We get a whiff of gasoline every time we fill up our cars, so the scent is very familiar. When you’re not near a gas station, there should be no odour of fuel in or around your car. When you smell fuel away from the gas station, the source can be anything from easy to extremely dangerous.
Let’s begin with the most basic triggers. It could be a defective or loose gas cap, or you could be missing one completely. It’s also possible that the fuel tank vent hose is leaking. There are relatively simple issues to resolve. You may be able to smell these outside fuel leaks inside your car because it has fans that suck in outside air.
There are a few other things that could trigger a fuel odour. You might have a fuel tank leak, which is more common than you would think. Road debris can cause fuel tanks to rot or puncture. It is possible to repair or rebuild the tank.
Road debris may also cause fuel lines to deteriorate or be destroyed. Fuel lines in vehicles with fuel injectors are under a lot of pressure, so any small holes or leaks will cause vaporised gasoline to escape, which can happen near hot engine parts. Obviously, this is something that should be fixed as soon as possible by a technician.
Another reason? Small quantities of gasoline can also escape from a leak near a fuel injector. If the seals or O-rings have eroded, a technician may repair them. Additionally, gasoline may be escaping from your vehicle’s charcoal canister, which is a system that keeps evaporating gasoline vapours within your fuel tank from venting to the atmosphere. This will often cause the Check Engine light to illuminate.
Gasoline fumes and leaks can be dangerous for a couple of reasons: they could be a fire hazard and inhaling fumes can cause health problems. It’s always wise to get fuel leaks checked out at our Service Center as soon as you can.
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