Fuel Car Smell

I have a horrible problem with my car, I was filling my car with fuel and while pumping the gas, the pump never stopped when the tank was full, thus causing fuel to spill all over the ground. I stopped it as fast as I could and ran into the gas station, hoping for some help. The guy came out and was less than helpful, but said it was okay that fuel was on the ground. Anyway, we drove off and noticed a little smell, nothing major. Well, it’s been one week and the smell is still in the car, as strong as ever. I just don’t know what to do and I don’t feel safe driving the car. Anyone know why it stinks in the car? It never got on my clothes or shoes. HELP! I want to save my car.

I can’t really answer your question. But the experts on this forum usually want more info as kind of car, year, ect… There has been talk of a canister below the overflow at the fill opening on many cars that becomes saturated after continous overflowing on a fill. That 'MAY" be the problem.

No damage was done unless the vehicle was running while you were filling the tank. If there is a problem, it was there before you filled the tank. May just take another week to go away. Can’t tell if it is a real problem from here.

First I would suggest a car wash.

Now the question is why did it do it. You may have hit a defective pump. You also could have caused the problem (over flowing not the smell). Do you tend to top off the tank? That can damage the vapor recovery system and that could be the cause of your problem now. If you don’t top it off this one overfill could but likely did not damage the system. If the system is damaged then it will require repair depending on what was damaged, usually the charcoal filter.


Very thorough car wash at one of those self service places where you use a wand to squirt the car. Wash all around the gas filler area and under the car where the tank is. If you don’t know where the tank is, try looking under the car near where you fill it. I’m pretty sure you will recognize a gas tank; it’s pretty big.