Petrol fumes


i have a vauxhall zaffira 2002 i have just recently been getting the smell of petrol in my car whist driving as far as i no i have no petrol leak .


Check the charcoal canister. This is a black can looking thing under the hood (or bonnet) somewhere with a couple of vacuum lines running to it. There is also a vent on the bottom, usually. If there are fumes coming out of this vent, then the canister is saturated, and needs to be replaced.

This canister is supposed to absorb fumes from the gas tank and fuel system, and recirculate them back into the engine to be burned. If it is saturated with raw gas, it either means you overfilled the gas tank, and polluted the evap system, or you have a potential problem with the fuel delivery system.


Check for an engine oil leak. Some people who claim they smell fuel are actually misdescribing the fumes they detect when oil drips onto the hot exhaust.


Also make sure that the smell is not actually exhaust fumes. Very dangerous (carbon monoxide asphixiation). Some people might mistake the smell for petrol.


If you find the evap canister uncontaminated (or even if you don’t), follow all of the vacuum lines in and around it back to the vehicle’s firewall and look for a break or split.

I once drove myself nuts trying to figure out a fumes smell inside my car until I found that the main feed line for fumes from the tank to the canister had managed to come loose, lodge itself on the feed pipe for the EGR valve and melted in half. The tank fumes were basically wafting out right under the cabin intake cowl and thus coming in with air when I turned on the blower.


thanks for helping me with this problem how will i no if the evap canister is contaminated and if so is it easy to replace.


As far as I know you’ll need to actually pull it to find out. You’ll need to pop the hood and find it - it is possible that there is something in your manual about it (but I doubt that is common since it is not a typical maintenance part). I am not familiar with the vauxhall or what happens to components when things get turned around for left side of the road driving. It will often be crammed up into a fender well somewhere in the vicinity of the air cleaner box and will likely be a fairly non-descript looking black plastic canister with vacuum hoses coming out of it. Once you find it you’ll see whether or not it will be easy be to pull it and check it. They are generally rather expensive though.

When you refuel do you normally top off the tank? Or do you just rely on and use the automatic shut off on the pumps? If you don’t top off, then it is relatively unlikely that your canister is contaminated. I would start with checking out any of the vacuum hoses that come out of the firewall.