A word of caution gas leak is the prime reason for vehicle fires. There are many reasons for gas tank leaks, such as problems with the gas cap or vehicle’s fuel line. Since automobile gas can be highly inflammable, it is important to ensure timely repair of the issue causing gas leaks to prevent the risk of burn injury from gas leak fires and explosions.
Signs of a gas tank leak
1.Fuel smell – One of the most common symptoms of a gas tank leak is the frequent smell of gas coming from your vehicle. If you’ve been driving for a long time, you’d already know that gasoline has a very specific odor. If you feel the smell of fuel, due to evaporation, it is a sign that your gas tank is leaking and needs immediate attention.
2.Spots of Moisture Beneath Your Vehicle – Another important sign to tell that your car’s gas tank is leaking is the spots of moisture beneath your vehicle as the fuel evaporates if it is leaking out really slowly. After leaving your vehicle parked for a long time, you can see wet spots on the pavement where your vehicle was parked.
3.Fuel Gauge Drops Without Reason – Did you just fill the gas and the fuel gauge is showing an ‘Empty’ sign again? It can be either your vehicle’s fuel efficiency has dropped all of sudden, which is nearly impossible to happen in a day or two, or simply if your gas tank is leaking. Consistently checking your fuel gauge level is one of the best ways to tell if there is something wrong with your vehicle’s fuel line.
Gas Tank Leak – Is It Dangerous?
Yes, there’s no doubt that gas tank leaks can be extremely dangerous as fuel is highly inflammable. Apart from this, the fuel charges are constantly going higher every year and you would not want gas to simply evaporate even when you are not driving the vehicle. So, yes, gas tank leaks can be very dangerous, and here is why.
1.Fire Risk – It is very clear that when there is a gas leak in your vehicle, it is at a very high risk of catching fire because fuel is a highly inflammable substance. The flammability of fuel is the reason that it plays a vital role in the engine’s internal combustion process, thus generating power for your vehicle. One thing that can make you feel worried is that when there is a gas leak, it can catch fire outside the engine’s combustion chamber too. And this can be a matter of concern and becomes a safety liability. With the help of a fuel tank, the risk of gasoline going up in flames is reduced, but in case of a gas tank leak, fuel is released into the open, where it only takes a single ember or spark to set it aflame.
2.Health Hazards – It is a fact that fuel leaks can result in fire risk, but that’s not the only problem one can encounter as this can also result in various health hazards. The reason here is that gasoline or fuel has various compounds that can have serious effects on your health. One of the most dangerous one of these compounds is carbon monoxide, a deadly gas lacking detectable color or odor. Not everyone is immune to inhaling carbon monoxide and it can make you feel like you have a cold or flu. If you’re one of those people, then inhaling this compound can also result in headaches or nausea that might need urgent medical support.
3.Brain Injury – Not many people know this, but a gas tank leak can also make a negative impact on the health of your brain as this can result in oxygen displacement when a gas tank leak is left leaking for prolonged periods of time. For example, if you are living inside the car or a room where it is parked, a gas tank leak can result in oxygen slowly dissipating which means experiencing oxygen deprivation. In case the leak is not handled on time, it can result in an overabundance of gas, which can make a huge negative impact on the health of your injury. Of course, humans can survive without it, but the time is only a maximum of about 3 or 4 minutes. The common signs of oxygen deprivation are blurred vision, tiredness, and confusion. One might also experience nausea and loss of consciousness due to prolonged oxygen deprivation.
4.Destroy plants and vegetation – Have you ever noticed that there are hardly any plants or vegetation nearby the areas where cars are washed or repaired in the open land? It is because car engine oil and fuel make a huge impact on the health of these plants. So, if you are driving a car with a leaking gas tank, there is a high chance that it will affect plants and other vegetation through the soil due to chlorosis, which is a common condition wherein plants lose their color. And when it happens for a long time, there is a high chance that these plants will die without any reason. When your plants start to dry up in a short period of time nearby your car parking area, it is important that you check for any leak in the gas tank.
5.It Eats Up The Vehicle’s Metal – One thing that not many people may know about the side effects of automobile fuel leaks is that it is not only harmful to the owners but also to the vehicle itself as due to constant leaks, there are high chances that the metal of vehicle will start to become weak. Over time, there will be corrosion nearby the affected areas, which means more leaking fuel and higher chances of the vehicle catching fire. It makes sense to take immediate steps for the solution of this problem as avoiding this will only result in making it bigger. If you are not a professional in the field, then it is suggested to visit a mechanic who can help diagnose as well as get help with the repair work.
So, how do you spot gas tank leaks?
In case you feel any of the mentioned symptoms of a gas tank leak, it makes sense to immediately check if there is a problem with the fuel line of your vehicle. To do this, the following are some steps that can be followed:
1.Use jack – Checking the fuel line of a car can be tricky as this lies in the rear of the car to the front. To do a thorough diagnosis, it is important to have a good view of the fuel line for which you can place your car on a jack and follow along the line with a flashlight. In case you feel there is moisture or areas with the buildup of dust and road grime, it is a clear sign that there is a fuel leak.
2.Add a Dye to your Fuel – One interesting thing that not everyone might know about checking gas tank leaks is that there is dye available on the market that can be added to the fuel tank and will glow under a black light. This will make it very easy to check if there is a gas tank leak without effort.
3.Use a Fuel Detector – Yes, there are various types of fuel detectors available on the market, which are often used by trained professionals, this is the reason that people often prefer visiting experts for fuel leaks. These devices are highly advanced and can detect the compounds present in gasoline and diesel. If you feel there is a gas leak as you can smell it but are unable to find the leak with the help of a flashlight, the fuel detector is a third option.
Can I drive my car with a leaking gas tank?
No, it is never suggested to drive a car with a leaking gas tank as this is not just harmful for you but for others too as your car can catch fire easily and this can also put others at a high risk. Whenever you feel that there is the smell of fuel or your car is consuming more fuel than before, it is highly suggested that you visit a professional mechanic to get the problem diagnosed and when you find it, make sure to get it treated on time, with no delays at all. Remember that fuel is the most important part of the working process of your car’s engine so saving it is very important. While in most cases, a gas tank leak can be repaired, when the damage is beyond reparability, it is suggested to simply replace it.
Searching for a professional and certified mechanic is highly suggested as you don’t want to take any chance with the safety of your car as well as your loved ones simply due to choosing the wrong mechanic for the repair work.