Yet Another Fuel Leak: 1995 Camry LE Four

I've been away from the group for a while, but our Camry sedan apparently thinks it's been too long... anyway, the above car has had the fuel tank and filler pipe replaced in the last 7 months, and now it has another fuel leak. This one is right under the engine, apparently on the driver's side.

I figured it was a fuel line, because the #@!@# dealer who ripped us off on the other repairs (not looking at the filler pipe before replacing the gas tank, and then charging labor again to replace the pipe) had noted - without saying so verbally - on the last receipt that the fuel lines were rusty. So we just brought the car to another Toyota dealership, who were unable to find the leak until they returned the car to the lot - I'd noticed that the leak only starts after the fuel system gets pressurized, and lasts until the pressure presimably falls again. They *think* it's the evaporative canister, but don't know. We pulled the car from them after paying $46 for a $1500 estimate to have all the fuel and brake lines, plus the canister for good measure, replaced. The car is now at an independent NAPA-afiliated shop awaiting diagnosis. Now, finally, my questions:

* Can a charcoal canister start to leak substantial quantities of gasoline without the check engine light coming on and a code being stored? I thought maybe the check valve had failed and it was filling with gas, but wouldn't that produce an error code and warning light?

* What else in that location, aside from the fuel line, could be leaking gas under the conditions mentioned?

* What's a reasonable price for replacement of all the fuel lines? How about most or all of the brake lines?

And yes, I wanted to replace the car, which now has 171k miles on it, two years ago, when it just starting to 'feel its age.' My housemate, who mainly drives it, is attached to it.

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On Sep 7, 6:56 pm, "mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"

Dealers are rip offs, go to an independant and get a bid. I paid 150 US for fuel and return lines from tank to filter. at this point inspect carefully BRAKE lines, both are in the same area and usualy fail around the same time frame. My Brake line failed first, in a snow storm going around a corner. 2 years later fuel lines went, I used Rubber fuel lines, it saved me hundreds.

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ransley wrote:

I'm kind of leery of rubber fuel lines, but if steel is really expensive, and we have do brake lines as well, we'll consider it.

The shop that will be looking at it tomorrow said that they recently replaced the brake and fuel lines on a '93 Buick for $400. Anyone know if this layout is similar...? We could definitely live with that price for all the lines.

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Steel lines can obviously withstand higher pressures. Steel lines are often nickel or copper plated for corrosion resistance. However, better brake lines are said to be copper nickel alloy pipes for better corrosion resistance and they are easier to work than steel lines.

You probably shouldn't substitute any rubber fuel line for it. Most of the rubber fuel lines in parts stores don't even have the teflon (?) barrier inner tube for low pressure fuel injection systems and are meant for carbureted engines only.

Well, you should probably find the leak first before starting to replace lines. Unless leak detection marked the lines as the culprit. I'd fix one problem at a time.

On Sep 7, 8:15 pm, "mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Well, that's the plan, obviously - the car is leaking gasoline whenever it runs, and for at least 20 minutes afterwards. Now, how about my questions about the evaporative canister: can it leak and not produce a code? Why haven't I been able to find any posts in any forums that link leaking gas to a bad canister...?

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Even the newer Toyotas aren't very good at pin pointing problem with OBD-II codes. That's why people shouldn't replace catalytic converters when P0420 shows up. In general these codes point to a general area and need to be verified. According to a Toyota tech, an oxygen sensor problem can even set a cooling system code! Sheesh.

Evap canister in pre-97 models are in the engine bay. After 97+ are on the rear "axle". There were problems with the 97+ canisters' interval check valves and the disintegration of charcoal, but haven't read anything on those leaking liquid gasoline.

The canister is supposed to hold vapor. But over-filling with gas (like repeated filling after the pump clicks off to add a couple of ounces) can flood the canister. Or if the canister isn't venting to the engine properly, but it's hard to think that it will drip a lot of gas.

The evap system is fairly passive. But you might want to get the tech to check purge flow and see if it's venting vapor.

On Sep 7, 8:41 pm, "mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Thanks. I'm hoping it's just a pinholed fuel line.

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It's too bad we hear all these horror stories about poor Toyota techs. There are just too many of them around. I personally believe that many of them actually don't have a good understanding of automotive systems to make a good diagnosis.

You should add some fuel system UV dye and use a UV light to see where the leak is. If you have mechanically inclined friends or a reputable local mechanic should be able to help.

It may be a leaky gasket in the fuel pressure regulator or pulsation damper, a loose connection in the fuel filter area, or a pin hole in the fuel line.

http://www.autobarn.net/fluorleakdet1.html

On Sep 7, 4:56 pm, "mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Thanks for the ideas. I don't do much shadetree wrenching anymore (although ironically I just replaced the headlights on our Camry wagon yesterday) but I'll see if I can pass the info on to the mechanics. I agree about the techs; dealers can be the best place to go for comprehensive scheduled services, but when it comes to diagnosis, they are either bad or crooked...

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