Why Do I Smell Exhaust Fumes

May 11th, 2017 by

Why Do I Smell Exhaust Fumes

Why do I smell exhaust fumes? When you smell strong exhaust fumes, there’s an underlying issue that needs to be fixed. But you can’t fix a problem unless you know what it is. Here are some  possible reasons for strong exhaust fumes.      

Malfunctioning Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter is essential to a safely functioning vehicle. This important component works to oxidize and reduce harmful gases. If it malfunctions, you may notice a strong odor, which may smell like sulfur. It’s important to get your vehicle checked out right away if you smell these types of fumes. In most cases, the catalytic converter will need to be replaced.

Coolant or Heater Core Problem

If you smell exhaust fumes that you might describe as burnt and “sweet,” chances are that it is burnt antifreeze. If you experience this, the culprit could be a leak in a coolant hose, which could allow antifreeze to spray on the engine or contaminate the oil and be burned in the engine. Another culprit for smelling burnt antifreeze is a problem with the heater core. In either case, it’s best to have your vehicle looked at to solidify the cause.

Degraded Window and Door Seals

Sometimes the reason for smelling strong exhaust fumes is because of poor window and door deals that have broken down over time. This may be the case with older vehicles. When this occurs, the seals are failing to keep out the exhaust fumes and instead they are leaking into the vehicle.

Oxygen Sensor Issue

The oxygen sensor helps measure exhaust gases when they leave the combustion chamber and in turn adjusts the amount of fuel entering the engine accordingly. If the reading is incorrect, the wrong amount of fuel may be sent to the engine and it is not all being burned off. This in turn causes strong-smelling fumes that will have the odor of gasoline.

Fuel Injector Clog

Another reason why you may sense fumes that smell strongly of gasoline is if there’s a problem with the fuel injector. This may be a clog or other problem with the fuel injector that allows it to send too much gas to the engine. If this is the issue, it can usually be easily remedied with an engine tune up.

Leaking Seals

If what you are smelling is like burnt oil, you could have a problem with your seals. Leaking seals can cause the engine to burn oil and create a foul scent. If this is the problem, you may also notice leaking or dripping oil or smoke in a bluish color coming from the tailpipe.

Whenever you notice strong exhaust fumes, it is a potential health hazard. These gases can be very harmful if breathed in, so if you experience any odd or strong odors, you should have your vehicle diagnosed and repaired as soon as possible. By noticing and being proactive about the fumes, you can keep your vehicle and passengers safe on the road.

Service Your Vehicle at Rairdon Nissan of Auburn

The carbon monoxide and other dangerous gases found in your car’s exhaust can cause serious health problems. That’s why it’s best to have your car diagnosed and serviced when a problem first presents itself.

Service your Nissan vehicle with the experts at Rairdon’s Nissan at Auburn here. 

We also have no appointment service available for services like lube and oil filter changes, wiper blade replacement, tire rotations with brake inspection, battery test, air filter replacement, multi-point inspection and more.

Posted in Safety Tips