Gas Leak Dangers

A gas leak is among the most common causes of vehicle fires. Gas leaks can occur for a number of reasons, such as issues with the gas cap or vehicle’s fuel line. Gas is highly flammable, which presents significant risk of burn injury from gas leak fires and explosions.

Gas Leak Causes

A number of factors can cause or contribute to a gas leak and subsequent gas leak dangers. A gas leak may be caused by a hole in the gas tank, damaged fuel lines, damaged fuel injectors, gas tank cap issues, gas tank vent hose issues, or fuel pressure regulator issues, among other problems. If drivers suspect a gas leak but are unaware of the possible cause, the vehicle should be taken in for an inspection as soon as possible to determine the source and fix the gas leak.

Leaking Fuel Line

The majority of vehicles have a metal line running the length of the vehicle which transports gasoline from the fuel tank to the engine. Both ends of this metal line are typically connected by rubber fuel lines. A leaking fuel line can be caused by a number of factors, such as wear-and-tear that comes with age. A leaking fuel line is often simple to fix in cases where the rubber components can be repaired or replaced.

Gas Leak Signs

A vehicle with a gas leak may exhibit the following signs:

  • A strong and unusual gasoline odor coming from the vehicle
  • Abnormally rapid use of fuel in comparison to past fuel use rate
  • The presence of gasoline “puddles” that form underneath the car
  • Rough idle, or unsmooth functioning while the car is running but not in motion
  • Hard start, or excessive strain when attempting to start the engine

Fire and Explosion Risks

Due to the highly flammable nature of gasoline, a gas leak can easily lead to a fire or explosion. This can occur if the gasoline or its vapors come in contact with a heat source, such as a spark or very hot surface. As a result, the gas leak may ignite, posing severe risk of burn injury or death to drivers and passengers. In specific conditions, interaction between a gas leak, its vapors, and a heat source can lead to an explosion with catastrophic impact.