Jim Grant's Tech Tips
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.
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.