'95 Camry Chronic Fuel Leakage

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Old 15 Sep 2009, 11:53 pm   #1 (permalink)
Leftie
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Default '95 Camry Chronic Fuel Leakage

Our '95 four cylinder sedan was a great, trouble-free car for many
years, until it developed a modest fuel leak. Little did we know how
much of a problem this would be! First the dealer replaced the gas tank;
the leak stopped, only to return a short time later. With no apologies
or discount, the dealer then said it was a rusty fill pipe, and replaced
that, with the same result: the leak stopped for a while, then returned.

I'm sure that some of you have guessed what comes next. Next time
around we were told that it was "probably" the evap vapor recovery
canister leaking gas. The price for the part was so high - about $400
for the part alone - that I went to to Ebay and got one for $100 from a
reputable seller. The part *looked* authentic, and when installed the
problem again went away, this time for about a year. Last month the leak
started again, and the local shop said it was the canister O-rings, and
replaced those. Yes, you guessed it, the problem came back again last
week. The local shop said it was the canister leaking. The problem
occurs either mainly or only after filling the tank completely,
something we obviously try to avoid doing if possible. The only other
clue I can offer is that the fuel gauge became inaccurate after the tank
was replaced, and now reads a little high. This makes it harder to
*almost* fill the tank.

The car has 190k miles on it, but we hate to junk it, because both
the engine and transmission are still tight and smooth, the body is
still fine, and we had timing belt/water pump/CV joints/brakes done last
Fall. The new brakes are the first ones the car has had that actually
felt strong and smooth! The car still averages 30+ mpg per tank. So,
does anyone have a a solution? I'm cross-posting this to the Volvo
newsgroup because there are several clandestine Camry owners there. ;-)
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Old 16 Sep 2009, 01:10 am   #2 (permalink)
Leftie
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Default Re: '95 Camry Chronic Fuel Leakage

Leftie wrote:
> Our '95 four cylinder sedan was a great, trouble-free car for many
> years, until it developed a modest fuel leak. Little did we know how
> much of a problem this would be! First the dealer replaced the gas tank;
> the leak stopped, only to return a short time later. With no apologies
> or discount, the dealer then said it was a rusty fill pipe, and replaced
> that, with the same result: the leak stopped for a while, then returned.
>
> I'm sure that some of you have guessed what comes next. Next time
> around we were told that it was "probably" the evap vapor recovery
> canister leaking gas. The price for the part was so high - about $400
> for the part alone - that I went to to Ebay and got one for $100 from a
> reputable seller. The part *looked* authentic, and when installed the
> problem again went away, this time for about a year. Last month the leak
> started again, and the local shop said it was the canister O-rings, and
> replaced those. Yes, you guessed it, the problem came back again last
> week. The local shop said it was the canister leaking. The problem
> occurs either mainly or only after filling the tank completely,
> something we obviously try to avoid doing if possible. The only other
> clue I can offer is that the fuel gauge became inaccurate after the tank
> was replaced, and now reads a little high. This makes it harder to
> *almost* fill the tank.
>
> The car has 190k miles on it, but we hate to junk it, because both
> the engine and transmission are still tight and smooth, the body is
> still fine, and we had timing belt/water pump/CV joints/brakes done last
> Fall. The new brakes are the first ones the car has had that actually
> felt strong and smooth! The car still averages 30+ mpg per tank. So,
> does anyone have a a solution? I'm cross-posting this to the Volvo
> newsgroup because there are several clandestine Camry owners there. ;-)



Oh, and we haven't gotten a Check Engine light at all. Just gasoline
fumes.
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Old 16 Sep 2009, 08:12 pm   #3 (permalink)
James Sweet
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Default Re: '95 Camry Chronic Fuel Leakage

