The words "uhh, does it smell like gas to you?" are usually not a good sign.
Jenn and I took the Volvo for a spin out to the old naval shipyard today, where I noticed a strong smell of fuel-- shortly before spying a puddle of gas emanating from under the engine. I popped the hood to the sight of gas flowing from fuel line. Luckily, our Gerber Shortcut allowed us to make some quick field repairs that got us safely back on the road.
It turns out there were two problems. First, the rubber fuel lines had been shredded by "toothed" hose clamps. I never took ipd's advice about hose clamps seriously-- until now. Now, I swear by those smooth hose clamps.
new "smooth" clamp in foreground. engine fire-inducing "toothed" clamp in background.
"cheese grater" effect of toothed hose clamps.
Secondly, the hard fuel line had a mysterious hole in it. (Not sure how it got there, but it had the "burned through" look of a welding accident. Maybe the battery cable to the starter motor shorted on the fuel line at some point? Glad I wasn't around for that...) I removed the offending section with a pipe cutter and extended the rubber line.
Thankfully, no engine fire- but I'm thinking it might be a good idea to keep an extinguisher in the car now...