PDA

View Full Version : gasoline smell while driving?


buffalogirl
03-16-2010, 09:04 AM
I have a 2007 Yaris sedan and while driving the other day my car smelled like exhaust/gasoline. I thought it was the big truck I was next to but it is still happening (almost a week later). It does not smell when I get into it, but after its been running for a while, it starts to smell. Fortunately it is starting to warm up here, so I can open the windows when it starts to smell, but it happened again today and I now have a sore throat from breathing it in (even though I rolled the windows down) and when I got to work this morning a coworker commented on how I smelled like gas! Any ideas on what could be causing it or how to fix it? I can't take it anywhere until tomorrow, so I'm hoping its something easy that I might be able to do in the parking lot or at home. Thanks!

Yaris Hilton
03-16-2010, 09:52 AM
A common cause of that problem (it's happened to the last 3 cars I drove before this Yaris) is the vent hose that carries air and vapor from the gas tank up to the filler cap while filling the tank. The rubber cracks with age and leaks gas. Topping off the tank aggravates the problem. Get the hose looked at, it may need replacing.

buffalogirl
03-16-2010, 10:10 AM
Thanks for your help! If it is the vent hose, wouldn't it smell all the time? Also, will I be able to see gas leaking from it? The car is only 3 years old, does the rubber normally break down/crack after that amount of time? It seems like it should have lasted longer, especially on a new car.

YarisPR
03-16-2010, 10:16 AM
I get the gasoline smell everytime I refuel. It goes away after a few minutes

CTScott
03-16-2010, 10:36 AM
Thanks for your help! If it is the vent hose, wouldn't it smell all the time? Also, will I be able to see gas leaking from it? The car is only 3 years old, does the rubber normally break down/crack after that amount of time? It seems like it should have lasted longer, especially on a new car.

Is the smell stronger when you move the air supply knob to outside air instead of recirculate? If so, and with the smell being stronger with the car running, I would have the fuel system connections under the hood checked ASAP.

You can just pop the hood and see if there is a strong gas smell, or evidence of gas having been sprayed.

Two summers ago, one of my neighbors had his Buick go up in flames in the driveway. He had recently had it serviced and the mechanic failed to properly tighten the connection to the fuel rail after cleaning the injectors.

buffalogirl
03-16-2010, 10:48 AM
Mine isn't actually happening when I refuel. It happens when I drive the car. I did not stop for gas this morning, but during my drive to work the smell came back. It wasn't there when I got in or started the car, only after I've been driving it and it is strong enough that people can smell it in my hair when I stand near them, even though I crack open the windows to let fresh air in. I just got the oil changed, but don't think that would have anything to do with it since the first time it happened was before the oil change. I'm also still using the heater, but don't see how that would have anything to do with it either, unless there's something in there somehow and I'm blowing the fumes into the car?

buffalogirl
03-16-2010, 10:57 AM
Is the smell stronger when you move the air supply knob to outside air instead of recirculate? If so, and with the smell being stronger with the car running, I would have the fuel system connections under the hood checked ASAP.

You can just pop the hood and see if there is a strong gas smell, or evidence of gas having been sprayed.

Two summers ago, one of my neighbors had his Buick go up in flames in the driveway. He had recently had it serviced and the mechanic failed to properly tighten the connection to the fuel rail after cleaning the injectors.

I have only had it on outside air, so I don't know if there's a difference in how strong the smell is.

Can I check to see if the smell is there 4 hours after shutting the car off, or do I have to drive it first and check right after? The smell doesn't always start right away (today it was about 10 mins into my drive), but I could go out on my lunch break and run it for a while to see if it starts to smell again.

Could the connection loosen just from driving around? I noticed the smell before getting my oil changed, but thought it was a truck I drove by.

Thanks for the help!

CTScott
03-16-2010, 11:38 AM
I have only had it on outside air, so I don't know if there's a difference in how strong the smell is.

Can I check to see if the smell is there 4 hours after shutting the car off, or do I have to drive it first and check right after? The smell doesn't always start right away (today it was about 10 mins into my drive), but I could go out on my lunch break and run it for a while to see if it starts to smell again.

Could the connection loosen just from driving around? I noticed the smell before getting my oil changed, but thought it was a truck I drove by.

Thanks for the help!

You could check it at any time, but based on your description, you probably have more of a chance of seeing something as or right after the smell occurs. Maybe do the lunch drive and then as soon as it starts to smell, pull over and pop the hood.