Leftie wrote:
> Our '95 four cylinder sedan was a great, trouble-free car for many
> years, until it developed a modest fuel leak. Little did we know how
> much of a problem this would be! First the dealer replaced the gas tank;
> the leak stopped, only to return a short time later. With no apologies
> or discount, the dealer then said it was a rusty fill pipe, and replaced
> that, with the same result: the leak stopped for a while, then returned.
>
> I'm sure that some of you have guessed what comes next. Next time
> around we were told that it was "probably" the evap vapor recovery
> canister leaking gas. The price for the part was so high - about $400
> for the part alone - that I went to to Ebay and got one for $100 from a
> reputable seller. The part *looked* authentic, and when installed the
> problem again went away, this time for about a year. Last month the leak
> started again, and the local shop said it was the canister O-rings, and
> replaced those. Yes, you guessed it, the problem came back again last
> week. The local shop said it was the canister leaking. The problem
> occurs either mainly or only after filling the tank completely,
> something we obviously try to avoid doing if possible. The only other
> clue I can offer is that the fuel gauge became inaccurate after the tank
> was replaced, and now reads a little high. This makes it harder to
> *almost* fill the tank.
>
> The car has 190k miles on it, but we hate to junk it, because both
> the engine and transmission are still tight and smooth, the body is
> still fine, and we had timing belt/water pump/CV joints/brakes done last
> Fall. The new brakes are the first ones the car has had that actually
> felt strong and smooth! The car still averages 30+ mpg per tank. So,
> does anyone have a a solution? I'm cross-posting this to the Volvo
> newsgroup because there are several clandestine Camry owners there. ;-)



Can you tell exactly where it's leaking from? I've never worked on a
Camry, but the Toyotas I've dealt with have been quite good overall.
There's only so many places fuel can leak from, and it's usually not too
hard to see where.
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Old 16 Sep 2009, 09:36 pm   #4 (permalink)
Leftie
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Default Re: '95 Camry Chronic Fuel Leakage

James Sweet wrote:
> Leftie wrote:
>> Our '95 four cylinder sedan was a great, trouble-free car for many
>> years, until it developed a modest fuel leak. Little did we know how
>> much of a problem this would be! First the dealer replaced the gas
>> tank; the leak stopped, only to return a short time later. With no
>> apologies or discount, the dealer then said it was a rusty fill pipe,
>> and replaced that, with the same result: the leak stopped for a while,
>> then returned.
>>
>> I'm sure that some of you have guessed what comes next. Next time
>> around we were told that it was "probably" the evap vapor recovery
>> canister leaking gas. The price for the part was so high - about $400
>> for the part alone - that I went to to Ebay and got one for $100 from
>> a reputable seller. The part *looked* authentic, and when installed
>> the problem again went away, this time for about a year. Last month
>> the leak started again, and the local shop said it was the canister
>> O-rings, and replaced those. Yes, you guessed it, the problem came
>> back again last week. The local shop said it was the canister leaking.
>> The problem occurs either mainly or only after filling the tank
>> completely, something we obviously try to avoid doing if possible. The
>> only other clue I can offer is that the fuel gauge became inaccurate
>> after the tank was replaced, and now reads a little high. This makes
>> it harder to *almost* fill the tank.
>>
>> The car has 190k miles on it, but we hate to junk it, because both
>> the engine and transmission are still tight and smooth, the body is
>> still fine, and we had timing belt/water pump/CV joints/brakes done
>> last Fall. The new brakes are the first ones the car has had that
>> actually felt strong and smooth! The car still averages 30+ mpg per
>> tank. So, does anyone have a a solution? I'm cross-posting this to
>> the Volvo newsgroup because there are several clandestine Camry owners
>> there. ;-)

>
>
> Can you tell exactly where it's leaking from? I've never worked on a
> Camry, but the Toyotas I've dealt with have been quite good overall.
> There's only so many places fuel can leak from, and it's usually not too
> hard to see where.



Initially from the rear. After the fill pipe was replaced the leak
next appeared under the left front of the car, roughly where the evap
canister is buried in the engine compartment. I don't doubt that the gas
is coming from the canister; what I suspect is that there is another
underlying cause that isn't being addressed. The 'replace everything
until it stops' approach of the dealer has been replaced by the 'just
fix what's obviously wrong' approach of our local mechanic. My housemate
thinks they somehow mis-installed the filler pipe and that is causing
the canister to flood with gas. Maybe, I don't know...
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Old 19 Sep 2009, 07:01 am   #5 (permalink)
Andy
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Default Re: '95 Camry Chronic Fuel Leakage

Leftie wrote:

> Initially from the rear. After the fill pipe was replaced the leak
> next appeared under the left front of the car, roughly where the evap
> canister is buried in the engine compartment. I don't doubt that the gas
> is coming from the canister; what I suspect is that there is another
> underlying cause that isn't being addressed. The 'replace everything
> until it stops' approach of the dealer has been replaced by the 'just
> fix what's obviously wrong' approach of our local mechanic. My housemate
> thinks they somehow mis-installed the filler pipe and that is causing
> the canister to flood with gas. Maybe, I don't know...


