Gasoline odor

I don't drive my Scirocco in the winter, so it mostly sits for several months. I go out and start it occasionally, run it until it's at normal
temperature, and shut it down.
I started driving it occasionally a couple of months back and then full time a few weeks ago. It was then that I noticed the gas mileage seems to have taken a big drop. From about 25mpg last year to about 18mpg now. This, sometimes, accompanied by the odor of gasoline. I assumed a leak and searched for it with no success. Then a few days ago my son and I went to dinner and he followed me in his truck. He reported that he got a pretty strong odor of gasoline from my exhaust. I checked the tail pipes and they're black. My recollection is that the should be grey unless one is either burning oil or not fully burning gasoline.
I'm now thinking a bad sensor (which one?) causing a whacked fuel mix, a bad injector, or... what?
Ideas please?
- Bill ________________ Nothing haunts us like the things we didn't say.
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On 06/05/13 01:37 PM, Bill Leary wrote:

Lamda sensor?
Without a fault readout as a start point it's guesswork.
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"Ted Neffer" wrote in message

I guess I'm about to have a "learn something new every day" experience.
"...fault readout..." ?
- Bill
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"Bill Leary" wrote in message

I guess I'm about to have a "learn something new every day" experience.
"...fault readout..." ?
- Bill
Scan test results
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"LG" wrote in message

Scanned with what? Does my '87 16V Scirocco have a diagnostics connector?
- Bill
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On 5/7/2013 12:16 AM, Bill Leary wrote:

See, that's what happens when you don't give good information!
Now, when hot is it hard to start? Seem like it is flooded? If so, you likely have a dripping/leaking injector (check the 'fifth' or cold start injector as it is usually the one that causes the problems.)
And no, your car doesn't really have a diagnostics connector.
--
I'm never going to grow up.

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"PeterD" wrote in message

Easier, actually.

No. But see note below.

Yeah, I was thinking of replacing that one. I have another, identical, car to get parts from.

I didn't think so.
The "But see note below." is this:
When the engine is cold, it takes ten to fifteen seconds to start it. It'll fire on the first turn, the has to crank a bit, then starts. And runs fine.
And if I've driven the car the day before, that's it. It runs fine. Shut if off and start it warm and it starts right up.
But, if it hasn't been driven for a couple of days, when the temperature gauge rise, the car starts to have power loss. In thirty seconds or so, there isn't enough power to make the car move. After this, it's acting exactly as if it's flooding. Idles around 600 RPM and very roughly. This continues for several minutes until the temperature gets to just short of normal. Then the idle jumps up to normal and it's running smoothly. And works fine the rest of the day, and every day until it's parked for a couple of days and we do it all again.
And let me toss in another funny thing. I knew there was a problem ONLY because (1) the gas mileage dropped from 25 to 18MPG and (2) I can vaguely smell gas sometimes. Given what my son had to say about fuel odor in the exhaust, I'm guessing that I can smell gas "sometimes" depending on which way the breeze is blowing. I've been checking the car with a walk around since this came to light and from at least one direction I can always smell gas after its warmed up and I've shut it down.
Oh, and one more funny thing. It doesn't seem to happen at idle. If I start the car and leave it running until it's up to normal running temperature, no gas odor. If I kick it up to 3,000 RPM for a minute or two, THEN I can smell gas again.
I'm thinking it's a screwed up injector or some sensor that's causing the computer to open one or more injectors (number 5?) more often than it should and it dumping gas straight through the engine.
Your (or anyone else's) thoughts would be appreciated.
- Bill
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Bill snipped-for-privacy@msn.com says...

I am not familiar with the details of the car, but some of the symptoms you describe ring a bell: My volvo xc70 had individual coils on each pot. And then two coils failed ... ran like a tractor, no power, petrol practically dripping out of the exhaust (in fact it flooded the cat and the rear lambda sensor to the point where the engine light came on).
Not sure if the Scirocco uses that kind of tech. (certainly the old ones didn't, when I was still living in Germany 30+ years ago, it was just a slightly souped up Golf at that time).
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"Peter Huebner" wrote in message says...

Some later VW's have used "coil packs," basically a coil-per-cylinder, but not back in '87.
I wondered about ignition, but the car runs fine. The only symptoms (other than the, possibly unrelated, problem when it's not driven for a couple of days) are reduced gas mileage (from 25 to 18) and the smell of gasoline in the exhaust.
I suppose I'll have to let the shop work on it, but this has the feel of something that's going to be expensive to diagnose. I guess I hoping someone would say "Oh yeah! That happened to me. Replace the yaba-daba and you'll be fine."
Oh, well. If I wanted something economical I wouldn't be driving a 26 year old car.
- Bill
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On 5/10/2013 5:40 AM, Bill Leary wrote:

But it is fun to drive, right?
Check each spark plug and see if any are gas fouled, or if any particular cylinder is running rich.
--
I'm never going to grow up.

