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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Do I need to replace camseals when doing timing belt job?

More likely than not, your camshaft seals are not leaking. They should still be holding up as long as you have kept up with changing the engine oil. However, it is recommended to have these seals replaced regardless of a...

Q: Getting code P0135

Hello. A P0135 code indicates that there is a malfunction of the oxygen sensor/heat circuit. This problem could cause the car to burn more gas and over time, cause damage to the catalytic converter. When the oxygen sensor is replaced...

Q: drive gear not working

This sounds like a failed transmission range selection switch. The switch will need to be replaced to restore proper operation of the transmission. You may want enlist the help of a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will have...

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...
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
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...