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Premium Member
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548 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
[Before I start, in case you don't look at my sig... my car is a 56 plate 2.2 diesel SE]

Just over a week ago I got the car ready for a trip up to North Wales from London. Nothing major, just an oil level check and top up, plus washer fluid and tyre pressures.

Later that day, I noticed a small puddle under the car and initially I thought it was excess oil where I'd missed the fill hole due to not using a funnel.

I did the journey, which included more than a few traffic jams... during which we could smell diesel in the cabin, really strong smell. Then we stopped at a service station, and immediately upon stopping I looked under the car and clear looking liquid was dripping from 3 different locations along the length of the under tray... but the biggest drip/leak that causes the main "puddle" wherever we park up, is about half way back between the front and rear wheels. I'm guessing this is just the lowest point of the under tray (it's not exactly flat).

It's definitely diesel leaking from somewhere. The smell is unmistakable.

Now, it's not leaking from the tank because left overnight the tank doesn't drain and each time I park in a different spot (car park, in-law's drive way, side of the road) the puddle left behind is the same size... the same amount of diesel leaks out each time the car stops.

But it's also definitely leaking whilst the engine is on too, whilst driving, because we can smell it clearly if we slow down or stop during normal driving (traffic lights, jams, waiting to turn at a junction etc), plus at the end of the motorway journey the whole back of the car from the spoiler down to the bottom of the bumper is covered in greasy diesel/road muck.

Question is... what is the likely cause of this leak? Does anyone have any experience of such a problem, and if so how expensive is this going to be to repair?

Being diesel, I'm fairly sure it's not a fire risk like petrol would be, but I'm still extremely uncomfortable with leaking diesel all over the place.

In other news, we were going up this extremely steep hill. It was a single track road, an another car was coming down. They saw us and still drove past the passing place, they should have given way to us coming up.
Basically, we both had to stop. I put the handbrake on, in order to do a hill start, but the hill was so steep that the handbrake couldn't hold the car. I had to keep my foot on the foot brake then quickly move to the gas pedal and do the hill start.

With the clutch fully engaged, in 1st gear, foot all the way to the floor.... No dice! Hill was so steep that the car went backwards, whilst in 1st gear and full acceleration.

MASSIVE PLUMES OF SMOKE billowed from beneath the bonnet and out of the left front wheel arch.

Clutch buggered? or will it recover?

Now the car judders pulling off in 1st gear on level ground.

I really don't want to spend more than the value of the car on repairs, but I can't afford a new car right now either.
 

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Clutch pedal guru
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5,026 Posts
Fuel pipe can be fixed easily, do us all a favour though and stop driving it until it's sorted or you'll have some innocent motorcyclist off on your spill.

As for the clutch, billowing with smoke doesn't sound good and you've most probably knackered it.
 

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Premium Member
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1,740 Posts
Fuel pipe can be fixed easily, do us all a favour though and stop driving it until it's sorted or you'll have some innocent motorcyclist off on your spill.

As for the clutch, billowing with smoke doesn't sound good and you've most probably knackered it.
maybe the leaking diesel is getting into the clutch
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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67 Posts
Fuel pipe can be fixed easily, do us all a favour though and stop driving it until it's sorted or you'll have some innocent motorcyclist off on your spill.

As for the clutch, billowing with smoke doesn't sound good and you've most probably knackered it.
Yes - Please, please do not drive this vehicle - diesel spills are lethal - especially to 2 wheeled traffic.
 

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Premium Member
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548 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Update

The metal fuel pipe was corroded in 2 places, and on either side of the rubber sleeve that joins them.

My local mechanic simply chopped off the pipes and connected them together with fuel hose and clips... £3 plus labour and VAT, £87 total, which I'm more than happy with.

The diesel puddle under my car has reacted with the asphalt and melted it. I dumped a bag of cat litter on it today whilst the car was at the garage, seems to have done the trick by soaking up liquidy bits and clumping up the wet slimey bits... but I suspect the council won't be too happy with the state of the road when the kitty litter washes away over the coming weeks. I wish I'd have reacted sooner to the puddle, but it was difficult getting to it with the car still in place, and I didn't want to move the car because it would have just dumped diesel further down the road.

Thankfully, this is a very quiet residential "crescent" with no through traffic.
 

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Ex-Pat Geordie!
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2,229 Posts
I had the same happen when I had the 2.2. Well and truly pee poor design. Should have been a recall too for something on the fuel system.
 

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Registered
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46 Posts
maybe the leaking diesel is getting into the clutch
Impossible, it's enclosed by the gearbox.

Riding the clutch and burnt it out to cause smoke. Not necessarily finished the clutch off, but taken some life out of it.

I've done the above with smoke billowing out from the clutch on a scrap Puma on the way to the scrapyard, doing a burnout whilst riding the clutch, but it had came to the end of its life so burnt the clutch out rather than the wheels. :lol:
 
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