My 1999 Plymouth Voyager smells like gas, really bad. I have taken it to my “car person” and he has tried everything he knows to find out what may be causing this. He has checked all the lines and even run pressure thru the lines to try and find a leak but hasn’t. Yet the smell remains. It is really strong on the drivers side near my door. As my husband 90 ford ranger just recently caught fire while he was driving down the road and burned completely up I am more that worried about this happening to me. I am even afraid to park it in the garage most night. My mechanic did say he didn’t find any leaks and especially any in the engine…so why does the smell stay???
There are combustible gas detectors (aka sniffers) that can be used to find the source. Gas utilities, fire departments and some mechanics have them. Amazon sells them. You or your mechanic could call around to see if someone local has one and would be willing to check your car.
If the leak is not in the engine, it could be in one of the gas vapor recovery lines coming from the gas tank. These are rubber and can crack or be chewed through by mice, etc. These lines can be tested by blowing smoke into the gas tank and seeing where the smoke comes out. Take it to your dealer and ask them to smoke test the gas vapor recovery lines. They’ll find the leak and replace the line. Beware that they may need to remove the gas tank in order to replace the line, so it’s not cheap.
If you smell gas, then there is a danger. Gasoline really has no smell, but a “perfume” is added just so there is a smell to alert users that gas is present and of the danger.
My first thought was a split fuel rail, but someone has ruled this out. I would have the car towed to a dealer, or a very competent mechanic to find and fix the leak. By “taking it to my car person” doesn’t tell me if this a certified mechanic or just a “guy” who fixes cars in his garage on the side.
My advice is don’t start the car. Don’t drive the car. Have it towed to a professional (independent shop, or dealer) for repair. The odor says there is gas fumes in the air, and the fumes are much more explosive and even more dangerous than liquid gasoline.
I respect UncleTurbo’s opinion, and gas leaks can be dangerous. However, if a competent mechanic has checked thoroughly and can’t find any gas LIQUID leaks, then it’s most likely a vapor leak from the evaporative recovery system, and while those vapor leaks stink to high heaven, they’re not concentrated enough to cause a fire unless you lit a match right at the point of the leak. My parents had the same problem in their PAssat wagon, and it was quite a while before the dealer found the leak.
So, while you would be wise to get it smoke tested ASAP, it’s probably not going to burst into flames the next time you drive it. Call the dealer, make a service appointment, drive it over…with the windows down…and have them smoke it.
You may want to sniff the carpet near the location where you have the gasoline smell. You said it is by the driver’s side door. Someone may have tracked in gasoline or fuel oil on hia/her shoes. I once stepped in fuel oil at the scene of an accident where I was one of the first on the scene. Our apartment smelled of fuel oil and I finally tracked it to the soles of my shoes. This may not be your problem, but it is worth checking it out. If gasoline gets into a carpet, the carpet sometimes holds the smell for a long time.
I know that I’d never park a car that smelled like this in my garage.
Breathing gasoline is dangerous. You need ot get this fixed, Try another shop.
One common source of consistant intense gas smell that is often not readily found is the injector O-rings.