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Gas & exhaust smell in engine & coming into car

Mazda Millenia 1996-- Smell of gasoline & exhaust coming in when driving. When we open the hood - smell of gasoline. NO apparent gasoline leaks! Mechanic found fuel injector stuck open - replaced it. Worked a little better for a little while. It seemed to only smell for 5 minutes after starting the car instead of constantly. Mechanic changed the spark plugs. Worked a little better for a couple of hours. Now it’s continuous smell of gasoline and exhaust.

My best suggestion is to take this car to a different mechanic, as it is clear that your present mechanic is out of his depth with this car. As to where to take the car, if it is a Millenia S model, you really need to take it to a Mazda dealer.

The Miller Cycle engine of the S model was unique to this particular model, and most mechanics have never even seen one of these engines, due to the low sales figures of Millenias (plural of a plural???) in general and even lower sales figures for the more expensive S model.

Even if it is not an S model, you need to find a mechanic who is willing to spend the time to diagnose the problem properly. Your present mechanic is either not willing to spend the necessary amount of time, or is not competent to do it.

A strong smell of gas is…literally…a potentially explosive situation, so you really shouldn’t be driving around with this problem any longer and you definitely shouldn’t park this car in a garage or close to any buildings until the source of the gas leak is found.

Thank you VDCdriver.

My present mechanic is very willing to explore this in depth and is coming in tomorrow at 6:00 am to get to the bottom of it.

We are both aware of the urgency - which is why he is coming in at 6 am on Mom’s day- but I thank you very much for the advice.

My experience w/ mazda dealership is that they overcharge.

I’m hoping someone on this site has some experience with something similar and might give us a heads up.

could there be a hole in the exhaust pipe somewhere?

Is this a Millenia S model, or is it the “regular” Millenia?

The gas leak/smell has been fixed by my mechanic-
however there is some bad air that does not so much "smell" but I can feel it in my lungs - and I get a headache as well as light headed from it. It has a "smoke" and "soot" quality but NO ODOR.

It has the sensation of exhaust- like when you walk by a car running
There is no exhaust leak- 3 different mechanics checked.
there is an oil leak but I had the engine fully cleaned- so it's not burning oil from the engine.

There is no cabin air filters unfortunately in this model.

@VDCdriver It is a regular Millenia.

Thanks all who are thinking about this!

So this is pretty much in direct relation to this thread?

If you’re having problems with smells or even non-smell stuff intruding into your vehicle, and there are no leaks, then maybe getting it detailed, or even spraying some Lysol into the intake vents while on recycle may help.


I strongly recommend that you get a carbon monoxide monitor and see what’s going on. Carbon monoxide itself is colorless and odorless and causes the symtoms you describe. It displaces oxygen in your bloodstream and is very dangerous.

Post back with the results.