Engine Smell - Mazda Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Hello,
I have a 2003 tibute with 97,000 miles. Most recent oil change was Oct 30th. Recently I've noticed an Engine smell, sort of like an overheat smell. All the fluids are reading where they should be and the temp gauge reads in the middle. The coolant level (in reserve) is sitting where it should be too but have no idea what could cause the smell. Not sure if it could be a clogged line. Car runs and shifts fine just the smell, that is pretty noticable. Any ideas. (no engine lights either)
Thanks for any help!!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 07:42 PM
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<div align="left">A common and known issue with smell is a "gas" smell that is most noticeable at startup. Usually worse if you have a hard start. This is from leaky lower intake manifold gaskets. The silicone ring gaskets (big soft o-rings) are $15 a set but take a couple of hours to replace if you have not done it before.

Other than that, if its not a gas smell it could be a minor fluid leak onto the exhaust manifold. Need to look closely for that.


THE TSB.......
Engine - Fuel Odors in Passenger Compartment
Bulletin No: 01-001/01

Last Issued: 02/28/2001

Subject:
FUEL ODOR INSIDE PASSENGER COMPARTMENT
APPLICABLE MODEL(S)/VINs
All 2001 Tributes with 3.0L Duratec engine.
DESCRIPTION

Some vehicles may exhibit a fuel odor coming from the vents inside the vehicle. The odor is most noticeable after starting the vehicle after a "hot soak." This condition produces only a fuel odor and does not involve visible fuel or include the presence of a combustible mixture. This may be caused by the lower intake manifold silicone gaskets. Modified fluorocarbon gaskets are available to resolve this concern.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info but it smells like an overheating car, that smell that is produced right before it fails...that's what worries me.

Quote:
<div align="left">A common and known issue with smell is a "gas" smell that is most noticeable at startup. Usually worse if you have a hard start. This is from leaky lower intake manifold gaskets. The silicone ring gaskets (big soft o-rings) are $15 a set but take a couple of hours to replace if you have not done it before.

Other than that, if its not a gas smell it could be a minor fluid leak onto the exhaust manifold. Need to look closely for that.
THE TSB.......
Engine - Fuel Odors in Passenger Compartment
Bulletin No: 01-001/01

Last Issued: 02/28/2001

Subject:
FUEL ODOR INSIDE PASSENGER COMPARTMENT
APPLICABLE MODEL(S)/VINs
All 2001 Tributes with 3.0L Duratec engine.
DESCRIPTION

Some vehicles may exhibit a fuel odor coming from the vents inside the vehicle. The odor is most noticeable after starting the vehicle after a "hot soak." This condition produces only a fuel odor and does not involve visible fuel or include the presence of a combustible mixture. This may be caused by the lower intake manifold silicone gaskets. Modified fluorocarbon gaskets are available to resolve this concern.
[/b][/quote]
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-30-2008, 03:41 PM
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<div align="left">Need a bit more info to go on. From my experience, there is not any common "smell of overheating". Perhaps, what you may be smelling is an antifreeze leak? Sometimes a vehicle may get a small leak in the heater core (located inside the dash". Smell a bit more down on the front passenger floorboard, and feel for any dampness.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-31-2008, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Hey,
I will check....This smell is coming from the engine compartment. Have to be out of car, can put your nose uder the wiper blade area or the front of car (and of course with hood up). The coolant looks as though it hasn't moved (the level) from the reservoir, cold or hot. That's what makes me think of a clogged line. Not sure if that's possible. Been sick for a few days so haven't had time to look around much.
Thanks Again!!

Would tranny make are smell of overheat? It is due for a trans oil change, fluid level is good but it's not a red color anymore. Shifts fine and it is winter here.



Quote:
<div align="left">Need a bit more info to go on. From my experience, there is not any common "smell of overheating". Perhaps, what you may be smelling is an antifreeze leak? Sometimes a vehicle may get a small leak in the heater core (located inside the dash". Smell a bit more down on the front passenger floorboard, and feel for any dampness.
[/b][/quote]
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 02:53 PM
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<div align="left">Transmission fluid is cooled by a "mini" radiator located in the end of the main coolant radiator. A pinhole leak can push trans fluid into the coolant or coolant into the trans. It is possible a small leak is over pressurizing the coolant from the tranny and some is leaking (venting). Is the coolant clear and green? Any brownish (red) in the coolant is a sign of a leak.

A dealer or some good shops have sniffer to locate very small external leaks. May be an option for you.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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I think that's my next stop tomorrow (shop). the coolant is nice and yellow, the extended coolant. I noticed the smell comes more from the left side of engine, it's stronger on that side. (looking at the front)

Quote:
<div align="left">Transmission fluid is cooled by a "mini" radiator located in the end of the main coolant radiator. A pinhole leak can push trans fluid into the coolant or coolant into the trans. It is possible a small leak is over pressurizing the coolant from the tranny and some is leaking (venting). Is the coolant clear and green? Any brownish (red) in the coolant is a sign of a leak.

A dealer or some good shops have sniffer to locate very small external leaks. May be an option for you.
[/b][/quote]
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 11:27 PM
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<div align="left">Probability is you have one of two issues. You may have a small pinhole leak or connector leak on the heater or radiator hoses. Sometimes they only leak a bit under pressure. Look for steam or drips after you have been driving and the engine is still hot. This small loss can be smelled but not detected right away in fluid level.

The other (less likely) issue is a small coolant passage leak from the head gasket outward. This is a bit more to fix. If the leak smell is not too obnoxious to, I would tend to wait an see how it develops.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 11:37 AM
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I think you have a small leak like mray suggested.
I had the same coolant smell for a few months and could not detect any leaks...coolant levels were fine, and temp gauge was normal. I opened the hood this morning after driving to work about 30 miles and noticed a small pinhole leak at the top of the radiator. Lucky for me it's at the top and I maybe able to fix it.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 01:22 AM
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i have a 2003 v6 trib. its smelly as well. i dont think they used cabin filters in those years and you can totally smell something after driving it for a while. but i know what i'm smelling on mine. the oil pan is always covered in oil. i think the valve covers may be a lil leaky also some im going to replace the oil pan and valve cover gaskets just to make sure.
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