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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #1  
Old 05-16-2012, 09:12 PM
nd_irish nd_irish is offline
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2013 X5 35i Premium - Strong Gasoline Odor

We recently purchased our first BMW, a 2013 X5 35i Premium. We have had the car for almost three weeks. After arriving home this afternoon, we noticed a strong gasoline odor once we parked in the garage. This occurred after having the car parked outside for about an hour and then driving a little over 10 miles to our home. Also, during the drive my wife switched from standard drive to sport mode (DS) then back to standard drive before we got home. It was a pretty hot day today where we live with temperatures at or near 100 degrees. I called and spoke to a service advisor at the dealership where we got the car, and he indicated that this was normal when the temperatures were this high after I told him we did not top off our gas tank, which he indicated could be a possible cause. He said the odor had something to do with the fact the car had to relieve pressure from the fuel tank due to the high temperatures. For those of you with this type of X5 in a hot climate, is this normal? We had a Lincoln Navigator before the X5, and we also have a Jaguar S-Type. I do not recall either vehicle having this issue. I would appreciate any feedback on this issue since I have not been able to find much on the internet about this. Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 05-16-2012, 09:57 PM
Lightjak Lightjak is offline
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IMHO...
This is not normal. Don't believe your SA.... Follow-up and schedule an appointment..
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  #3  
Old 05-17-2012, 06:21 AM
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chiefneil chiefneil is offline
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Definitely not normal. It often goes up to 115F where I live and my '12 X5 never smells like gas.

Call back and make sure you get a different SA next time.
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  #4  
Old 05-17-2012, 08:07 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Not normal! Get the car back to the dealer -- and as the Chief writes -- use another SA or better yet talk to the SM directly!
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  #5  
Old 05-17-2012, 08:23 AM
nd_irish nd_irish is offline
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Thanks to everyone for the replies. I placed a call to the service director at the dealership this morning and am waiting for a call back.
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  #6  
Old 05-17-2012, 09:05 AM
nd_irish nd_irish is offline
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I just spoke to the service director. He suggested we bring the car in to check for leaks and check the charcoal canister to make sure gas did not get into it. He did indicate that with the X5 and 5 series that when the temperatures exceed 100 degrees that this smell of gasoline vapors was common. While he was not sure of the engineering specifics, he believed it had to do with the fact that the car tends to vent more vapors, and that the car has a small charcoal canister for filtering the vapors. I did ask if the charcoal canister would have been used up at this point given the fact that we have only had the car for three weeks, and he did not think that should be the case unless someone topped off the gas tank when preparing the car for delivery to us in which case he said gas could have gotten onto the filter. I'll report back once we have had the car in for service. Also, if anyone is familiar with this scenario, please let me know. Thanks, again!
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  #7  
Old 05-17-2012, 09:26 AM
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AutoUnion AutoUnion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_irish View Post
I just spoke to the service director. He suggested we bring the car in to check for leaks and check the charcoal canister to make sure gas did not get into it. He did indicate that with the X5 and 5 series that when the temperatures exceed 100 degrees that this smell of gasoline vapors was common. While he was not sure of the engineering specifics, he believed it had to do with the fact that the car tends to vent more vapors, and that the car has a small charcoal canister for filtering the vapors. I did ask if the charcoal canister would have been used up at this point given the fact that we have only had the car for three weeks, and he did not think that should be the case unless someone topped off the gas tank when preparing the car for delivery to us in which case he said gas could have gotten onto the filter.
Sounds like a bunch of crap. If that is true, then all 335, 535, 640, 740, X3 35i, etc would have this odor because they all use similar fuel systems

The E70 and F10 are barely related, so it sounds like complete BS
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  #8  
Old 05-17-2012, 10:23 AM
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chiefneil chiefneil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_irish View Post
I just spoke to the service director. He suggested we bring the car in to check for leaks and check the charcoal canister to make sure gas did not get into it. He did indicate that with the X5 and 5 series that when the temperatures exceed 100 degrees that this smell of gasoline vapors was common. While he was not sure of the engineering specifics, he believed it had to do with the fact that the car tends to vent more vapors, and that the car has a small charcoal canister for filtering the vapors. I did ask if the charcoal canister would have been used up at this point given the fact that we have only had the car for three weeks, and he did not think that should be the case unless someone topped off the gas tank when preparing the car for delivery to us in which case he said gas could have gotten onto the filter. I'll report back once we have had the car in for service. Also, if anyone is familiar with this scenario, please let me know. Thanks, again!
Just gonna say that from June through August where I live, the lowest daytime high we see is 105F. In fact most people would consider 105F to be a pretty pleasant day for summer. Most days it'll be up around 110, with some week-long stretches at 115.

