Ford Explorer gasoline smell

2008 Ford Explorer with 100,000 miles on it. My wife’s car, and the last couple of times I’ve driven it I get a whiff of gasoline every now and then. I’ve looked at the engine and underneath the vehicle and have found no visible signs of a leak. Last night I walked by the car and smelled gasoline around the driver’s rear quarter-panel. That is the opposite side of the fuel tank filler tube but it makes me think it could be fuel tank related. Any ideas on where to start looking? Maybe a pin-hole in a line somewhere? Fuel filter? Fuel pump?

If the leak is dripping on the engine or exhaust it’ll evaporate quickly and you’ll never see a leak.

Pressurize the lines (turn the key to on, but don’t start it) and then get under the truck with a flashlight and see if you see anything leaking out. Also check the tank carefully, looking for any evidence of a leak. If you don’t find it, you should have a pro look at it. Fuel leaks are potentially very dangerous and can set the car on fire.

Is your check engine light on? A saturated evap canister may release vapors like that. I had a pre-ODB-II car that was foing that. Turns out a mechanic had swapped two vacuum lines, one that purged the charcoal canister and the other vented a vacuum solenoid. With no purge, the canister got saturated and released gas vapors. But, ODB-II cars monitor the evap system and should turn on the check engine light if something is not right with it.