Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
$4000 bike - two bit legs
Joined
·
1,433 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help...My mother in law just left her car in my driveway for a week while she flew off to visit friends in Florida. Her late '90's Cadillac (do they all drive Caddies??) is leaking gas. Not just a drop, but probably a gallon or more on my driveway since it was parked this AM. There is a 7' stream soaked into my blacktop. I can see the gas dripping... maybe a drop every 10 seconds or so..

Before I call her in Florida, I called my mechanic. Couldn't get him, but I got the moron who changes oil. His comment: "no big deal, as long as there's gas in the tank, you all 'kin drive it". Huh? Another, semi-mechanically inclined friend said they wouldn't drive it.

Any input before I call the M-i-L. I am not anxious to go to the the hassle of driving her car to the shop, paying for it, waiting for reimbursement (my wife won't want my MiL to pay us back), then picking up the car. On the other hand, if we dont' have it fixed until she comes back, then she will end up staying with us as long as it takes to get it fixed. I will pay a lot of money to NOT have my MiL in the house. The third option is to shut up, allow her to drive it home. But if it goes "BOOM" on the road, my wife will never forgive me. OK...maybe some other liability there too.....
 

·
Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
Joined
·
9,416 Posts
Can you see where it's leaking from? Maybe something's just loose that can be tightened down (he says this looking very doubtful). You can probably see what the issue is if there's a scrape or other sign of impact on the tank.

I'd ask the MIL what she wants you to do--it's her car, after all, and it's not like YOU broke it. Besides, she might exclaim and say she'd been wondering why her mileage was so sh*tty lately. Could be this isn't new at all (which is scary).

In any case, I'd siphon off the gas ASAP--no point in just letting it drip on the ground. If you have a blacktop driveway, the gas will ruin it, though it's not much threat to concrete or brick. You might not have to siphon it all off, either, if the leak is higher than the very bottom of the tank.

If it were my own parents, I'd pay for it if it were under $300, but I'm like that. I'm not sure I'd personally pony that up for my wife's parents, mostly because they have at least as much money as we do, whereas my folks don't, and never have. I'd drain the gas and save it for them, though--that much I'll do.
 

·
Banned forever.....or not
Joined
·
24,416 Posts
Put something under the car to catch it. That much gas is bad for your blacktop. This way you can truely determine how bad the leak is. Where is the leak from? Front? Back? Middle? Back could mean gas tank. Middle could mean metal gas line. Front could mean rubber hose. Problem could be 1 of 27 different things.
 

·
scruffy nerf herder
Joined
·
4,484 Posts
my vote is for gasket on fuel pump.
 

·
$4000 bike - two bit legs
Joined
·
1,433 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
the leak

I moved the car off of my blacktop. The stain was an oil/gas mix with a strong odor of gas. The stain was about 2ft x 6ft long. I hosed it off as best I could after dousing it with a lot of Simple Green.

The leak is coming from an area just in front of the rear tire on the drivers side. Fuel line?? There is oil leaking too becuase when I moved it to the street, the drips left a series of oily stains up my driveway.

I put in a call & email to the MiL offering to either 1. do nothing 2. take it to my shop and have her responsible for the charges 3. have her call her home mechanic to get his opinion or 4. drive it home and take her chances.

I don't need extra headaches with someone else's car. I have enough of my own. Would you drive a car that had a gas leak??? I don't think I would.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,083 Posts
Maybe you could get under there and take a look. Remember to bring yer Bic so you can see better....

[kid on the phone] "Grandma, I've got some bad news. Daddy torched your Caddy."
 

·
scruffy nerf herder
Joined
·
4,484 Posts
crap, there goes my shot... definitely not fuel pump. Oil gas mix would be a pretty bad thing, but from where its coming from, I really dont know how it could be. Im guessing it has a leak and may be coming down with road grime and tar it is pulling off as it drips down. It doesnt sound serious, thats for sure. If the car has a full tank and you have a steep driveway, and there is a crack around where the fuel nozzle goes in, OR some have a bit of an overflow that would release gas if too full, or pressure is too high, I would expect to have leaks around the gas tank. Let it sit in the street for a few days, I think the gas will stop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
661 Posts
Logic says

It's a hose, metal line, or the tank. You could open the gas cap and see if the tank is pressurized.If it is it might slow it or stop it. But it sounds like it's a gravity fed leak, so a tank leak or line / hose. Being it's a late 90's it will have an electric pump.
 

·
Strained coccyx etc etc
Joined
·
21,050 Posts
GirchyGirchy said:
Light a match and toss it under the car. The flame will lead you straight to the source!
i love you.
 

·
$4000 bike - two bit legs
Joined
·
1,433 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good thinking

GirchyGirchy said:
Light a match and toss it under the car. The flame will lead you straight to the source!
'Cause afterall...it's just the mother in law's car.

