Lingering Gas Smell

mgnicksonOctober 5, 2006

I was given a Craftsman mower that is a few years old by a friend a few months back and every time I use the mower the smell of gasoline lingers for days on end. This weekend I mowed my lawn and let the mower air out in the yard for two and 1/2 days before bringing it back into the garage before a rain storm. Within 6 hours, my entire house smelled of gasoline from the mower in the garage. Any thoughts on what might be causing this problem?

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roadbike

Evaporating gas coulkd be caused by a gas cap that is defective or not seated properly, a leak in the tank or the fuel line leading up to the carburetor. Look carefully around the fuel ystem for signs of a leak.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 8:03AM
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walt2002

I doubt that the gas smell is "lingering", I expect it is from an active leak as mentioned above. You don't say what engine this is, is it old enough that it still has a carburator with a "weep" hole in the bottom of air intake? Anyway, if all else fails, buy a good gas line shut off valve, install it below the tank and use it when engine is not running.

Walt Conner

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 8:47AM
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nevada_walrus(Boulder City)

Absolutely what Walt said. An hour or two maybe but even that's a stretch, certainly not 2 plus days. You have a problem somewhere in the fuel system.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 8:53AM
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1saxman

'You have a problem somewhere in the fuel system'

And it's extremely dangerous to have in your attached garage. Leave it outside under a tarp or other temporary shelter until you get it fixed. Simply look for a wet area somewhere on the deck where gas is leaking out. If the mower starts and runs okay with no black smoke from the exhaust, it indicates a leak before the carburetor (tank, fuel line). If it gets flooded and hard to start and blows smoke when it does start, it's internal carburetor, probably the float. I'm guessing yours is leaking prior to the carb. Could just be a hardened, cracked fuel line.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 10:04AM
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walt2002

"And it's extremely dangerous to have in your attached garage"

Yah, light switch, garage door opener, compressor and others, might set off an explosion.

Walt Conner

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 9:45PM
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newjerseybt(5b NE PA)

Years ago I had a piece of foreign material stuck between the needle/seat of my Honda HRC216 carb which caused the carb to overflow and drip gas which fumed up my entire house. It also melted the decals right off the deck. Lucky for me the garage door opener didn't make a spark.

Also don't park a dripping mower on an asphalt surface..it makes a heck of a mess.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 10:26PM
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mgnickson

Thnaks for the advice, I'll be checking the fuel line tomorrow. I'm guessing based on your collective advice that the leak is somewhere before the carb. Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 11:05PM
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1saxman

Plastic fuel tanks have been known to crack and split.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 10:01AM
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ralphgumby

This all reminds me to double check my 1974 Ariens snow blower. After using it last year, it would stink up the garage for a day. After that, no gas smell. I might have a leaky bowl gasket or something.
Good luck in finding the source.
Ralph

    Bookmark   October 6, 2006 at 7:17PM
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