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Bad or Burnt Exhaust smell in cabin during hard acceleration.

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by 1banger, July 24, 2011.

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Has anyone heard of, found, or experienced a solution to the Ford Explorer exhaust issue?

  1. exhaust solution

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  1. bburzycki

    bburzycki Active Member

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    Actually I think there are 3 or 4 issues that are being discussed here and many are instead of having them fixed trying to fix issues themselves and probably causing more or other issues.

    I do not have the paperwork with me today - but the parts that required replacement were all related to the rear AC and AC air ducts that are under the vehicle.

    I can only surmise from the parts that while accelerating the pressure difference in the vehicle and outside pulls these ducts open and exhaust is being pulled into the cabin of the vehicle.

    My issues were under 1/2-3/4 or full hard accel - usually on long pulls up an onramp etc. It was also sometimes intermittent then grew to happen most if not all of the time.

    The smell was that of exhaust - not burning or rotten eggs - I assume many are smelling this now because they are not usually hammering on the throttle till they read this post and went and checked and part of the smell is related to the CAT burning off or being at higher temps while trying to see if they have this issue.

    There are articles all over about this:

    http://www.law360.com/articles/551842/ford-explorer-owners-seek-class-cert-in-exhaust-fumes-suit

    http://www.law360.com/articles/5551...-exhaust-fumes-suit?article_related_content=1

    My theory on this is go to the dealer and demand the TSB to be done if you are having the issue for 2013 alone there are over 50 TSB's - http://www.fordproblems.com/tsbs/Explorer/2013/

    I will need to look it up and try to find the specific TSB - but it did require removal of the rear bumper fascia and undercoating after replacement. It is a big repair - it took over a day to get the vehicle back. I believe they said it was 4-8 hrs for the repair work.
     
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  3. dboyster

    dboyster New Member

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    If the problem is aerodynamic in nature, does it call for an aerodynamic solution? Perhaps one way to sold the problem is finding a way to disrupt the vortices at the rear of the vehicle? Perhaps installing some kind of rear spoiler woud help? thoughts?


     
  4. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    It already has a spoiler but like most SUV type bodies, they create a sort of vacuum when going down the road and that, I believe is why most of them also have rear wipers.

    Peter
     
  5. corpflyboy

    corpflyboy Active Member

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    Just a heads up. I just took delivery of a 2014 ford fusion 2.0 ecoboost. The same smell is noticeable with the moon-roof open. My 2012 focus also has a similar smell with the windows/moon-roof open when MAX power only is induced. I think you guys might as well sue ford for any vehicle they have recently made. Good luck with that.

    Myself, there are more important things in life to worry about, like the clown in office.

    Buzz
     
  6. bruinsfan

    bruinsfan Member

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    What is the CAT burning off and is that a normal new car thing that goes away?
    Sorry for my ignorance on the issue. Is that smell different from exhaust fumes?
     
  7. dboyster

    dboyster New Member

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    I'm approaching the problem from the perspective of how the exhaust gases are being sucked back to the area under the rear of the car, where presumably it is finding its way into the cabin through the many openings identified by other posters on this forum. Theoretically, once exhaust gases are spewed from the muffler, they should travel in the opposite direction the car is travelling. But some kind of aerodynamic action is pulling the gases back towards the car. It could be caused the air from the roof of the car which suddenly flows downwards as it travels past the hatch. This air then catches the exhaust gases from the muffler as soon as the velocity of the exhaust comes down to normal level (once the driver lets off the throttle) and pushes it back towards the bottom of the bumper where it then enters through the vents and holes underneath the rear portion.

    If this is the case then one possible solution is to extend the flow of air at the roof of the explorer so that it doesnt drastically come down the rear window towards the bumper. I'm suggesting some kind of top spoiler or vector generator. For the latter i found this link.

    http://www.sigmaautomotive.com/performance/vortekz/vortekz.php


    I'm sorry if this may sound crazy or stupid but i don't think there's any harm in brainstorming as this issue has been going on for years.

    I would be interested to know your thoughts on this idea.

     
  8. JCat

    JCat Active Member

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    After test driving a bunch of F150 Ecoboost equipped trucks, I have noticed this smell every time.

    In each test drive, I take the truck onto an interstate, and stomp on it, upon exiting the interstate and stopping or slowing to a very slow pace, the cabin reeks from exhaust smell.

    I do not believe this problem is unique to the Explorer.

    (Leaning towards the V8 . . . it just feels and smells better)
     
  9. blwnsmoke

    blwnsmoke Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    There is no way ford said, sure have your $40,000 back AND keep the car.
     
  10. bburzycki

    bburzycki Active Member

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    CAT - rotten egg - smell is very common on new cars - but also on vehicles that are not always driven hard at least a few times in their life.

