Do You Smell Exhaust in the Cabin of Your Subaru? 4 Things To Know in the San Francisco Bay Area

Things to Know If You Smell Exhaust Inside a Vehicle - Service Questions Answered by the pros at Carlsen Subaru

When you're sitting inside your Subaru, you shouldn't smell exhaust. Noticing the aroma of exhaust in the cabin of your car could mean that there's a problem that needs to be addressed. Below, we share four things that are important to know about this problem. Once you've learned more, be sure to schedule a service appointment if you smell exhaust in your car.

Bumper-to-bumper traffic can cause you to smell exhaust in your Subaru.

4. Make Sure Another Vehicle Isn't To Blame

Before you start panicking, it's a good idea to make sure that the exhaust smell is actually coming from your vehicle. If you notice the smell when you're sitting at an intersection or driving through a parking lot, the smell may well come from another vehicle, and may be entering your Subaru through your HVAC system. If this is what's causing the smell, you'll notice that it dissipates once you're away from the other vehicle, and does not return.

A technician inspects a vehicle's exhaust system.

3. An Exhaust Leak Is Likely

However, if it's not another car that's causing the smell, the most likely culprit is an exhaust leak. The exhaust system in your Subaru is designed to move the toxic exhaust gases away from you; they become less toxic in the catalytic converter, and then are expelled through the exhaust pipe.

If this system has a leak, that means that the exhaust is escaping somewhere other than the tailpipe. Since the exhaust system is so large, it can be hard to pinpoint the source of a leak without high-quality diagnostic equipment.

A car driving on a road. Stop driving if you smell an exhaust leak.

2. When Do You Smell Exhaust?

Though diagnostic equipment is necessary to find the exact location of the leak, when you smell exhaust can help the technicians figure out the general location. If you smell exhaust constantly, the leak is likely somewhere near the front of the system. However, if you smell it only when you're idling, the leak is probably a little further back.

1. Stop Driving

An exhaust leak is a serious matter. Though you may want to drive your car to the dealership when you smell exhaust, we strongly recommend against it. Instead, pull over as soon as you find a safe place and call for a tow truck. Exhaust fumes can contain harmful components like carbon monoxide, which can cause you to get blurred vision, become dizzy, and even pass out. None of these are good symptoms to have while driving.

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  1. Carlsen Subaru

    480 Veterans Blvd
    Redwood City, CA 94063

    • Sales: (888) 520-5916

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Carlsen Subaru

480 Veterans Blvd
Directions Redwood City, CA 94063

  • Sales: 650-365-6390
  • Service : 650-365-6390
  • Parts: 650-365-6390
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