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I don't drive much, but once a week I do a highway trip that gives me the one opportunity to accelerate hard to merge onto a freeway. The engine is always at max temp. It lets in a smell I cannot describe. Probably normal. But what causes it? Catalytic?
 

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If it smells kinda like turning on an electric heater that hasn't been run in a while, it probably is the cat getting hot after a week of setting.
I've smelled it when I'm taking a "slow" driver's car to emissions after I run it in a lower gear and rev it up to wake up a "sleeping" cat.
 

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I don't drive much, but once a week I do a highway trip that gives me the one opportunity to accelerate hard to merge onto a freeway. The engine is always at max temp. It lets in a smell I cannot describe. Probably normal. But what causes it? Catalytic?

What is meant by the comment about the engine always being at max temp? Don't know about the smell - my RAV sometimes sits for several days without being used but doesn't then emit a smell when it is used. On the other hand, I don't have to use hard acceleration//throttle except in passing maneuvers.
 

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Haven't noticed that rotten egg smell from the cat in our V6, largely running on Costco's 87 top tier gas. But am definitely familiar with that from other cars, especially when new.
 

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It would seem that if the smell is coming into the passenger cabin while the vehicle is moving there must be a defect in the exhaust system or with its design. Exhaust should not come into the passenger area - could contain toxic fumes even with exhaust emissions controls.
 

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Both of ours do the same thing, not rotten egg just different. This only occurs when standing on the go pedal on the highway. As soon as you pass and let off to come back down to a legal speed you get a big whiff of this odd smell in the cabin. I've no clue what, when , why, or how and I've given up on trying to figure it out.
 

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Both of ours do the same thing, not rotten egg just different. This only occurs when standing on the go pedal on the highway. As soon as you pass and let off to come back down to a legal speed you get a big whiff of this odd smell in the cabin. I've no clue what, when , why, or how and I've given up on trying to figure it out.

Interesting - I use heavy throttle in passing maneuvers on our two-lane roads, both on the flat and in the mountains, and have never had any sort of odd smell in the cabin on or just off the throttle. I always run with my ventilation system open to outside air.
 

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Interesting - I use heavy throttle in passing maneuvers on our two-lane roads, both on the flat and in the mountains, and have never had any sort of odd smell in the cabin on or just off the throttle. I always run with my ventilation system open to outside air.
My experience is the same as yours, but I've certainly smelled many a car in front of me, usually accelerating or going up a hill.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What is meant by the comment about the engine always being at max temp?
Bad wording on my part. :surprise I mean warmed to normal operating temperature.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If it smells kinda like turning on an electric heater that hasn't been run in a while
That's the smell! And it comes in after WFO, not during, but that's not a long time. With the V6 I hit 70MPH quickly.
 

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Regardless of what it smells like, it is exhaust gasses being sucked into the cabin...which is unacceptable. I took it into the dealer to complain about this when it had 7600 miles. Of course they said they couldn't smell it. I insisted a tech ride with me and I showed him and the smell was very apparent. He said the TSB didn't apply to me, a lot of Camrys did the same thing, and there was nothing he could do.
 
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