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#1 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 06:16 PM
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Old potato smell problem

Hi,
I got this 3 months old smell problem inside the car that started in the middle of summer.
At first I thought it was a fruit or vegetable that rolled out a grocery bag to go underneath a seat. The odor is like a rotten potato.
It started slowly and a week after it never diminished and still stinks as of today.
The outside temperature seems to affected it but not by very much.
It does not come out the vents and it is always there even when the car is parked for a long period of time. I don't think it is the AC since I'm not using it due to colder outside temperature nowadays. When I was using the AC, I have never put it onto "recirculate".

Today, I have strip the rear internal panels as it seams to come from the rear, removed the carpets to the bare metal and looked every where inside the rear panel for a rodent's nest are something else to no avail.
The odor is not present in the engine compartment and I have looked underneath the car and did not find anything suspicious.

Anybody have an idea where I should look?
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#2 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 08:52 PM
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Something may have crawled into these rear vents. There is one on both sides:




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#3 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 08:54 PM
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Also, I know you said the smell isn't coming from the vents, but go ahead and inspect the cabin filter anyway, it can't hurt. It's behind the glove box.

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#4 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 08:55 PM
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I've checked both vents and found nothing in there. I have also inspected the air filter behind the glove box. When I removed the carpets, they were all dry and no rust was found on the floor panels in front and in back. I don't know where I should look now.
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#5 (permalink) Old 10-27-2012, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misterhoney View Post
I've checked both vents and found nothing in there. I have also inspected the air filter behind the glove box. When I removed the carpets, they were all dry and no rust was found on the floor panels in front and in back. I don't know where I should look now.
What about below the vents? I know it's hard to see down there without a flexible snake cam or something. Or you could stick your hand down in there and feel around....

Is it possible leaves or debris could have collected in the doors? Check at the base of each door and make sure those drain holes aren't plugged.

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#6 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 03:00 PM
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Even tough you aren't using the AC, has it been refilled/ cleaned/ checked since you had the car?
An empty or dirty AC also gives a bad odor.
Greetz

Pim

Driving a BMW318i with LPG at the moment. Had a 2.0 RAV4.1 1997 3drs 4WD euro model w/ABS dual sunroof blue two tone previously.
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#7 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 03:39 PM
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Also, even though you are not running the AC, there are other threads on here that discuss that the AC still operates to a point whenever you are on the defrost settings.

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#8 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pim View Post
Even tough you aren't using the AC, has it been refilled/ cleaned/ checked since you had the car?
An empty or dirty AC also gives a bad odor.
Greetz

Pim
Since I have the car (2002) I haven't refilled/cleaned or even checked it.
I do use the AC by default when I put the heather selector on defrost on a rainy day. But still, the smell does not seems to come from the dashboard vents. The smelling is less intense when the fan is on medium or higher, like opening a window while driving.
A friend of mine told me it could be the leather seats but it is hard to know for sure since everything in the car smells because of being expose to the odor. Even my girl friend's jacket smells after taking the car for a small trip to the grocery store.
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#9 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 06:47 PM
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I wonder if someone did not spray or spill something either on purpose or by mistake and have not said anything?
Anyone mad at you? There is ALL kinds of things you can mix up and put in spray bottle.
I would leave doors open and maybe even run a fan to help air it out then use leather cleaner on the seats and wipe down all of the inside with a cleaner of your choice. You can also put baking soda on the carpet for a day or too them vacuum. If that does not do it shampoo carpets.
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#10 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 08:00 PM
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I'm still trying to figure out what an old potato smells like.
Hope you find it soon!!

"Life is tough... It's even tougher if you're stupid!"
John Wayne
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