I have a 97 dodge caravan in very clean condition, 130,000 mi. Just recently I’ve noticed gas fumes inside the car when heat/defrost is turned on. It is random. Doesn’t happen all the time. Before I take it in for repair, where do you think I have a gas ‘leak’. Do you think it a serious repair job?
Gasoline, or other fuels, leaking is always a serious repair.
It doesn’t matter what’s leaking. This is a safety issue. Get it fixed.
Indeed, “serious” in the sense of being a safety issue, whether the smell is actually gasoline or exhaust (not evertbody smells the difference). In either case, there are too many different possible causes to be guessing if it is a “serious” cost. Get it checked out right away.
If, however, you are mistaking the smell of antifreeze for that of gasoline, then the problem is likely a leaking heater core. That would not be so much a safety issue as a possible precursor to having to choose bewteen bypass the heater (not so costly, but no heat) or replacing the core (a “serious” cost).
It is likely under the hood area. It could a loose fuel clamp at a fitting, rail, or filter(if located there).
Does it happen more often when cold?
Does it smell like raw fuel - or more just like vapors. I suppose not everyone can tell the difference (since it is vapor either way), but a raw fuel smell is very powerful, while the vapor smell is milder with a different character to it.
If it smells like raw fuel I’d do drive it anymore until you know what it is.
But I once had this going on with a vapor smell and found that I had a broken evaporation system hose right next the fire wall. The gas vapors from the tank that were supposed to go through to the engine to burn were wafting up to my fresh air intake cowl. BTW - I told 2 different mechanics about this and neither could tell me what it was. I found it myself and fixed it for about $.50 worth of vacuum tubing and a clamp.