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Q: My 1996 Volvo 850 Turbo Wagon is leaking gas from the front driver side. What could this mean?

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My 1996 Volvo 850 Turbo Wagon is leaking gas from the front driver side. What could this mean? It's leaking quite a bit.

My car has 180000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hey there. Your car has small diameter steel tubes (typically around 1/4 inch in diameter) that supply fuel under pressure to the fuel injectors. Some of this tubing runs underneath the vehicle to the engine compartment and thus is subject to a lot of corrosion and sometimes mechanical damage from road debris. Once the steel tubing is perforated, fuel can leak out. That is one possibility, particularly on a car that is more than 15 years old. There are also short segments of rubber hose in the fuel return lines and that old rubber hose could have developed cracks. Those are two possibilities for the leak.

Those two, and all other less common possibilities should be checked out by a professional in an inspection. Once one has a known fuel leak, it is relatively dangerous to operate the vehicle due to the substantial risk of fire and/or explosion (if the vehicle is parked in a confined space where vapors can concentrate). Of all categories of automotive faults, fuel leaks definitely qualify as among the most dangerous to people and property so obviously do have this repaired at once. If you are looking to have this repaired, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to inspect the leak and follow through with repairs.

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