I have a problem with which I can't deal but...

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Feb 01, 1994

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have a problem with which I can't deal, but I have confidence that you know the answer. I have an '84 Chevrolet Caprice which I bought new. It is now a second car with some 60,000 miles. I have a problem that my mechanic can't figure out, but I believe you can! When the motor is started after sitting overnight, there is a smell of raw gas. This doesn't happen after the engine is warm, or during any other starts during the day. My mechanic can't give me the answer, but I'm confident you'll be able to. Thanks.

TOM: Hey, Art, how come you have such confidence in us? Are you just a naturally trusting guy, or have you just started reading our column?

RAY: Actually, I think we CAN help you, Arthur. I suspect your fuel pump is leaking. And we've seen lots of fuel pumps that only leak when they're cold.

TOM: Right. As you know, things shrink when they get cold, and when pieces of an old fuel pump shrink, small openings in the diaphragm can be created where gas can seep through. And it doesn't take much gasoline to create a very powerful odor.

RAY: Replacing the fuel pump ought to fix things, Arthur, and should even justify your tremendous faith in us...at least until the next time you write.

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