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Exhaust smell in cabin
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Joined: March 14, 2020
Posts: 12
Location: Portland, OR
mrharmon is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2023 7:22 pm    Post subject: Exhaust smell in cabin Reply with quote

In my 97 EVC I notice exhaust smell in the cabin for first 10 minutes of driving. Not sure if I just get used to it after that or something changes (e.g., cat is hot).

The smell seems worst in the rear seat area. The seal around the rear door appears good. The exhaust system is in reasonably good condition visually but I suppose there could be a leak somewhere.

Any suggestions on items to check where exhaust might be seeping into the cabin where it's not obvious would be greatly appreciated. Smell enters cabin regardless of if I'm in motion or stopped.
'97 Eurovan Camper (VR6)
Portland, OR
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Samba Member

Joined: August 13, 2013
Posts: 1790
Location: Austin, TX
kourt is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2023 6:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Exhaust smell in cabin Reply with quote

Tell us if the smell enters the cab when the climate control (AC or heater) is blowing. Turn that off and tell us if it's any different. And if it's any different if the recirc button on the climate control panel is pressed or not.

I ask this because engine valve cover leaks are common. The leaks invariably fall on the exhaust manifold, which causes a smoky, exhaust-like odor. When the climate control is on non-recirc, that air comes from the fresh air intake, which is a complex structure that includes the hood, and can pull in smoky air in the engine compartment---smoke caused by leaking valve covers, and that smells like engine exhaust.

Even with recirc on, your fresh air door gaskets may be bad, still allowing smoky fresh air in.

In this common scenario, the smell of slightly burning oil, which smells like exhaust, will come into the cab whether in motion or at a standstill, but is often more prominent when at a standstill--but always if the climate control blower is running. The first test is to engage recirc, turn off the blower completely, and see if the smell persists.

So you can see why the problem may be related to something up front, though your thoughts about door gaskets in the rear are worth looking into.

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Joined: October 09, 2020
Posts: 102
Location: FL
VWinny is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2023 3:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Exhaust smell in cabin Reply with quote

could be from valve cover yes however, there is also a lot of emissions smog hardware that could be leaking as well. I ripped all the emissions hardware off and I have no smell in mine anymore.
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