Auto Repair

Why Does My Car Smell Like Gas?

Your car needs gasoline to run, and it’s not uncommon to bring that telltale stench with you after filling up the tank. If you consistently notice that smell filling the inside of the cabin, however, something more insidious could be afoot. Not to mention, gas is plain dangerous, so ignoring the issue isn’t an option. Here’s a look at the most common reasons your car smells like gasoline:

Loose Spark Plugs

Did you know that loosened spark plugs can leak noxious fumes into the combustion chamber? More importantly, the combustion chamber sits next to the air-conditioner intake area. Taking these into consideration, it’s easy to see how a simple issue can lead to a stinky problem.

To make sure spark plugs are to blame, you need to remove each one and inspect its coils (damage can cause it to lose grip). If everything appears clean, use a wrench to reattach and tighten spark plugs. If the smell goes away, you found the source. If not, you’ll want to further investigate.

Compromised O-Ring

As the number one cause of gaseous fumes, a damaged O-ring doesn’t require a lot of money or hassle to fix. To see if this little element is the source, open the hood and examine the oil cap closely. If you notice excessive debris or buildup, it’s probably the O-ring, since it leaks with time and age, generating engine fumes that dissipate through the HVAC system, once again creating a smelly mess in your car’s cabin.

Note: If the O-ring needs replacing, consider doing the same with the oil cap, as these parts rely on one another to function properly. Both can be found at your local auto parts store, and shouldn’t cost much ($25 – $35 for the pair).

Oil Leak

If your vehicle leaks motor oil, it will smell like gas, since unburned fuel gets into the mixture. Unfortunately, several issues can lead to an oil leak, so finding the cause is your best hope for eliminating the problem and the smell that goes with it. On the other hand, the leading cause of an oil leak is an aged valve cover gasket (it sits on top of the engine and absorbs the most heat, so it wears out more easily than other components). To check for a bad gasket, look for oil streaks running along the outside of the engine. Whatever the cause, having a professional attend to the leak will help ensure it’s adequately contained.

For all your car’s repair and maintenance needs, call the experts at Empire Auto Care in Ft. Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Wilton Manors, Lighthouse Point, and Lauderdale By The Sea at 954-800-8512 today!