Thread Number: 76983  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Bad smell in new cars
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Post# 1008931   9/29/2018 at 00:21 (615 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

I always heard it was nice to have a new car with that "new car smell" but I never really noticed what that was.

However I noticed in recent years several new cars I've been in smelling bad and almost making me feel sick with sore throat and headache. Here are:

2008 Chevy Silverado LTZ 4 door w/leather (had a strong odor but didn't make me quite feel sick)
2008 Scion TC coupe w/cloth (smell was there, but not strong enough to bother me, I did get headaches in this car but possibly due to sound system)
2014 Dodge Grand Caravan SE w/cloth (bad smell, but not quite sick)
2013 Dodge Ram 4 door (Horn model) w/leather (bad smell, like Caravan, made throat sore and headache)
2014 Dodge Charger sedan SE w/cloth (rental I had, gave me sore throat at first, but it later dissipated after a few weeks or I got used to it and stopped bothering me)

But yeah, all of these vehicles when new, in last 10 years gave strong odors sometimes with almost allergic reactions within 10-20 minutes or entering them.

Have you had this issue?

Post# 1008932 , Reply# 1   9/29/2018 at 00:25 (615 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

Oh and I forgot
1999 Ford Taurus SE w/cloth (no odor/didn't bother me)
2006 Chevy Impala LS w/cloth (pleasant smell/no issues)

Post# 1008937 , Reply# 2   9/29/2018 at 02:02 (614 days old) by LordKenmore (The Laundry Room)        

lordkenmore's profile picture

I can't say I've had this issue, but then I've never had a new car, either. Indeed, I was initially tempted to crack something like: "New car? What is that?" LOL


But I can imagine that being in the interior of a new car can make some people feel sick. It may not be "bad smell" as such, but outgassing from all the new materials (like all the plastic they use).


I remember one writer talking about having sensitivity to outgassing with computers. IIRC, he actually had his laptop in a case that would isolate the computer from him (and somehow vent the chemicals and heat away from him). After a year or so, the outgassing wouldn't be so bad anymore, and he could use the laptop normally with no problems.




Post# 1008938 , Reply# 3   9/29/2018 at 04:13 (614 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

Do you have asthma?  Probably just a sensitivity to the chemical fumes emitted by the fabrics, carpeting, foam, and adhesives.  My 01 VW Bug smells like a crayola crayon...always has since new.  I googled it once and apparently they all did.  It doesn't bother me. Our new Lincoln smells so good.  Our former Escalade smelled like a brand new pair of expensive leather dress shoes.  I loved the smell of our last Mercedes but Tony hated it.  A friend at work can't stand the smell of her boyfriend's BMW.  My Mother's '08 Impala still pleasantly smells like it did when she got it brand new.  Think about it, new houses emit formaldehyde and other chemicals and some people get sick from them.  Would a car be any different?  We went to the Nashville Auto Show a few years ago and sat in a new Lexus IS smelled like a horse barn!   I bought an old 1986 Chevy diesel truck  back in 2002.  It was a farm truck, was dusty and someone had smoked in it at some point.  I eventually installed new carpet and a new seat.  It then smelled like a brand new truck.  I loved it.

Post# 1008942 , Reply# 4   9/29/2018 at 07:18 (614 days old) by imperial70 (******)        

If a new car has a bad smell run away fast. Real fast. May have been in a flood.

Post# 1008944 , Reply# 5   9/29/2018 at 08:00 (614 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
We had a 2001

Chevy Prizm (aka) Toyota Corolla, and the air from the vents had an unpleasant smell when new like the recycled plastic that was used to make the ducts.

Post# 1008950 , Reply# 6   9/29/2018 at 08:35 (614 days old) by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

My new Mirage smells like a new car.

Post# 1008967 , Reply# 7   9/29/2018 at 09:51 (614 days old) by JustJunque (Western MA)        

My first experience with "new car smell" was when I went with my dad to pick up his new Chevrolet Caprice back in 1982.
That car smelled so good!
To this day, I can be somewhere and get a slight whiff of a similar smell, and it takes me right back to 1982.

That being said, I've been in several new cars since then, whether they were rentals or new cars in the showroom, (I've never owned a new car) and I just don't like how they smell any more.
I figure it's the materials they use in them now; plastics, some probably recycled, etc.

My father-in-law had a new Saturn, back in 1997, and I always felt somewhat sick to my stomach when I was in that car.
I do have a problem with motion sickness, so I can't be a passenger in a vehicle.
But I think that car bothered me even if I was driving.
It was a nice little car though. So it wasn't that I didn't like it!


Post# 1008977 , Reply# 8   9/29/2018 at 11:57 (614 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

There are scientists at the Big 3 and all the auto manufacturers working to optimize this...the preferences for "new car smell" differ depending on what region of the world you're talking about. US prefers what we call "new car smell" but China doesn't like that at all. Every bit of smell, though, represents $$ which could have been not allowed to evaporate.

Post# 1011373 , Reply# 9   10/18/2018 at 22:11 (595 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

Hmm now that you mention it, that 2008 Silverado LTZ did smell a bit like leather shoes. It wasn't a bad smell, just strong. Those Dodges all smelled the same though leather or cloth. Must have been the vinyl or plastics used.

I had a truly bad smell in my car once. I had put the windows down while I had it parked in my driveway. A lizard or something must have gotten into the air conditioning vents and died. The smell was awful and within about a week I had these big black flies start hatching out inside and for about two weeks every time I opened the door there would be flies coming out. It sounds a bit funny now, but it wasn't fun at the time. I never left the windows even a bit cracked after that.

Post# 1011374 , Reply# 10   10/18/2018 at 22:50 (595 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Hondaís and Hyundaiís have a very toxic smelling new car smell. It just burns my nose. I had to crack the window or leave the A/C on outside air for the first month or so every time Iíd ride in my brothers new Civic. I liked Nissanís new car smell but it fades fast and the cars start to get an old car smell fast. VWís still smell like crayons. Every other car Iíve been in had a smell that wasnít anything particularly noteworthy to me (not bad nor good).

Post# 1014668 , Reply# 11   11/16/2018 at 10:48 (566 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

A long time ago a friend of mine had a Hyundai Elantra GT. It had leather, don't remember it having an odor other than air freshener, it smelled nice.

Also I remember a 2006 Volvo S40 with leather, it smelled good inside, kind of a sweet smell.

Post# 1019447 , Reply# 12   12/29/2018 at 22:09 (523 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

Well I just got a 2016 Ford Taurus (about as close to new as I'll ever get (or want to get) and the smell inside reminded me of this thread. It has that same smell to it, and when I went to test drive it, I thought I got a headache. It could have just been the stress of the buying process.

But odd thing was the day before that, I test drove a 2015 Taurus and a Fusion and they had a more sweet smell. All 3 have leather seats but mine are black where those two were beige. I doubt color makes any difference though. That being said, all 3 Dodges I noticed the smell also have black interiors but some had cloth and some leather.

On that note my old car smelled really nice when I went to trade it in, probably because I had given the interior a good detail.

I took my Taurus out for a drive today but I must be getting used to the smell because it didn't bother me. I kind of liked it, I could pretend it was a new car.

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