I have a 2008 Chrysler Town & Country that emits a very strong gas (not exhaust) smell through the vents when the fan is running. This is true regardless of heat, ac, or just air. The smell only appears at moderate speeds or for a brief period after stopping. Adding gas while in neutral has not appeared to trigger it.

In search of the problem, the car now has a new fuel line, new piston rings, new fuel injectors and a new head gasket. None of these fixed it. After taking it to a mechanic, the assessment was that he has no clue.

  • Edit: There are no drips underneath the car. The car is not throwing any error codes either.

Is there anything else that I should check? Should I start shopping for a new car?

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Dec 15, 2017 at 17:22

3 Answers 3


If it was road debris damage to a monitored system there would usually be a light/error code on the dash.

IIRC the fuel system passes near the driver footwell area under the car. You could put a piece of cardboard underneath the driver front quarter of the car and let it run for a while to see if you can spot a leak. Smell around that area while the car is running.

Another possibility is a leaky fuel rail in the engine compartment, which there is a TSB for, and a much more dangerous situation because that would mean gas fumes are present. That would put gas fumes in close enough proximity to the HVAC system for you to smell them, but also put them close enough to the engine to ignite on electrical systems. Run the car and smell around the engine compartment, you might even catch gas weeping out of one of the rubber hoses leading to the engine.

I would recommend getting that serviced ASAP because fumes in the engine compartment can produce a fire or explosion. Start by looking up your VIN here https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls and call your dealership if you have actionable recalls/TSBs for that vehicle.

  • I did check for drips. Nothing. No lights on dash. Will update when I can look into the others
    – saltybunny
    Dec 15, 2017 at 17:06

I bet you've got a leak in the EVAP system that's allowing fuel vapors out. Since the purge valve is located in the engine compartment, leaking fuel vapors would get sucked into the fresh air intake on your HVAC system. Read this post to see how the system works and when it goes through testing



I took everyone's advice under consideration, fished around, took it to a mechanic. Nobody could source the issue. I'm writing this car off as a lost cause. Thanks all for the suggestions though.

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