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Porous Gas Tank

My neighbor has a car parked in his driveway next to my house and we can smell the gasoline. He says the tank is porous but it’s safe. This sounds very dangerous to me. Who is correct?

It’s dangerous in two ways. First, if there are fumes, it’s an explosion hazard. Secondly, prolonged exposure to gasoline fumes is a known carcinogen.

Should I call the fire department?

“Porous” tank? That’s a new one on me. He needs to get it checked out and fixed pronto. This ranks about as high as they go on the ‘Unsafe’ scale.

“Porous” means there’s a hole (or more than one hole) in the gas tank. This is not safe, it’s extremely hazardous. Gasoline fumes are highly flammable. A spark or flame could set the whole thing off. Boom!

I don’t know who you should call about this, but it’s not safe to have a car leaking gasoline parked next to your house.

Clearly this is the neighbor’s euphemism for “my tank has a hole in it and I am trying to rationalize NOT fixing it”.

Since the car is parked next to your house, I would suggest that you politely and calmly tell your neighbor that he needs to either fix the gas leak immediately or park it far away from your house. Obviously the second option is not a responsible one, but your neighbor is not a responsible person to begin with if he keeps a car in this condition parked next to your house and his.

If I were you, I would also inform your neighbor that you will be forced to call the local Fire Marshal if the hazardous condition is not taken care of immediately. Fire Marshals can–and do–take their jobs very seriously and they issue summonses when an unsafe condition is detected. In some jurisdictions, they are even armed, thus reinforcing their powers to “police” hazardous situations.

Yes, you may lose the friendship of your neighbor over this issue, but that is certainly better than losing your home and/or the lives of loved ones when this car becomes consumed in flames.

That’s my take, ‘porous’ is a BS term for ‘leak’. If he won’t fix it, I would call the fire department, but give him a warning and a (short) chance.

If you can smell it, there IS a problem…

Before you call the fire department, give your neighbor one more chance to correct it…

You nailed this guy. He has no idea what is dangerous and won’t spend an extra nickel on anything.

Call the fire department post-haste. You’ve already given him a chance and he’s simply insulted your intelligence and lied to you. There is no such thing as a porous gas tank and he knows it.

Clearly he does not care about your welfare. Stand up for yourself.

Maybe he doesn’t really know the difference. Perhaps some whackjob mechanic told him it’d be safe because the mechanic wasn’t up to replacing the tank

Remind the guy that if the F.D. becomes involved, he’ll most likely be charged a hazardous waste fee for cleaning up the gas.

He moved the car away from my house for now. He’s “working on it”.

Aside from numerous hazards as has been mentioned, does this neighbor have an asphalt driveway?

If so, take a look at it and take a couple of pix as gasoline literally ‘eats’ right through asphalt.

This also entails an environmental hazard.

I know this from personal experience when a car I had sprung a leak in the return fuel line and started to eat up my driveway. It made a horendous mess.

It is quite possible the that hole or holes in the tank are on the top, however, since the smell is so strong, it could be dripping out of the bottom. I had a 1984 sedan that rusted the tank through the top after a dozen years. Dirt, salt and water must have collected there.

He probably visits our forum…perhaps that’s why he’s suddenly working on it…

One of my big diagnostic goofs involved a fuel leak in one of our cars. We had a horrible raw gasoline odor in our garage. I suspected a fuel leak in our older car–a 1968 AMC Javelin. I traced the fuel system from the tank to the engine and could find nothing. I took the car to my mechanic, who also found nothing. My wife then noticed a tar like substance at the end of the garage on the side where we parked the other car–a 1971 Maverick. The gasoline tank on the Maverick had a small hole and the gasoline was dissolving the undercoating that had been applied to the underside of the car including the gasoline tank. I immediately replaced the gasoline tank on the Maverick.