Now for a dumb question - has it been 'over-filled' with fuel at any
stage? Even once?

Cheers,
Andy.

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Old 19 Sep 2009, 02:24 pm   #6 (permalink)
Leftie
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Default Re: '95 Camry Chronic Fuel Leakage

Andy wrote:
> Leftie wrote:
>
>> Initially from the rear. After the fill pipe was replaced the leak
>> next appeared under the left front of the car, roughly where the evap
>> canister is buried in the engine compartment. I don't doubt that the gas
>> is coming from the canister; what I suspect is that there is another
>> underlying cause that isn't being addressed. The 'replace everything
>> until it stops' approach of the dealer has been replaced by the 'just
>> fix what's obviously wrong' approach of our local mechanic. My housemate
>> thinks they somehow mis-installed the filler pipe and that is causing
>> the canister to flood with gas. Maybe, I don't know...

>
> Now for a dumb question - has it been 'over-filled' with fuel at any
> stage? Even once?
>
> Cheers,
> Andy.
>



That depends on how you define "overfilled." It's gone slightly past
the pump auto shutoff, but not to the overflow point. That was before
the first canister was replaced.
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Old 20 Sep 2009, 10:32 pm   #7 (permalink)
Andy
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Default Re: '95 Camry Chronic Fuel Leakage

Leftie wrote:

> Andy wrote:
>> Leftie wrote:
>>
>>> Initially from the rear. After the fill pipe was replaced the leak
>>> next appeared under the left front of the car, roughly where the evap
>>> canister is buried in the engine compartment. I don't doubt that the gas
>>> is coming from the canister; what I suspect is that there is another
>>> underlying cause that isn't being addressed. The 'replace everything
>>> until it stops' approach of the dealer has been replaced by the 'just
>>> fix what's obviously wrong' approach of our local mechanic. My housemate
>>> thinks they somehow mis-installed the filler pipe and that is causing
>>> the canister to flood with gas. Maybe, I don't know...

>>
>> Now for a dumb question - has it been 'over-filled' with fuel at any
>> stage? Even once?
>>
>> Cheers,
>> Andy.


> That depends on how you define "overfilled."


OK.

> It's gone slightly past the pump auto shutoff,


Well, that would be a reasonable definition :-)

> but not to the overflow point. That was before the first canister was
> replaced.


OIC. Probably irrelevant then.

Are you able to get a visual/easy removal on the hoses at the cannister
end? There shouldn't really be any liquid petrol anywhere near it.

Cheers,
Andy. (Reading/responding from the Volvo group, so please don't trim
followups)

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Old 21 Sep 2009, 06:50 am   #8 (permalink)
Leftie
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Default Re: '95 Camry Chronic Fuel Leakage

Andy wrote:
> Leftie wrote:
>
>> Andy wrote:
>>> Leftie wrote:
>>>
>>>> Initially from the rear. After the fill pipe was replaced the leak
>>>> next appeared under the left front of the car, roughly where the evap
>>>> canister is buried in the engine compartment. I don't doubt that the gas
>>>> is coming from the canister; what I suspect is that there is another
>>>> underlying cause that isn't being addressed. The 'replace everything
>>>> until it stops' approach of the dealer has been replaced by the 'just
>>>> fix what's obviously wrong' approach of our local mechanic. My housemate
>>>> thinks they somehow mis-installed the filler pipe and that is causing
>>>> the canister to flood with gas. Maybe, I don't know...
>>> Now for a dumb question - has it been 'over-filled' with fuel at any
>>> stage? Even once?
>>>
>>> Cheers,
>>> Andy.

>
>> That depends on how you define "overfilled."

