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Exhaust odor in the cabin

 
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Old 27 Oct 2014, 07:46 am
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Default Exhaust odor in the cabin

I am getting a wonderful exhaust odor inside the car now. I assume I have an exhaust leak at the engine somewhere.

1st question:
What is the likely cause? Is there a usual suspect?

2nd question:
What is a good way to detect such a leak? Black soot?

Thanks in advance
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380,584 miles as of 4/27/19 '01 PT Cruiser automatic Original (Engine, Transmission, Power Steeering Pump)...3rd Radiator and Fan (with added fan toggle switch mounted inside of car)...3rd Crank Sensor, 2nd Cam Sensor, 3 Timing Belts replaced (1st at 140,000 the 2nd at 345,000 the 3rd at 369,000 due to tensioner fail), 1 Rack and Pinion, 1 water pump at 345,000, 1 alternator at 345,000) 34th Watts Link, Serpentine Tensioner at 369,700
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Old 27 Oct 2014, 08:18 am
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Default Re: Exhaust odor in the cabin

I would suggest checking the coolant overflow container or the hose coming from the radiator to the overflow container. Are you losing coolant?
Sometimes the overflow container can get a crack in the seam of the container or the hose will rot out and start leaking and that will allow coolant to get on your exhaust. You should see a white powder left on the exhaust if that is the problem.

Last edited by ptcruisersteve; 27 Oct 2014 at 08:22 am.
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Old 27 Oct 2014, 08:37 am
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Default Re: Exhaust odor in the cabin

Sense you said it is an exhaust odor. The most likely place to look if your signature is correct for the car in question is the exhaust manifold. These are notorious for cracking. Are available in aftermarket. Take your tome and use penetrating spray on all bolts , including the heat shield bolts . So you avoid braking them. The longer you can soke the less problems you will have with them.
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Last edited by Busted_PT; 27 Oct 2014 at 08:40 am.
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Old 27 Oct 2014, 09:28 am
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Default Re: Exhaust odor in the cabin

Is seal ripped on tailgate?
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Old 27 Oct 2014, 10:22 am
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Default Re: Exhaust odor in the cabin

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhino169 View Post
I am getting a wonderful exhaust odor inside the car now. I assume I have an exhaust leak at the engine somewhere.

1st question:
What is the likely cause? Is there a usual suspect?
I had this problem in my '77 280Z, it was the rear hatch seal.
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Old 27 Oct 2014, 11:28 am
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Default Re: Exhaust odor in the cabin

I will check the seal on the rear.....but I believe that is in decent shape. (UPDATE: Seal appears to be good around rear hatch)

I also notice a bit more noise possibly coming from engine area as well. Seems a little louder.

If it is the manifold cracking....where is it best to look...near the head or near the muffler end?

Also, is there a repair thread for replacing it on the forum?

Thanks!
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380,584 miles as of 4/27/19 '01 PT Cruiser automatic Original (Engine, Transmission, Power Steeering Pump)...3rd Radiator and Fan (with added fan toggle switch mounted inside of car)...3rd Crank Sensor, 2nd Cam Sensor, 3 Timing Belts replaced (1st at 140,000 the 2nd at 345,000 the 3rd at 369,000 due to tensioner fail), 1 Rack and Pinion, 1 water pump at 345,000, 1 alternator at 345,000) 34th Watts Link, Serpentine Tensioner at 369,700

Last edited by rhino169; 27 Oct 2014 at 11:58 am.
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Old 27 Oct 2014, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: Exhaust odor in the cabin

Had the same problem on a 1976 Mustang II. Eventually, the entire exhaust system fell out from beneath he car. This was a huge improvement.
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Old 27 Oct 2014, 01:01 pm
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Default Re: Exhaust odor in the cabin

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhino169 View Post
I will check the seal on the rear.....but I believe that is in decent shape. (UPDATE: Seal appears to be good around rear hatch)

I also notice a bit more noise possibly coming from engine area as well. Seems a little louder.

If it is the manifold cracking....where is it best to look...near the head or near the muffler end?

Also, is there a repair thread for replacing it on the forum?

Thanks!
Hey rhino, So from what i have seen over the last few months the crack in the manifold normally occurs right under the heat shield, Directly below the head dead center.



Humor me though, see if the odor goes away when you set the Hvac to local circulation, and not pulling from fresh air.

If it still smells with the hvac on local circulation, then you may have a breach in or near the firewall aswell.
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Old 27 Oct 2014, 05:16 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 61
Default Re: Exhaust odor in the cabin

Hey thanks for the info! It seems easy enough to remove the heat shield to get a look at that area. I will check later this week.

In lieu of replacing a potentially cracked manifold, has anyone had any luck using those jbweld or other products rated up to 2400F as a temporary fix. I was hoping to limp through the winter since I have other items needing repair.

Update: and to your question above, yes it seems to be there when the external air is selected as opposed to recirculate.
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380,584 miles as of 4/27/19 '01 PT Cruiser automatic Original (Engine, Transmission, Power Steeering Pump)...3rd Radiator and Fan (with added fan toggle switch mounted inside of car)...3rd Crank Sensor, 2nd Cam Sensor, 3 Timing Belts replaced (1st at 140,000 the 2nd at 345,000 the 3rd at 369,000 due to tensioner fail), 1 Rack and Pinion, 1 water pump at 345,000, 1 alternator at 345,000) 34th Watts Link, Serpentine Tensioner at 369,700

Last edited by rhino169; 28 Oct 2014 at 12:34 pm.
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Old 20 Feb 2015, 05:41 pm
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Default Re: Exhaust odor in the cabin

Jabili,

You were dead on with your synopsis! I had a crack right down the middle of the exhaust manifold just as you described.

I tried to use some metal repair which lasted about 1 car ride and the crack reappeared. I then used some stuff called gator stick and that did the trick.

This didn't fix the exhaust smell which continued to increase. On my way home yesterday my system kept getting louder and louder until it was as loud as I could stand and I could not hear the radio.

It turned out that the flexible connection let loose right below the exhaust manifold. I just had this flexible connection replaced this morning and I am happy to report that the PT is very quiet again and no more exhaust smell!

So my thinking is that flexible connection was slowly falling apart and luckily the frame holding the motor was there to catch the back half of my muffler system and keep it from landing in the road.
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380,584 miles as of 4/27/19 '01 PT Cruiser automatic Original (Engine, Transmission, Power Steeering Pump)...3rd Radiator and Fan (with added fan toggle switch mounted inside of car)...3rd Crank Sensor, 2nd Cam Sensor, 3 Timing Belts replaced (1st at 140,000 the 2nd at 345,000 the 3rd at 369,000 due to tensioner fail), 1 Rack and Pinion, 1 water pump at 345,000, 1 alternator at 345,000) 34th Watts Link, Serpentine Tensioner at 369,700

Last edited by rhino169; 20 Feb 2015 at 06:10 pm.
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