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Q: Fuel System?

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The Audi A4 Quattro is the station wagon. First, I've not had it serviced for over a year; the dealer was outrageous. The car has been ok but has multiple issues. Recently, I went to a Union 76 nearest to me and saw the station was closed and there were some men putting some form of additive into the pumps. Went to run another errand, and passed the station on way to another destination. It was open so I went and put gas. No trouble until next day. I had an appt near to me, which was probably less than 3 miles away. Went to park and noticed the car sort of rumbling, then it seemed it was going to die out; I gave it gas and it seemed to hold. There's still power but it feels like its hesitating some, rumbling at stops, and generally seems off. It hasn't lost power but when I went to park again ... ohh, I could smell fuel. Fuel Injectors maybe, Fuel Pump possibly? Prior to this, I've been hearing a whirring noise and thought it was the Power Steering.

My car has 143680 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: A whirring noise is actually a common sympt...

A whirring noise is actually a common symptom of a failing fuel pump. You can rule the power steering pump in or out just by disconnecting power steering belt. Obviously, if the noise remains the same with pump disconnected, then the noise is not coming from the pump. You could also try to gauge the noise level and source by having an assistant put key in "on" (not start, just "on") position while you listen for fuel pump run during initial pressurization (i.e., prior to car starting, pump will run to pressurize system).

The fuel odor is not a good sign... if such continues to any degree you have an urgent situation because fuel in the wrong place(s) is highly explosive and a fire hazard. You should never be able to detect the odor of raw gas or "fuel" in a properly functioning vehicle. So, if you have a continuing odor of fuel, your decision as to diagnose or not is an easy one: you basically have to for safety reasons.

Overall, your symptoms suggest an issue or issue in the area of ignition, fuel delivery, or air induction but that includes quite a number of controlling and interlinked sensors in those systems.

YourMechanic would start with the basics including looking for the source of the fuel odor: fuel pressure (if bad, need to consider plugged fuel filter), condition of ignition system, any available DTC's from a code scanner. But, there is a long list to go through. To make it maximally convenient YourMechanic is completely mobile. We can come to your home or office at your convenience and get your engine running smoothly again, once the issue(s) are properly diagnosed.

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