The Smell of Danger (What Causes Gasoline Odors)

Gas pumping into a red vehicle

A driver recently noticed that her garage had begun to smell like gasoline after she parked her vehicle inside and the Check Engine light had also just come on. This was something she'd never experienced before and was unsure what was causing it. There are many things that can cause a sitting vehicle to smell like gasoline fumes, but it can sometimes be tricky to track down the source.

Your vehicle may have a charcoal canister which stores excess fuel vapor. If it cracks or its seal is damaged, you may smell a strong gasoline odor. This may also cause your Check Engine light to come on. It could also be something as easy as your gas cap. It may be loose or worn out and doesn't seal the fumes in. A leaky, loose, or missing gas cap may also cause the Check Engine light to come on.

Gasoline odors can also be caused by a leak somewhere in the fuel system, meaning gasoline can be dripping out. It could be a break in a fuel line, a leaky fuel-injection line or injector. It could also be a leak in the vent for your fuel tank or the fuel filler neck can be worn out and fail.

One thing you should look for is to see if there are any puddles of gasoline on the floor of your garage. Any time there is gasoline sitting around, it can be dangerous. Fumes can be a health hazard. One of the greatest risks of gasoline exposure is the harm it can do to your lungs when you inhale its fumes. Direct inhalation can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which is why you shouldn't run a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage. Long-term exposure in the open can also damage your lungs.

Gasoline can catch fire if exposed to a flame or spark. If you detect the gas odor inside your garage, do not start the car in the garage. Doing so could ignite an explosion.

Whatever the cause may be, if your garage has started to smell strongly of gasoline, call us at Eureka Brake & Automotive before you attempt to start the vehicle. Fire risk is high, so you may be advised to have your vehicle towed to the service center. Gasoline is the source of your engine's power. If that power is unleashed in an uncontrolled way, it could hurt or kill you or others around you.

Eureka Brake & Automotive <br/>707.443-2122 <br/>

Revised from content contributed by NAPA Service Assistant