What Does It Mean When Your Car Smells Like Gas?

What Does It Mean When Your Car Smells Like Gas?

Okay, you get into your car and it smells like gas. Your first thought is probably one of concern, yet at the same time, perhaps you cannot afford to take your car to your local dealership right away.

Any smell of gas in a modern car deserves to be inspected immediately. Many of the issues that cause the smell of gas are easily corrected. Here is a brief list of the most common reasons you may smell gas in your car, and how seriously you should take these issues if you discover them.

Different reasons for the smell

Moderate reasons for concern

Gas Cap: sometimes, with age, the gas cap of your vehicle will start to leak a bit. This is caused by blown, exhausted or failed o-rings or gaskets. The smell will be faint and this issue is unlikely to damage your car. Newer cars will display a 'check engine' or 'check fuel cap' light to indicate where to find the issue.

Age: Older cars utilized a number of less efficient combustion methods. A little fuel that did not burn fully would frequently remain in the carburetor. Resulting gas fumes cause the smell.

Strong reasons for concern

Punctured or cracked exhaust pipe: A cracked exhaust pipe may cause the smell of gas. A cracked exhaust pipe likely won't cause any issues for your vehicle but can cause substantial environmental damage. A great way to tell if the exhaust pipe is damaged is by listening to the exhaust note of your running engine. If you hear a cracking noise or a different sound from your engine, have your exhaust pipe checked.

Charcoal Canister failure: Did you know you had a charcoal canister in your car? The charcoal canister can fail due to age. As this container is designed to absorb extra gas fumes that run through the engine, if something does happen to the charcoal canister, a lingering smell of gas is quite possible. An issue with the charcoal canister will cause the Check Engine Light to come on.

Serious reasons for concern

Leaking gas tank: Your gas tank can become punctured or, with very old vehicles, the tank may rust and eventually fail. One of the tell-tale signs of this failure is when you see evidence of gas on the ground after you've parked your car. Gasoline is extremely flammable, so having the largest source of gas (your gas tank) leaking small amounts of highly flammable liquid is a recipe for disaster. If you see gas slicks on the ground after you park your car, you need to have your vehicle inspected by a professional as soon as you possibly can.

Fuel injection leak: This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Fuel injection systems utilize highly pressured gas lines to feed fuel directly into the injection system. If your fuel injection lines are leaking, you could have highly pressurized gas leak out. Fires in modern cars are highly unlikely but a faulty fuel injection line would be a primary culprit if it does occur. Open the hood, locate the fuel injection lines and see if there are any noticeable dark spots. If there are, take your vehicle to a mechanic immediately.

Visit Pinnacle Nissan Today?

Of course, if you car smells like gas, why risk it? Trade in gas for that new car smell by visiting your local Nissan dealership. With a brand reputation built on reliability, dependability and durability, your new Nissan will give you years of trustworthy service. Contact Pinnacle Nissan for additional information. Better yet, you should schedule a test drive today!

Tags: smell, gas, car smell