    Or it can happen when the CAT is overwhelmed by excess fuel that is cannot burn off.

    There are many other reasons and all of them have to do with different events that can happen in today's very technology and sensor based vehicles.

    So it is crazy to think we can diagnose all the issues here without looking at the vehicle - hooking it up to diagnostic tools etc..

    That said the TSB is straight forward - they replace parts and its either fixed or not.

    I am truly amazed that vehicles overall do not have many more issues - with so much to possibly go wrong it is impressive that auto makers only have a handful of issues after release.

    Take it to your dealer - use your warranty and get them to fix it - if they cannot fix it get a zone manager to inspect the vehicle, call Ford etc.. not all dealers are equal - find a good one.
     
  11. wdeadwyler

    wdeadwyler New Member

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    I had it in around 2000 miles and they did the repair that you are referring to. Removing bumper replacing vent that they said wasn't properly installed. Took them 2 days before I had it back as they had to wait for parts. Here is the thing....mine smells all the time, driving around town at 35 miles per hour, driving on the freeway without hard acceleration, idling.....when I do push the accelerator to merge on to the highway or to pass someone is when I smell a burnt hair smell. I certainly am not complaining about the way they are handling it, they have now had it for a week. I just don't want to accept the answer that for a 1/3 of my lease (if I take Fords answer that it will burn off after 10k miles) I have to drive a car that smells like a fertilized corn field and I am even more surprised that Ford would think it is ok for their vehicles to smell like this for a year. It is gross. This isn't once in awhile, it is all the time! I live in Minnesota where it is 3 degrees and the only relief I would get is driving with my window cracked to avoid gagging while driving.
    I can't see Ford paying money back and giving a car for free, but I can see them doing something to take care of this and make it right. So I wait with a loaner until they fix it.
     
  12. adamjeeps

    adamjeeps Member

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    There is tsb for the MKT that is for a grommet that is missing in the firewall behind the glove box. It only states there is excess wind noise, but perhaps something similar is letting fumes into the cabin.
     
  13. gwtx

    gwtx New Member

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    Some of us have done all that,,,to no avail. I have been waiting over 3 months for a PROMISED call back from Ford engineering. Not sure what my next step will be. I do know that plugging up holes in the rear of the car reduces the level of the odor. There are others who have reportedly eliminated 90% of the odor. Not so in my case. I just "stepped down" on it the other day, and had to roll all the windows down to keep from choking.
    Just thought I'd check in to see if there was any good news on the problem here on the forum, cause I sure as heck won't hear anything from Ford.
     
  14. wdeadwyler

    wdeadwyler New Member

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    I got a call from my dealership today, Ford told them the 10k miles and it will wear off, they know that I don't accept that answer so they told Ford this. So until Ford comes up with a "fix" they want to rig it by extending the exhaust to get it further away from the vehicle. Again, in my opinion this is not an acceptable answer. So Ford is aware of this and they don't have an answer, so trying to put a band aid on it is the dealerships response. We are meeting with them tomorrow morning at 10 and I am going to tell them to find me a new one that doesn't have this problem or take it back. This is getting ridiculous.
     
  15. bburzycki

    bburzycki Active Member

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    Make your dealer call the higher ups - then you can also call ford's Customer service number...
     
  16. wdeadwyler

    wdeadwyler New Member

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    Have already done all that, have a case number with Ford, they sent an engineer out, it seems as though they just don't know how to fix the problem.
     
  17. SHAD0W

    SHAD0W Active Member

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    Fortunately, I have not this had burnt-or-bad-smell-during-acceleration problem on either of my Ex's, but I am well aware of it. Yet it's disheartening to see this problem continue. So after months of inactivity, I decided to share my troubleshooting experience/solution and hope it works for all, if not some, of you.

    A buddy of mine purchased a 2014 (without power lift gate) shortly after I purchased mine and he began experiencing this almost immediately. He never chimed in to the forum or read other's experiences, but I gave him the rundown and we tried to diagnose this ourselves.

    We first focused on the source of the odor, and began to realize that we might be approaching it the wrong way. Instead of the source, we shifted our focus to how and where the odor is reaching inside the vehicle. We tried high pressure water and smoke machines and after the liquid dried and smoke cleared, we concluded that there were MANY breaches in the rear of the truck. Unfortunately it was difficult to pinpoint exactly where the breaches were because it appeared there were many.

    HOWEVER, we focused on the high problem areas and places where it SEEMED to be most inadequate.

    We found that there were openings in the door that might be allowing the odor to come in. First we sealed off four holes on the lift gate door. On both sides, there are two holes. On the right side (same can be said for the left), look for the rubber bumper. Against the "foot" of that bumper, there is a small circular hole that we sealed temporarily with tape. Near that bumper, about 2 inches away, there is a small, rectangular hole. We sealed that with tape also.

