Spark Plug Smells Like Gas – Causes And Remedies

An automobile’s engines must run on fuel to operate, so you often smell an unpleasant gas stink when switching the key.

However, suppose you detect that your spark plug smells like gas; it’s high time you have it checked by certified mechanics, as something might be wrong.

What are the causes? How to solve it? The answer lies in the following sections!

Spark Plug Smells Like Gas – The Reasons Why?

spark plug smells like gas
Why Spark Plug Smells Like Gas

There are common culprits behind the pungent fuel smell of your spark plug, but we just enumerate some common ones, including loose spark plugs, the damaged oil cap, the failing distributor, sunken engines, and oil leak problems

Let’s take a closer look at each case!

Loose Spark Plugs

A spark plug is a motor part responsible for transmitting the electrical current from the ignition system to a combustion chamber with the purpose of igniting the pressurized fuel-and-air mixture.

Indeed, it plays an important role in the fuel ignition process. Yet can bad spark plugs cause gas smell?

If it is not tightened well or to an incorrect torque, the sealing rings are not properly seated, causing the fumes to get out of it and generate a gasoline smell.

Here are some signs of a loosened spark plug:

  • Reduction in your vehicle’s performance
  • The pre-ignition problem
  • Detonation
  • The dead cylinder
  • Drop in engine power

The Damaged Oil Cap

An oil cap, or oil reservoir cap, prevents oil from evaporating from the fuel tank. When you need to change or add oil, you must switch and take it off.

When it gets damaged due to rusting or faulty O-rings, the lid will not be tightened or incorrectly sealed.

The oil fumes and gasoline would likely find their way out, explaining why you smell a gas stench.

Driving with a broken oil cap is just as risky as driving without an oil cap!

Sunken Engines

A spark plug will get dry after the continuous production of sparks.

Once the fuel mixture is in excess, making the engines sunken, it will be soaked by gas, leading to an oil fouled spark plug and bad gasoline smell.

This issue derives from several factors, such as a failed carburetor, engine corrosion, or even worn spark plugs.

The Failing Distributor

A car distributor is mechanical equipment mainly applied in the ignition system.

Specifically, its primary function is to deliver electricity from the ignition coils to each spark plug, ensuring sufficient current for related engines.

Given a faulty distributor, the spark plug does not receive any power to activate. It might gradually become idle and stop igniting the fuel pressure.

The consequence is a pervasive gas smell when driving.

Oil Leakage

Oil leakage is the final culprit in the list. This is because the car’s oil is mixed with fuel, so when it gets leaked, a nasty smell of gas will follow and escape through spark plugs.

It is mainly triggered by the defective valve cover gasket, which usually absorbs excessive heat inside your car, making it more susceptible to wear and tear.

How To Solve The Issue?

can bad spark plugs cause gas smell
Solve The Problem

Below are viable remedies to this nagging problem that may come in handy:

  • If your spark plugs display signs of loosening, you must tighten them immediately and remember rotating to the correct torque. In case that it is on the fritz, replace it with a new one to avert worse scenarios.
  • Suppose the oil cap is a primary culprit; all you need to do is pinpoint its location and inspect the lid. If there are some stains on its surface, take it off and install a new one. Replace the O-ring as well if it is flattened, rusted, missing, or cracked.
  • It is also vital to examine the distributor’s condition and make prompt fixes. Some common indicators of a bad distributor, like the car’s sudden stalling, vigorous shaking, engine misfires, illuminated check engine light, and high-pitched noise from the hood.
  • If the internal engines are sunken, tow your car to a reliable automotive workshop and have professional mechanics check their overall state.
  • Suppose the problem is rooted in the fuel leak; check your exhaust manifold for any drops on the ground or white smoke coming from the engines.

How To Check A Bad Spark Plug?

car smells like gas while driving
Check A Bad Spark Plug

Following is an all-inclusive guidance on checking a failing spark plug that you should pay close attention to:

  • Step 1: Park your car and shut all the engines down. Let them cool down for a couple of minutes.
  • Step 2: You then disconnect the spark plug’s lead. Don’t forget to clean the surrounding area before undertaking the process, which helps avoid debris and dirt.
  • Step 3: Use a specialized socket and wrench to uninstall the spark plug.
  • Step 4: After removing it, you need to inspect its general condition to see whether there are some cracks, rust, or contaminated particles or not. Examine it to detect burnt electrodes and cracked porcelain as well.
  • Step 5: If your spark plug encounters one of these problems, replace it immediately. Remember to buy an authentic product, as the fake one has a bad reputation for degraded quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Drive With A Bad Spark Plug?

Absolutely no.

If you continue to drive a vehicle with a failed spark plug, significant damage will be caused to your car. Don’t ignore this problem!

Can A Misfiring Issue Cause A Gas Smell?

Yes. As mentioned earlier, the problem of misfiring engines is conducive to a ruined distributor, which is one of the main culprits behind the spark plugs’ smell of gasoline.

Why Does My Automobile Give Off The Fuel Smell When The Engine Starts?

When you disengage the clutch and notice a scent of gas, there is a high chance that gas vapors might occur somewhere in or around your vehicle, like internal motor parts, the exhaust system, the fuel tank, or the fuel line.

How To Drain Gasoline Out Of A Bad Spark Plug?

If your spark plug is soaked in a minor fuel amount, you should leave your car alone under the sunlight, so gas will evaporate quickly and leave it dry.

Given the prolonged soaking of a spark plug, you should call for a qualified specialist, as the procedure requires extensive repair.

The Bottom Line

Our article has equipped you with helpful knowledge about why a spark plug smells like gas, coupled with feasible solutions to each of the causes. Hope you will find them useful!

Thank you for being supportive, and have a nice day!

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