Why is there a gas smell inside the car when starting car in A/C heater on?

Asked by Dec 18, 2013 at 02:46 PM about the 2006 Nissan Altima 2.5 S

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2006 Nissan Altima 2.5 S with 111,000 miles on it. Lately, I smell sweet
gasoline smell when I start the car engine with A/C heater on. I can smell it through the
front A/C vent which stays for a couple of minutes and then fades away when I drive the
car for about a 1/2 a mile. I noticed this started only when it is cold outside and when I
start my engine in the morning to go to work, or after work to get home. I also tried
turning the A/C to cold the smell goes away. Is this something serious and should be
taken care of immediately?

2 Answers


I think what you are smelling is a coolant leak, because you mention the word "sweet" and heater "ON". Gasoline NEVER has a sweet smell but antifreeze ALWAYS has a sweet smell/taste and that is why animals drink it and die. Check your passenger floor for tell tale signs of coolant leaking from the heater core.

1 people found this helpful.

Take care right away. if it is a coolant leak you dont want to overheat if it gets worse, but if it was that is would get worse as you warm up so i believe it is a fuel leak but from a injector. when air is pulled from outside it brings the fumes that accumulates from higher fuel pressure in fuel lines when car is stopped. it wont do this as much while you drive so it goes away. just a thought.

4 people found this helpful.

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