You start driving your car and after traveling for a few meters, you sense the smell of gas coming from your car. What could have gone wrong? This article is the answer to all your queries.
If you are planning on ignoring this smell, stop right there because gas leakage can be extremely dangerous if you do not deal with it on time. So, let’s discuss in detail the causes behind the gas smell and their solutions.
What Are the Causes and Solutions of Gas Smell in Your Car?
1. Spilled Fuel
Before going towards the technical side, it is necessary that you recall the last time you went for refueling or when you carried a fuel container in your car.
This is because, during refueling, you might have spilled some fuel onto your hands or from the fuel container into your car.
After confirming that there is fuel present in your car, you can get rid of the smell as follows:
Baking soda and vinegar
Grab a towel or any cleaning cloth and soak up the gas in your car.
Then add equal portions of both white vinegar and baking soda and mix them in hot water. Dip a fresh cloth in the mixture and gently rub it on the area followed by wiping with another clean towel.
Besides, you can also keep baking soda in a perforated container and this would work the same as an air deodorizer.
Gasoline spills can also go down towards your carpet. For this, you cannot use baking soda or vinegar as both these products can damage the carpet.
You can purchase it from a department store or online.
Also, keep in mind that carpet cleaners can damage a carpet if taken in concentrated quantities. Therefore, make sure to dilute it with water before its usage.
Take a piece of charcoal and leave it inside your car for some days till the smell of gas completely evaporates.
Charcoal can greatly absorb all sorts of smells present.
After using the above products, use an air freshener to mask any remaining unpleasant odor. However, you should also know that certain harmful chemicals would come along when you spray a scented freshener.
Now, you’ve successfully sorted the spilled gasoline. But, when you get in your car and start to drive, the smell of gas once again hits you. If you are facing this, there could be many reasons behind this and I am going to list down some of the major causes and how you can deal with them:
2. Fuel tank cap
It happens to most of us that after refilling, we unintentionally forget to tighten the cap of the tank. This cap prevents the gasoline vapors from escaping into the atmosphere. When the seal is open, you’ll sense the smell of gas inside the car. It could also be when the cap is loose or missing from its position.
You can check for leaks by removing the cap and will see an O-ring on its underside. A cracked, flattened, or missing oil cap’s gasket calls for immediate replacement.
This process is inexpensive and you can find the seal at any local auto parts store or online.
However, if the O-ring is there, reach out to the cap and look for damages. Replace the whole cap if necessary.
3. Exhaust Leaks
If the fuel tank cap is in its place, the smell of the gas can be from the exhaust. You can check for an exhaust leak when you are driving. If you sense gasoline when driving, this means that some of the gas does not burn during combustion.
This is not good for the engine as only some part of the fuel is used up to generate power and mostly remains without burning. This further increases fuel costs.
One other way to identify an exhaust leak is to listen to the sound your exhaust makes. If it is a loud noise, understand that something is off about the exhaust.
Exhaust leak is not good for your car’s engine due to a decrease in combustion. You cannot solve this on your own. It is best to show it to a professional and get it repaired.
4. Fuel leak
When everything is alright with the exhaust, next comes the fuel system. Fuel can also leak from the engine compartment, meaning that the problem is with the fuel system.
Inside the fuel system, there are fuel injectors that are responsible for spraying little fuel during each cycle. These injectors have tight seals which degrade over time, or the fuel lines connecting the fuel tank with the engine can leak (due to corrosion or cracks). If this happens, you will sense the smell of gas.
In case of huge damage to either the injectors or the fuel lines, you will see a puddle of fuel under your car (from the rear part) whenever you park your car. In other cases, fuel may collect in some other parts of the engine without making a puddle under the car.
If the leaked gas comes in contact with any hot component of a hot engine, it will catch fire. So, you should take your car to a professional.
In case of a fuel leak, only one component cannot be responsible. You have to do a thorough examination to identify the place where it is leaking and replace it.
5. Problem with Spark Plugs
Spark plugs create a spark that further ignites the mixture of fuel and air. As a result, combustion occurs. The spark plugs are tightly screwed to the combustion chamber to prevent the escape of this mixture.
Now if the spark plug is loose or cracked, fumes would evaporate from the cylinder. As soon as the fumes escape into the cabin through the HVAC system, you’ll sense the smell of fuel. Similarly, when the sealing ring surrounding the spark plugs is not seated properly, you’ll also sense gas.
Check for damaged or loose spark plugs by looking at them one by one.
Make sure to inspect one at a time because you might change their positions and your car won’t start again. Replace the damaged ones as they are affordable.
If the spark plugs are not damaged, check their torque. If they are loose, tighten them with your hand. Next, with the help of a wrench, give the spark plug a quarter turn. This would be the correct torque for the spark plug.
Ignoring this smell won’t do any good to you and your car. It is extremely dangerous as gasoline is highly flammable. However, when you are unable to resolve this issue on your own, you have the option of getting it repaired by a professional, but know that this would cost you more.
In this regard, getting an air purifier would be best as it not only removes bad smells but also removes allergens, toxic chemicals, and pollutants from the inside of a car.