Things To Do If You Smell Exhaust Inside Your Car - Service Information at Mike Shaw Subaru

It can be alarming to suddenly detect an unusual odor in your car. What's more, exhaust gasses contain harmful compounds like carbon monoxide that can be harmful to your health. Exhaust fumes can even irritate your eyes. You'll want to limit your exposure to these harmful gasses.

If you smell exhaust in the cabin of your car, that's a problem you'll want to have addressed right away. At Mike Shaw Subaru, our experienced team can find the source or your exhaust leak quickly and fix it correctly. Just swing by our service center the next time you sniff out a problem with your Subaru. Here are four things we recommend you do if you suspect your car has developed an exhaust leak.

A technician works on a vehicle's exhaust system; the vehicle is on a lift for better access to the undercarriage

4. Be Sure It's Exhaust That You're Smelling

A musty, smokey smell coming from your car sure sounds like an exhaust leak -- but there are other problems that could cause your car to smell funny, too. For example, if your fuel tank cap has cracked, gasoline fumes could be wafting up out of the fuel filler and into the cabin. Raw gasoline smells a bit different than exhaust, but since exhaust is at least partially made of burned-up gasoline, it can be tough to tell them apart just from the odor.

Other possible smells include a burning smell from dragging brakes or misaligned wheels, a sickly-sweet smell from a coolant leak, a sulphurous smell from a bad catalytic converter, or a hot, metallic smell from oil leaking onto a hot component, like the exhaust manifold, and burning there. Whether it's an exhaust system problem or something else entirely, strange odors should be investigated right away by trained Subaru experts.

This 3D rendering of a car's exhaust system shows how exhaust flows from the engine to the mufflers

3. Use Your Other Senses To Pinpoint The Problem

If your vehicle's issue really is an exhaust leak, you can use your other senses to confirm your suspicion.

The last part of your car's exhaust system, right before the exhaust tip, is usually the muffler or mufflers. They're designed to quiet the noise from the engine. But, if the exhaust pipe, manifold or catalytic converter spring a leak, the exhaust gasses will be allowed to escape prior to flowing through the muffler. This will make your car idle louder -- a whole lot louder! If you notice a louder, more coarse engine noise coming from your car, an exhaust leak is probably to blame.

If your car doesn't sound any different, check for smoke coming from the tailpipe as you drive. If your car emits black smoke that smells like gasoline, there could be an issue with your engine creating a rich air-fuel mixture. You'll want to have the engine looked at and tuned-up by the pros to eliminate this smell.

This is an exhaust manifold, which captures exhaust from the engine's cylinders and directs them toward the catalytic converter

2. Check Window & Door Seals

Are you sure it's your car that's the source of the odor? If you smell unpleasant odors as you drive, but can't pinpoint the source once you get home, it could be odors from other cars getting into the cabin. That can be caused by failing window and door seals. Have a technician inspect them to keep harmful exhaust fumes from other vehicles out of your car, so you can breathe easy.

1. Get A Quality Exhaust System Repair At Mike Shaw Subaru

Lucky for you, we've got the trained Subaru service experts at our service center to find the source of your odor problem and get it fixed -- all at a reasonable price and with outstanding customer service.

Fixing exhaust leaks might sound like a major service, but it's often not a big deal. Small leaks in the exhaust system can often be welded or wrapped closed, without actually having to replace any parts. In the event that new parts are needed, like a new oxygen sensor or muffler, we'll use OEM parts we get direct from Subaru. That means they're approved for use on your car, unlike many cut-rate parts from independent garages. Just visit Mike Shaw Subaru and say "Smell ya later!" to your car's exhaust leak.

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  1. Mike Shaw Subaru

    1650 W 104th Avenue
    Thornton, CO 80234

    • Sales: (888) 472-4482

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Mike Shaw Subaru

1650 W 104th Avenue
Directions Thornton, CO 80234

  • Sales: 720-724-9280
  • Service: 303-729-2683
  • Parts: 720-728-0862