When you drive your car, you need to use all your senses. Your eyes can help you detect small leaks before they turn into big ones. Your ears can tell you that your brake lining is worn, or that your engine has developed a miss. Your sense of touch can check the tread on your tires, keeping you safer behind the wheel.
Your sense of smell can be a big help as well, so let your nose find those hidden problems your other senses might be missing. If you detect the smell of gas when you get behind the wheel, it is important to find the root cause of the problem. Some of the causes are relatively benign, while others could be quite serious. Here are some things to look at if your car smells like gas.
A Loose Gas Cap
If you smell gas, the first thing you should do is check your gas cap. If you forgot to put your gas cap on the last time you fueled up, the escaping fumes could create an overwhelming smell of gas, one that will quickly permeate the passenger cabin.
Even if you remembered to replace your gas gap once the tank was full, you might not have tightened it sufficiently. A loose gas cap can also cause a strong smell of gas, so remove and reseat the cap and turn it until it clicks into place.
An Overflow at the Pump
If you just got gas and now smell the aroma of gasoline, you may have overfilled your tank. Many service stations warn their customers not to overfill their tanks, but this practice is still fairly common.
Overfilling your tank will allow gas fumes to enter the air, and those fumes can get into the passenger cabin. If the gasoline smell is caused by overfilling your tank or an overflow at the pump, the aroma should quickly dissipate as you drive. If it continues, you need to seek another explanation for the ongoing problem.
A Leak In Your Gas Line
If your gas cap is securely in place and you did not overfill your tank, you could have a leak in your gas line. A leak in the gas line is very serious, and you should have your vehicle inspected and repaired as quickly as possible.
If your gas line is leaking, a small spark could ignite a big fire, putting you and your passengers at risk. Even if you only suspect a leak in your gas line, you should have the vehicle checked right away.