The smell of gas can strike distress in your heart while driving. Gasoline is a highly flammable substance and is the cause of fire in most vehicles. Therefore, if your car smells like gas, seek the assistance of a professional mechanic.
The smell of gasoline inside your vehicle is an indication your engine is not combusting gas appropriately, which means you spend a lot of money in replacing the pump. This is a grave issue that requires immediate action. But, you need to know the cause of gas smells in your car.
Why Your Car Smells Like Gas?
Your car uses gasoline to drive and propel its movement. If you pump in the liquid gasoline, the engine turns converts it into volatile vapor. The controlled gas vapor moves your car from one to another.
Various causes result in gas smell in the car, and its leakage is the most common reason and should be addressed immediately. Gasoline is a highly toxic compound, and don’t you dare to breathe in its poisonous vapors.
It’s quite challenging to notice the leak problem, but you need to conduct troubleshooting if you do. Without much further ado, here are the 7 common reasons why your car smells like gas.
Loose or Weak Spark Plugs
If you don’t tighten the spark plugs to the correct torque, they begin to get loose, and with time, they become weak. Probably the smell of the gasoline inside your vehicle might be due to the fastening ring around the spark plugs are not tight enough.
So, your motor engine emits these fumes into the air vents in your car’s HVAC system. Therefore, the threaded part of the spark plugs which seal most car components will attract some washers. And, if they are broken, or missing, then this is the cause of the gas smell in your car.
The solution to this problem is to check the state of your spark plugs and ensure they are okay. Remove one after the other, check its condition, and re-install. If you mistakenly mix them, your vehicle won’t ignite.
After you ensure everything is okay, check the torque and tight enough until you get the proper torque. You can repeat this process for all spark plugs; this way, your plugs will seat the exact torque.
Leakage in the Fuel Lines
If your car’s fuel tank and other systems are functioning correctly but still smelling the gas fumes, there is a leakage in the fuel lines, especially the hose. In most advanced vehicles, the fuel pump is located in the fuel tank.
The fuel tank is connected to the engine by a hose. So the pump transfers fuel to the injection rail seated on top of the car engine through different hoses. These hoses are made of rubber and can be punctured or cracked quickly due to aging, thus emitting gas into your vehicle.
If your car is still smelling gasoline, you should peer below the vehicle and check for liquid gas drops. If you find any holes on the hoses, patch them immediately to stop the leakage. But if the gas is still dripping as you drive, you’ll need to replace the fuel pump, filter, and fuel connection.
Damaged Gasket or O-ring in the Oil Cap
This is another cause of gasoline smells inside your car, which is always overlooked by most drivers. This is one of the cheapest and easy components to repair. So if you are still smelling gas when you turn on your vehicle, your oil cap is damaged. Troubleshooting this problem takes a few minutes, no need to lift your car.
The oil cap is the lid of the reservoir. When you want to change the oil, you remove this part. If the vehicle is not tightly sealed, the fumes enter the cabin via the HVAC auto-system, then emitted into the air, leading to that smell inside your vehicle.
Pop up the hood and locate the cap; it’s usually black with a picture or the term “OIL” on top of it. Inspect around for oil stains and dirt; if you notice any of these signs, it’s an indication that your cap is sealed correctly.
Take it off, and examine the O-ring below it. If the O-ring is cracked, flattened, or is missing, you should replace it immediately. Finally, scan the cap for any crack or, if broken, and replace it with the right size too.
Exposure to Exhaust Gas Fumes
If your car smells like gas outside, it’s probably because it’s exposed to expired fumes. The exhaust pipe emits toxic fumes into the air, resulting from combusted vapor for accelerating your vehicle. Suppose you packed it in a gas station or auto car shop, then the fumes can make their way into your car quickly and linger around it for a long time.
In addition, in case your car spilled fumes, the smell might stay in and around it for quite some time. Nevertheless, if your car is exposed to these fumes, the odor fades away quickly; if it’s still there, then there is a problem.
You’ll also notice the smell if your exhaust is leaking. Troubleshooting requires the expertise of a professional mechanic. When your exhaust pipe is leaking, your car tends to produce a loud and irritating sound during acceleration.
Throttling the engine gives a temporary difference. Another possible way is to cover the tailpipe with a towel to clamp off the fumes exiting the pipe. If the leak continues, replace the entire exhaust system to get rid of the gas smell.
A gas leak is a serious problem that causes you to smell it while driving your vehicle. It occurs anywhere around the engine system, which can be difficult to detect sometimes. Therefore, if you want to determine this leakage, check the puddles beneath your vehicle.
You can determine the smell of the gas in your car if you locate the source of the leak. For instance, if the hose that connects the tank and engine is leaking, the fumes will escape through the fuel system. In addition, you can smell it while driving if the leak is coming from the fuel injection.
Gas leaks are hazardous because the puddles underneath your vehicle can catch fire very quickly. The first indication that there is a leak, the fuel gauge is dropping very fast. Also, if you notice different multi-colored puddles beneath your car when it’s idle. If you suspect your engine system of any leak, get it repaired promptly.
Broken Charcoal Canister
Another significant component of the evaporative emissions control system in your vehicle is the charcoal canister. It’s filled with charcoal and stores fuel vapors before sending it to the engine for combustion.
So if you realize your car smells like gas, it emanates from the broken canister under the car. It tends to absorb vapors from the tank, thus reducing your car’s emissions. Moreover, if you want to know another source of this issue, check the engine light for illumination.
So apart from the gas smell, you can experience other difficulties related to performance, such as your car not igniting. Replacing the charcoal by yourself is very tricky; take it to a mechanic for quick replacement.
Poor EVAP System
If your cap is not leaking, probably there is a leak in your EVAP car system. Pressure is generated from dangerous fuel vapors in the fuel tank with time. So this system uses a charcoal canister to capture and purify these vapors and sends them to the engine for combustion.
Therefore, if the system starts to leak, you might smell some gas while driving. Another issue with a damaged EVAP system is the incapability of filling the fuel tank. The auto shut-off device is triggered before the tank is filled up.
If you experience such problems, it might be due to broken canisters or any other essential component in the system. You need to allow a technician to check the system.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. Is it safe for me to keep driving my vehicle even after smelling gas?
No, it’s unacceptable. Some of the problems caused by the gas leak can lead to your car catching fire while you are in, resulting in death. Moreover, you can’t know the magnitude of the issue until after you troubleshoot it.
If you breathe in, the fumes can cause serious health problems too. So check for any leaks and get the car problem fixed promptly.
Q2. How much will it cost me to fix problems related to gas smell?
It’s quite simple to fix a leaking or damaged fuel line. It can cost you between $70 to $130. And you can do it at home in your backyard.
Q3. Why is my car smelling like gas, but there are no gas leaks?
If your car is smelling like gas, but there is no leakage, it might be due to other problems. Therefore, a faulty canister can allow fumes to escape causing your car to stink. Moreover, if your EVAP system is flawed or the oil cap is loose can result in this smell.
If your car smells like gas, it is prudent to examine its cause. This saves you money for repair and time, and you gain the necessary knowledge on how to handle such problems later when they arise. If you can fix the issue yourself, no need to seek professional assistance, but it’s crucial.
So if you carefully read through this article, you get detailed information about the causes of gas smell in your vehicle and possible solution. Gas leaks can lead to a harmful and challenging situation; if you notice it, fix it immediately. Besides, if your car has Cigarette smoke odor, you also can remove it easily by detailed steps.