If things were properly tightened, they won't loosen just from driving. Perhaps your oil change people were looking for a way to increase their income from you...

Yaris Hilton
03-16-2010, 11:41 AM
Could be a leak anywhere in the fuel system.

If it were that vent hose I mentioned, the problem would be worse right after filling, but can occur anytime the pressure in the tank is above atmospheric, as when it warms up. I could see gas drip from mine after filling it to the top, which is a bad idea anyway as that can cause liquid gas to get pushed into the activated carbon evaporative emissions control canisters when the full tank warms up and pushes fumes and fuel out.

buffalogirl
03-16-2010, 12:05 PM
Thanks guys! I'll check for leaks during lunch.

Perhaps your oil change people were looking for a way to increase their income from you...

Couldn't have been them.. the first 2 times it happened were before the oil change, both times next to big trucks so I just assumed it was the trucks and didn't mention it to them to look at. I have heard of places doing stuff like that though... one place broke the pipe to the muffler on my friend's car while she watched and then tried to say it was like that when she brought it in. The place I go has great customer service and I've only heard good things about them... that's why I go there :smile:

Rick
03-16-2010, 12:24 PM
Something to consider

The Yaris always does a very sensitive hermeticity check (vacuum leak check) of the fuel system about 5 hours after it's shut off. If it fails, you will get a check engine light. Since you apparently have no check engine light I think it must be leaking only under pressure. That pretty much reduces it to the fuel line, fuel couplings, fuel pressure regulator, and fuel injectors upstream of the fuel tank.

I have had a fuel injector (and fuel pressure regulator) that leaked to the outside world when pressurized (engine running) before. I was hoping that damned GM product would burn before I got it to the dealership, but no joy :(

buffalogirl
03-16-2010, 04:10 PM
As I went out to check under the hood another coworker was walking out and came over to check with me. He said it smelled more like burning oil/exhaust than gas (which is what I thought until somebody told me I smelled like gasoline this morning). We popped the hood and there was oil everywhere. Turns out they never put the cap back on when they changed the oil so as I drove the oil was spilling out the top. My coworker told me it makes sense that it started to smell only after I was driving because it took a while for the car to warm up and the oil to spill out.

Taking it back today to have them clean the oil up and hopefully fix the seal around the hood that was damaged when they closed the cap between the seal and hood. Really hoping this was the whole problem and it's just a coincidence that the trucks were driving next to me and smelled the same.

Thank you all for your help! I know a little about cars, but usually not enough to do me any good (I didn't even think to look under the hood!)

zachryboles
03-16-2010, 04:21 PM
wow........... just wow.... please never take it there again

buffalogirl
03-16-2010, 04:38 PM
wow........... just wow.... please never take it there again

haha, I probably will... its a dealer and they were super busy with all the recalls and they were nice enough to squeeze me in without an appointment even though it meant they had to work late. Plus they're one of the only ones open after 5 and they don't require you to drop the car off in the morning and pick it up later just for an oil change. When I called them they told me I could bring it in immediately and they would clean it up and check it out (which is exactly what I would have expected from anybody that made that kind of mistake, but I know that it doesn't always happen like that). As I said in a previous post, these guys have awesome customer service. I have a friend that had a car problem that required him to leave it there a couple days while a part came in (unexpectedly, the problem was not what he thought it was). He was going to get a rental, but the owner of the dealership was there that day and told him to go out and pick a car off the lot, then gave him the keys and let him drive the new car until his could be fixed. Everybody makes mistakes and I'm not one to hold it against anybody, especially with their response and desire to fix it.

Hershey
03-16-2010, 11:29 PM
what was the level of the oil on the dipstick after you discovered the cap missing ? May want to get that in writing from dealer service manager in case there's an issue with the motor at a later date . That way can't say it was your fault and void the warranty . My fiances' brother had an oil change at a national brake / muffler shop and they didn't tighten the oil filter enough on his TACOMA . Luckily we noticed oil dripping from under the truck when he drove in a restaurant parking lot to say hello . Had him drive it to our house nearby and had to crawl under it at night with a work light to tighten the filter ( very tight area to work with :rolleyes: ) . It left one heck of a mess which I had to clean up with a bunch of paper towels . Checked oil after and it had lost over 4 quarts . Fortunately I had 5 quarts to refill it . He went back to the brake shop and gave him a free oil change . If he had driven much longer may have killed it . Said he was going to travel out of that day but decided not to . A very good thing . Always check under the hood ( oil cap , oil level : too low , too high or NONE , encountered all 3 :mad: ) and under the car for any leaks . Once I found a oil wrench under the hood after getting a change . Do my own oil changes now . Too many bad experiences . GOOD LUCK

Yaris Hilton
03-17-2010, 12:12 AM
Glad you got that straightened out.

