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Fuel fumes inside cab - sick, tongue tingles, ears ring: not fun

Since I bought my car, I’ve been complaining to my mechanic that I can smell fuel while I am driving. He has dismissed my concerns and not addressed the issue. I belive the condition has worsened. My tongue and face tingle, my ears ring, I feel sick to my stomach.

When I am away from my car for a few days, I begin to feel better. Almost instantly when I drive my car I get the tingles, ringing, and nausea. Please tell me I am not crazy (debatable - at least on this issue). :slight_smile:

What could possibly be the trouble. Obviously, I am going to have to be specific when I tell any mechanic to check out the problem.

What can I say? Please check the _________.

I am desperate, this is my only transportation. So for health and school reasons, need to address it as soon as possible.

Please help. I look forward to your replies.


Kristina: Please check the mechanic.

Don’t for the love of PETE drive this car anymore. You have a fuel leak or there is a problem with the charcoal canister where fuel tank vapor is vented to. Regardless, quit poisoning yourself, take the car somewhere else, and get it looked at.

What kind of car are we talking about?

What make, model, year, options, are we talking about? It will help us figure out what is wrong.

But, based on just your post, I think your suffering from carbon-monoxide poisoning. This is a SERIOUS problem that needs to be addressed IMMEDIATELY. Carbon-monoxide (CO) is from the exhaust, and the gassy smell is your engine running rich, which increases the CO content of the exhaust. The question is, how is it getting in the car? Older cars had problems due to rust holes in the floor, and rotted exhaust pipes leaking fumes into the cabin. Also, exhaust leaks under the hood leaking into the cabin through rust holes in the fire wall, or into the vent system in front of the windshield.

Either way, GET IT LOOKED AT!!! If your mechanic doesn’t take it seriously, take it to a muffler shop. DO NOT DELAY!!! Do it tomorrow!!

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DO NOT drive this car! I suggest that you consult with friends, relatives and co-workers for the name of a COMPETENT mechanic (obviously not the one you have been using) and have the car TOWED to that establishment, as it is not safe for anyone to drive it.

Whether it is carbon monoxide or gasoline fumes that are leaking into your car, the symptoms that you are describing will surely lead to brain damage if you persist in driving this car. In fact, you may already have suffered some neurological damage, so it would be extremely foolhardy to continue to drive this car–for even a few minutes.

Your life is more important than the cost of fixing this problem, so do not delay in having it fixed by someone competent.

You need a new mechanic! If you can smell fuel, then there is a fuel leak somewhere. It may be small and hard to find, but it’s there. You should NEVER smell fuel inside the car.

If you bought a new car (you didn’t specify new or used), this should be a warranty issue.

Stop making yourself sick. Take this car to someone who will listen to you and fix whatever is wrong.

First I agree with the others.  It is serious and you should not be driving the car.  

You did not tell us what make model year or miles for the car.

If the car is still under warranty, then it is up to the dealer to fix it.  If you have brought it to the dealer contact the manager then the regional manager for the car's manufacturer.  It may help to get a letter from your attorney, that will get fast action.  

If it is out of warranty, you need a new mechanic.  Your job is not to tell the mechanic what is wrong, but you need to tell them what you have felt, seen, experienced etc.  [b] If you have to tell the mechanic what to check, then it is clear you don't want that mechanic trying to fix something they don't understand.  [/b]

Hi ~

I’ve not driven it since the inital post. Thank you.

It is a 1986 Jaguar XJ6. An engine with 70K on it was installed to replace the previous one that had 100K miles.

I’ve gone to that mechanic several times to fix exhaust leaks since he installed the engine.

1st the exhaust to catalytic converter.
2nd the manifold to exhaust pipe.

Should I take it to Jaguar dealer or to a muffler shop? Who would be more thorough and more apt to be reliable?

Thanks again

take it to someone, any one except the current mechanic! CO is very dangerous stuff! if you know any one with a carbon monoxide detector put it in the car, start the car and get out! when the alarm goes off you will know what you been inhaling all this time. if it doesn’t go off its in the fuel system as mr. Josh suggests.

From the other side of the globe, you are not crazy, in fact your post means so incredibly much to me. I am grateful I have found your post, cause I am experiencing the same issue with a second OLD car already. It manifest 15 minutes after the car is running, I start to feel the itching in the ears and all over the face and tingling in the nerve endings of my muscles and kind of a congested feeling in the lungs, I get dizzy and light headed. Likely CO and other pollutants from the exhaust it started occurring after a replacement of exhaust hose connection which is really strange cause I let it checked trice and it is apparently fine. It is not fuel for certain cause my fuel is LPG. Thank you thank you thank you means so much to me to read someone else on this world is experiencing the same and I am not crazy…lol :smiley: 10 years after you have posted. I look forward to a world without fossil fuel motors it sounds utterly primitive.

Get a portable carbon monoxide detector for your car. I have one for my home, my car and my motorhome.Better be safe than sorry!

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Excellent suggestion.

Sorry to say it, but it sounds like the guy who did the engine swap did a lousy job. He’s lacks either competence or ethics, or maybe both. You may need to get it to someone else to have the install gone over. Someone who cares.

I doubt if this 1986 Jaguar with a used engine is even running now, 10 years later than this thread started.

Shops having an emissions sniffer machine can sometimes use that to sus out where gasoline vapor and carbon monoxide are coming from.

That’s true, but as Volvo pointed out… ten years too late for the Jag!
I didn’t notice that Corollaguy had pulled a corpse out of the grave.

He didn’t, there is someone else with an exhaust leak.

Thanks Carollaguy,

I am gonna get one, I seem to be sensitive to gases and air born pollutants. Otherwise I am going for another car check today and will replace whatever needed to stop the poisoning. If it is not financially feasible, will go for another better car although it would impact my budget negatively right now. But will get the CO gadget anyway.

I might go and check the car with an emission sniffer machine, I remember now the guys who do road assistance and towing have one for an yearly exhaust emission check which they stick at the exhaust pipe at the back of the car.

Thanks to all for your responses although the thread has been dug out of the grave, BUT it is an important matter.

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Speaking of pulling people out of the grave from ten years ago, where did these people go like Busted and Melan? Is that why they aren’t here?

Right, someone tied into an old post but the one was a gas smell and the new one is exhaust.

I think I’ve seen @BustedKnuckles post here recently.

Sorry for my absence. I was recently promoted at work, but that came with a LOT more responsibility and very little time left to waste on you clowns (LOL). Just kidding, you guys are great!

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As far as old cars, and I should know because I drive a 30 yo car every day, you probably have a bad seal in the exhaust. So, the exhaust is leaking into the cabin and slowly poisoning you. This is dangerous and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. You could drive with the windows down to expel some of this gas, but it does need to be fixed before you get really sick.