Gas Smell Dodge Caravan


I own a 2001 Dodge Caravan. I recently have had a slight gas smell that I believe is coming from under the hood. I notice it now and then inside the van maybe from the vents but soon goes away after driving a block or two. I can also smell it as I walk by the front of the van after the trip but not always. I don’t see anything under the hood and no drips from below. Any help is appreciated.Thanks!


Is the “Check Engine” light on? If it is, the code may point to the evaporative emissions system.


Yes, the Check Engine light is on. What could it be if it is the evaporative emmissions system?


A loose or damaged vacuum line, faulty charcoal canister, or faulty purge solenoid. Get the van scanned and post back with the results.

Do you usually try to squeeze in the last possible drop of gas when you fill the tank?


The Evaporative Emissions System is a system to prevent the gas from your gastank from evaporating into the air. It works by connecting a canister with an activated charcoal bed to the gas tank through which it breaths in and out. The canister is under your hood. The charcoal captures the gas molecules before the evaporate into open air.

The system also contains a “purge” system consisting of a valve and a solenoid that allows gas vapors captured by the charcoal to be ingested into the engine when you start the car.

The gas smell may be from a wet charcoal bed. This can come from a defective purge system not allowing the vapors to be ingested, or from (on some vehicles) “topping off” the gas tank, which can allow raw gas to get through the vent line and saturate the charcoal bed. Thus NYBo’s question about “topping off”.


A additional possibility could be leaky fuel injector O rings.


How long has this smell been smelt? How long has the CEL been on?


Good point. I was hanging on the fact that it’s throwing a code.

To the OP, get the computer checked first for stored codes. That Check Engine Light is trying to tell you something.


After diagnostic test ran it showed in the emission area. A pin hole was soon noticed in a rubber hose along with a larger crack down the same hose