smell coming through vents only at idle when warmed up

Asked by Feb 11, 2017 at 06:15 PM about the 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Had to dealer twice. It smells like old oil or burning oil or exhaust or old hot
radiator hoses? If I turn to recirculate it goes away. I can smell it at the cowl
or around the front of the van. Of course they say they can't smell it. Had to
dealer within 8000 miles of new and then just put up with till now. I left it 4
days at the dealer last time-no loaner car ever. It also makes a strange
noise when coming to a stop since new-sounds like coming from the
transmission-hard to describe but happens every time coming to a stop.
They say normal transmission sounds. Fine - it drives good but the darn
smell is driving me crazy.

7 Answers


One would have to have a go at it and just look for the burning smell.


Might be leaking transmission fluid and it's burning on the exhaust. If your not getting decent customer service at the current dealer, take it over to another Dodge dealer in your area and see if they can find the leak and repair.


I'd stay on them, if you are having potential trouble with a transmission you don't want them putting you off until you're out of warranty. Check your VIN for recalls,

They said the bottom transmission pan had a leak and they resealed it. I looked at it and pretty sloppy looking reseal job and had transmission fluid on it still. Anyway that is no where near the exhaust. I had rolled under it before taking it in and if it was leaking it wasn't much of a leak cause I didn't see it. Drove home and as soon as I stopped in driveway I could smell the odor. I took it to a wash and did the undercarriage wash and then washed the engine around the oil filter because I could see some oil down there. Have driven 500 miles since and odor has been there the entire time. I really need the vehicle for work and have no backup but now they want me to bring it in and demonstrate the smell to the technician.


If there is no physical leak, sometimes when transmission fluid gets on the exhaust,and other parts, it takes a long time to burn off.

I don't think there was enough of a transmission fluid leak to ever get to the exhaust which is two feet over and not behind the pan. Power steering fluid was down but they said there was no power steering fluid leak. I smelled the power steering fluid and the smell in the cabin is similar. My 250,000 mile Taurus is leaking oil on the exhaust and I know that odor and this isn't the same. This smells like CV boot grease or power steering fluid or something raw like that to me. Like I said though I did see oil at the base of the filter housing where it looks like it screws into the aluminum and if I can get my nose in that area on a hot engine I smell the exact smell I smell in the cabin.

I had a Dodge Journey prior to this with a lot of problems and had it to the dealer or three dealers and none of them could ever find the issue if it wasn't poking them in the eye. Worse technicians I have ever had to deal with are at Dodge dealers. I will never buy another Dodge again. They make a good looking vehicle at a great price but they seem to be crap on reliability or quality of workmanship. This new van even has a part of the dash that is flat black because it is missing the shiny coating and so does the steering wheel. Other parts of the dash feel like sand paper. Also had a tire sensor go out.

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