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Q:

strong exterior odor of gasoline around the perimeter of car. on 1994 Ford Escort

Rookie cbe0621eac06868b3efe0d8d1d3611e23c60d3114864ea2ec19a68cfbd3eebab
the above situation, lately, seems to be prevalent most of the time.
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Look for stains on the ground or try to isolate where the smell is strongest. Open the hood see if it is strong there. Perhaps a fuel line or fuel tank itself has damage. Get this repaired as it could be very dangerous if left uncorrected.
i have this same problem with my 94 escort lx. the problem mine has is the fuel injector o-ring is leaking hte tiniest bit of gas. rub your finger around an injector one at a time and then smell it. if your finger smells like gas after doing so on one injector then this would be your problem.