Why does my car smell of petrol?

Tuesday 28th November 2023

where can i service my car

Strange odours inside your car can stem from various factors. For instance, if you notice a musty smell, it could be related to the aircon. Alternatively, the smell of burning rubber could be caused by issues with your brakes or tyres. This guide will explore the reasons why you might smell petrol in your car and provide guidance on what to do if you find yourself in this situation.   

What causes a petrol smell in your car? 

A petrol smell in your car can be quite concerning, given that petrol is a highly flammable liquid. The good news is that most instances leading to a petrol smell in your car are relatively easy to address, but if you have any concerns, you should find your nearest autocentre for professional advice.  

Loose or faulty petrol cap 

One of the most common causes of a petrol smell in your car could be your petrol cap. If it’s not properly secured petrol vapours can escape, leading to a noticeable petrol smell. Checking your petrol cap should be the initial step if you can smell petrol in your car, as it is often the most straightforward issue to rectify. 

If you find your petrol cap is missing or needs replacing, you should avoid driving until it has been replaced. Leaving it open is not only a safety issue but can lead to larger problems if dust, dirt or debris enters the fuel tank and causes issues with your fuel system. Some cars have a check engine light that will alert you if your petrol cap is not adequately secured. 

Overfilling the fuel tank 

Overfilling the fuel tank with petrol can result in excess petrol spilling into your EVAP system (Evaporative Emissions Control) releasing a petrol smell into the car. To prevent this from happening you should aim to fill the tank no higher than the recommended marker.  

Faulty fuel injector 

Smelling petrol in your car can be an indicator that you have a faulty fuel injector, other symptoms of this include;  

  • Rough idle: If your fuel injectors aren’t delivering the right amount of fuel to the engine, it can cause your engine to misfire or idle roughly. 
  • Slow acceleration: If you’re not getting enough fuel, your vehicle may struggle to get the energy it needs to accelerate properly.  
  • Engine stalling: You may find your engine stalls more frequently if your fuel injectors aren’t working efficiently.  

If your fuel injectors aren’t working properly, then it’s likely your check engine light will be illuminated. If your check engine comes on, you should find your nearest autocentre where our qualified team will be able to run diagnostic tests.  

Fuel leak 

Fuel system leaks can occur in various parts, including the fuel lines, fuel tank, or fuel injectors. These leaks can be attributed to factors such as corrosion, loose or damaged fuel lines, or a cracked fuel tank. If you suspect a fuel leak, you can inspect the area beneath your car for any visible signs of leakage. However, if you have any doubts or concerns contact your nearest autocentre. 

How can Formula One Autocentres help? 

At Formula One Autocentres, our team is fully qualified to diagnose issues and provide expert guidance on resolving problems related to your fuel system. Simply contact your nearest autocentre today. 

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