Why Does My Chevy Truck Exhaust Smell Like Gas?

by David Reber

Gasoline odor in auto exhaust indicates that gasoline vapor is passing through the engine without being burned. This can signal one of three basic problems with the engine's performance: misfire, too rich a fuel mixture or leaking exhaust valves.

Engine misfire.

If the fuel taken into the engine is not burned, it will pass out through the exhaust, causing a gasoline odor in the exhaust. This may be caused by fouled spark plugs, faulty ignition wires or malfunctioning ignition system components.

Excessively rich fuel mixture.

Proper burning of fuel requires the right proportions of fuel and oxygen. If the vehicle fuel system delivers too much gasoline, there will not be sufficient oxygen in the mix to burn it all. This will cause some unburned fuel to exit through the exhaust system.

Leaking exhaust valves.

All engine valves must create a tight seal for good compression and power from each cylinder. If any exhaust valves are not seating properly, fuel mixture will be forced into the exhaust system during the compression stroke of the piston.

References

About the Author

David Reber has been a published writer since 1991. His work has appeared in the Kansas Herpetological Society newsletter and in "Amphibian and Reptile Conservation." He teaches high-school science and maintains a menagerie of classroom animals. Reber holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Kansas and a Master of Science in education from Emporia State University.

Photo Credits