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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We bought a 2018 optima with 29,000 Miles. And when the cars running and the AC is on you get a faint exhaust smell in the ca itbin and on your clothes it only happens when the AC is on. can anybody give me any idea where to start or what it might be if you have any more questions just let me know thanks.
 

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2012 Black SX Prem. & Tech.
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There is another setting that affects how the AC behaves: recirculate or not recirculate

Your car could be set to automatically choose whether to recirculate. Maybe it's choosing not to recirculate, and instead is drawing in air surrounding the car, which can include your exhaust. I wonder if you are parked in a location where the exhaust fumes can reach your air intakes at the base of the windshield exterior?

Another way to troubleshoot is to get into the car, make sure it smells fresh. Then, with all doors/windows closed, start the car and then make sure recirculate is turned on. After you make sure, then double-check again to verify it's recirculating. That should avoid the exhaust smell.
 

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Usually with the A/C on the windows are closed so I would assume exhaust being sucked up inside the car. Look at the exhaust, front to rear, to make certain there are no leaks and the exhaust exits behind the bumper, and also check the trunk seal to be certain it is tight, no leaks.

Car ever in accident?
 

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Carfax said there was a small front fender repair from an accident but was fixed and you couldn't tell without the carfax
I was looking more for a rear end accident as fumes can enter the vehicle through seems that haven't been repaired properly.
One other item that can be experienced with the A/C on is that when the rear seats are folded down, fumes can become extremely noticeable in the cabin area if there's poor body sealing, and even more problematic if the exhaust system is leaking.
 

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Do you ever get the smell if the A/C is off and you wait long enough?

Do you get the smell if only the heater is turned on?

Do you get the smell if only the defrost is turned on?
 
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