gas spills into charcoal cannister - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 08, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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gas spills into charcoal cannister

A friend of mine had a catalytic converter, charcoal cannister and muffler replaced on a Trail Blazer because somehow raw fuel spilled into the cannister. The check engine light code indicated this. Probably the O2 sensor went haywire. I am not sure why the muffler needed to be replaced. I assume raw fuel contaminates the charcoal and cat material. Now their fuel mileage is off 1/3. Any thoughts?

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 08, 06:40 AM
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Re: gas spills into charcoal cannister

The fuel in the charcoal canister comes from over filling the gas tank. When the pump shuts off, most, if not everybody gets that last whole dollar amount. Well, when you do that, the excess spills into that canister. Most canisters have a filter in the bottom of them. That needs to be changed of it has one. Most any car that has emissions should have a canister

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 08, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Re: gas spills into charcoal cannister

I understand the over filling of the tank. I was mainly asking about the mileage drop off. She did not mention if the O2 sensor was replaced. If the cat needed to be replaced due to fouling would the O2 sensor as well? If the O2 sensor was bad could it have the injectors delivering too much fuel and ruining the mileage?

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 08, 11:13 AM
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Re: gas spills into charcoal cannister

Gas in the charcoal canister will not affect your mileage, or screw up the cat. You couldn't possibly put enough gas into the canister to put a slug of gas into the intake. Car might run a little rich when the purge valve opened but it wouldn't suck liquid gas thru the purge line.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 08:00 AM
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Re: gas spills into charcoal cannister

If the O2 sensor went bad, then yes it can have the injectors dumping an unnecessary amount of fuel, but it depends on which end of the spectrum the sensor went bad in. If the sensor went bad in the lean side of its voltage readings, then the ECU is going to receive a constant lean reading. If the ECU is reading a lean mode from a bad O2 sensor, then the ECU is going to try to richen the fuel mixture, but if the O2 sensor is bad, it will never switch out of the lean mode, therefore, the ECU will continue to try to richen the mixture.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 10:48 AM
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Re: gas spills into charcoal cannister

What is there 4 O2 sensors on a Trail blazer? I know my 96 S15 has 3. If one went bad the other 2 or 3 would override the call to richen up the fuel mixture, it would take multiple failures to do that. PCM's are a bit more sophisticated than people think. It's much more likely that the fuel system got contaminated, possibly somebody put E85 in a non flex fuel car, or even diesel, both of which will probably destroy your cat and O2 sensors.

Can't even imagine an issue that would require a muffler to be changed, unless the cat melted and flowed into the muffler.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 10:59 AM
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Question Re: gas spills into charcoal cannister

Gary, is this vehicle in Calif or a state where they have snow/ice and salt the roads?

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Re: gas spills into charcoal cannister

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Originally Posted by Vintage 68 View Post
Gary, is this vehicle in Calif or a state where they have snow/ice and salt the roads?
CA car. I am starting to get a different picture here from the owner (a female co-worker). The mileage issue came after the gas in cannister issue. The gas in cannister issue happened up on a cross country trip. An out of town dealer said the computer code indicated gas in the canister so they replaced the cannister, cat and muffler.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 11:41 AM
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Re: gas spills into charcoal cannister

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Originally Posted by Gary L View Post
... An out of town dealer said the computer code indicated gas in the canister so they replaced the cannister, cat and muffler.
Hmmmm - gotta love those 'we'll never see this car again' repairs

TB's have had some issues with slight rusting of the tanks near the fuel pump/pick-up area that allows a slight leak and some 'gas-smell' ...
Usually associated with 'snow-area' vehicles though.
Might want to have a local shop put it in the air and take a look around for fuel stains.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 08, 12:28 PM
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Re: gas spills into charcoal cannister

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Originally Posted by 67CamaroRS/SS View Post
The fuel in the charcoal canister comes from over filling the gas tank. When the pump shuts off, most, if not everybody gets that last whole dollar amount. Well, when you do that, the excess spills into that canister. Most canisters have a filter in the bottom of them. That needs to be changed of it has one. Most any car that has emissions should have a canister
hmm, this shouldnt be a problem as most gas tanks will only fill to around 80% capacity when the pump shuts off
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Sep 6th, 08, 01:43 PM
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Re: gas spills into charcoal cannister

There's no sensor that would report a code for "gas in the canister". Sounds like they got "hosed on the road", and at least one of the 02 sensors is damaged, disconnected, or shorted, causing the PCM to make it run rich.


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