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Thread: Diesel Smell when stationary (after heavy driving)

  1. #1
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    Default Diesel Smell when stationary (after heavy driving)

    Hi, wonder if anyone can help on this. Have tried looking on the forum but not seen a problem quite like this.

    I have a 150 CDTi on an 05 plate. It has 45K on the clock and I've had it since 42K. I bought it privately through ebay.

    When I first got it the emissions light was on and so I took it into a dealer and the EGR valve was replaced. I took this on the chin and the person who sold it to me contributed to the repair.

    However, right after that the fault light started to come on when the engine was cold. It would go off after about 10 mins (when the engine had warmed up).

    I also noticed another problem. When I drove the car a bit harder. e.g. over 2.5K revs for instance on the motorway or just having a bit of fun accelerating hard, the car performed brilliantly with loads of pull and all seemed well.

    The problem arose when I slowed and was waiting at a junction or traffic lights. There'd be a strong sweet diesel smell come into the cabin. This would fade as I carried on driving but when I paused the car again or got out at the end of the journey it would come back. Its really strong when I get out of the car.

    I took the car into my local dealer who had replaced the EGR valve and they listened to my fault description and checked the error codes. They tried a few things but weren't able to solve the problem and suggested I take it to a main dealer. I took it to Lookers Warrington and (eventually) they diagnosed the problem as 2 glow plugs and replaced them. They said they weren't burning off the diesel properly which was causing the smell. This sound feasible so I agreed. This stopped the warning light coming on but the diesel issue is still there. If I drive the car really gently all's well but as soon as I go over 2.5K - 3K then when I slow down I can smell the diesel. This was about 4 weeks ago and the car performance feels great. It has done a trip to London and back with no ill effects apart from this smell when its driven a little harder.

    Has anyone got any ideas or pointers?

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    Regular Member mattv6diesel's Avatar
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    the warning light for the first few mins is probably just a glow plug failure but smell is it of diesel exhaust or the fuel as if it has or had a tow bar or park sensors the bung in the boot might not be in right

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    Hi, thanks for the quick reply. You're right the warning light was glow plugs and Lookers replaced those and the light has stopped coming on. However the diesel smell is still there. Interestingly I have had a tow-bar fitted recently so will check that out in daylight tomorrow. The smell does seem to come through the front vents though (and gets stronger if the fan is on 2 rather than 1). Its also sweet smelling which I thought meant it might be raw diesel rather than fumes. However will check the back of the car if you think that might be it.

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    check the fuel filter housing, could be leaking very slightly... also if its only at 2.5k or so try to rev up to that with an assistant and check under the bonnet for leaks?
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    What's the fuel economy like?

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    Regular Member mattv6diesel's Avatar
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    unless thier is a leak in the fuel system filter housing or something i would think it might be exhaust as its just fumes can get everywhere. had a after market set put in mine and seal was poor put sealant round it smell went.

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    Hi, fuel economy seems OK. Am getting 47MPG. But I am driving it like a vicar at the moment for a lot of the time because of this problem.

    Will definitely look at the sealant route as well to make sure that area is sealed up.

    Thanks for the fuel filter suggestion will check that. With regard to someone checking it, I have had a look with some booting it and can't seem to see anything squirting out fuel. However I have noticed diesel (I think its that) near to where the swirl valves join the engine - in a small pool around there where they seem to meet the engine. I didn't know if this had any bearing since I would have though VX or my local garage would have picked up on this(?). I thought it might be usual - is it?

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    Check that it isn't your fuel cap, I had this on a Zafira a few years ago turned out to be the seal around the petrol filler cap.

    Frenchman

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    Default smell of diesel in car

    Hello had the same problem about 6 months ago .Have a look under black plastic cover and check the injectors.the seal on mine had gone took to the stealers and got it done havn't had smell since.It was a small leak only see it when car running just.Hope this helps

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    Good call forkieman. Ive been doing some more investigating so that I don't have to pay for VX to do it for me and I'd found that there's raw diesel pooling underneath the black cover adjacent to the swirl assembly (think that's what its called). This turns into fumes when the engine is hot (i.e. under heavy driving) - hence the smell in the car when stationary. Will do some more research just to convince myself this is the case and may post a picture for confirmation if that's OK. If so, will book it in so that I only have to pay for the repair - not the investigation. If this is the case I don't know how Lookers Vauxhall didn't spot the raw diesel pooling there when they changed the 2 spark plugs.

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