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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 02-16-2016, 12:49 AM   #1
mrpinstripsuits
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: UCLA/Bay Area
Posts: 50
My Ride: carbon black e46 m3
DIY: Getting rid of exhaust and crayon smell in cabin

Greetings-

This DIY will show you how to get rid of the exhaust smell and crayons smell inside the cabin.

Story:
Whenever I drive with the windows down, sunroof open, or sunroof tilted, then there is a smell of exhaust fumes and old crayons smell.

Analysis:
Driving with the windows or sunroof open will create "negative pressure." Negative pressure in the cabin will suck air from the trunk area. The nasty smells from the exhaust and rear deck insulation are being sucked into the cabin by the negative pressure.

Fix:
Buy "Peel & Seal (works just like Dynamat but only $15)" from hardware store or online.




Buy "Ozium" odor eliminator.



Seal off all the following holes that are allowing exhaust fumes to be sucked in:





I have even sealed off both vents in the trunk area. I have sealed off the battery vent as well. There are no problems so far with battery vapors (supposedly smells like rotten eggs).


Check for holes in the trunk wire grommet. Make sure that both sides are secured into the trunk lid and the frame of the vehicle (My rubber grommet was "popped out" on both sides, so tons of exhaust fumes was being pulled into my trunk area:


Check the rubber gaskets for the tail lights and trunk lights (mine had a slight tear) Use black RTV silicone to seal the tear:



Check the trunk handle gasket for tears. Use black RTV silicone to seal the tear (Lots of exhaust fumes can get sucked into the trunk through the hole):


Check the rubber trunk seal that goes around the trunk for tears and MUST REPLACE if torn (I tried fixing it with clear silicone and black silicone, but smell was still leaking through):


(I borrowed some pictures from online to help with the DIY for education purposes)

I hope this helps others with sensitive noses like me.

All the best.

-M
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Old 02-16-2016, 01:24 AM   #2
nealfromnz
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: New Zealand
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My Ride: 2002 e46
Might pay to measure oxygen levels in car your driving with the windows up as you've effectly blocked the cross flow ventilation on the car.

It's design to enter through the front and exit via the rear parcel shelf down through the rear side vents under the bumper.

If your smelling fumes then it was likely the the boot seal had become defective

I'd be worried about not letting battery gases vent properly. It's very bad for your health and also explosive under certain conditions.
Batteries can also explode is the vent is blocked.
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:30 AM   #3
mrpinstripsuits
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: UCLA/Bay Area
Posts: 50
My Ride: carbon black e46 m3
Quote:
Originally Posted by nealfromnz View Post
Might pay to measure oxygen levels in car your driving with the windows up as you've effectly blocked the cross flow ventilation on the car.

It's design to enter through the front and exit via the rear parcel shelf down through the rear side vents under the bumper.

If your smelling fumes then it was likely the the boot seal had become defective

I'd be worried about not letting battery gases vent properly. It's very bad for your health and also explosive under certain conditions.
Batteries can also explode is the vent is blocked.

Greetings-

Thank you for the battery gases analysis.

I shall poke some small holes in the "Peel and Seal" on the right side vent to help vent any potential battery vapors. My rear vents like to "stick" in the open position, so exhaust fumes like to creep in when I'm at stoplights waiting. My aftermarket car battery did not come with a vent tube, so I just plugged up the car's vent tube with a screw.

There should be plenty of oxygen in the cabin even with the "Peel and Seal." I have the fan blowing all the time. Furthermore, the car is not "hermetically sealed," so the air car will find a way out somewhere.

The exhaust fumes were coming in from many of the above mentioned places due to tears in the boot seal, rubber gaskets, and unplugged wire grommets.

Thank you for contributing.

All the best.

-M
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Old 01-27-2017, 09:58 PM   #4
Billski
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Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Wa
Posts: 13
My Ride: 323ci
i would like to thank you....ever since the day i bought my car i thought kids dropped crayons in the heater vents or something weird causing the crayon smell, i know what im doing this weekend if the weather permits.
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Old 01-30-2017, 08:51 AM   #5
Sansho
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: CT
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My Ride: 2001 325i
The crayon smell is due to the insulation BMW used. Others have solutioned it by removing insulation under the rear seat, and replacing it (recall one person using sound deadner material like auto sound system installers use), in addition to the insulation in the trunk, under the interior panels. I haven't read about anyone who has eliminated the crayon smell having to replace insulation farther forward than the back seat.
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