I talked to her. She wants me to "watch it" for a couple of days. Apparently, she had it in the shop a week ago. They had it up on the lift and gave it an "OK" except for (according to my 73 year old MiL) some "new gasket or other" that it will need soon.

My involvement should be minimal at this point. She doesn't seem to be bothered by it.

Worst news of all: My 1000th post is wasted on a subject as lame as my Mother in Law. The only upside is that this is probably closer to my 2000th post since my user account was 'zapped' a few years ago in the software change. But still....a post on my MiL for my official 1000th !! How sad.
 

·
Motorator
Joined
·
4,166 Posts
PaulCL said:
Help...My mother in law just left her car in my driveway for a week while she flew off to visit friends in Florida. Her late '90's Cadillac (do they all drive Caddies??) is leaking gas. Not just a drop, but probably a gallon or more on my driveway since it was parked this AM. There is a 7' stream soaked into my blacktop. I can see the gas dripping... maybe a drop every 10 seconds or so..

Before I call her in Florida, I called my mechanic. Couldn't get him, but I got the moron who changes oil. His comment: "no big deal, as long as there's gas in the tank, you all 'kin drive it". Huh? Another, semi-mechanically inclined friend said they wouldn't drive it.

Any input before I call the M-i-L. I am not anxious to go to the the hassle of driving her car to the shop, paying for it, waiting for reimbursement (my wife won't want my MiL to pay us back), then picking up the car. On the other hand, if we dont' have it fixed until she comes back, then she will end up staying with us as long as it takes to get it fixed. I will pay a lot of money to NOT have my MiL in the house. The third option is to shut up, allow her to drive it home. But if it goes "BOOM" on the road, my wife will never forgive me. OK...maybe some other liability there too.....
Have your wife fix the problem. From what you say, she's got different ideas on what to do than you. Tell her you'll support her efforts whatever she decides to do. I'd expect nothing less.
 

·
Banned forever.....or not
Joined
·
24,416 Posts
Reminds me of a story of mine from long ago. Back in the days when I smoked and didn't ride, my hillbilly brother-in-laws came to my house for some sort of party (free beer). The youngest one wanted me to take a look at his car to look at some sort of problem. I had a cig hanging from my mouth when I got down on the ground to look under his car. I was about 4 inches from a heavily dripping gas line. As I jerked back, the cig fell out of my mouth and started to roll under the car. I grabbed for it and managed to burn my hand on the ash. (better than blowing up). The hillbilly in-law didn't understand why I jumped so hard. (This is the same hillbilly in-law that married the same woman three times)

My guess is that it's a gas line. Safe to drive, but put a can or an aluminum turkey pan underneath to catch the drips. Gas will destroy the grass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,270 Posts
Maybe a rubber fuel line has split. There has to be some type of flexible fuel line by the fuel tank leading towards the motor. The gas could be dripping on some oil encrusted car part and dissolving it...or maybe there is an oil leak in addition to the fuel leak. Maybe she should sell it before it kills her.
 

·
Strained coccyx etc etc
Joined
·
21,050 Posts
vol245 said:
Maybe a rubber fuel line has split. There has to be some type of flexible fuel line by the fuel tank leading towards the motor. The gas could be dripping on some oil encrusted car part and dissolving it...or maybe there is an oil leak in addition to the fuel leak. Maybe she should sell it before it kills her.
also...make sure it's oil, not a mix of gas and antifreeze or washer fluid. i've been in a few wrecks (as a passenger) and they look and smell pretty close to the same, strangely.
 

·
here comes trouble
Joined
·
10,045 Posts
PaulCL said:
Would you drive a car that had a gas leak??? I don't think I would.
Mostly that would be a big, fat no, especially if the leak is bad. I mean, what if you get stuck at a traffic intersection for a while and someone throws a cigarette butt out the window? This happened to us vacationing in SanDestin. Also to a Cadillac (go figure). The valet at the hotel drove it to the grass and set a pan underneath it to catch the gasoline (mostly to prevent it from ruining the grass). Then we had it towed to the mechanic.
 

·
Strained coccyx etc etc
Joined
·
21,050 Posts
hey!?!? you aren't a woman are you? wimmen aren't allowed on the inteRwebs. per Scotty.
 

·
here comes trouble
Joined
·
10,045 Posts
When Scotty can make me leave the interweb, I'll leave the interweb.
 

·
scruffy nerf herder
Joined
·
4,484 Posts
what are we, a bunch of freaking chickens?

Plain and simple, if gas in the back, drive it to the mechanic... unless of course it is one of them new fangled rear-engined caddy's. However... if its in the front... there could be other problems. Its in the rear, above the tire... just don't get rear ended and you will be fine.

Otherwise, tell cooper and he will come over and take pictures as it combusts. Coop, what color will the flames be on a 90's era caddy fueled with gasoline?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
484 Posts
Could be dissolved asphalt based undercoat and not oil as gas will eat under coat pretty well. If its on the filler side it could also be a bad tank filler or vent hose.
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top