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Hi Ladies, I have an issue with my 00 Xterra. I have a very strong gasoline odor coming from the vehicle after I drive it. It eventually goes away, but when I pull into the garage, the fumes are horrible. I have taken it to the shop, and they said there are not any fuel leaks. The only thing I notice is that when I take the gas cap off, it appears corroded where the gas cap screws in. The strongest odor is right from the gas cap area, but after longer trips, I can smell it from all sides of the car. Any ideas?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Amanda J. Pierce, MBA Angela, Thank You for writing into AskPatty! From your description you may be able to remedy this by purchasing a replacement gas cap. If you have not noticed that your fuel consumption has dramatically changed, and there is no leak present. You may have a gasket that is missing around your gas cap that need to be replaced along with a new cap. Hope this helps!! A. J. Valle

Amy Mattinat, Owner and Author at Auto Craftsmen Ltd Hi Angela, Gasoline fumes indicate some type of fuel leak, and a gasoline leak is a safety issue. If the gas cap is corroded, then it could be leaking gas fumes. You could get the corroded area cleaned up and purchase a new gas cap to get a good seal. If there is still gas fumes after doing this, then find a shop that can connect a diagnostic smoke machine to your car. It is a great tool for finding hard to spot fuel leaks.

Judy Curry, Co-Founder and Vice President of Marketing at Currys Auto Service Angela, if your check engine light is on, If there is a leak in the fuel tank above the gas the car will test the tank pressure. If it fails it will turn the light on. Nissan has had a lot of problems with corrosion of the fuel tank sending unit making the gas gauge not work if this is the case usually the gas gauge will read empty and the car will not check the fuel tank for pressure and it will not set the light. Judy and the Curry's Team

Kerri Papajohn, Marketing Director at USA Sealants, Inc. Foremost, it could still be several things. But my first guess would be the gas cap. There may be fuel pressure buildup that will leak past the cap. This will cause a smell after driving. You may also look to see if any connecting hoses are rotten and replace them along with a new gas cap. Another guess: Typically, these smells are associated with Fuel Injector O-rings (less than a $1). Could also be a rusty tank. I have even heard of the plate on top of the tank missing O-rings between screws and plate. This is where gas vapors are vented as well.

Pat Fleischmann, Director of First Impressions at Community Tire Pros & Auto Repair Just this last Sunday we did a TV segment on just this....let's start with the easy fix! Get a dealer gas cap and replace the old one. The reason for the dealer item is it may cost a bit more, but your system is pressurized and sometimes the cheap ones just doesn't do the job and will give you continual problems or throw an engine light! You are not having any leaks under your car, that's good....it doesn't seem to be overwhelming. From there, you'll have to have the fuel lines checked again, etc. IF the new gas cap doesn't resolve the issue. With this heat lately, it could be vaporizing before you see it-only smelling it!

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