Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Exhaust smell coming though AC

asked by on

I just bought my 01 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GT and in the way home I noticed what smelled like exhaust coming through the AC. I was told it was either an exhaust leak or that I just needed to recharge. I have no idea what's wrong.

My car has 136000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello. I will help you with your question a...

Hello. I will help you with your question about a possible exhaust leak. There are a variety of odors you could be detecting. If the A/C system is operating, there can sometimes be some pretty strong odors due to the condensation that collects in parts that are in the passenger compartment, principally your A/C "evaporator". That condensation allows mold and mildew to grow and the odor therefrom can be pretty objectionable when you are running the A/C. Hard to say if that is what you are referring to. If it is not THAT odor though but rather exhaust gases from the engine, that is serious because exhaust is part carbon monoxide. YourMechanic can determine which of these possibilities accounts for the odor and schedule the repairs. If it is an exhaust or exhaust manifold leak, I encourage you not to drive the car until it is repaired. CO is a known and well understand cause of poisoning and even at low levels is well known to damage your health (search on Internet: "effects of chronic exposure to carbon monoxide").

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Engine problems

If the engine is overheating then you will need to see if the upper and lower radiator hoses are both hot, but the lower one will be cooler than the top. This tells me the thermostat is open. If the...

Q: Clutch broke and won't shift into gear.

This could be a symptom of a bad clutch. Another way to test the clutch is to drive down the road, get into 3rd gear and with your foot on the gas pedal push the clutch in and let the...

Q: I cannot find a computer with the Part #. 1860A799. Can I use another part number that looks the same?

Hi there. The part number that you have is specific to your vehicle's computer system. If you are wanting to replace the computer with an aftermarket computer, you can but you will need the computer flashed (programmed) to the VIN...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...