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I have had this happen twice before, I never made the connection until this time.

It seems like when I get low on fuel (right when the low fuel light comes on, or slightly before it) I get the strong smell of gas fumes in the car. Windows up or down, NOT using the heat or cooling (or vent), the control for the heating/cooling is off.

It doesn't smell like raw fuel, it smells like...a 20 year old EVAP carbon canister (if you have ever taken a whiff of one of those). I don't think I have had it happen without running the tank low.

I generally don't go below 1/4 a tank, however I want to try out 87 octane to see what power and mileage hit I take over using 91, so I have let it run lower than I normally would.

Any ideas? I haven't crawled under it to check out the fill tube, or the EVAP canister or hoses at the rear. I know the lines on my 97 Cougar were rotten real bad at the engine/to the canister under the front bumper, not sure if it is an issue with the Mark VIII and the rear mounted canister. I don't seem to get adverse driveability, I got a little surging with the Cougar when it needed the sensor and the valve and all the rubber emissions hose for EVAP.
 
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