Why Does My Car Smell Like Gas?


There’s nothing more off-putting than noticing a strange smell in your car. If that smell is gasoline, you may be even more concerned and wondering “Why Does My Car Smell Like Gas?”. If you just made a stop at the gas station, the smell may linger awhile. However, if you notice that the smell is coming from your vehicle, it’s time to get it looked at.

Gasoline and its vapors are toxic, unpleasant, and in some cases, constitute a fire risk. Under most circumstances, you should not smell gas in or around a modern car. So if you do, there’s probably a good reason why.

Why Does My Car Smell Like Gas? – Fuel Leak.

If the gas smell is coming from the engine compartment, there may be a leak in the fuel system. Your car’s fuel injectors, fuel rails, fuel lines, fuel filter, gas tank, etc. would be the first things to check. Over time the various seals and gaskets can degrade or become worn and develop a leak. Do not wait until you notice fuel leaking on the ground beneath your vehicle before you get an inspection.

Evaporative Emissions System Leak

The Evaporative Emissions System (EVAP) exists to prevent gasoline vapors from escaping into the atmosphere from the fuel tank and fuel system at all times. EVAP systems have been required on gasoline powered vehicles since the 1970s. A typical system consists of the fuel tank, an EVAP canister full of activated charcoal, valves, hoses and a sealed gas cap. Vent lines from the fuel tank pass vapors to the vapor canister, where they are trapped and stored until the engine is started. When the engine is warm and the vehicle is going down the road, the PCM then opens a purge valve allowing the vapors to be drawn from the storage canister into the intake manifold. The fuel vapors are then burned in the engine along with the air/fuel mixture.

If there’s a leak in this system, the result is you’ll smell the gasoline vapors that otherwise would have been collected and burned in the engine. Typically, you’ll also notice a check engine light as the computer stores a P0442, P0445, or other related error code

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