The influence of carbon on the adsorption of CO from a Rh(100) single crystal has been studied by a combination of experimental techniques: Temperature Programmed Desorption (TPD), Low Energy Electron Diffraction (LEED), and High Resolution Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (HREELS). These experimental techniques were combined with a computational approach using Density Functional Theory (DFT). Using this combination of techniques, we have shown that surface carbon greatly influences adsorbed CO and we have determined the exact magnitude of this interaction. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that carbon does not remain fully on the surface; at higher coverage it diffuses partially to subsurface positions. The presence of these subsurface species significantly influences the adsorbates on the surface.