Carbon monoxide is usually associated with homes and furnaces, so you may be surprised to learn that it’s just as possible to have a carbon monoxide leak in your car. Since this problem can have potentially dangerous consequences, here’s how to detect a carbon monoxide leak in your car.
How can carbon monoxide enter your vehicle?
Carbon monoxide is a natural byproduct of your engine’s operations, and the designers of your vehicle have gone to great lengths to make sure your exhaust system keeps harmful fumes out of the cabin.
Despite this, carbon monoxide can enter your vehicle when there’s a problem in your exhaust system, such as a leak.
What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
Carbon monoxide is odorless, invisible, and tasteless, so you may not know there’s a problem until you start to notice lightheadedness, dizziness, or headaches when you’re on the road. In worst case scenarios, you can even pass out while driving.
According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
- Blurry vision
- Dull headache
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
As mentioned, carbon monoxide is designed to be diverted away from your vehicle’s cabin by the exhaust system. If you’ve recently had work on your exhaust and started noticing symptoms after the repairs were done, and also notice that your symptoms go away after you’ve arrived at your destination, there’s a good chance carbon monoxide may be leaking into your car.
If you need to continue driving your car even though you think there is a carbon monoxide leak, roll down all of your windows while driving to help prevent gases from getting trapped in the cabin.
How can you detect a carbon monoxide leak in your vehicle?
Aside from noticing the symptoms mentioned above, there are two ways to detect a carbon monoxide leak in your vehicle.
- CO2 detector: A carbon monoxide detector is a handheld device that’s designed to detect how much of this gas is present in the air. If you plan to use it in your vehicle, DO NOT sit in the car when you run your test. Instead, turn on the sensor and leave it in your idling vehicle for at least 10 minutes (this gives enough time for the gas to build up). After 10 minutes, check your sensor and consult the instruction manual to interpret your results. If your results are high, it’s time to make an appointment with your mechanic.
- Fire or carbon monoxide alarm: This may seem like a strange solution, but there’s no reason a fire or carbon monoxide alarm won’t work in your vehicle, even if it may be quite loud if it goes off. You’ll want to put it somewhere within easy reach of you so that you can turn it off if needed. As above, you need to make an appointment with your mechanic as soon as possible if your fire alarm does go off while you’re driving.
Fast And Friendly Auto Service At T3 Atlanta
Carbon monoxide poisoning from your car is very dangerous and is important to fix promptly. T3 Atlanta can help detect the location of the leak and make repairs so you can get back on the road with confidence and peace of mind. Give us a call and we’ll book you in straight away for a diagnostic and repairs.