Never noticed any gas smell at all in my X5 under those conditions. We got it in June 2011, so it's been through a full Phoenix summer. It is possible that overfilling (topping off) can cause the smell and it would last for a while, so make sure your wife didn't top it off. So can leaks - I seem to recall that one of my past BMW's had a fuel line leak causing a strong gas odor inside.
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  #9  
Old 05-17-2012, 10:29 AM
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One of your fuel injectors could be leaking hence the gas smell, if that is the case I would not drive it.
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  #10  
Old 05-21-2012, 11:16 PM
nd_irish nd_irish is offline
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Once again, thank you to everyone for their feedback. We took the car to the dealership last week, and I dealt directly with the head of the service department. They kept the car for a few hours and ran several tests on the vehicle to determine if there were any leaks with the fuel system. They indicated they were unable to recreate the issue. They said they performed a short test on vehicle and found no faults. They indicated they performed a DMTL test which the vehicle passed. They said they performed a visual inspection of the fuel system and found no signs of leakage. They also said that they smoke tested the vehicle's fuel system and found no signs of leakage at this time. When I spoke to the service director, he indicated they checked the fuel injectors as part of their inspection and did not detect anything abnormal. We went for about a week without an issue, and today we were over 100 degrees here in southern Nevada, and about an hour or two after my wife got home, I detected the gas odor again. They are claiming that this is possible when temperatures get this high due to the car needing to release pressure. However, I realize that chiefneil has noted he is in Phoenix and has not experienced this with his X5. I am planning on calling the dealership again tomorrow but would appreciate any feedback on other things to have them check, other tests to run, etc. Also, I have verified that my wife has never topped off the car when she gets gas, and the service director indicated they checked the charcoal canister and did not detect any gas in it either which could have been a potential cause of the odor. Thanks!
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  #11  
Old 05-22-2012, 07:08 AM
bxmxwx bxmxwx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_irish View Post
Once again, thank you to everyone for their feedback. We took the car to the dealership last week, and I dealt directly with the head of the service department. They kept the car for a few hours and ran several tests on the vehicle to determine if there were any leaks with the fuel system. They indicated they were unable to recreate the issue. They said they performed a short test on vehicle and found no faults. They indicated they performed a DMTL test which the vehicle passed. They said they performed a visual inspection of the fuel system and found no signs of leakage. They also said that they smoke tested the vehicle's fuel system and found no signs of leakage at this time. When I spoke to the service director, he indicated they checked the fuel injectors as part of their inspection and did not detect anything abnormal. We went for about a week without an issue, and today we were over 100 degrees here in southern Nevada, and about an hour or two after my wife got home, I detected the gas odor again. They are claiming that this is possible when temperatures get this high due to the car needing to release pressure. However, I realize that chiefneil has noted he is in Phoenix and has not experienced this with his X5. I am planning on calling the dealership again tomorrow but would appreciate any feedback on other things to have them check, other tests to run, etc. Also, I have verified that my wife has never topped off the car when she gets gas, and the service director indicated they checked the charcoal canister and did not detect any gas in it either which could have been a potential cause of the odor. Thanks!
This may not be an easy thing to do but they will be inclined to say "unable to recreate the issue" unless you drive it to them IMMEDIATELY when you smell the gaz and have the tech (or better yet, the service director) acknowledge existance of that smell on the service form. Don't get surprised if they suddenly have lost their sense of smell too, so ideally take someone else with you who can confirm they smell the gaz. This may come in handy if you have to fight this down the road. Smelling gaz in a car is not something I would want to live with.

Also, not to scare you, or anything, make sure you have a good car fire exinguisher with you all the time, just in case, and know how to use it (best couple it with a pair of gloves and clear glasses). And if something bad really happens - just run away from it and let the insurance deal with it. I have seen so many cars going up in flames on the curb where it started with a small leak, and the difference is a $20 thing that nobody seems to care about anymore. I always have one, in both of my cars (but then I also have emergency first care cert, which is another story). I repeat, I do not know your case is serious enough for all that, but that is why I personally would like to be prepared for the worst. Good luck and keep your eyes (and nose) open!

EDIT: Having thought about this a few minutes more, I also suggest you start a notebook and document every single issue, conversation with the dealer, copies of order and service forms etc including date, time, names, addresses and phone numbers. This is a very serious issue and, unfortunately, resolving it may turn legal. Also, if it happens that the dealer is far when you experience the smell, take the car to any certified shop (not necessarily bmw) and have their tech to acknowledge the smell in writing. Document everything! If the dealer resists after having such a verification, talk to a lawyer (but do not aggravate to threaten the dealer).
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Last edited by bxmxwx; 05-22-2012 at 08:08 AM. Reason: Addition
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  #12  
Old 05-22-2012, 07:59 AM
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chiefneil chiefneil is offline
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Sounds like you're in a difficult situation. I'd try another dealer, personally.

