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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.

A week ago I noticed an "exhaust" type smell in my car. I thought it was because I was in stop in go traffic, but now it seems excessive. I don't have climate control, just the regular air condition.

1. The vents are set for "fresh"

2. The smell is chemical in nature.... it's not gasoline, but I think it's exhaust.

3. It irritiates my nostrils.

I just had a test where I drove with the windows rolled down and "flushed" all the bad air outta the car. Then I parked it, rolled the windows up, left it on idle, and stepped outside the car for 5 minutes. I opened the door and , yes, there is definitely some type of fumes in the car.

What do you think? Is it bad to drive it? Any solutions?

Randy
 

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does it smell like something burning

For me, it was oil leaking from valve cover on to something really hot like exhaust system and the fumes went under engine and up near the cabin filter.
 

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Set your vents to recirc until you fix the problem. It is a leak from one of the following: Valve cover gasket, cam chain tensioner gasket/seal or the PCV system.

You should also check that the rubber seal at the back of the engine compartment is in place. It should reduce the smell but not eliminate it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm guessing your main breather hose is broken. That's what makes my car stink. I really need to install that new breather system I bought.


DING DING DING......... WE HAVE A WINNER HERE!

Breather hose was on recall......... techs said hole in it, spewing oil. Dealer is replacing with no charge. Thanks everyone!!!
 

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Hi all.

A week ago I noticed an "exhaust" type smell in my car. I thought it was because I was in stop in go traffic, but now it seems excessive. I don't have climate control, just the regular air condition.

1. The vents are set for "fresh"

2. The smell is chemical in nature.... it's not gasoline, but I think it's exhaust.

3. It irritiates my nostrils.

I just had a test where I drove with the windows rolled down and "flushed" all the bad air outta the car. Then I parked it, rolled the windows up, left it on idle, and stepped outside the car for 5 minutes. I opened the door and , yes, there is definitely some type of fumes in the car.

What do you think? Is it bad to drive it? Any solutions?

Randy
i just contacted the volkswagen dealer regarding any recall on this and i was told that recalls are VIN's specifiic. my car did had a breather hose recall whcih was fixed on my car while it was in possesion of the original owner. i have this problem so it may be something else. any ideas will be welcome
 

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i just contacted the Volkswagen dealer regarding any recall on this and i was told that recalls are VIN's specific. my car did had a breather hose recall which was fixed on my car while it was in possession of the original owner. i have this problem so it may be something else. any ideas will be welcome
It's probably the same thing. Your car is old, it will likely have those issues again well on down the road from when it was first addressed. All the B5/B5.5s do at some point. Have you looked in the engine bay at all to determine where the smell might be coming from and identify any oil leaks or hoses, pipes that might be cracked or broken?
 
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I've noticed this on my 1.9 TDI after driving it hard (like accelerating from 70-100mph uphill on the highway) afterwards there is always a slight smell in the cabin. I can't seem to tell if its exhaust or maybe my clutch going. Normally I can smell the difference between the 2 but in this case it's a very light smell. Any way to track down where it could be coming from?
 

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I would guess you could feel the clutch slip if it was getting hot enough to burn. Maybe not but if you know the car well I've always found it easy to know when a clutch was starting to go.....

How long since the cabin filter has been replaced? Is there a quality unit in there now? That might not be a fix but replacing it with one that contains carbon could eliminate the odors.

Otherwise, look for exhaust leaks under the hood or under the car and look for any oil leaks, especially onto the turbo or exhaust pipes.
 

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Never had a clutch go on me and rarely got to smell what a burnt clutch smells like 😂. Still have the original clutch and taking care of it so it lasts. But there is no noticeable slipping. Cabin filter is 2 years old, but not an active carbon one, ill probably pop one in once I find the leak. I know my EGR weeps oil, i'm hoping a new EGR will fix it, but I'll have a look at for oil leaks as you suggested!
 
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