Update* Gas odor from outside the car

I filled my car w/gas and my garage smells horribly like gas, but not inside the car.

There is no leak on the floor, I didn’t spill gas, and didn’t overfill.

Why should it smell like gas? This happened last time I filled the tank, and after a few days the smell went away.

I appreciate any help as to the cause of this!


You can continue to repost your question. But if you don’t have the courtesy to tell us what kind of vehicle you’re talking about, nobody can help you!


If you are filling the tank at self serve stations, do you “top off” the tank by squeezing in a few more ounces to make sure it’s totally full? Topping off the gas in this way is in effect overfilling the tank.

It is best to stop adding gas when the nozzle clicks off. Too much gas in your tank can expand and push out vapors and harm your anti-evaporation system of the cars emission system.

At this point you may have overfilled enough times that your charcoal evaporation canister is used up and can’t handle the fumes anymore and is venting them.

The other possibility is that a rubber component of the tank filler neck is leaking due to old age. There may be gas somewhere on the frame that is evaporating but not enough for you to see drops on the garage floor.

Next time you get gas just fill the tank 3/4 full. Do that for the next several fill ups. If there is no gas odor in the garage the next day you’ll have some more evidence to tell the repair shop so they can properly identify and fix the problem.

sorry, it’s a 1999 cadillac seville

Thank you so much, I do fill past the click, and I will stop doing that from now on.

I will try this method at the next fill up and see what happens.
I appreciate it and thank you for your help!

Some people say this ruins the canister. On my 1989 Caravan some years ago, I had this problem, and my mechanic back in the north explained why it was happening. On that car, he told me just to drive it out and it would clean itself. I do not know why the difference.

The charcoal canister is designed to collect gas FUMES from the gas tank. The engine computer will open the purge valve at the correct time to pull those fumes from the canister to the engine to be burned, and not released to the open air.

However, when you overfill the gas tank, raw liquid fuel can get into the charcoal canister and contaminate it. The charcoal canister has a weep hole in the bottom to release fumes if it gets overloaded, and raw gas vaporizing in the canister does that. These fumes escape straight to the air, and will make the car and area smell like gas.

So, to prevent this from happening, DO NOT OVERFILL THE GAS TANK. STOP AT THE FIRST CLICK.