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2002 Pontiac Grand Prix - Smells like gas

My Pontiac has a somewhat noticeable gas smell when it idles in place a more then 5 minutes or so. I mostly notice it in the winter when I have to warm up my car and windows or when I get stuck at a long red light in town. When it’s moving or any amount of time it’s fine. It’s just when sitting and idling do you smell anything

Have it looked over for a fuel leak. My wife’s old Escort developed a leak and as in your case you couldn’t smell anything unless the car was sitting still.

I’ve gotten it looked over and it looks like it’s an exhaust leak right behind we’re the engine and the manifold connect. It’s also making the tapping like noise that’s been described as an exhaust leak. Thank you for responding.

Yeah, the noise is from exhaust escaping without benefit of the muffler. I had a similar issue years ago on a Ford. IIRC there was a fitting that was supposed to heat the air after it passed through the carburetor and it developed a leak. Sounded awful and I thought sure it was something major.

Could be exhaust and gas leak

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Please get it fixed right away. Exhaust gas can make you sick or even kill you.


When you are “warming up” the engine, it is running on an enriched mixture (i.e. more gas, less air), and as a result you are more likely to smell gas if there is an exhaust leak.


Incidentally, you don’t need to warm up the engine for more than a few seconds unless you are living in… maybe… North Dakota. Even then, more than 1 minute of idling before driving is probably not necessary


Something I’ve been doing for years is starting the car and then putting on my seatbelt to give things a chance to reach equilibrium. That’s my version of “warming it up.”

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