No announcement yet.

2002 Cavalier won't pass emissions test because of fuel smell

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 2002 Cavalier won't pass emissions test because of fuel smell

    I have tried three times to get my 2002 Chevy Cavalier to pass emissions test at the Davis County Safety and Emissions testing station in Kaysville, Ut - it's failed all three times because the technicians say they can smell fuel. The CNG shop says the car has a fogging system and that a small smell of fuel is common. Is this true? Does anyone have any documentation that I can show the technicians on try number 4?

    The first time it failed because the technician said we needed the tank certified and they smelled the fuel.... we've always smelled a little fuel in cold whether... sometimes more than others, no smell in the summer.

    We took it to the Bountiful CNG shop and they certified the tank and went through the entire CNG system. $300 later they certified the tank and said there was no fuel leak - the system was a 'fogger' system and the smell was common with that type of system. We were back at Davis County Emissions for try number 2.

    The second time the technician refused to even test the car/look at the tank certification because he said he smelled fuel.

    We determined that we would just run the car out of CNG and take it in runing on gasoline... once the car ran out of CNG, the gasoline fuel pump didn't work - coincidentally????? it worked fine before the CNG tank certification process. A new gasoline fuel pump, another inspection of the CNG system and a replacement of one of the CNG gaskets (they now said they did find a small pinhole in it) - $900 later and we were up for try number three.

    The third time I took the car in right after picking it up from the CNG repair shop. I had it running on gasoline - the technician again said he would not even inspect it because he could smell CNG. I lifted the hood and couldn't smell a thing, opened the trunk and couldn't smell a thing. No smell in the car.

    How can I get my car passed if the technicians are saying that they can smell fuel? I can't afford any more trips to the CNG repair shop and I need to get my car passed. This has been going on for 3 weeks... only 6 days left in the month before the license plates expire.

    Any suggestions? I don't want to have this kind of problem/expense every year. Does anyone have the tech notes for this 'fogging' system on the cavaliers that identifies that there can be a fuel smell?

    Has anyone else had issues with the Davis Emissions on their CNG vehicle?


  • #2
    Re: 2002 Cavalier won't pass emissions test because of fuel smell

    We are a Utah State Emissions and Inspection Station and CNG repair facility, I am sure we can get every thing cleared up in one trip. If you have any questions just give us a call.
    Lancer Automotive Group
    3687 South 300 West
    Salt Lake City UT 84115


    Visit our Facebook pages


    • #3
      Re: 2002 Cavalier won't pass emissions test because of fuel smell

      Just take it to Lancer and bypass the clowns who are trying their best to upset you, cost you money and generally mess with you. These emissions inspection guys don't have a clue about your car and are probably jealous that you buy fuel cheaper then they do. Yes, it is common to smell some odor from the natural gas system in a fumagation system such as is installed in your car. There is nothing wrong. If you have your alternative fuels owners manual supplement you will find a paragraph stating that it is normal to smell fuel after shutting off the car (troubleshooting section). I am sure this will not satisfy these guys---they will play this as long as they can. Just smile and think that your life is better then theirs---how far can you get graduating at the bottom of the vo-tech high school auto shop class .


      • #4
        Re: 2002 Cavalier won't pass emissions test because of fuel smell

        Give us the address and hours of operation - I'll give the info to my husband.

        Should there be any smell of natural gas when the car is running? There usually was in the past, but I don't smell it since the last repair.

        Do you know what rights the car owner has when the technician says he smells gas and we don't - and there is no CNG in the system and the car is running on gasoline?


        • #5
          Re: 2002 Cavalier won't pass emissions test because of fuel smell

          Hello Curtises,

          Sounds like it's time to take the subjectiveness out of the process.

          If you're stuck with the one emission station next time go in armed with better tools than they have. The cylinder inspection should have included a leak test of the fuel system. There are two or three ways this can be done. TIF makes an electronic hydrocarbon leak detector, there is a audible leak detector, but the best is still a spray bottle of soap and water.

          I'd see if a local shop would let you borrow one of those tools and ask the emission station to show you the source of their 'smell test'.

          You could also point out that natural gas is odorless and that the odorant, ethyl mercaptan, is added into the pipeline just so it can be detected early. The actual ratio is 20% of the LEL (lower explosion limit), which for NG is 5-15%. So, it's detectable at .20 times .05 or .01. That is 1%, way before it's dangerous. (If you can't phase them with facts, baffle them with....).

          Good luck and I hope this helps. NGV's are so much safer than the 'alternative'.

          Last edited by afvman; 10-27-2009, 12:05 PM. Reason: spelling....what else


          • #6
            Re: 2002 Cavalier won't pass emissions test because of fuel smell

            Sorry for your $$$$$$$$$$$$ problems.

            I am going through the same thing with my '01 Cav.;

            I ordered a low pressure regulator kit, (# RK-PEV-2) to fix the leak smell under the hood, from Carburetion & Turbo Systems, Shakopee MN. (952-445-3910) Great people! The kit cost me a total of $77.67 thats with shipping. It should be here any day now.

            I also called Brandon Wicknick (CNG Technologies of Utah 801-637-4570) for a tank inspection (great guy) and only $50 later he was done with my car, and he makes house calls

            Good luck!

            Just an update: the kit is in and no smell. If you can turn a screwdriver you can install the kit!
            Last edited by clay; 10-28-2009, 09:11 PM.
            Big Red