1988 XJS Charcoal Canister


have a 1988 XJS Coupe with that same fuel smell many of us have. I’ve read all the past posts on this but smell remains.
I have had everything torn out of the boot, tank tested, hoses replaced, and a valve up front by the canister replaced.
When I brought it home the smell was ten times worse. Only thing I can think of ( and mechanic suggests) get a new Charcoal Canister.
I started contacting some parts suppliers and no luck.
DMG in the UK was most helpful giving me a part number but they do not stock them.
I went directly to Jaguar in the UK, but no longer manufactured. They corrected the part number to C2S19820.
Checked junk yards here in Nevada, and nothing.
Any other places you can think of I could try?

(Ed Sowell) #2

Where is the smell most noticeable? What kind of hose was used in the boot? See my write-up on fuel odord in boot.



Some in the boot, but since the work was done, more in the interior.
I read and printed most of your post for mechanic, but he didn’t read it.


He used best quality hoses…sorry missed that from your post.
California approved heavy duty.

(Paul M. Novak) #5

You are getting some bad advice on the carbon canister. The correct part number is CAC3814 and this same part was used in the Series III XJ6s and XJ12s. If you search eBay for"Jaguar CAC3814" you will find some New Old Stock (NOS) ones as well as used ones for sale right now.
I just looked up “C2S19820” on Jaguarclassicparts.com website and I have never seen one of those before and I doubt that part looks like anything you have in your 1988 XJ-S coupe.

I have found over the past 18 years of Jaguar ownership (I own, drive and work on six of them from 1957-1990) that owning the correct Parts Catalogues for each model has solved a lot of mysteries regarding parts and saved me time and money when I purchase my parts. There are a lot of businesses out there that do not know these cars and will steer you wrong regarding parts. If you know the correct part number you can avoid lots of problems.

BTW, I have three CAC3814s sitting in my garage right now from the three Series III XJ6s that I purchased to keep my other Jaguars looking and running their best. If you are interested in getting one from me then contact me off list with a Personal Message.


(Kirbert - author of the Book, former owner of an '83 XJ-S H.E.) #6

Yep. Basically zero chance that’s the cause.


Yes that makes sense.
If I can get another shop to work on it, and I need a canister I’ll look you up Paul.
There is only one other shop in town that does older Jags, and they tried but failed also.
This last guy must have done something to make it worse.
Checked all hoses etc…nothing out of place, but I’m not that handy.
I’ll keep looking, and thanks to all of you.

(Paul M. Novak) #8

There have been a lot of posts from coupe owners about leaky rear wind shields, rusted fuel tanks, fuel tank leaks, and associated fuel smells. There was a recent string by about this where the posted had to install a new tank because the original one was badly rusted.

Based on your description of the fuel smells, and the work you have mentioned to date including the recent hose replacement, I suspect that you have a leaky fuel tank.

I recommend that you search the archives for “fuel tank leaks” and see if those posts sound like your problem. Carbon canister problems do show up from time to time but the symptoms are usually different from what you have described.



I had him take the tank to a shop and pressurize it. No leaks No rust…Maybe putting it back in they messed something up.


I probably should have all hoses replaced. Fuel rail, etc.
Getting lots of advice from forums. Thanks all.

(Douglas) #11

Check the vapor seperator in the right buttress. Just pulled mine recently during a full fuel tank and hose replacement. Mine was in good shape but others report finding them rusty.

Also see the advice Kirby gave me in a previous topic discussion regarding the 2 PSI valve and a bypass of it (for when the car is running only).

(Greg) #12

If you’re smelling fuel in the interior, are you sure you’re not leaking fuel in the engine? Are all your hoses good?


Greg no not sure at all if hoses are good in engine. Most of them are pretty brittle feeling. Might have to get all hoses changed…should have done that first.
Last owner did not do anything but change oil.
Douglas, will investigate
Lots of good new info for me to look into
Thank you

(Greg) #14

You could easily be smelling fuel leaking from engine bay and getting sucked into interior. This is a common cause of fires, so I’d check that asap.


Yes thanks will do…might keep it outside for a while…

(Ed Sowell) #16

Look at the hoses and see if they are marked CARB. If you don’t believe this is important, go to my website and watch the video which shows that fuel vapors permeate the walls of ordinary fuel hose.


Will check. Thank you Ed.

(Carl Hutchins, Jr. ) #18

If a cannister is still an issue, I can offer two thoughts.

  1. Jaguar units are GM sourced. The GM units differ only slightly. My car has the original. My engine package came with a GM unit. recently compared them Very similar. swapping in seems relatively easy, except for the location!!!

  2. Cut the unit open along the side. recharge the charcoal. Used in fish tank filters. Reassemble with black Duck tape. Or roofer’s material.

Of course, if it has to be absolutely original…



Carl thank you.
Recharge means-- new material right?
I saw somewhere, maybe Kirberts book how to bypass the whole mess.
Any way everyone has given me lots of things to look at and replace.
So grateful to all

(Carl Hutchins, Jr. ) #20

Yup. New uncontaminated charcoal. As we know, charcoal is almost pure carbon. In effect, a carbon filter. fuel and/or moisture causes the carbo to clump. And, as such it’s ability to absorb diminishes.

Why does the engine need filtered air?, I do not have an answer, other than it does not. It would devour the slightly petrol loaded air from the tank and never miss a beat. Mixture enrichment? Yes, but miniscule… but, untrimmed !!!

I am guilty, here of a bit of over think.

s this “closed vent” system a source of the fuel smell? No, unless the integrity is compromised somewhere along the circuitous route from tank to engine.