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Mysterious gasoline odor and regurgitating when filling

Let me preface this by saying my personal level of knowledge about cars is a .5 on a scale from 0-10. However, I have a competent mechanic. I’m driving a 1993 Honda Accord Wagon.

I have 2 symptoms: 1) persistent gasoline smell when car is not moving, 2) if I fill with the pump’s max pressure, it will spew out gasoline when full. One time it doused my hand in gas. Note that I NEVER top off and never have.

What my mechanic has checked (my understanding):

1) fuel tank and lines -anything potentially dangerous

2) evap control system (took it apart, charcoal cannister is fine).

What should I tell him to try next?

Thanks, Sarah

For a start - are you in the habit of topping off the tank when you fill it? If so that could be the cause of the problem.

It would appear the mechanic checked those things that could cause the problem. Perhaps he missed something.

However there is one thing perhaps not yet checked.  If you always fill up at the same station, I suggest you try a different station and preferably a different brand.  See if you have problems then.

Your mech will have to check again.
I suggest he closely inspect the vent line from the tank to the gas cap to ensure it IS clear and attached tightly.

Recheck all hoses for internal collapsing.

It sounds like it might be time to replace the charcoal canister, which can be quite expensive. Try another fuel pump. If you have been topping off the tank, you probably caused this damage, although it can still happen if you don’t top off the fuel tank.

What you did not tell us is whether you are the original owner, or if this car was purchased on the used car market.

Even if YOU don’t overfill it, it is possible that the previous owner(s) did.
Hondas of that era are VERY susceptible to problems from overfilling. When the gas pump “clicks off” you probably can’t even put an extra 1/4 gallon in the tank of these cars before it begins to overflow. After that happens a few times, damage to the evaporative emissions system will occur, and that can be pricey.

So–are you the original owner? And, even if you are not, does anyone other than you ever drive the car?

For some bizarre reason, some people seem to think that they are setting off for an expedition across the Gobi Desert, and they try to force an extra bit of gas into the tank. If anyone (former owner, friends, spouse, relatives) has done this when filling your tank, they could have damaged the evaporative emissions system.

I am the original owner and only driver of the car. Never have topped off. I let it click off then shut off and remove the pump.

As an update–I’m guessing in order to check the problem he must have taken apart some part of the evap control system and re-attached it? Correct? At any rate, I picked it up from the mechanic this afternoon and so far, the odor is gone. Mechanic did say the charcoal canister was fine. So maybe something about taking it apart and putting it back fixed the issue? Not sure, I’ll have to wait and see if it comes back.

FYI, I use a few different gas stations commuting between home and work.

Thanks for the replies!

I meant I remove the nozzle. I try not to remove the pump…

In that case, it might have been a fluke or a malfunctioning gas pump or two. This is a fairly common fuel pump malfunction.

I’d say so except it’s been going on for 4-6 months, lots of different gas pumps (especially with my commute). Thanks for helping me think of avenues.