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7 Reasons Why Your Vehicle Smell Like Gasoline

October 24, 2019

Have you ever noticed the smell of gasoline in your vehicle whenever you’re behind the wheel? This unmistakable odor emanating from your car can be distressing; you no doubt are wondering where its origin may lie. There are several reasons why you may be experiencing this, ranging from very minor to major issues that need to be addressed immediately. The odor can even come from places most people wouldn’t even think of inspecting. Read on to learn about 7 reasons why you might smell gas.

You Just Refueled

Let’s say you just finished the mundane task of refueling your tank. You climb back into the cabin only to notice the smell of gas as you pull away from the pump. Here’s what most likely happened: traces of gasoline made their way into your vehicle. Maybe you stepped in a bit of gas before reentering. Perhaps you spilled a bit on your hands or clothes without realizing. If this is the case, don’t worry. The smell should dissipate in a short time!

Loose or Missing Gas Cap

You know for a fact that you didn’t step in or spill any gasoline, so what gives? Check your gas cap. Did you remember to tighten it after fueling up? Just like any other lid, the gas cap helps secure the contents of the tank from escaping – in this instance, it prevents gas from escaping in vapor form. If you’ve accidentally forgotten to replace your cap altogether, then you’ve more than likely found the answer to your problem. If both of these check out, inspect the cap itself. If it’s cracked or damaged, it’s possible for gas fumes to leak out.

Faulty Oil Cap Gasket or O-ring

A common yet overlooked reason why your car may smell like gas lies within your oil cap’s gasket or O-ring. Although it’s usually an easy and inexpensive repair, ignoring it can be deadly. Open the hood and inspect the area around the oil cap – if you see oil and debris on the valve cover, the O-ring may be old and leaking. This allows fumes to enter the cabin through the HVAC system, which is why you smell gasoline. Inspect the O-ring for cracks as well and replace it if it’s damaged.

Leak from a Punctured or Degraded Fuel Tank

Like every other part of your vehicle, your fuel tank is also subject to wear and tear. Your mechanic will be able to discern if the fuel tank is punctured, degraded, or damaged. If you’ve been noticing puddles of gas pooling beneath your car, however, your tank may have a leak. In either case, your mechanic should handle the evaluation and repairs.

There’s a Leak in the Fuel Line

The critical link between your fuel tank and your engine, the fuel line, is also not exempt from wear and tear. As the years progress, its rubber material can corrode and crack, which can result in gas leaks. While you can inspect the fuel line itself, a professional should repair it immediately. If not, the leak could allow gas to make contact with a component of a hot engine, resulting in a fire.

The Spark Plugs Could be Broken or Loose

You may not think of spark plugs when you smell gasoline, but they are an important part in delivering the spark to the combustion chamber. If they aren’t tightened, it’s possible that the sealing ring could leak fumes from the combustion chamber into the engine compartment right next to the ventilation system. Check your spark plugs’ condition carefully or ask your mechanic to take a look.

Fuel Injector Leaks

While these aren’t terribly common, leaks can occur in your fuel injector. If it does happen, it’s usually due to a damaged O-ring or rubber seal, which then allow gas fumes to escape from the combustion chamber. To investigate, start the engine, let your vehicle warm up, and put your nose to the test. If you detect the telltale odor of gasoline, this could be the culprit. You can replace the O-ring or rubber seal or get your mechanic to replace the damaged components.

If your vehicle smells like gasoline, it’s important to identify the cause. Your mechanic or dealership should be able to help correct it before a larger issue arises. We may not be able to handle this issue; however, should you ever need gasoline or diesel fuel delivered to your farm or construction site, you can count on Home Service Oil to readily meet your needs. Call us today at 1-800-467-5044 to learn more!