Smell fuel? Try checking here
So I noticed what I considered a pretty strong smell of fuel everytime I drove the car.
Considering the reputation for some of these cars to catch fire, I was very concerned.
Seeking assistance from the community, I got advice ranging from "don't worry, they all stink of fuel" to "you better not drive it until you figure it out and get yourself some halon extinguishers to keep handy".
I followed the latter.
The smell was concentrated on the drivers side (LHD) and appeared after I had been driving for a few minutes. I always drive with the windows open and I noticed it first while stopped at red lights.
Sticking my nose in the engine bay, the smell was strongest right in the area of the shock actuator.
The smell was also prevalent if I sniffed in the rear fender well, between the tire and the fender towards the front of the car.
This suggested it was the fuel filter connections which is located right in that area and a common cause of fuel leaks. I checked at thoroughly but did not find any leaks there.
Also, the smell was more like fuel vapor than actual liquid gasoline if that makes sense. Taking into account that, the fact that the lines for the evap system run through the body to the charcoal cannister in back right along the same area, and I had found evidence of rodent chewed wires in that same area, I thought I found it.
I proceeded to remove the charcoal cannister and its accompanying lines. Had the lines pressure tested, but still no joy. Everything was intact.
Frustrated by my DIY failure, I was resigned to submit myself to the merciless parts changers at the local dealer.
But first, I had some other work to finish which required removing the wheels and the wheel well liners...