Why Does My House Smell Like Car Exhaust? Possible Causes

Sometimes, you may encounter unexpected odors such as exhaust fumes in your house. Compared to common household odors such as fumes from undisposed garbage, exhaust fumes are dangerous, pose more risks, and thus require immediate intervention.

So, why does your house smell like car exhaust?

Your house likely smells like car exhaust due to poor air circulation and ventilation that cause certain types of odor to linger. Odors may come from your chimney, an attached garage, or from gas spills somewhere near the home. Storing exhaust-contaminated items in the house will also produce a smell. 

Keep reading this article to understand the possible causes of your house smelling like car exhaust fumes and the likely remedies to deodorize your house and restore habitable conditions:

Possible Causes of Car Exhaust Smells in the House

If you suspect that your house smells like car fumes, you should act immediately to remedy the situation. Allowing exhaust fumes to persist for long in your home is dangerous and poses significant health risks.

However, first, seek a second unbiased opinion from someone else to confirm there is a prevailing smell of car fumes in the house. It determines whether the odor is from the house, your idiosyncratic behaviors, or your sense of smell.   

Multiple factors can cause your house to smell like car exhaust fumes. Here are a few possible causes.

Air Leakage From an Attached Garage

The first possible cause of your house smelling like car exhaust fumes is air leaking from an attached garage through nearby doors, windows, and tiny openings. Usually, garages store machines and equipment with combustion engines that use gas and produce exhaust fumes.

Therefore, when these fumes from a garage attached to the house escape, they leak into the house.

Air leaks may also cause the house to smell like car exhaust fumes despite having no active source of such fumes. The same case occurs when you park your car or store equipment such as lawnmowers right next to your house. 

gasoline spill around the house

Gasoline Spills in or Around the House

Another possible cause for your home smelling like car exhaust fumes is gasoline spills in the house. Direct gasoline spills usually produce the strongest smell. This smell of gas resembles the odor of car exhaust fumes because combustion engines usually burn gas to produce fumes.

Therefore, check for any gasoline spills in your house when you detect the strong smell of car exhaust fumes.

Remember that gasoline contains Benzene and other hydrocarbons that can cause throat, eyes, and skin irritation following prolonged exposure. You should act urgently to find the source of the gas smell and deal with it.

Contaminated Items Left in the Home

Contaminated items from gas spills and prolonged exposure to car exhaust fumes can also cause your house to emit an exhaust-like odor. Most materials are made from materials that absorb and preserve gasoline and the smell of car fumes.

Therefore, having these contaminated items in any room in the house can cause it to start smelling like car exhaust fumes (source: The Clever Homeowner). 

For instance, if you work in the garage with some pieces of cloth, gloves, and shoes, they can absorb the bad smell and transfer it to the house when you take the items into the house.

Ways to Remove Exhaust Smells from Your Home 

Now that we have discussed a few possible causes for your house smelling like car exhaust fumes, let us look at a few effective ways of deodorizing your house and remedying the problem in the process:

Clean Out the Attached Garage

You should first close all entry points for the exhaust fumes from the garage to the house. The access points include doors, windows, and garage doors. Then, locate the source of the fumes. It can be a storage can or a gas-powered machine that you should move to a different location. 

a closed door

Clean the garage to eliminate any spills and enhance indoor air quality. Improve ventilation by opening the shed to allow fumes to escape away from your house. You should also seal garage cracks on the ceiling and finish the drywall to prevent the passage of exhaust fumes.

Wipe Gasoline Spills

Act swiftly and clean any gasoline spills you may detect in your house to expel the smell of car exhaust fumes. Use absorbent wipes to draw the gasoline from hard surfaces before finishing with paper towels or water and soap.

You may be required to clean the surfaces several times to deodorize them completely.

Remove Contaminated Items

The other effective way of eliminating the smell of car exhaust from your house is to remove any contaminated items from gas spills and exposure to exhaust fumes.

Air out the contaminated items and wash those that need cleaning to lose the smell. Please note that some items may be contaminated with no effective way of making them lose the smell. Do not hesitate to discard such items (source: How to Air).

Smelling car exhaust fumes in your house is a significant problem because it creates discomfort and raises the chances of health risks. Therefore, take measures to detect and fix any problems, hence deodorizing your home.