I've been in Phoenix for 15 years now, owned about 5 different cars in that time (3 of them BMWs) and none have had a gas smell correlated with temperature. If it was common I'd think that it would be a frequent topic of conversation where I live. BTW, forecast high for yesterday was 108F
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  #13  
Old 06-03-2012, 10:48 AM
nd_irish nd_irish is offline
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Once again, I want to thank everyone for their feedback regarding this issue. We took the vehicle back to the dealership again the week before Memorial Day weekend, and they kept the car for almost two full days. They needed to order a 2012 charcoal canister to replace the one currently installed in the vehicle. They did several test drives in addition to installing the new charcoal canister and were hopeful that would resolve the issue. The service director did tell me that the old charcoal canister weighed more than the new one which would indicate that gas could have gotten into the canister if someone had topped off the tank when prepping it for delivery. We went for a little over a week without the issue. In fact, my wife was out most of the day this past Thursday when temperatures were over 100 degrees, and before she came home she filled up the tank. I checked for the gasoline odor several times that evening and did not detect anything. Unfortunately, the issue reoccurred on Friday. She was out most of the day on Friday, and we had a high temperature well over 100 degrees. The gas tank was between 3/4 full and full during the day on Friday. I spoke to the service director that evening who told me to bring the car back, and that he and the shop foreman would work on the vehicle again this Monday. I would appreciate any feedback regarding anything else I possibly should have them check or do to try and get this issue resolved. Also, if anyone else out there has experienced this issue and was able to get it resolved permanently, please let me know. Thank you.
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  #14  
Old 06-25-2012, 04:47 PM
Bald Michelins Bald Michelins is offline
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Experiencing a similar issue with my 13' X5. Filled it up today (no top off, click done). It's hot here and I went out to the garage this evening and there is a fuel smell. Not a strong fume smell but a fuel related smell. Nothing inside the vehicle.

More to come.
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  #15  
Old 06-28-2012, 12:38 PM
nd_irish nd_irish is offline
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Bald_Michelins-

I wanted to find out if you have anything additional to report with regard to the fuel smell issue you are experiencing. Almost two weeks ago the service director at the dealership servicing our X5 indicated that BMW does not have a solution for the issue we have reported. I have contacted the EPA regarding this issue and have been told this is not supposed to be occurring.
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  #16  
Old 06-28-2012, 03:50 PM
Bald Michelins Bald Michelins is offline
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I went back into the garage in the morning and there was no more smell. Hasn't happened again but I haven't filled it up yet either. We'll see the next fuel up.
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  #17  
Old 07-01-2012, 09:43 AM
Bald Michelins Bald Michelins is offline
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Happened again yesterday after driving around in the 100 degree heat. Half tank of gas so I can count out the theory of it having to do with a fill up. Weird.
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  #18  
Old 07-06-2012, 11:11 AM
nd_irish nd_irish is offline
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Hi Bald_Michelins-

I wanted to find out if you have any updates on the fuel smell issue you have been experiencing. Have you taken your vehicle to the dealership regarding this issue? Let us know. Thanks!
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  #19  
Old 07-06-2012, 03:01 PM
Bald Michelins Bald Michelins is offline
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Hasn't happened again. Even after a fill up. Wait and see.
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  #20  
Old 07-20-2012, 08:23 AM
nd_irish nd_irish is offline
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Hi chiefneil-

If you are still checking this forum, I would appreciate it if you could let me know the specific BMW X5 model that you have. Thanks!
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  #21  
Old 07-20-2012, 08:28 AM
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chiefneil chiefneil is offline
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Mine's a 2012 X5 35i.

I also have a 2002 330i, and previously a 2002 X5 3.0i and 1995 325i. None of them had any gas odor even when temps are north of 115F.

As I mentioned earlier, I do have a vague recollection of one of those cars having a fuel smell that was traced to a fuel line. But that was an all-the-time smell, not related to temperature.
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  #22  
Old 07-20-2012, 09:19 AM
nd_irish nd_irish is offline
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Thanks, chiefneil! I appreciate the quick response.
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  #23  
Old 06-06-2013, 12:16 PM
Westendrail Westendrail is offline
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Strong Gas Odor

I also have a 2012 X5 and have noticed the strong gas smell almost constantly. I have had other notice it as well. Brought the car to dealer and they can not fix or explain the odor. They think it might have something to do with the overflow line and want me to let them know if I smell it in the future and where it is coming from? I notice it in my garage mainly but also have smelled it outside the car while it is running? Mystery
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  #24  
Old 06-12-2013, 07:13 AM
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... found this thread form a google search....

My '13 X3 35i had this same issue yesterday. Same conditions as your X5:

> recent fill up of fuel (3 hours / 60 miles earlier in the day)
> very hot - 98 degrees or more

I'll see if I get it again today since it'll be hot again.

The strong gas oder was coming from the rear of the vehicle, and hardly noticeable from the gas cap area.

I wouldn't be surprised if it is related to the heat and the vapor pressure of gasoline. In the older BMWs, I think the fuel lines were cooled via the a/c refrigerant, and maybe there's a pop-off valve somewhere?
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