1994 Dodge Intrepid gas tank problems...

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by David E. Powell, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. Hi all.

    I hate to bother you fine folks, but a while back I was filling up and
    gasoline leaked out. It seemed to be a thing with the top of the tank,
    because it didn't drip out after the filling stopped despite the gauge
    registering full.

    However, since then there has been an odor of gas near the back of the
    car, and I am worried I have a hole or a leak. The guy at the gas
    station said "Don't worry, just don't fill it up all the way" but I am
    worried, because I don't want to be driving a potential bomb, and
    because the inspection is due next month on the car, and the pressure
    test for the gas tank will probably be part of it.

    I think what might have done me in was that since Katrina, with the
    high gas prices, and since I don't do too much driving with the car, I
    hadn't filled the tank, just doing the 10 dollars' worth thing every so
    often. Which may have let problems develop at the top of the tank.

    My big question is, will a mechanic be able to fix the tank? Or if not,
    can a replacement tank be had? I have tried parts sites on line, and
    they seem to either be out of or not carry Intrepid tanks. The car is
    relatively low mileage (About 60,000 miles) and otherwise in good
    repair. I could get another raide, but the Intrepid and I have been
    through a lot together and I really don't relish the idea of getting
    rid of it. I am wondering what the cost and difficulty might be in
    fixing this.

    David E. Powell, Nov 25, 2006
  2. David E. Powell

    FeMaster Guest

    Most likely it is nothing much to worry about. Odds are the tank itself is
    fine. The tanks are made of plastic, so unless something has happened that
    would have caused it to crack, I doubt that there is a problem with it.

    I have a similar problem with mine. When I "top it off" I get gas that runs
    down the side of the tank for a short bit, or until I start the car and
    drive a few 100 feet. I think it's just a pressure thing where the gas is
    forcing open the pressure relief vent valve, and once I consume a little bit
    of gas, the pressure stabilizes.

    I've never really looked into the problem, but I believe that it is just the
    pressure valve leaking. I've driven mine like that for years now without
    incident. The smell goes away after about a week (once the gas has fully
    evaporated off the tank).
    FeMaster, Nov 25, 2006
  3. David E. Powell

    Bill Putney Guest

    Neither one of you posters say what year your Intrepids are, but my
    guess is a fill tube problem. This discussion on www.dodgeintrepid.net
    forums may help:

    In one of the posts on the first page, there is the text from a TSB that
    covers all 2nd gen LH cars that may give a clue even if your is not in
    those years.

    Bill Putney
    (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
    address with the letter 'x')
    Bill Putney, Nov 25, 2006
  4. David E. Powell

    Steve Guest

    Bill Putney wrote:

    I hate to tell you this Bill, but... um.... didja check the subject
    line? :)

    Back to the original issue- it could just be a bad gas CAP that is
    always venting vapors instead of sealing. It could possibly be one of
    the vent line fittings on the top of the tank on the fuel pump/sending
    unit assembly (accessible thru the removable panel in the trunk, way
    forward under the package tray- lift up the trunk liner to see it).

    Odds of it being any physical problem with the *tank* are slim to none.
    Those plastic tanks are TOUGH, and unless you put a rock through it its
    not going to leak.
    Steve, Nov 25, 2006
  5. David E. Powell

    Bill Putney Guest


    Bill Putney
    (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
    address with the letter 'x')
    Bill Putney, Nov 25, 2006
  6. David E. Powell

    FeMaster Guest

    Your right, at least I did not specify... Mine is a '94 also, but it's a
    Vision. In any case, It's not fill tube, as it definitely comes of the top
    of the tank. Of curse, this only happens when I fully top off the tank
    (full to top of filler tube). Like I said, just the pressure relief valve
    in my opinion...
    FeMaster, Nov 25, 2006
  7. David E. Powell

    maxpower Guest

    If you raise the carpet in the trunk and remove the access plate you will
    see where the fuel is coming from. My guess would be the pump assembly
    gasket that seals the tank to the pump.

    Glenn Beasley
    Chrysler tech
    maxpower, Nov 26, 2006
  8. David E. Powell

    FeMaster Guest

    It's a possibility, however due to the cold season, and the fact that it
    give me no problems once I drive like a 10th of a mile or less, I'm not
    going to put any effort into it at this point in time. Maybe next summer,
    but then again maybe not. It has other issues that need to be dealt with
    first, like the leaky heater core... YEAH!
    FeMaster, Nov 27, 2006
  9. David E. Powell

    maxpower Guest

    I would think that a fuel leak just above the muffler and pipes would come
    before a heater core.

    just my opinion

    maxpower, Nov 27, 2006
  10. David E. Powell

    FeMaster Guest

    And your right to it...

    Not sure if it is the design of the tank or what, but it only runs off on
    the passenger side, away from the exhaust... Yeah, no excuse, but I'm
    really not that worried about it. Gas really doesn't ignite as easily as
    most people tend to believe...
    FeMaster, Nov 28, 2006
  11. I'd like to thank all those who responded. A gentleman reading here
    emailed me the linkely cause (fuel filler tube or screww clamp) and he
    was right. It looks like the fuel filler tube, filler hose and seal may
    have gone bad. Except that the Chrysler folks don't seem to have those
    parts in stock. I was wondering if any one makes an after market part
    that fits, after all it is just a pipe, a hose and a seal thing...
    Maybe I will check the local Auto Zone or other shops, but I was
    wondering if anyone has experience in finding these parts? I intend to
    take a look myself, maybe it is a slipped clamp, I'll know more when I
    take a look myself. If the hose is bad, maybe another type could be cut
    to fit? It seems a minor problem, compared to, say, a bad tank....

