How a fuel leak spoiled the LX450's big reveal

Landing Image(s)

The Lexus LX450, after missing in action for over a year following an unplanned engine rebuild, finally made its way down to Maryland after its final stop at my faithful stereo shop back in Rhode Island (more on that later - I'm not a tech guy, but I am psyched with what got installed). I was overjoyed, as the truck drove pretty decent for a rig with the 3-inch lift, and it felt like the four-door anvil I always knew it could be.

Now, I'm prone to ignoring warning signs when I want everything to be perfect, so when I filled up the tank for the first time in over a year, I didn't pay much mind to the heavy smell of fuel. And when it required $89 of premium fuel to fill up the tank, I wrote it off to not knowing exactly how large the tank was. And when I blew through that gas in about 4 days of fairly normal driving, I figured it was due to the engine stlll breaking in. 

It wasn't until I stopped to fill up a second time and take some pictures of the truck from a ground-level angle that I noticed a heavy drip off the rear suspension that seemed to coincide with the fuel nozzle I had jammed on autopilot and stuck in the filler neck. Cease fueling immediately and drive off with my $60 for 3/4 of a tank of mid-grade. 

So, we have a new problem. The homecoming queen has herpes. I suspect (and hope) we are just looking at a spent gasket around the top of the tank where the sender resides, which would make sense for a truck that hasn't seen much use and zero fill-ups since sometime around December 2022. My new shop in Annapolis conveniently has a few Land Cruisers in its customer fleet, so off it goes after a mere week in operation. Tell me again how charming old cars are?