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6 Most Common Reasons Why A Car Smells Like Gas?

Many people ask: “Why does my car smell like gas?” If you have the same question, here is the right place for you. A car in good condition does not produce any smell like gas fume. So if you find out that your car smells like gas when parked, it seems like there are some internal problems happened with your vehicle. And these problems need to be repaired right away. In this article we will show you some potential reasons why a car smells like gas and how to fix them. Let’s check it out!

Car Smells Like Gas – What Are The Reasons?

1. Gas Cap

Loosen gas cap causes your car smells like gas
A loosen gas cap can cause your car smells like gas

When you find out your car smells like gas after driving, an important thing to check out is the car’s gas cap. After opening the tank, you have to check the gas cap carefully, making sure that you never lose it or let it loose. Additionally, you also need to make sure that the gas cap is still in good condition. A broken or loose gas cap can release gas fumes and turn the check engine light on for new vehicles. Thanks to the amazing technology behind the check engine indicator, nowaday the car can identify leaks within by a self-test.

2. Gas Exposure

The reason to think about when a car smells like gas but no leaks is gas exposure. Sometimes, gasoline fumes from gas stations’ pumps can get into your car if you let the car doors or windows open, causing gas smell. To get rid of this problem, everything you need to do is rolling down the windows and driving for a few minutes. If the gas odor does not come back, you don’t have to worry about it anymore. If it still stays in your car for several days, you should look for other reasons below.

3. Broken Canister

Canister is a plastic component to catch charcoal. Canister also collects excess vapor going out from the fuel tank to minimize emission exiting the system. If the canister leaks or cracks through its damaged vent or seal, you will smell a strong gas fume in your car. That can make the check engine light turned on.

4. Gas Leaks

Gas leaks is the answer for the question “Why does my car smell like gas?”

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Gas leaks is another reason causing car smells like gas inside. You can check whether your car has gas leaks or not by looking for black puddles underneath the car. It the car has black puddles, here are some several things for you to check out:

Fuel Tank

Punctured or old fuel tanks often causes gas leaks. The best way to fix this problem is to remove the tank totally. By doing that, the mechanic can check it thoroughly for fixing or replacement.

Additionally, a leak in fuel tank vent hose can produce un-burned gas coming out of the fuel system and changing into mist or vapor. Thus, to keep everyone safe, you have to let the professional mechanic fix the leaks immediately as gas puddles and gas fumes can cause fire.


Injector leaks are caused from their o-ring seal or rubber. Every injectors has rubber seal placed at the bottom and an o-ring located at the top. These components are prone to be broken by dryness. To fix this problem, you just need to replace the damaged o-ring or seal. You don’t need to replace the whole injector.

To inspect the injector condition, you have to open the car hood and check the injector in the fuel rail. Turn the engine on. If you find out that fuel stored around the injector, it will be the reason makes your car smells like gas.

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Fuel – Injection Line

A leak in the fuel injection line can cause a strong gas smell once you park your car. The function of fuel injection is promoting higher pressure along the fuel lines. In new cars, the pressure is from 60 psi to 125 psi. If there is any problem in fuel injection such as weak fitting, the fuel will spread out from different parts of the line. This leads to mist and vapor which create gas smell. Actually this is very hazardous if the leak is near the exhaust or engine. Additionally, gas mist is very dangerous for health. If a person breathes in gas fume, he will suffer dizziness or headaches, finally leading to brain damage in long-term if these leaks are not fixed immediately.

Fuel Line

Fuel lines connect the fuel tank and the engine. They are found underneath cars. Debris and different elements along the road can easily crush fuel lines. Ones which are made of rubber are prone to leaks when they are used for several years or are broken by a clumsy mechanic.

5. Bad Fuel Pressure

A bad fuel pressure is one of the potential reasons that make a car smells like gas. A failed pressure regulator can cause your car burn fuel until the mixture gets too rich or too thin. Burning more fuel may cause gas fumes inside the exhaust. Gas fumes will also come inside the car if a leak makes the exhaust enter the ventilation system. In this case, smell is not the only symptoms of fuel pressure regulator fail. Another warning sign is weaker power and fuel efficiency.

6. Old Cars

Vehicles made in the early 1980s or earlier are likely to release a faint odor of gasoline after shut off. It happens because of the fuel afterboil in the float bowl of the carburetor. It is completely normal if you notice the odor only after shutting the car off and it dissipates after a while. Newer models don’t have this issue because they have a built-in evaporative-emissions system.

Hopefully after reading our article, you get useful information about the reasons behind fuel smell in car and know how to fix it. If you have any question about this topic or want to know any car maintenance tip, feel free to leave us a comment below. We will answer your question in the next article.

Have a safe driving!

  1. Michael Kielar says

    A charcoal canister “CATCHES” charcoal? That is what was quoted in one of the causes. The canister DOES NOT catch charcoal. The charcoal was put in there by the manufacturer. This is exactly why these sites appear to be written by some crackpot who knows very little about the subject and the English language!!

    1. CherylB says

      That even made me laugh and I know very little about cars. I wasn’t aware cars drop charcoal.

  2. Amir says

    With due thanks to ur article I’m also suffering the problem WTH my new Suzuki euro ii Mehran. The smell is killing me plus all the mechanics failled to spot the problem. What should I do I don’t know. Plz help me for good sake

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