Model 3

Stinky car

2456716

Comments

  • edited July 2019
    Our M3 is 16 months old and smells new
  • edited July 2019
    @Mike, so did mine till about that same number of months of ownership, and then in April, BAM.
  • edited November -1
    Mine still has the new car smell.
  • edited July 2019
    I wonder if this has to do with manufacturing date?

    Now that I think about it, I never see pooled water under the M3 like the S. Time for a service call.
  • edited July 2019
    I had a Tesla repair tech out to my house yesterday to fix the same issue. He said it is caused by AC condensate. When the AC runs, condensate (moisture) builds up. When the car shuts off, its left there and begins to smell. The tech said that the newest firmware fixes this issue by keeping the AC fan running at low speed when the car shuts off. The air flow causes the condensate to dry completely eliminating the problem. Time will tell...
  • edited July 2019
    Sideswipe, did he say which is the “newest firmware” version? I’m on 20.4.2, which is pretty well up to date. I’ve been getting the vinegar smell for a few months now.
  • edited July 2019
    i just discovered this smell today. pretty nasty. As with others, only there for a first minute or so after AC starts up on warm day
  • edited July 2019
    @rpc_in_va, He said it was in the latest firmware. I'm on 20.4.4 which, as far as I know, is the latest. I had the smell when I was on 20.4.2, so I doubt the fix was in that version.
  • edited July 2019
    Thanks. How long have you had 20.4.4? Sounds like you haven’t decided yet whether it resolves the issue or not. Keep us posted.
  • edited July 2019
    @rpc_in_va. The smell has been intermittent: it doesn't happen every time we get in the car. Since the service was just done yesterday, I'll need to wait a while before I know. If it can go a week without the smell, then we may have it licked. I'll keep you posted.
  • edited July 2019
    Had a tire rotation yesterday at the Decatur SC and asked what is the next service. He said bring in car at two year anniversary. He also mentioned unsolicited that if I discover a smell in the cabin in the future, bring it in and they will replace what I thought was a cabin filter. In any event, my Tesla SC Technician acknowledged the smell can be a problem. I thought this was great customer service...forewarning about a potential problem ironically mentioned in this thread.
  • edited November -1
    Are y’all in the stinky cars using cabin overheat protection? With ac option or fan only?
  • edited July 2019
    This was a common complaint in the early days of model 3. Circa Jan/Feb 2018.
    Suspected cooling liquid problem. It went away after a few days, I just used a fresher on the rear vent to fix - yup where to fix the airfreshner was topic here :)
  • edited July 2019
    Read the other comments. This was definitely a common topic back then, it just went away. It was suspected to be some ac fluid, something near the battery since they share the same cooling system.

    Now it's back, I suspect they changed the software for the AC to whatever it was back then - totally guessing here. But cars can't en masse loose a problem and then get it back for no reason. Has to be something to do with AC recirculation logic.
  • edited July 2019
    Maybe its just that its Summer and people get in their cars and because of the heat the HVAC is blasting... Whereas before it was not.
  • edited November -1
    @pmagid,
    No it's not just summer. There was certainly a flurry of complaints in early 2018, then nothing for a few months, and then we have more now.
    The words used to describe the smell are the same as before - vomit, stinky socks, vinegar

    I'm just guessing based on following the forum for so long, this has to be caused by an update in recirculation logic.

    Can someone tell if the vents under the hood close/open when the car is parked? I remember talking about a correlation.
  • edited July 2019
    I seriously wish we could search the forum. I tried on Google without luck :(
  • edited July 2019
    Was at Tesla SC last week. One of the items was the stink. They couldn’t replace air filters because they are back ordered for weeks. Tech said that it seems every model 3 in SoCal is coming in with requests for replacement.
  • edited July 2019
    @vmulla not saying it cant be firmware related..... Just wondering how much of the issue is due to the warmer weather.
  • edited July 2019
    Hey!
    Are are of you able to tell me where the cabin air filter is located and how to remove/clean it? I saw something about that today/yesterday and now I can't find it. They said it fixed the problem and while said problem is mild and momentary I'd love to be able to do it myself if possible.
    Thanks!
  • edited July 2019
    pmagid | July 18, 2019
    @vmulla not saying it cant be firmware related..... Just wondering how much of the issue is due to the warmer weather.

    ---
    Almost entirely actually, it has to be the conditions of the hot weather that trigger the undesirable HVAC behavior.

    I'm so wrapped up in my theory I'm not able to see beyond it. I've been wrong before, someone just has to show me the obvious other side sometimes :)
  • edited July 2019
    This is a pretty common problem for all cars, not just Tesla. There are aerosols that pump spray up the drain hose from the car's evaporator and kill the mildew that causes the smell.
  • I have had this in EVERY car we owned in Florida, about 15.
  • edited July 2019
    syclone | July 19, 2019
    This is a pretty common problem for all cars, not just Tesla. There are aerosols that pump spray up the drain hose from the car's evaporator and kill the mildew that causes the smell.
    ---
    It's not mildew. Your car is fresh one second, and will have a blast of this smell the next. Good thing is the smell isn't persistent.
  • edited July 2019
    @vmulla Do you not know it is mildew, for sure? Mildew has a life cycle and different things happen at different phases. This issue is not because of a leak or anything on the car spontaneously making the smell. The mildew buildup can be in one area and get dislodged and start in a new area that spreads the smell in the cabin.

    So do you know, for sure, it is not mildew?
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