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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys I was out in the desert and on my way back I felt like the car was lurching and the engine was pulling power. I looked at the rpms and it would start to flash the check engine light if I tried to go over 6k ish rpms around 55mph. I slowed down to 45mph and started to smell fuel and then it started to do the same thing with the pulling of power and check engine light flashing.
The check engine light wouldn’t stay on so I limped it to where I had cell service incase the car wouldn’t start again and started to look over everything. The whole engine area was dry and when I pull off the gas cap it almost shot the thing out of my hand with how much force it had behind it.
I let it vent for a few min then threw the cap back on and got about 3 miles down the road and stared to smell fuel again and it started doing the same thing again. I pulled the gas cap off again and it had to say of pressure again so I just left the cap off and limped the car home. It acted up once right after I pulled the cap off but it seemed fine the rest of the way home.
Im thinking there is a pinched line for the evap system somewhere, I already tore the car apart once and found a few pinched evap lines so I won’t be surprised if there are more. Car currently has around 1900 miles, 80 hours. Looking for any other troubleshooting besides the evap system checks. I still have a month left on the factory warranty so I might just take it to the dealer and have them do it so it’s documented.
 

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Sounds like a classic case of vapor lock. The fuel tank has a vent line have you verified that line isn’t pinched and /or blocked ?
That would be my guess too.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds like a classic case of vapor lock. The fuel tank has a vent line have you verified that line isn’t pinched and /or blocked ?
I pulled everything apart a few months ago and fixed a few pinched lines. It seemed to fix the problem then but I’m going to drop it off at the dealer since I have one month left on the factory warranty and I’m slammed at work. I’d rather do it myself but I don’t have the time right now and I want it documented since the service manager told me it wasn’t a big deal when I originally called them.
 

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I also vote for pinched vent line, shouldn’t be any pressure in the tank, and then it ran fine after the cap was removed/ vented…
the fuel line pressure was probably all over the place which either made it run rich or lean for a while, you noticEd it as the lurching/ power delivery symptom..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I also vote for pinched vent line, shouldn’t be any pressure in the tank, and then it ran fine after the cap was removed/ vented…
the fuel line pressure was probably all over the place which either made it run rich or lean for a while, you noticEd it as the lurching/ power delivery symptom..
I just got a call from the techs, they said it was throwing a code that needed a mandatory ECU to reflash. Said they couldn’t replicate the gas tank pressurization issue.
 

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I just got a call from the techs, they said it was throwing a code that needed a mandatory ECU to reflash. Said they couldn’t replicate the gas tank pressurization issue.
So basically they probobly ran it dor 5 minutes and called it good. Doesn't sound promising.
 

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Sounds like a classic case of vapor lock. The fuel tank has a vent line have you verified that line isn’t pinched and /or blocked ?
Classic case of vapor lock? That's not what "classic" vapor lock is. Vapor lock is all but extinct. Vapor lock is caused by hot fuel lines etc which vaporizes the fuel in the lines making bubbles. Nothing you're ever going to smell. In a classical sense lol.

Raw fuel smell might have been raw unburned fuel out of the exaust in limp mode. Hopefully the flash fixes the car up.
 

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I stand by the statement I made. Classic vapor lock exhibits the same type of fuel tank pressurization the OP mentioned in his original post. The X3 has no return lines to prevent this and the cap doesn’t seem to have a vent in it at all. As for the fuel smell, it’s easy to see why the car would run so rich if the ECU was trying to adjust injector pulse width to compensate for fluctuating fuel pressure. While your statement is partially true it’s not the whole picture when discussing vapor lock on a modern fuel injected engine. Personally I’m a bit skeptical of the dealership findings as the techs only get paid (under warranty) if they find something wrong. My bet is they either fixed the line but found some obscure service bulletin that fit his general description of the problem to get paid or perhaps missed the most basic diagnosis. Time will tell if the OP reports back.
 

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I stand by the statement I made. Classic vapor lock exhibits the same type of fuel tank pressurization the OP mentioned in his original post. The X3 has no return lines to prevent this and the cap doesn’t seem to have a vent in it at all. As for the fuel smell, it’s easy to see why the car would run so rich if the ECU was trying to adjust injector pulse width to compensate for fluctuating fuel pressure. While your statement is partially true it’s not the whole picture when discussing vapor lock on a modern fuel injected engine. Personally I’m a bit skeptical of the dealership findings as the techs only get paid (under warranty) if they find something wrong. My bet is they either fixed the line but found some obscure service bulletin that fit his general description of the problem to get paid or perhaps missed the most basic diagnosis. Time will tell if the OP reports back.
Even if the pump pickup is still submerged?

I'm not seeing how a pressurized tank would get air/vapor in the system?
 

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There is a gas tank vent filter on the passenger side inside the front door frame plastics. It might be worth looking to see what it's serviceability state is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I’ll let you all know, I am currently driving up to Oregon for a family emergency. I asked my friend to pick it up and test it out for me.
 

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Yes, States like CA require a closed loop evap system on gasoline engines. All the way down to lawn mowers or power washers lol..... At lweast we don't have to smog check them YET
Key word "YET", LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Mine does have the evap system, AZ car which kinda threw me off. My buddy drive it for me for a week and he hasn’t experienced anything. I’m going to take it out with him following me in a few days just to check it on a long drive
 
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