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From digest.v7.n734 Tue Dec 9 14:07:03 1997
From: "Ian Solomon" <>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 20:13:41 +1100
Subject: <E12> Fuel Leak - FIXED

Hi guys,
Well, I fixed the leak last weekend, mainlty thanks to your help. FYI heres a summary of the responses:

>From Dan Patzer
the CyberWrench:-
In a well ventilated area, carefully add fuel until you get to the threshold of where a leak will show.
If you had stains on the tank, you've got a leak. Hope it's a hose....

>From Thomas Louis Pappenhagen:-
it may be that the top of your fuel tank has a hole. if you had the leak when the car was parked at an angle, but then when it was level in your garage there was no leak. the e28's are notorious for these leaks, so the e12's may have them too.

>From Al Sutlick, San Diego:-
I'm way behind, trying to catch up on the digests. Did you ever get a satisfactory response to your query? If not, I can suggest a couple of areas of concern.

>From Gregory Szczyrbak Lancaster, PA:-
Fill up the gas tank, does it leak for a whila and then stop? You might have a leak somwhere near the top of the tank Also, it might not hurt to check the fuel sender. Its not to hard to get to. Access it through the trunk ( just a couple of screws or nuts or something). Make sure that is sealed up real good.

Yes it was the fuel sender. The O ring was flatter than road kill. I was able to turn the sender unit and remove it with 2 fingers. I found this on Friday night (again after filling up) and had to jury rig it with some rag until Saturday morning.
I ended up getting the correct O ring from a bearing service centre for the grand sum of $1.00.
No more leaks.

However, top marks for answering (although this time incorrectly) go to Jim Cash. After a quite informative technical explanation on temperature/pressure variations he closed with these gems:

BUT trust me - it is time to change all the hoses. The first leakage always seems to occur they way you described. If you wait much longer you will actually be able to leave a trail of drips - one spark and its a "flaming trail" - and that gives a whole new meaning to the term "being flamed".

PS - if you every want real quick service at your dealer - just say "excuse me but my car seems to have gas draining on on your driveway" - be prepared to have the keys snatched from your hand. <snip>

I didn't have to use it this time, but I'll file it away for future use.

Ian Solomon
Member #257
BMW Club Queensland. Australia
'81 528i
See my car at http:/

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