    David E. Powell, Nov 29, 2006
  12. David E. Powell

    Art Guest

    Talking about tough gas tanks, the other day I passed an accident where a
    car was rear ended and basically all of the metal was pushed back past the
    back seat. Roof was peeled off perhaps in the accident or to remove the
    passengers. But that tank apparently held perfectly fine. They aren't
    building Pintos these days.
    Art, Nov 30, 2006
  13. David E. Powell

    Art Guest

    Liquid gas doesn't ignite as easily as people tend to believe but fumes blow
    up just fine.
    Art, Nov 30, 2006
  14. David E. Powell

    FeMaster Guest

    Spark required... Greatly unlikely that one will be found coming out the
    end of the tale pipe, and I don't have anything dragging that would cause
    FeMaster, Nov 30, 2006
  15. David E. Powell

    Bill Putney Guest

    Geez! It's generally a good idea to keep at least two unlikely events
    away from death to yourself or others (likelihood of one rare event is
    1/x; likelihood of two rare events happening simultaneously is 1/x *
    1/y). Unless it's required for some very imporant purpose, whenever I'm
    one unlikely event away from death, I usually try to leave the situation
    ASAP, but that's just me.

    I bet you don't back up your hard drive either. :)

    Bill Putney
    (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
    address with the letter 'x')
    Bill Putney, Nov 30, 2006
  16. David E. Powell

    FeMaster Guest

    Man, you hit it right on the head... Nope, I don't. I have thought about
    it MANY times, but have yet to do it... Current reason.. No place to back
    it up to.... Have 3 HDs totaling 360Gig, and for the more part, they are
    FeMaster, Dec 2, 2006
  17. OK: Here is a summary of where my gas tank situation stands as of now.

    A few days ago I took it into the shop and told them there was an
    access panel in the trunk to get in, and figured it would be OK. They
    informed me when I got back that the tube, hose and seal were all bad,
    and that there was no access panel in first generation Intrepids. They
    said they would have to drop the tank to get to it and didn't have the
    parts anyway. After being billed an hour of labor I got the car back,
    and kicked myself, because I picked up the carpet in the back of the
    trunk today and, well, there's the access panel secured by four nuts. I
    should have looked myself first before taking it in to the dealership.
    Also, I can inspect the fuel hose and so on by looking under the side
    "wrap" portion of the rear bumper on the right hand side. The hose
    looked a little worn, and I was wondering about the join spot where the
    metal pipe goes into the flex-hose, but it felt solid. Then I opened
    the panel and the odor of gas was strong. I think that might be the
    problem spot, where all the hoses run into the top of the tank, but it
    is getting late now and I would like to look when there is more light
    (and when I can let it air out some.) I guess I will try to figure what
    is up with the top of the tank and failing that, observe when the tank
    is given a little gas, and see where some might leak out of the top or
    the filler hose from the bumper... the good news is that the metal part
    of the filler tube looks to be in good shape. Even if it were a bad
    hose another might be adapted with some fitting. The clamps look OK,
    but I will check them again tomorrow (Weather permitting.) The top of
    the tank part is my main concern, but I am worried about messing with
    it for safety reasons. I've never really been that into wrench stuff on
    cars, so am not sure if it is safe to have a flashlight down in there
    or not....

    Sorry to keep bothering everyon like this, it's sort of a new
    experience for me....
    David E. Powell, Dec 3, 2006
  18. I'd go back and complain to the manager of the shop on that one, but
    the truth is that it sounds like they simply just don't want to work on it.
    But in any case, let me say this about dropping the tank. If this was
    my vehicle I'd definitely drop the tank rather than try mucking through
    an access hole. The reason is that without the tank out of the vehicle
    there is no way to inspect the -entire- thing.

    What I would be most worried about is not a bad filler tube but
    a crack in the tank. I would want the tank out so I could look it
    over very carefully and make sure the plastic of the tank had not
    gotten brittle.

    You need to call around to shops, tell them what you have, and tell
    them to drop the tank and filler tube and inspect it then call you and
    tell you what is wrong. Then when they do this, call a wrecking yard,
    and get some good used parts, and drive to the wrecker, get the
    parts, then drive to the shop with them. The shop will of course not
    warranty the parts, but if your willing to locate the parts, get them,
    deliver them, and take the responsibility for them failing, I don't see
    why most shops would be unwilling to work on it. Shops don't
    generally like to have to deal with wreckers for parts because most
    wreckers are unreliable and it can cost a huge amount of time to
    find a yard with the part you need then get it from them.

    Ted Mittelstaedt, Dec 4, 2006
  19. Hm... I hope it is not that bad. I believe I have a handle on it. I got
    anotehr look through the panel today and there is a metal ring with a
    screw clamp that seems to have slipped off the top of the line-port
    assembly that sticks out of the top of the tank. The entire assembly
    seems to bob up and down. From what i have seen of the tank itself, it
    is solid, and I saw no cracks... I figure that the bobbing assembly is
    the source of the leak. It wasn't too bad to take a peek today because
    a stiff wind is keeping the fumes from building up in the trunk, but I
    wonder if siphoning the gas out of the tank might be necessary before I
    go and try to fix the clamp. If it just slipped and isn't eevn broken,
    this could be simple, and if it is just the metal loop/clamp that is
    the problem maybe I can replace it easily....

    I seriously want to thank all of you on here, without your help I
    wouldn't know how to even attempt to work this out...

    David E. Powell, Dec 4, 2006
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