Car Information:
Nissan Quest
Year: 2000
Engine Size: V6 3.3 Liter
Trans: Automatic

Issue/Question: My car has had an asphalt smell for one year. At first, it was just periodic, but now it seems to be smelling more. The dealer’s mechanic checked it and said all he could find was a piece of plastic on the rear manifold, that it must get hot and smell. It does not smell like plastic. I think it happens when the heater or the a/c is on, but am not sure as they are on most of the time. Plastic does not smell like asphalt. If I am sitting with the engine running and the a/c on, it will sometimes smell. There are no oil leaks underneath the car. Do you have any ideas as to what it can be? I am afraid to just ignore it and do not, of course, want a car fire. When I get out of the car after driving, I can also smell it on the outside sometimes. Since it is periodic, I haven’t been able to reproduce the smell at the dealer, but asphalt has a distinctive smell. Thank you.

Answer:
That’s a sign of oil leaking from, most likely, the cam covers and then getting on the rear exhaust manifold. If you would like, we can check for you, 407-629-2661.

Issue/Question: Thank you for the prompt reply. I didn’t believe the plastic explanation from the dealer’s service department. Would the oil show as less when it is checked? It has never been low in the whole ten years. Also, is it something that is dangerous? Should I make arrangements to bring it in right away? Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.

Answer:
It needs to be looked at anytime there’s an oil leak getting on a hot exhaust. It could spell trouble. Just let us know when you would like for us to look at it, 407-629-2661.

Magic Mechanic
1432 Lee Road OrlandoFL32804 USA 
 • (407) 298-7447