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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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  Jim Grant's Tech TipsJim Grant's Tech Tips
Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

94 Mercury Villager, Exhaust Smell
Q: With cold weather coming, I find myself using the heater more, and have noticed today that I have an exhaust odor coming through the dash vents. I am getting it repaired and have heard that it may be a clogged EGR valve causing the odor to get into the heating system. With the hood up I do not detect an odor, but inside the vehicle I do...what gives?...If you answer this question, I will compare it to what the dealer is doing to the car. Itís a Ď94 Mercury Villager with 123k on it, I am the original owner and it has been well maintained.

A: Iím not sold on the EGR valve story. The Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system is a sealed system. You have no way of knowing if it is clogged unless the computer alerts you or through diagnosis. If what youíre smelling is exhaust gases there has to be an exhaust leak. An easy check would be with the engine running and a rag, block the exhaust at the tailpipe, be careful it can get hot. Get a friend to do this for you; it makes them feel important and you get to stay cleaner. Then listen to the exhaust for leaks. The restriction really makes exhaust leaks easier to find. Because of your vehicleís mileage and age I would not rule out an oil leak. A small amount of burnt oil on a hot exhaust pipe smells very much like exhaust. Because the air inlet to the heater and vent of your vehicle are right at the base of the windshield you would get this smell if the engine had an oil leak.

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