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When the car is running at idle in park with heater on high I get exhaust fumes in side the car

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Jessica Howe, Automotive Expert & Coach at


Thank you for writing in. It is likely that you have an exhaust leak somewhere near the engine. When you turn on your heater, air is sucked in from ventilation near the engine. It then passes over your heater core, which is full of hot coolant from the engine, and then is sent into your cabin. If you have an exhaust leak, the fumes can collect in the engine compartment, and will then be sucked up to be sent through your cabin ventilation. You will have to find and repair the exhaust leak to solve the issue. In the mean time, it is not healthy to be breathing in all of those fumes, and you want to be careful using the heater. 

Good luck!

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