Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Prius Smells

My 2002 Toyota Prius started smelling like fuel oil a few days ago. There is no sign of leaks, no funny colored exhaust, no engine lights and it seems to run fine. When it first started to smell, I though it was the car in front of me so I drove on home, put the car into the garage and went to bed. The next morning when I went down to the garage to go to work, there was the smell. I went on to work hoping the smell would get better but when I got back in the car after work there was the smell again. Same story for a couple of days now. Anyone got any suggestions?

Define “fuel oil.” To me, fuel oil is diesel fuel, and there’s no way you should smell that.

If you smell gasoline, then you Prius has a gasoline leak. There’s no other way to smell gas.

If you’re smelling oil, that’s different.

So, what are you smelling? Fuel oil (diesel fuel), gasoline, or oil?

Maybe you stepped in some diesel at a gas station or parking lot and tracked it into your car. Take your floor mats out and smell them.

When I say fuel oil I mean the oil that you burn to heat your house. Something i grew up with but do not have here in Indiana. It smells different from motor oil.

Since fuel oil is essentially the same thing as diesel fuel, I think that Xebadiah’s theory has some merit. If you stepped in some diesel fuel at the gas station, it is possible that your floor mats/carpeting have absorbed that odor.

I also have to agree with Xebadaih’s theory. I’ve done that “stepped in a spot of diesel fuel”. Get a trace of that on your carpet and that stench seems to take forever to go away.

You may also want to pop the hood and see if you can smell anything unusual there. If not I’d go with the “stepped in it” theory.