Not Sure If I Should Be Driving

Lately i have been noticing the smell of gasoline when i get out of my car after a drive. Ive been looking under the car every morning and i see no fluids on the ground so im not sure if its a leak. Any ideas?

If you smell gasoline, there’s a leak. It may not be enough to leave marks on the ground, but it’s still dangerous. Have it looked at.

But if it were a leak wouldnt i smell it all the time and not just after driving?

Dan, You Forgot To Tell Us What Model-Year The Maxima Is.

If it’s an older car and if it has a metal (lots of them are plastic now) gas tank then the problem can be corrosion perforation (pinhole leaks). Sometimes they rust on top of the tank (or high up) or the fuels lines on top rust. Often the gas never quite makes it to the ground unless you really fill it full.


Sometimes. Common sense should tell you that this would depend on the nature & location of the leak. I’m not sure what’s lacking in mcparadise’s reasoning: “If you smell gasoline, there’s a leak.”

its a 97


I’m removing my request for YankeeDan to go away because his rude, boorish and profanity-laced response has apparently been removed by the mods.

To answer your question regarding why it would only leak after driving, this will happen because the fuel is pushed to the engine out of the tank by a fuel pump. It leaks under pressure. You probably have rusted out fuel lines, which is common on a car this age. I just had to replace all of them (brake and fuel lines) on my 1995 Ford Windstar.

Regarding your strong and tactless reaction to cigroller’s comment, I suggest you click on “Discussion Rules” on the left side of your screen, directly under the Cartalk Community logo. Reading through that will let you know what is expected of you when you post on this forum, and you probably broke most, if not all, of the rules in that post in response to cigroller’s comment. Your comment was uncalled for, completely out of line, and not acceptable on this forum, if any forum.

Regarding your concern about being screwed over by a shop, you have two options here. Either diagnose and repair it yourself or take your chances. You most likely have rusted fuel lines, which generally command a decent amount of labor to repair. You will probably be looking at a few hundred dollars to fix this, unless you do it yourself. Shops generally aren’t in the practice of screwing over the customer. That’s the best way to run your business into the ground, and a lot of shop owners and mechanics know that. If you are really worried about being screwed over by a mechanic, do your own repairs. If you don’t know how, learn. If you want good advice from this forum, don’t curse out the regular contributors, or anybody else for that matter.

Well I guess I’m partly glad and partly sorry to have missed the fireworks.

I suppose my response was a little snippy. But fairly mild for the average snippy stuff up here. I guess I just had in mind that it was one of those posts where the OP already knew what he wanted to hear. Or if the real question was “why can I only smell it when I get out and not when I’m driving” then it would have gone in the initial post and would have been answered.

Anyway, thanks to the others for cleaning it up.

If you smell gas, that’s bad. When driving there might be enough air flowing so you miss the smell until stopped. I had a Dodge Intreped V6 where one of the fuel injection rail split. It allowed gas on top of the motor which when warm meant lot of gas fumes. It is gas fumes (that is what smells) that are explosive. I was just lucky to get the problem fixed before the motor compartment went up in flames.

You should be concerned and work to figure out the source of the fuel leak ASAP.