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Years ago my friends 4runner had that gear oil smell, so when I had it in my X I knew exactly what it was. The first time the zip tie came off the shifter boot and all I had to do was clamp it back on, the second time the boot ripped and I had to replace it. Not a hard job, just a little tedious.
 

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Maul Crawler
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Yay! Glad you found it and fixed it.
 

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Holy HECK someone else has this problem??? I can't believe it! I was on a trip to CT one year with my dad and had this same issue! It is the worst smell. OP you descried the smell perfectly "grease smell" I will have to tackle come spring! thanks everyone for responding to the OP it indirectly helped me :goodjob:
 

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I just recently bought my first Xterra. It's a 2002 and I love it! BUT - I commute 100 miles to attend classes and once I drive it about 50 miles, an odd grease smell permeates the interior only. When I park it, I can't smell it outside of the vehicle. It gets worse the longer I drive it and it's driving me crazy! I changed the cabin filters (they were filthy - I doubt they had ever been changed) and that didn't work. I checked the carpets, under the seats, etc., and can't find anything. Any suggestions?
Did you ever figure out what was the cause of this. I’m having the same problem
 
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