cummulate/peak in the construction.
Clearly an issue of faulty/sloppy design and should have been an issue for recal, because it is very dangerous failure!
To my knowledge only Toyota takes guts to recall cars and fix problems. FIAT? Rarely... Front springs that snap...

Alread solved a few things, still some issues to fix. :)
Thanks RCP

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PS:
I am new to this forum, although I have read it for the last one and a half year for tips.
I worked on my cars for the last 40 od years with most pleasure.
Currently driving a Lancia Delta 844 Di/TBi 1742 cc 200 HP FCA engine. The car has it's share of problems trying to fix as much as possible DIY,
but relevant info is very scarce.
Bought the car with 80K on the clock, now some 102.000 km
Before the Delta I drove quite some Lancia's and two Fiat's. Still own a Lancia Beta Coupe 2.0ie and a Lancia Fulvia Sport 1.6
 

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Update on my Lancia Fuel smell.

Problem solved. Not a leaky pump exit, but a falsly mounted pump with broken ring-mount.
Had to remove rear seat to gain acces, and remove frame to get even better acces :)
Found a relatively new pump in good order. But ill fitted.

Pump and tankfit are excenticly cast and milled. Have to watch closely to fit the parts in the correct position with some margin.
You will crack the ring again, so look closely.

My Lancia specialist in the Netherlands was able to deliver me a propper used ring from the shelves, helped to a very quick fix solving.
Used some graphite/pfte grease to smoothen tightening.
No smell anymore. Top!

Thank you Alfisti for your postings!
RCP
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hello! Glad to hear that you solved the problem easily and without the huge cost of a new pump!!

Mary Christmas and a happy new year to everyone!!!
 

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Thanks to this post I solved the same problem, which I initially thought was bad combustion causing the petrol smell from the rear of the vehicle. One sniff in the wheel well and it was clear it was a petrol leak.

My pump housing failed as well in the exact same manner. I think the plastic is ageing and loosing it's strength. But ofcourse saving a few cents by having a shitty plastic is worth it for today's automobile engineers, no fucks given to the owner whose car might go up in flames at any moment. Are the savings passed on to the owner? Ofcourse not, while pumps for other cars (same fuel pressure) cost around €100, this costs €250 because they can. And ofcourse I have no other option than to buy the same shittily engineered full pump assembly.

Maybe I can have a metal housing made for it for less than the €250 they ask ?

The Crack:
934589


Soaked pump after starting ignition and the pump running for like 3 secs:
934590
 

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Id be having a go at plastic welding that before I paid out anything at all....! Its a very small crack. Did a similar successful repair on my old Audi Coupe 20v....was still holding when I sold her.
 

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You see I was thinking of repairing the crack with petrol resistant epoxy.

Is plastic welding in your opinion better than filling the crack with epoxy?
 
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