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How to fix a Leaking Fuel Injector and Gas Smell inside your Car

September 22nd, 2012 · 2 Comments

I noticed a gas smell in my 1998 Honda Accord not too long after working with the fuel injectors when I was having an oxygen sensor problem with the car.  I thought it might be a leaking fuel injector because I had removed and cleaned the injectors.

Gas Smell Inside The Car

The gasoline smell seemed to be both in the car and on the outside.  The smell was noticable intermittently, rarely appear while moving, but often when stopping.  Using the air conditioning controls I turned the air recirculation off so the AC would use fresh air from outside.  With the recirculation off, the gasoline smell started coming into the car.  I was able to clear the fuel smell out of the car after turning recirculation back on and rolling down the window for a short time.

Realizing that the fuel smell was likely due to a problem with the previous work I did and that the smell was likely coming from the engine compartment, I got a flashlight and began to inspect the fuel injectors and fuel rail.  I noticed dried fuel stains on one of the injectors and nearby on the manifold and fuel rail.  I found the leaky injector.  Starting the car briefly confirmed it, I noticed the gasoline smell again and saw a small amount of fuel near at the injector.  I shut off the car, got my tools and started what I hoped would be an easy job.

Remove the Fuel Injectors

I started by loosening the gas cap to release gas pressure in the fuel tank and lines and making sure I had a rag handy to soak up any gas that would come out as I pulled off the fuel line, fuel pipe and injectors.  I pulled the pcv valve and breather tube out of the top of the valve cover, loosened the air cleaner cover to reduce stress on the air flow tube, disconnected the air assist pipe from its tube and unbolted it from the fuel pipe, disconnected the EGR electrical connector, disconnected the electrical connections to the injectors and the purge control solenoid valve, and unclipped the wiring harness.  The wiring harness is a little tight – I loosened it up a bit by pulling it out of its groove along the top of the upper timing belt cover and disconnecting it from a clip from near the front of the valve cover.  I also followed the Y-split of the harness in the other direction and disconnected the connector down below the fuel line beside the engine block. Moving the harness and other disconnected parts out of the way I started to loosen up the fuel rail and disconnected the fuel line and pressure regulator assembly and then pulled it out.  After removing the fuel rail and injectors I noticed the fuel injector o-ring had a tear in it.


98 Honda Accord Fuel Pipe

98Honda Accord Fuel Pipe and surrounding components


98 Honda Accord Fuel Injectors

98 Honda Accord Fuel Injectors


Fixing a Leaky O-Ring on a Fuel Injector

I thought this would be an easy fix, I just needed to get a new o-ring of the proper size.  I ended up making six stops before I found the right o-ring, some stores would take 2 to 5 days to order the proper fuel injector o-ring kit, some stores only had generic o-ring variety packs, which either obviously did not have the correct size or were expensive enough that I didn’t want to take the chance.  The Honda parts shop at the local Honda dealer was closed.  I eventually found a 98 Honda Accord fuel injector 0-ring kit by BWD, it cost me about ten dollars.  There are five rubber rings on these injectors, oddly the BWD kit wasn’t correct since it only contained four rubber o-rings, the guy helping me brought out another kit to confirm this.  The kit did have the o-ring I needed, so I bought it.  It ended up being more expensive than one of the variety pack that was questionable, but I preferred get the one that I felt I could trust to fix the problem than use the try and see method.


Fuel Injector and Damaged O-Ring

Fuel injector with a new o-ring and damaged o-ring


I swapped out the damaged o-ring and started re-assembling the fuel system.  I found that unbolting the purge control solenoid valve from the manifold allowed me to get the fuel pipe in much easier.  I got everything back together, started the car to test it, found no more leaks.  I confirmed the car was fixed when driving the car the next day, there was no gas smell was gone and the leaky fuel injector o-ring was fixed.  You can buy new and remanufactured fuel injectors and fuel injector o-rings online.

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Tags: 98 Honda Accord · Auto Maintenance · empty · Maintenance · Safety · Tools

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