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Old 03-16-2013, 07:54 PM   #1
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Strange smell + leak from exhaust after oil change

Just changed my oil from AMSOIL Full Synthetic to Mobil 1 Extended Performance synthetic. I was glad to finally get the oil changed after having locked the keys in the car with it running (apparently, keyless fob does not work with ignition on), and after the Fumoto valve didn't fit. The change itself went pretty flawlessly. There was one point where I heard and felt a pop right after starting it to circulate the oil, but I thought it was probably the jack stands or something. I let the car run for a good few minutes, without a hitch.

So then I headed out to recycle the oil at AutoZone, but after about two minutes, I could smell something I've never smelt from a vehicle. It smelt like something you would smell in a hospital. Surgical, almost sweet, but definitely not something you want to smell. It was very strong inside the cabin and just outside the door.

There was liquid coming from the exhaust, and nothing could be smelt in the engine compartment.

Edit: I should mention that the car ran for over an hour (almost 1/4 tank) when the key was locked in there.

Here's an image:




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Old 03-17-2013, 04:28 PM   #2
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I realize that the moisture from the muffler may just be condensation and working as intended. However, it does spray out at times and there is a large area on the ground where there is noticeable leaking. I checked a it does appear to be water, or at least another odourless, colourless fluid.

The odor is not as noticeable outside as it is in the cabin. As in, a few seconds in there results in a few minutes worth of headache.

Something in venting? Weird how this happened immediately following the oil change and long idle. The defroster and floor heat was on while it was idling all that time. And the rear was facing the wall within 12 inches; could it have backed up with something?
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:15 PM   #3
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"Sweet" odor is usually coolant related, did you top that up as well by chance?

Wondering if there might have been a small spill or leak that's burning off now & getting sucked into the cabin.

Might double check the level & look for any drip evidence....

Luck!
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:20 PM   #4
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Found that conclusion via a few Google search results. I did not top that off, however, and it has been at the same level for over a year.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:39 PM   #5
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The water from the exhaust is normal as any focus owner can attest if you start it cold and let it run a few minutes you will have a good size puddle soon under the muffler and water squirting out the back sometimes with a good amount of force. So your issue is likely somewhere else.
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:50 PM   #6
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Don, thank you. I have ruled that out as the problem, especially now that there is only odor inside the cabin and not outside, even when I ran it for five minutes to check on it. Truth be told, I was a little scared it would burst into flames. Haha!
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:13 PM   #7
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heater core leaking coolant inside the cabin? doesn't take much to cause a smell.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by #1fordfan View Post
heater core leaking coolant inside the cabin? doesn't take much to cause a smell.
I'll have to take a look at my Hayne's manual to see if I could get a look at that.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:42 AM   #9
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Is the inside of your windows fogged up in the morning? If yes it could certainly be the heater core. It is a bear to get to!
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:22 PM   #10
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Well... Guess what it was, all?

I had a can of engine starter fluid from when we had a 1990 Jeep two years ago. Well, when I put the jack and spare tire back into the trunk after the oil change, the can must have gotten wedged somehow to where it was spraying. I opened the trunk today after remembering that it was back there, and experienced a full-frontal attack of the odor.

And now it's gone. :)
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