I just bought a 1983 Toyota Tercel, which is in amazing shape, and has very, very low miles. But the car has a heavy smell of gas fumes, both when it’s sitting, and when it’s driving. Is this just a reality of an old car, or is there something I can do about it?
Not only can you do something about it, but you must do something about it from several standpoints–the first being safety. A heavy smell of gas fumes indicates that this car is a prime candidate for a fiery end with just the addition of a random spark or an errant cigarette.
Also, if your state performs an evaporative emissions test, the car will probably not pass the state inspection. The fix could be as simple and cheap as reconnecting a vent hose or replacing a valve in the evap emissions system, or it could be as expensive as replacing the carbon canister that is the heart of the evap emissions system. But, no matter what the cost may be, this is not something that can be deferred, due to the safety hazard that is involved.
And don’t park it in the garage!