Things to Know if You Smell Gas Inside Your Vehicle - Service Questions serving Sacramento, CA

April 23, 2019

Gasoline makes your car go, but its smell should stay out of your cabin. If you're driving down the road and you smell gas in your car, it's likely a sign of trouble. This isn't always the case; a gas smell that disappears quickly may be caused by another car, especially if you're sitting in traffic. However, if you keep smelling gas, there's likely an issue that needs to be looked at. Here are four potential causes.

A close-up of a gloved hand holding a gas cap, preparing to screw it into place.

4. Missing Gas Cap

The gas cap in your Subaru helps seal vapors in. If you forgot to screw it back on after your last fill-up, you may smell these vapors, especially if you're sitting in stop-and-go traffic or at a stoplight.

A fuel gauge with the needle approaching empty.

3. Cracked or Worn Gas Cap

Even if you did remember to reattach the fuel cap, it may still be the source of the problem. If the gas cap has a seal that's worn out, the fumes could escape that way. The cap itself could also be cracked. In either case, you'll need to replace it with a new one. Fortunately, this is an inexpensive part that's easy to replace.

Mechanic's hand holding a fuel rail wiht the fuel injectors attached.

2. A Gas Leak

A gas leak is a serious matter, and it can happen in various locations throughout your Subaru. Gas could be leaking from the gas tank, or it could be leaking from somewhere in the engine. If it's the latter, it could be due to bad engine seals or a leaky fuel injector. This can be particularly dangerous, as gasoline is volatile and prone to combust. If you suspect a gas leak, don't put repairs off: bring your Subaru to an authorized service center as soon as possible. In fact, you should not drive a vehicle that you suspect of leaking raw gas as this is extremely dangerous.

1. The Air-Fuel Ratio is Too Rich

The fuel injection systems in modern vehicles combine a precise amount of fuel and air. If there's too much fuel and not enough air, the mixture is rich. When a rich mixture is injected, some of the gasoline may not be burned by combustion. When that happens, it can be released with the exhaust. If this happens, your exhaust will probably look black or dark grey, and you'll likely smell gas when the engine is at idle or in traffic. The technicians at Shingle Springs Subaru know just how to handle this problem.

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Shingle Springs Subaru

4045 Wild Chaparral Dr
Directions Shingle Springs, CA 95682

  • Sales: 530-677-8771
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