JBougie
03-17-2010, 12:25 AM
what was the level of the oil on the dipstick after you discovered the cap missing ? May want to get that in writing from dealer service manager in case there's an issue with the motor at a later date . That way can't say it was your fault and void the warranty . My fiances' brother had an oil change at a national brake / muffler shop and they didn't tighten the oil filter enough on his TACOMA . Luckily we noticed oil dripping from under the truck when he drove in a restaurant parking lot to say hello . Had him drive it to our house nearby and had to crawl under it at night with a work light to tighten the filter ( very tight area to work with :rolleyes: ) . It left one heck of a mess which I had to clean up with a bunch of paper towels . Checked oil after and it had lost over 4 quarts . Fortunately I had 5 quarts to refill it . He went back to the brake shop and gave him a free oil change . If he had driven much longer may have killed it . Said he was going to travel out of that day but decided not to . A very good thing . Always check under the hood ( oil cap , oil level : too low , too high or NONE , encountered all 3 :mad: ) and under the car for any leaks . Once I found a oil wrench under the hood after getting a change . Do my own oil changes now . Too many bad experiences . GOOD LUCK

Them not tightening it enough = their fault; you should check to make sure it's on, but I never even check to see if it's on tight enough - which is their job (in addition to putting it on in the first place, but that's why you check before you drive off). After this post, I will make sure to check that going forward :w00t:

You not checking under your hood for over a WEEK after smelling something oil/gas like and discovering the oil cap was not on = not their fault in the least bit, and they shouldn't put anything in writing say their responsible later if something happens. The papers you sign when you get your car back from the oil change let you know how long you have to take the car back if something is wrong, and usually it's not more than a few blocks. It's called personal responsibility. If you're that worried about your car, check their work before you leave the lot.

To the OP, rule #1: if you ever smell something funny that doesn't go away relatively quickly, investigate it! Don't let it go for over a week hoping it will go away. If you got your oil changed and a WEEK later come back and are upset because they forgot to put it on, with all due respect - that's not their fault.

Sorry for the moderate rant, but honestly - a bit of action on the owners part could prevent serious damage from happening from a new car (I consider 3 years still new .... maybe it's denial because I also have an 07 and don't want her to ever get old lol) I hope your car didn't lose too much oil, and I hope all is well and that you learn to check it going forward. I'll keep my fingers crossed nothing goes wrong in the future with your car :)

...I would also never take my car to that dealership again. Ever.

buffalogirl
03-24-2010, 10:37 AM
Woah, JBougie.. as I said in my first post, the first 2 times I thought the smell was coming from the big truck I was driving next to almost a week earlier. Those only stuck out in my mind because the smell was similar to what it smelled like later. I got the oil changed on a Friday and didn't drive the car all weekend. I smelled it again on Monday and thought it was weird, but I was on a highway and thought it may have been another car. On my way to work on Tuesday (the day I posted) I smelled it again, but there was only one newer car near me, THAT is when I thought it was my car. Until that point, I assumed it was coming from other vehicles on the road (and at least 2 times, it was, since that was BEFORE my oil change). I only drove the car a few times before I realized something was wrong with it, and at least one of those times wasn't long enough for it to heat up and the oil to come out. Oh, and I wasn't upset that they didn't put it on.. I understand that they are people and people make mistakes.. ANYBODY could have done that at ANY dealership (which is why I will continue to go to them, they didn't do it on purpose). I was simply trying to figure out what was happening and when I did, I let everybody that was trying to help me know what the result was. Before you start ranting about personal responsibility and owners not taking care of their cars, you should take the time to understand what happened.

Hershey - Thanks for the advice... I checked it when I found the cap off, and although it looked like there was a lot of oil, it must not have been that much because the level was fine.

R2D2
03-24-2010, 08:30 PM
Buffalogirl,

You weren't dreaming-you were probably smelling gas too. The same thing happened to my SILs Hyandai and the smell of gas was how we found her oil cap sitting on top of the valve cover. No oil mess in her case though, so no oil burning to cover the smell of gas.

R2