Gasoline smell in/around a SHO.

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From an unknown (lost to history) SHOtimes list member:

Thanks to a very smart SHOTimes member and lots of perseverance, I cured my 92 SHO's gas fume problem. I want to pass on what I learned because this subject isn't covered well in the FAQ.


The problem was a gas fume odor coming from under the hood on the driver's side after stopping the car and turning off the engine on warm days (65-degrees-plus).


As I learned from the smart SHOTimes members, the cause of the problem usually is the fuel vapor purge solenoid valve not opening and shutting properly. Sometimes, the electronically-activated valve stays open or shut all the time. This valve, by the way, is right behind the radiator on the driver's side. A hose runs from the throttle-body to the top of the valve, and another hose goes from the bottom of the valve to a charcoal canister that collects the fuel vapors (the canister is located ahead of the left front wheel in the fender well).

Resolution #1

The solution when the valve isn't opening/shutting properly is to go to an auto store and purchase a two-inch-long male-to-male coupler with an outside diameter of one-quarter inch (cost about $1). Cut the two hoses mentioned earlier where they join the purge valve and simply splice together the two ends using the coupler. What you've done is bypass completely the purge valve. This results in the canister always being purged of gas fumes (rather than the valve controlling the operation).


One negative result, I'm told, is that the recirculated fumes may add a tad bit to one's pollution readings. Possibly. I'll let you know at inspection time. Unfortunately, after performing the above operation successfully, I still smelled gas fumes. I tracked the odor to the charcoal gas fume canister under the fender, which was so saturated that it couldn't be purged.

Resolution #2

The fix was to buy a new canister (about $40) from my local Ford dealer. Installation takes about 30 minutes, two small open-end wrenches and a stiff neck.


No more fumes! Now this isn't the only cause of SHO gas fumes, of course, but I've been told that many SHO owners have experienced the same problem (due to the faulty purge valve and saturated canister). I hope this helps anyone who has this problem.