Bad or Burnt Exhaust smell in cabin during hard acceleration. | Page 125 | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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Has anyone heard of, found, or experienced a solution to the Ford Explorer exhaust issue?


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Nasty

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Is there anything different with 17N03 than what they were doing two months ago?
 












Vet Rider

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This thread literally makes me shake my head. I'm saddened that dealers are doing anything about this, and that they are not aware as to why this happens. This is not specific to these explorers. This is a general condition that most modern vehicles have. I have posted this before, but the smell you are smelling is extra fuel being burned by the cats. Its a condition called cat over temp protection. The computer is programmed to enrichen the air fuel mixture in order to cool the cats. You are smelling the byproduct of it. This happens on the new mustangs too as well as several other models and lines. My 2017 mustang had it and so did my 2014 mustang, my 2012 and my 2004 cobra. Its doing what its supposed to do. As for you smelling it in the car, that is another story. I smelled it in my mustang with all the windows up every single time after hard accel.

This is a normal condition. It's not carbon monoxide lol. That was a problem for the police trucks because they had holes drilled into the body for extra service equipment. The hard accel smell is not CO you silly people. CO is odorless and colorless. You'd be dead never having smelled anything.
 






PrettyToughGirl

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Is there anything different with 17N03 than what they were doing two months ago?
They have a new updated HVAC reprogram. I had it done to my Explorer. It actually solved the carbon monoxide issue in my cabin while the windows are up, but if I open them I still get elevated levels anytime I accelerate above 3500rps or climb a hill.
 






peterk9

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......... As for you smelling it in the car, that is another story. I smelled it in my mustang with all the windows up every single time after hard accel.

This is a normal condition. It's not carbon monoxide lol. That was a problem for the police trucks because they had holes drilled into the body for extra service equipment. The hard accel smell is not CO you silly people. CO is odorless and colorless. You'd be dead never having smelled anything.
The issue of smelling it (exhaust) in the cabin is what this thread is all about. It goes all the way back to 2011. Also, there are several members who have registered various levels of CO in the non police Explorers. Saying "You'd be dead never having smelled anything." is absolutely incorrect. It all depends on the concentration/level of CO that you are exposed to. Many people are exposed to CO every day in low levels in traffic or walking downtown along a heavily travelled street. The problem is not isolated to the PIU.

Peter
 






Mbrooks420

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This thread literally makes me shake my head. I'm saddened that dealers are doing anything about this, and that they are not aware as to why this happens. This is not specific to these explorers. This is a general condition that most modern vehicles have. I have posted this before, but the smell you are smelling is extra fuel being burned by the cats. Its a condition called cat over temp protection. The computer is programmed to enrichen the air fuel mixture in order to cool the cats. You are smelling the byproduct of it. This happens on the new mustangs too as well as several other models and lines. My 2017 mustang had it and so did my 2014 mustang, my 2012 and my 2004 cobra. Its doing what its supposed to do. As for you smelling it in the car, that is another story. I smelled it in my mustang with all the windows up every single time after hard accel.

This is a normal condition. It's not carbon monoxide lol. That was a problem for the police trucks because they had holes drilled into the body for extra service equipment. The hard accel smell is not CO you silly people. CO is odorless and colorless. You'd be dead never having smelled anything.
You should not smell it inside the car with the windows UP. If this is the case, excess exhaust gas is getting into the cabin. This exhaust gas is guaranteed to have CO in it. If this is totally normal explain where there are no other car manufacturer forums with 100 page threads on it, and why Ford would shell out millions to remedy it? You are simply incorrect.
 






thefranchise713

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OK, time for some level setting. Mostly my experience, take it for what it's worth...

-Ford's claim is that the carbon monoxide in every Police Interceptor Utility they've tested was due to bad upfitting. I definitely believe that's part of it.
-Ford's claim is is that the exhaust smell in the civilian vehicles is *not* carbon monoxide, and that further, that anything entering the cabin was within normal limits. There was only one exception that I know of: https://jalopnik.com/ford-offers-to-buy-back-couples-explorer-after-its-engi-1819139490 I believe this too, because...
-I've been running a passive CO detector in my car. It's never triggered.
-I've had the exhaust smell in my vehicle. My dealer spent MULTIPLE service visits fixing the smell issue before finally conquering it. That problem has been greatly reduced if not eliminated from when the car was producing a smell when lugging up a grade or on hard acceleration post repair. That problem may have been in addition to any CO entering the cabin or separate from it. I can't detect the latter. I did detect a smell, as a nuisance as opposed to a hazardous CO event.
-I really only smell "the smell" now when the vehicle in front of me is gunning it, sending its own CO into the atmosphere and, me being behind, sucking it into the cabin.

