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Model 3 Weird Smell

Zaphod

Galaxy President (former)
Dec 10, 2015
2,160
1,959
Austin, TX
Can you describe what the smell is? "weird" doesn't really help much. Does it smell damp and musty? Does it smell like plastics and chemicals? Something else?
 

seattlite2004

Active Member
Apr 12, 2016
1,186
1,342
Puget Sound
Maybe a collant leak?

From the web: "If the cooling system in your car smells sweet, then you should have your unit checked immediately. The sweet smell is often the cause of toxic liquid ethylene glycol or antifreeze. This smell is the result of a leak in the cooling system."

From other posts...the Model 3 only has one coolant circuit for all its system...so HVAC uses the same coolant as the battery. So if you have a coolant leak...you could also be affecting your battery.
 

nutts1

Member
Dec 28, 2017
37
79
New Jersey
When it is very cold, I have just an initial faint smell that is normal for electric heat. It goes away within a couple of minutes as the heat stabilizes.
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,020
6,506
Austin, TX
Maybe a collant leak?

From the web: "If the cooling system in your car smells sweet, then you should have your unit checked immediately. The sweet smell is often the cause of toxic liquid ethylene glycol or antifreeze. This smell is the result of a leak in the cooling system."

From other posts...the Model 3 only has one coolant circuit for all its system...so HVAC uses the same coolant as the battery. So if you have a coolant leak...you could also be affecting your battery.

I don't believe the coolant loop goes into the passenger compartment. Many ICE cars have the coolant loop going through a heat exchanger to provide heat. Thus a coolant leak ends up in the cabin.
 

Tobigg

Member
Mar 29, 2018
10
3
San Angelo TX
Yes it is a faint smell and goes away within a couple of mins. I'm new to electric vehicles and immediately noticed it when I turned the AC or heat on, I wasn't sure if it was normal or not! Will the smell ever go away for good or will it be there for the life of the car?
 

SigNC

Active Member
Aug 23, 2017
1,551
1,416
NC
I don't believe the coolant loop goes into the passenger compartment. Many ICE cars have the coolant loop going through a heat exchanger to provide heat. Thus a coolant leak ends up in the cabin.
I thought i read somewhere that the battery coolant is eventually used for heat if it's warm enough.
 

icefree

Member
Apr 8, 2017
196
335
Northern VA
Has anyone been experiencing a weird smell in their model 3 when the HVAC is turned on?
Yes, there is an odd, new car/something burning smell. I'm hoping/expecting it will go away after some usage.
Also, I've noticed that smells from items in the frunk seem to leak into the HVAC (spicy takeout food in the frunk)...I suspect the rubber seal on the frunk to the hood isn't perfect.
 

Az_Rael

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,643
8,827
Palmdale, CA
Mostly a damp musty smell!

A damp musty smell is not good so early. I would take that to the SC.

Mine smells weird when it has been sitting in the sun, but it started after I got my tint installed. So I think it is the adhesives from that. It is a chemical smell vs musty tho.
 

Tobigg

Member
Mar 29, 2018
10
3
San Angelo TX
A damp musty smell is not good so early. I would take that to the SC.

Mine smells weird when it has been sitting in the sun, but it started after I got my tint installed. So I think it is the adhesives from that. It is a chemical smell vs musty tho.

I thinking you may be right because I just got my windows tinted as well and that's when I noticed that smell. Do you have any ideas on fixing it or is it stuck in there for good?
 

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