TECH TIP Technical Index

Gas Odor

You just filled up your 10 gallon tank, spending half a weekís paycheck in the process. You even have a nice, new gas cap to protect your valuable liquid cargo. You make a hard right turn andÖ Pee-yuwe! Fresh gasoline odors flush through your Vídub. But wait a minute? The gas cap is on the right! So it canít be spilling out from the filler on a right turn!? What could this mean?

SCENARIO: If you own a "late model" non-bus (bug, Ghia, square-back, etc.), which includes post-1970 VWs, you probably have noticed a plastic box with 4 hose connectors on the rear wall of your front trunk (see authorís attempt at Drawing-101 below).

This box is part of the fuel vapor recovery system, intended at reducing emissions of gasoline vapors. The hoses, connected on the driverís side (left) of this box, feed from the top of the gas tank.

PROBLEM: It could be any or all of the following:

  1. The hoses leading to this box, on the driverís side, are routed over the top of the trunk hinge. After several years, the tubes become brittle and can be broken by the hinge.
  2. One or both of these hoses may have been pulled off the canister-box.
  3. The canister box has a plastic tab on each end, used to mount it to the wall. Either of these 2 tabs can crack where they mate to the box, causing gas and fumes to leak out.

(Approximately 12-18" long)


  1. &2(above) Replace the hoses.
  2. I have been unable to locate NEW canister boxes. Any used ones you find would be of questionable quality (could crack tomorrow). I have had good luck removing the canister and GLUING the crack with a brand of glue called "GOOP" (sold at most K-Mart stores). It is part silicone and part model cement. Let it set up over night and re-install canister and hoses.