Why Does the Inside of My Car Smell Like Gas?

Why Does the Inside of My Car Smell Like Gas?

6th Sep 2018

left hand on steering wheel of Ford car

Smell Gas Inside Vehicle?

Do you smell gas inside your car? Conventional wisdom should lead you to believe that this isn't normal. Regardless of what type of car you drive, it should feature a plastic tank in which gas is stored. When driving, a fuel pump will force this gas into the injectors where it's sprayed into the engine's combustion chamber. If you smell gas inside your car -- and you don't recall spilling any the last time that you filled up your tank -- you should identify the cause of the odor so that you can fix it.

Leaky Gas Cap

If your gas cap is leaky, you may smell gas inside your car. The gap is designed to create an air-tight seal at the filler point of your car's gas rank. Like most automotive components, however, it's prone to failure. Over time, a cap may lose its ability to create a secure seal, thereby allowing gas fumes to escape from the filler point. When this occurs, some of the fumes may enter your car's cabin where it creates the smell of gas.

Leaky Fuel Line

Another possible reason the inside of your car smells like gas is a leaky fuel line. Fuel lines are hoses that connect the engine to your car's gas tank. Because they run underneath the car -- along the undercarriage -- they are prone to damage. Driving over speed bumps or potholes, for example, may puncture a fuel line, resulting in a leak. And when fuel leaks from one of these lines, the fumes may enter your car's cabin.

Leaky Oil Cap Gasket

You might be surprised to learn that a leaky oil cap gasket can cause the smell of gas inside your car. Not to be confused with the dipstick, the oil cap is found at the top of your car's engine into which you pour the oil. Oil caps contain a plastic gasket that creates an air-tight seal. When this gasket fails, oil and the fumes of burned oil may leak into your car's cabin, mimicking the smell of gas.

Leaky Injector

There's also the possibility of a leaky fuel injector. Fuel injectors, like oil caps, feature a plastic or rubber gasket at the top and bottom. When they degrade and fail, the injector may leak. The good news is that you don't have to replace the injector. Assuming it's just the gasket, you can replace the gasket and keep the injector.

gas smell graphic