    We test drove, and this reduced the smell dramatically. But we were determined to reduce it even more.

    We determined that the weather seal along the door hatch was another main problem. We tried replacing the seal with a new one--didn't work. We tried pulling out the seal further to create a "tighter" seal, but the problem resurfaced when the seal was eventually pushed back into place by the constant opening/closing of the tail gate. We tried placing a quarter inch wide, half-inch thick strip of foam weatherseal to the factory seal to add thickness, but the thin strip would shift or lose adhesion after being bumped or moved.

    Finally, we used a 1 and 1/4 inch wide, 7/16 inch thick weatherseal (Same brand, just different size) and applied it directly to the interior body of the lift gate door itself.

    If you want to try this out:
    1) Home Depot: head to the door and weather sealing section and look for Rubber Foam Weatherseal (Brand: Frost King). The products are in plastic bags.
    2) Get (2) packs of the 1 and 1/4" wide, 7/16" thick, 10 foot long product.
    3) Open the lift gate door and find where the factory rubber seal makes contact with the interior of the door.
    4) Clean the contact area with soap/water, whatever, to ensure ideal adhesion of the weatherseal tape.
    5) Start at the topmost part of the lift gate and apply the tape along the residue line where the factory seal makes contact. It would be ideal to keep the edge/sides of the tape flushed against the plastic of the interior body panels.
    6) Run the weatherseal tape along the entire circumference of the tail gate. One package of the 10 foot tape will cover most of the area, leaving about maybe 1 or 1.5 feet left to be covered by the other package, with plenty of tape leftover.

    After a test drive, the odor was 99% gone. 1% margin of error due to possible phantom smells we possibly experienced. So far (three months ago and about maybe bi-weekly car washes), it has stayed in place and eliminated the odor in all driving conditions.

    NOTE: The tape is not really that attractive, but since it's black and not over-distracting, it could look OEM to the untrained eye. Additionally, every time my friend closes his lift gate, he uses a bit more "slamming" force than usual to ensure the door is closed and the "Lift Gate Ajar" alarm ends.

    If the weatherstrip proves too be to thick for your comfort, you can try a thinner product as Frost King makes it in varying lengths, thicknesses, and widths.

    We did not place the tape on top of the existing factory rubber seal. Instead, it's placed on the interior body of the lift gate door. With this "sandwiching" effect, the seal is bound to stay better in place, not shift around, and create a tighter seal.

    Additional time will tell if my friend needs to replace this weatherseal tape, but so far, so good. I don't know if this $15.00 remedy would of use to those with the power lift gate option, but it's worth a try.
     
  18. gwtx

    gwtx New Member

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    SHADOW, Thanks for the post. Our ex has the power lift gate, and I don't know if it can close against the extra thickness, but I think I'm gonna give it a try. We really like the car(2014 LTD)but can't stand the odor. I find myself waiting until I cannot see any traffic coming, before I "gently" attempt to pass a slower moving vehicle. Reminds me of driving the old 64 VW I had. Pathetic, when you consider how "peppy" these little engines are. Thanks again. Gary
     
  19. SHAD0W

    SHAD0W Active Member

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    I hear ya. It seems that too much of the focus has been on the source of the odor itself, as opposed to finding where the odor is getting into the cabin. My friend mentioned that the thickness of the weatherseal, as opposed to the width, seems to have more impact on how difficult/easy it is to close the lift gate.

    Depending on your budget, you may want to experiment with varying thicknesses, but remain with the 1 and 1/4 width to ensure adequate coverage and contact with the factory seal.

    Here is a pic I found online of the product we used (White version, though there is a black version as well):

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&ved=0CAUQjBw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.lowes.com%2Fproduct%2Fconverted%2F077578%2F077578050720.jpg&ei=5L_iVN7WD8ymgwSCtoK4BQ&psig=AFQjCNGRLiiiGOuWMKbVe4Sfy0MTopu62w&ust=1424232804320112

    Good luck!
     
  20. karina

    karina New Member

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    You don't need to buy it. I'm telling the truth it saddened me very much because I loved my Ford. You can see my problems way earlier in this thread. But my baby isn't going to be in danger. What made me sell the car was the gentlemen that posted about how sick his dog gets after riding in the back.
     
  21. SHAD0W

    SHAD0W Active Member

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    I didn't doubt your story and you did what you had to do.

    Others, on the other hand, are willing to explore all options before getting rid of their truck. Additionally, my suggestion is simply that--a suggestion. It's not a cure all or silver bullet. It may work for all, some, or none at all. I'm sure others can decide for themselves on the best course of action.

    Glad you moved on and are in a better place, and sad to see you gave up your truck. Hopefully, you'll be back one day.
     

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