Gas pump overflow

Fueling my wife’s nearly new Hyundai Elantra today and the nozzle shut off did not activate. I was dutifully checking the oil and heard this sickening splashing sound. I raced to stop the pump but there was a huge puddle of gas under the car. The tire was soaked and the whole vehicle reeks of raw gas. Luckily, with the help of young lady working at the store, I was able to get out of there without creating an inferno. It did not seem to leak in the trunk as it is dry.

What do I need to do to get rid of the strong gasoline odor? The tank is full to the brim, will this damage the carbon canister? Any other tips? Thank You!

Regarding the gasoline odor, washing and time will remove the gasoline. So give the rear of the car, the tire, and any place the gasoline reached, a good wash down with liquid soap in water; rinse; rewash; rinse; and dry. Let the car sit in the sun for a day or so and the smell should abate. You might follow up with a good wax to the affected paint.

Regarding damage to the canister. If there is no problem with the tank internals, there is a float shutoff valve for the tank ORVR vent that will close when the tank gets to its ‘full’ amount. Without venting the incoming fuel backs up into the fill pipe tripping the pump nozzle ‘off’ which their pump nozzle did not do. If the tank level rises to the inlet to the regular vapor recovery system, there is another shut off float valve that should keep liquid fuel from getting into the canister.

If you see fuel dripping from the rear of the car or the engine runs rough and stalls while driving, the vaper recovery canister may be saturated with liquid fuel and may need replacement. In this case run it by a dealer’s service department. It might well be covered by your warranty that covers the emissions system.

Good luck on this.

A good lesson in NOT to trust the automatic shutoffs. Most are not very accurate; they were designed before the vapor canisters were put on cars, allowing the attendant to check the oil while the car was filling, or filling two cars at once.

Today, it’s all self service and the onus is on the car owner to use use common sense.