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Wrench left in engine

A few days ago there was an odor in my one–year-old Camry. I checked under the hood and found a wrench near the battery. My last maintenance was a month ago. The Toyota dealer seemed nonchalant. Could something be punctured? What questions should I ask when I take the car back to the dealer?

What kind of odor was it? Gas, burnt oil/trans/ps/brake fluid, electrical, exhaust, coolant steam? If the wrench was just sitting tucked in a corner somewhere and was clean, I’d doubt it has done any damage.

Thanks for responding. I don’t know enough to sort out the odor. I don’t think it was gas or oil, but I don’t know what the other fluids smell like. I haven’t smelled it since. The wrench looks clean, and I found it to the side of the battery, so I’m hopeful.

I doubt the wrench had anything to do with the odor. I once found a flashlight under the hood after having service performed.

Thanks. In the future, I’ll have to remember to look under the hood after having the car serviced.

Examine the wrench for burn marks indicating it might have came in contact with the positive battery post…This is a long shot as todays battery posts are well protected from this sort of thing. If you can no longer smell anything, the dealership people will be of little help.


Maybe you could describe the smell? And what kind of service was performed?

I am thinking the wrench is a red harring. Depending on what was done to your car, the smell could be an expected result of adding a new component or liquid to your system. It could even be that a bit of a liquid was dropped on a spot that heats up.

Some of the best tools that I have were left under the hood of various cars that I have owned over the past 40 years or so. None of these errant tools have done any damage, and in some cases, I didn’t discover them until days or weeks after the service/repair.

So, yes it is possible for a left-over tool to do some damage, but unless you are the exception to what I have experienced, you probably have not suffered any damage.

Take the wrench back-the guy is looking for it. One of my best screwdrivers I found wedged against the exhaust and the engine where I must have dropped it. The exhaust melted the handle enough to really provide a great grip. Much better grip than any of my other screwdrivers.

Thanks I will take it back. Although I’m a lot more concerned about my $20,000 car than his wrench.