I've just got back from a mechanic who tells me he has no idea what's wrong with my '92 Ford Taurus L (4-Dr, 3.0L V6 SFI), but that I should take it to a dealer (I'm scared to! Concerned about the $ that's going to cost!).
The car stinks of gas. Here's the situation.
1: The car always smells a little bit gassy, both inside and out.
2: If I drive for ten or so miles, the smell gets really bad--the smell seems to be coming in from the blower when I have AC running or if I'm just blowing air. The smell gets so bad I have to open the windows to clear it, and my son has said he's even felt close to puking.
3: Recently, during the last week or two, after driving for 10 or 12 miles and then stopping I hear a strange whiney, rattley sound from under the rear right wheel well -- presumably the fuel pump making strange sounds. I tried to demonstrate this today to the mechanic, and after driving 25 miles it *didn't* make this sound, of course.
4: At the same time the gas smell around the rear right side of the car is incredibly strong.
5: My son *swears* that after one of these episodes -- driving 10 or so miles, stopping, hearing the fuel-pump rattle -- he went to a gas station and tried to fill up, but was unable to do so. He says he tried two or three different gas pumps, and each time he tried pumping the pump would click off without pumping more than a dribble of gas. Very odd; I haven't seen this behaviour myself, but I'm fairly sure my son was not inebriated in any way when this situation occurred!
6: I'm in Denver, and as you may know it's been incredibly hot here recently; I'm wondering if the temperature and consequent pressure increase has anything to do with it.
7: The mechanic said he took a look at the fuel-line's charcoal canister and it looks fine to him. He can't see any leaks up front either. And when he was under the gas tank, he couldn't see any leaks there.
I'm stumped. I guess there must be two things going on. Perhaps there's a problem with the fuel pump, but how would that cause a smell up front!? And if there's a leak up front, where the hell is it, and what's that got to do with the smell at the back.