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Old 12-04-2009, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Yes
2,663 posts, read 4,105,259 times
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Default Smell of Gas inside my car ... mechanic says there is no visible fuel leak?

For the last week (basically since the temperature has dropped to winter-like conditions), I have been smelling gas inside my 2002 Kia Sportage. After 2 days of smelling a hint of gas while driving (when heater is on), I took it to the shop. They inspected the vehicle and said there was no visible fuel leak. I asked if that means it is safe to drive, and they said "Well what we can tell you is that there are no visible signs of a fuel leak. We smelled the gas, but saw no fuel leak anywhere. Not sure what to tell you."

So a week later, I can still smell gas when driving. Should I be concerned? Anyone know what could be causing this? There are no accidental gas spills inside the car or anything. This is the first time this has ever happened with the car also.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:58 PM
 
Location: appleton, wi
1,357 posts, read 3,520,065 times
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Without knowing about the Sportage specifically, many SUV's have the fuel pump accessible through the passenger cabin. You remove the trunk carpet and can remove the fuel pump straight up and out from the fuel tank (which is mounted underneath the floor). If that's so, it's possible there is a bad seal that is shrinking or hardening from the cold and therefore letting some vapor or even fluid into the cabin.
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:21 PM
 
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If you're still smelling fuel, take it to different shop and have it checked again. Have them look closely at the injectors as it may have one leaking.

If you smell it more with the heater on then most likely it's coming from under the hood.

It can be a potentially dangerous situation.
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Yes
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I'm going to take it to the dealership shop and get more extensive testing done. The generic shop I took it to just did a visual inspection. I'm not exactly shure what the additional testing is, but I know there are methods to look for fuel leaks in more detail. I can sit down in my car and smell gas now lol, without turning it on (if it's within a couple of hours of last driving it).
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:11 AM
 
Location: WA
4,027 posts, read 12,945,798 times
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It could be something as simple as someone not tightening (or omitting) the oil filler cap on the engine.
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:29 AM
 
4,010 posts, read 5,776,184 times
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Assuming you have checked the obvious like the filler caps, your nose is the best gas fume detector out there. If you can smell it, you have a leak or a spill. Like the others said, find another mechanic. I would also avoid keeping it in an enclosed garage until the smell is gone.
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Yes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdelena View Post
It could be something as simple as someone not tightening (or omitting) the oil filler cap on the engine.
Not a car expert by any means ... is this something that could have been done incorrectly at a recent oil change? (usually use Jiffy Lube, but took it to a Valvaline place recently).
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:32 AM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
5,199 posts, read 9,921,674 times
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All cars will vary on a leaking/smelling case depending whether it's a eary Carb model or a later FI model.

Generally a small leak/seapage from a fuel hose or line in the engine compartment will evaporate from engine heat thus the odor. Like a poster said...a leaky injector might be the culprit...I have seen that on a customers car.

A small leak could eventually turn into a downpour and there goes the engine and car.

True the mechanic could not see the visible leak/seapage...maybe they should air blow dry the lines or look for a visible stain. Each car will be different as I stated. I'm not nit pinkin just that it takes TIME to find that kind of problem ASAP.

Steve
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:02 AM
 
4,010 posts, read 5,776,184 times
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I tend to be overly cautious on this kind of matter from owning a boat. If there is any kind of fuel leak even a small one, the fumes will collect in the engine compartment and can cause the boat to explode when started. This is why boats have blowers and you are supposed to sniff for gas first. If you smell gas, the advise is not to crank the engine(s) until it's resolved.

Cars are not boats and not likely to have the same problem with explosions, but a modern car, like a modern boat should not have a persistent gasoline smell.
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:06 PM
 
Location: Yes
2,663 posts, read 4,105,259 times
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Well, I have to start it to get it to the dealership on Tuesday , but I don't plan on using it before then.
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