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"PeterD" wrote in message

It is such a joy to drive.
I drove a guy I work with to pick up his car last summer. During the drive he said "You're making pretty good money right now. Why don't you buy your dream car?" and I said "You're sitting in it."
My other car is a 2000 Plymouth Neon. 2.2L 16V. I inherited it from my father. It's quick and handles very well. Maybe even better than the Scirocco. Though the Scirocco need some suspension work so I don't know how it would come out once that's done. I drive the Neon when I won't drive the Scirocco. Usually weather, or I'm packing a lot into it, or that I suspect I'll have a hard time finding a parking space with a low risk of gathering dents.
Every time I get back into the Scirocco after driving the Neon for a few weeks, it's like I've been born again to the joy of driving. I’m always strongly reminded of the term "Fahrvergnügen." Heck, sometimes it doesn't even take "weeks." I had to drive the Neon last night to haul lighting equipment. I'll drive the Scirocco later today to go shopping and I know how it's going to feel. I've driven a lot of cars that handled better, and all of them were faster, but there's something about the whole package of the Scirocco that's just "it" for me.

Ah, yes. I hadn't thought of that. That would tell me which injector is sticking. Assuming it's a cylinder injector rather than the cold start one. And, of course, assuming it's a sticking injector and not a sensor or computer problem. Still, it's quick, cheap, thing to check. Thanks.
- Bill
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Bill snipped-for-privacy@msn.com says...

Gods yes, I know what you are saying with that word THERE. I've been driving Volvos for the last 12-14 years. Now, don't get me wrong, the 760 was like sitting in your living room armchair - a new dimension of comfort. The 850 was a real pocket rocket. The V70XC and the XC 70 seemed a lot more lumbering but the latter actually could corner faster than the 850, despite the soft steerig and the squishy feel of the drive.
Well - last year the XC 70 started giving sooo much trouble (expensive doesn't come close) that I started looking for a new marque. Screw those Ford-munted Volvos.
I had never thought I'd end up with Vee-dubs again.
Come the Passat Alltrack 2.0 tdi test drive, and I was sold. Yeah, it's a station wagon. It's a diesel. Do you know it when you drive it? No. My wife has repeatedly commented on this car being a "real driver's car" and I can only agree: I feel so much more connected to the road, and get better feedback throughthe power steering than the Volvo -- and the thing goes like on rails. You can really pile on the Gs going around the NZ windy country roads ... ***Fahrvergnügen*** indeed. It's surprising what VW have pulled out of a hat, here. It's pure joy to drive; I was getting quite jaded about driving long distances before, but I've suddenly regained my enthusiasm for taking my wheels out on the road!
-P.
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"Peter Huebner" wrote in message says...

I have a friend who drove an Audi TT for years. Got in an accident with it and tweaked the frame/body/whatever and it never felt the same again. He got a Passat (something). Sports version anyway. And, despite going from what one would think of as a serious sports car to a four-door with a handling package, he made similar comments. He says the TT handled better and was faster, but the overall gestalt of the VW is more satisfying.
I'm going to a wedding next weekend. Long drive. Well over an hour. I'd figured on driving alone, so it'd be the Scirocco. And was looking forward to the drive itself. My son and his fiancé asked to ride with me. Which means that, since the Scirocco has effectively no back seat, I'm taking the Neon instead. It will be nice to spend some time with them both, but I'm not really looking forward to the drive itself any more.
- Bill
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Update on the gas odor and poor gas mileage with my '87 Scirocco 16V.
I think I mentioned that the car started doing this after not being driven, or even run, for a few months during the winter. When I started using it regularly again after the winter hibernation I soon noticed that gas mileage had dropped from it's normal 26 MPG to around 18 MPG. Shortly after that my son was following me somewhere and smelled unburned fuel in the exhaust.
Well, a week or two back we had a cold snap here but, since it was just cold, not snow or rain, I kept driving it. The second morning of the cold snap it was pretty hard to start. It seemed flooded. So I did the "clear the engine" routine and it started, with a huge smell of unburned fuel. A couple of days after that I noticed it didn't seem to be using gas as fast as I'd gotten used to. Filled it, reset the trip odometer and drove it until I'd used a bit over a quarter tank of gas. When the trouble started I was getting 40 to 50 miles on about a quarter of a tank. This time it was nearly 80. And when I did the numbers after filling it again, it came to almost 28 MPG.
That doesn't really mean it's better than it used to be before the problem. As long as I've had the car I've gotten between 24 and 28 MPG, depending on how I drive it, how long I warm it up, and all that. So, I usually just say it gets 26 MPG and leave it at that. So, this 28 MPG just means it's back to normal.
So, I don't know what the problem was, but it seems that something about the cold snap cleared it.
Weird, huh?
- Bill
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On 5/6/2013 8:37 AM, Bill Leary wrote:

I searched your post for hours and hours and could not see what year your car is. Without full information any answer is really just a WAG.
--
I'm never going to grow up.

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