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Gas Smell + Rough staring

 
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Old 23 Feb 2013, 06:10 pm
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Default Gas Smell + Rough staring

So I have a 2001 PT Limited Edition 140K on it. And I have recently started smelling gas for the first 10-15 seconds after I crank the car. Also the initial moments of when the car cranks it is a really rough idle, it starts at 500 rpm and slowly creeps up to 800 rpm, at that point it oscillates between 800 rpm and 1100 rpm changing between them every 5 to 10 seconds. But sometimes it just fires up like a lion, and settles at the oscillating 800-1100 rpm.

Just some side information to help narrow this down. The car never had a problem until December, when my water pump started to leak. And due to the location of the part I decided to go the whole 9 yards, and have the timing belts, and drive belts, engine mounts were in bad shape also, and all the other little components changed in the process. The job was done by a mechanic. The rough idle started a few days after the job. I didn't think much of it, and figured that the computer might be re learning some of the information since probably some of the electrical component were disconnected to access the water pump.
So I did my research, started with the battery, it was a dead battery but it didn't fix the problem. I read through some of the other threads, and the fuel line accumulator seems to be in perfect conditions, it has no signs of leakage, it still has the metal finish to it.
It is NOT throwing any codes.
What should I be looking for? An vacuum leak? a fuel connection leak? update the computer software?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 23 Feb 2013, 07:13 pm
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Default Re: Gas Smell + Rough staring

Welcome to the forum.

Usually, when there's a rough idle after a timing belt change, it means the timing is off by 1/2 or full tooth. Getting it in perfect time is not the easiest part of the job. Many owners have come to us with the same problem after a timing belt replacement. If you didn't have the rough idle before the belt change and now you do, that's a sure sign that it's problem off-timed.

Now, the gas smell is something different. Look all around the engine bay and follow the fuel line from where it comes up from the bottom of the car next to the firewall to where it crosses over the top of the engine and connects to the fuel rail. Look for any signs of a small leak. There was a recall on the fuel line where it got too close to the A/C lines and wore a pin-hole in the line and caused a couple fires. Chrysler's fix was to pull the fuel line away by using a zip-tie to the power steering reseviour.
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Old 24 Feb 2013, 01:25 am
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Default Re: Gas Smell + Rough staring

Thanks for the Welcome Crewzin.

As for the gas smell I inspected it with the engine off, and as much as I could with the engine on and didn't really find anything. But I will run it by Chrysler this week and make sure to get that recall if it hasn't been done yet. I will try to get under the car and better inspect the fuel line running up close to the fire wall before getting to the accumulator.

As for the rough idle problem. As soon as I posted this I had to run to the store, and got an engine code P0300 multiple miss fire and a P1684 but since I have disconnected the battery recently I don't think that one is a issue. But the P0300 concerns me. Is there a way to be sure that the timing belt is out sync? And are there any major consequences for not fixing it? I Just need the car to run for another year and at that point I will have to leave the US for a couple of years due to my job.
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Old 24 Feb 2013, 08:27 am
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Default Re: Gas Smell + Rough staring

Here's a good link on the timng belt.

New Timing Belt...Correct Sync? RESULTS - Car Talk


Usually, if you try and rule out everything else, and nothing shows up, the belt is your only answer. A slight vacuum leak is a major cause of the P0300 so you might look for one.

Any major consequence for running the PT if you don't fix it? Not sure. Hopefully someone else can answer that.
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Old 24 Feb 2013, 08:05 pm
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Default Re: Gas Smell + Rough staring

Crewzin

I read the information on the timing belt, and none of it applies to my case. The PT shifts really smoothly! Even when I use the downshift to 3rd gear when merging to the local interstate. I have not noticed a loss in power, and still getting about 20 mpg. If it was the timing belt it would have a hesitant start every I started it right?
I noticed a weird pattern to the start and the idle problem. When it is cold outside (45 and under) it starts rough and idles inconsistent. I did it yesterday. However, today it was sunny and high 60's if not 70's under the sun. The car started without a problem, and the idle would sit unchanged at about 1000rpm for the whole day, the check engine light even turned it self off. Now once night fell, and it cooled back to the 40s it had the same problem trying to get the idle up once it started.
Does that help diagnose it?
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Old 24 Feb 2013, 08:26 pm
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Default Re: Gas Smell + Rough staring

i think crewzin's spot on with the vacuum leak. check for brittle hoses where they connect. sounds like when things expand due to cold then contract when warm could be a vacuum line.
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Old 25 Feb 2013, 10:53 am
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Default Re: Gas Smell + Rough staring

Ok. Thanks guys! I don't have time to look at it until the weekend so I will take care of it on Friday, and post back on the results. As for how to find the leak I read a post suggesting spraying wd40 and paying attention if the car revs up. Is that an reliable method or is there a better way?
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Old 25 Feb 2013, 01:17 pm
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Default Re: Gas Smell + Rough staring

there is a better way. some mechanics have a smoke machine that they hook into one of the vacuum lines. then they can see exactly where the leak is. was done on my mazda 626 and the culprit was the intake manifold gasket. worth the cost of the diagnosis. and since i had my mechanic replace the gasket, the cost of the diagnosis was waivered.
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Last edited by soyomb; 25 Feb 2013 at 01:22 pm.
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Old 25 Feb 2013, 03:32 pm
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Default Re: Gas Smell + Rough staring

Just out of curiosity what is the normal idle RPM for the 2.4 non turbo. And I will check the local shops and see where I can get that done it seems like the fastest and most efficient way to check for leaks.
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Old 25 Feb 2013, 03:41 pm
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Default Re: Gas Smell + Rough staring

im not a fan of the WD 40 I usally just use some starting fluid trust me if there is a leak it will find it quickly and itsd cheap
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