>
> OK.
>
>> It's gone slightly past the pump auto shutoff,

>
> Well, that would be a reasonable definition :-)
>
>> but not to the overflow point. That was before the first canister was
>> replaced.

>
> OIC. Probably irrelevant then.
>
> Are you able to get a visual/easy removal on the hoses at the cannister
> end? There shouldn't really be any liquid petrol anywhere near it.
>
> Cheers,
> Andy. (Reading/responding from the Volvo group, so please don't trim
> followups)
>


I think the canister is buried - I can't even see it from above. To
clarify: I think there was one overfill from a malfunctioning gas pump
before the first canister failed - probably from the raw gas. After
that, I would occasionally check the fuel economy by rounding it up to
the nearest nickel after the shutoff. I' m talking about *two or three
cents* worth of gas, here. That shouldn't be enough to damage a canister
under normal circumstances...right?
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Old 21 Sep 2009, 07:25 am   #9 (permalink)
Andy
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Default Re: '95 Camry Chronic Fuel Leakage

Leftie wrote:

> Andy wrote:
>> Are you able to get a visual/easy removal on the hoses at the cannister
>> end? There shouldn't really be any liquid petrol anywhere near it.
>>
>> Cheers,
>> Andy. (Reading/responding from the Volvo group, so please don't trim
>> followups)
>>

>
> I think the canister is buried - I can't even see it from above. To
> clarify: I think there was one overfill from a malfunctioning gas pump
> before the first canister failed - probably from the raw gas.


Sounds about right.

> After that, I would occasionally check the fuel economy by rounding it up to
> the nearest nickel after the shutoff. I' m talking about *two or three
> cents* worth of gas, here. That shouldn't be enough to damage a canister
> under normal circumstances...right?


Correct. That much wouldn't have been enough to fill the vapour line
with raw fuel.

Anyway, apologies for more questions, but I'm pretty sure I missed the
start of the thread - anyway,

Mention was made of the entire filler pipe being replaced - this was
definitely replaced with the correct part for the car, yes?

I'm thinking there's some kind of strange vacuum condition pulling gas
from the tank to the charcoal cannister. Stuffed if I know how that
would happen though. Hoses hooked up arse-about on the cannister is a
possibility (a long shot, but I've learnt to never rule anything out).

If it were me, I'd pull the vent hose that runs from the tank to the
cannister at the tank end, start the car and run it under various
throttle conditions to try and feel for any particularly strong vacuum.

Let us know how you go.

Cheers,
Andy.

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Old 21 Sep 2009, 10:07 am   #10 (permalink)
Andy
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Default Re: '95 Camry Chronic Fuel Leakage

Leftie wrote:

> Andy wrote:
>> Mention was made of the entire filler pipe being replaced - this was
>> definitely replaced with the correct part for the car, yes?


> The new fill pipe was installed by a Toyota dealer. I can't work on
> it myself (poor health) but I'll see if I can get the local mechanics to
> do that check when they install the second new canister.


Sounds like this might be one of those 'drop it off the workshop and
tell them to just fix it' type jobs.

I'm not all that familiar with Camrys - do you get any 'check engine'
light or codes on the dash whilst driving before the leaking starts?

> My housemate thinks the dealer screwed up the fill pipe installation...


I'm inclined to agree.

> Anyway, two questions: if we never fill the tank completely, can it
> still pull gas to the canister?


I found this online which outlines the system pretty well:

http://www.autoshop101.com/forms/h62.pdf

Something (someone) blocking off the bottom of the canister where it
draws fresh air (perhaps in a failed attempt to stop the leak
previously?) could (and I'm taking a massive, massive stab in the dark
here) potentially cause unusual amounts of vacuum on the fuel tank from
the canister.

Realistically, the whole evaporative control system will need to be
looked at to get a proper diagnosis. Components could be acting up
causing strange behaviour. Someone who knows these cars needs to double
check that the hoses are connected to the right ports to/from the
canister to the thermal vac valve, the purge point and the fuel tank.

> It would be nice if the car could get through one more Winter, as it drives
> better than some of the newer ones out there.


A '95 Camry? Hell, it's probably only just run in! :-)

Cheers and good luck,
Andy.

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