If you notice the smell of gas once you get into your vehicle, this could be a sign of a gas leak. A gas leak can be dangerous to drive with because it is flammable and it creates a slick surface for other drivers.
Here are some tips explaining why it is not safe driving with a gas leak:
A gas leak is one of the leading causes of a vehicle fire. This is because gas is very flammable. There is potential for significant burns, injury, and even death from gas leak fires, so it is best not to drive a vehicle that has a gas leak.
One reason your vehicle may have a gas leak could be due to a hole in the gas tank. If it is a small hole, the mechanic may be able to fix it with a patch. If the hole is large, the entire tank may need to be replaced.
Other reasons a gas leak occur is because of bad fuel lines, gas tank cap issues, broken fuel injectors, fuel pressure regulator issues, and gas tank vent hose problems. If you suspect your vehicle has any of these problems are, you should get it looked at right away.
Besides the smell of gas, an additional sign you may have a gas leak is going through fuel faster than you did before. If you notice you are filling up your car more, you may have a gas leak.
Another sign of a gas leak is a rough idle, which means the vehicle is not smooth while it is on, but not in motion. A second sign that goes along with this is excessive strain on the vehicle while you are attempting to start the engine. If you notice either of these two signs separately or together, get your vehicle inspected.
A gas leak can cause an explosion or fire if the vapors or gasoline come into contact with a heat source. This heat source can be something simple as a small spark or a hot surface. If this happens, the gas may ignite putting the passengers of the vehicle and other objects around the car in danger.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Is it Safe to Drive With a Gas Leak? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.