My car smells like gas when I turn it on?

From time to time, when I turn on my car (2001 Maxima) it smells like gas, but only outside, if windows/doors are open. I've had the SES light come on and off, and at one point it was the catalytic converter, but the mechanic told me it was not something I needed to worry about. Now my car seems to be burning gas much faster, and I don't get as much MPG as I should be (at least it doesn't appear that way). I will probably go to the mechanic ASAP to check it out, but I wonder if there is something I should know, so that I know if I am being lied to by the mechanic or not…I don't want to change any part that I do not need to, is what I am saying. Any help is appreciated!

You could have a fuel leak. Or your car could just be loading up on too much gas. Your computer could be telling the fuel pump to send too much gas to the engine. If that is so, your motor can't burn it all. That would explain the smell and the lower milage. Good luck.

how bout leaving it run for a bit while sitting still, see if there's a gas leak, or open up the hood to see if you see gas leaking all over the parts. i'm no car expert, but i did stay at a holiday inn express last nite 🙂


First make sure your gas cap isn't damaged or been replaced with the wrong type. This would lead to venting issues. If that's not it, have your fuel filter looked at, if it's on the frame, it could be loose or damaged. Both of these problems would cause the symptoms you've described.

If it really smells like raw gasoline, there is something wrong. You might have a fuel line leak or something equally dangerous. These often don't show up unless the car is running and there is pressure in the line, but don't take chances. Get a reliable mechanic to look at it safely.

Now, it's also possible that you are burning inefficiently due to some engine problems. This would not be so dangerous, but it would explain your reduced fuel economy. The smell would not be the same as raw gasoline, but it could be similar, since some unburned fuel would be emitted through the exhaust system.

Either way, get it checked. Safe it is better to be, says Yoda's cousin.

You seem to have a serious problem , that needs to be solved asap A gasoline leak is not something I will take it in and get looked at you need to have the car towed in and have it repaired do not drive it new cars with more electronics, fuel injection (gas is delivered to the engine at a high pressure) and higher under hood temps make a fire very easy to happen if you have a gas leak. Find a reputable shop have the car checked out. a good shop will tell you what is wrong with it not well don't worry about. A good shop will have update data services so they can find out of any changes that need to be made. a lot of time car makers have updated parts when making repairs that work better than what came with your car some may be warrant-able most are not.
If your Service engine soon Light is flashing it means it sees a problem it may be a interment one but it sees something wrong and the cars computer is turning it on.
get your car checked out and repaired for safety sake and will save you money in the long run.

I'm 100% sure this problem has to do with bad spark plug(s), the cylinder(s) are misfiring and the gas isn't being burned and the smell is going through the air intake. You can still drive your car but I suggest you get it fixed A.S.A.P because this can lead to your catalytic converter going bad and that will cost double what it cost to change your spark plug depending on which cylinder(s) are misfiring. Nissan's are a b*tch when it comes to changing plugs, 3 of them are located under the air intake cover and your local mechanic will charge you $250+ just to change those. I'd personally charge like $140-$150 parts and labor.

Car needs a tune up. install new air filter and new spark plugs. if possible install new fuel filter too. then you won t smell gas anymore. some time spark plug one or more does not burn the gas and some time air flow is not good and gas does not get enough oxygen. so engine push the raw gas out from exhaust.

Something isn't right. You should never smell gas unless you spill some.I would try another mechanic and get a second opinion. It could be your vapor recovery isn't working properly.

There is something you should know, what you are describing is a fuel leak and it is very dangerous. It can catch fire or explode when you start your car. I know, because it happened to my car, totaled it. Without starting the car, look under the hood for signs of gas leakage. You should have an electric fuel pump. Have someone turn the key on, Not Start, and look for gas leak. Good luck. Be safe.

I had an old truck that did that.. Turns out that gas was leaking out onto the alternator…. Poor machanic almost had a heart attack when he look under the hood. Aparantly I was close to having my truck go "BOOM" and didn't know it.

It sounds like you could have a leak in a gas line

Its a leak, if you only smell it during ignition or driving then it is vital that you get it fixed quickly but it should actually be cheaper then most problems with cars, because it will be easy to determine where the leak is and should only be a small change/fix.


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Those cars are known for cracked furl injector bodies. It gives a strong fuel smell without a noticable leak or consumption. They're not the easiest things to eyeball, either, and you'd be best not to use a trouble light near it!

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