In summary:
-Are people getting CO in their cars as civilian builds? Not more or less than any other vehicle or from any other vehicle, most likely.
-Is there a smell issue with this car? Yes, it's well documented, but Ford's corrective actions are working. I've never had a car smell so rough as this one pre-fix. Maybe all cars are doing it per the cat overtemp theory, but for some reason the aero or otherwise on this one makes it more acute.

That all said, Ford didn't help itself by calling the 17N03 program "CARBON MONOXIDE CONCERNS" in OASIS. I still don't know how the lawyers permitted that one to go out.
 






Vet Rider

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Im not incorrect. The reason there are hundreds of pages about this all over the place is because the general public is completely unaware of it. And people start talking and rumors spread like wildfire on the internet in forums like this. People are running around scared they are smelling CO, when thats not the problem. I can understand why though this is not known in forums like this. Because even though you all are explorer enthusiasts, you are for sure not into cars/trucks/performance tuning as the people on say mustang forums are.

This is a very well known condition in the tuner community that is usually disabled by default when a car is custom tuned for power. This COT or cat over temp protection is one of many tricks that OEMs use to keep the car from burning to the ground, or at least sustaining damage from extreme use.

If you were to delete the cats from a mustang, there is no need for this protection to be enabled. All it would do is mess up your air fuel mixture when it kicks in. You would be able to see this in real time if you had an air fuel gauge in your explorer. I could see it in my mustang. Once the car hit third at wide open throttle, the a/f would drop from 12.5 to 10.0. Thats plain and simple the car dumping way more fuel into the mix to cool the cats. ****NEWS FLASH***** Your explorers are doing the same. And Ford is literally changing how your HVAC behaves while this condition happens in an attempt to limit the smell in the cabin. But the explorer is still doing it. Same as before the TSB.

And with all that said, again this being a regular consumer forum, I can see that this is really "The problem" you all are talking about. The smell. Not whats causing it. My points have always been whats causing the smell and that its normal. And as I said before I have smelled this in several other cars I've owned. All the way back to the late 90's. My Wife's maxima does this too same as the explorer. And shes complained about it. The dealer told her to run premium gas. Needless to say she wont be going back there for service.

So I get the 100s of pages here and in other consumer sites. Just know that there is no more CO going into your trucks than any other time you step on the gas. And if the smell bothers you, get an air freshener.

And for the record, Ford techs are idiots. They are blind, deaf and literally just part swappers nowadays. They are lucky they are still getting paid at all, let alone at the levels they do. Any idiot that knows anything about modern cars and how their fuel trims are managed, knows about COT. Hell I wish Livernois would post in here and explain it too. Maybe you all would believe them. They custom tune these trucks.
 






Mbrooks420

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No one is arguing the COT function is what causes the rotten egg smell. The arguement is that the smell shouldn't get into the car with the windows up, which is correct. If the smell is getting in, so is CO and other exhaust nasties you shouldn't be breathing.
 






Vet Rider

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No one is arguing the COT function is what causes the rotten egg smell. The arguement is that the smell shouldn't get into the car with the windows up, which is correct. If the smell is getting in, so is CO and other exhaust nasties you shouldn't be breathing.
Heres the thing. You have an open air cabin. Unless you have the recirculate option enabled, you are going to get fresh air. The rear turbulence that the roof spoiler and the rear bumper create, is going to force that exhaust under the truck and into where the air comes in. This is not new science. This is why you are not supposed to run the rear trunk/hatch open. And the same reason why the rear of my C6 Corvette is filthy after a mile of driving, when the rest of the car is clean still. That rear turbulent air is getting back to the under/front of the truck. Call it an aero design flaw, but this too is very normal. Lots of cars suffer from this. Its like a barrell rolling bunch of air right around the lower rear. And its pushing that air back under the truck. Im sure nothing will make this go away for good. Just Ford trying to seal up the under body as well as probably having the HVAC go into closed (recirc mode) under WOT (wide open throttle). Im sure it does this on its own no matter the setting on the dash, and will revert back when you let off after a few seconds. There is no way they are going to put the cats at risk of melting down over a non-harmful smell. Otherwise this TSB would truly be a recall.
 






Mbrooks420

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This actually happens DURING recirc mode.
 






96eb96

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The computer is programmed to enrichen the air fuel mixture in order to cool the cats. You are smelling the byproduct of it. This happens on the new mustangs too as well as several other models and lines. My 2017 mustang had it and so did my 2014 mustang, my 2012 and my 2004 cobra. Its doing what its supposed to do. As for you smelling it in the car, that is another story. I smelled it in my mustang with all the windows up every single time after hard accel.

This is a normal condition. It's not carbon monoxide lol. That was a problem for the police trucks because they had holes drilled into the body for extra service equipment. The hard accel smell is not CO you silly people. CO is odorless and colorless. You'd be dead never having smelled anything.

I have a 95 Continental with the DOHC and the P/O said it did it from new at WOT on a steep incline. I have the records, they replaced the cats, then told him that is the way it is, a letter from a Ford Engineer is in the notes. They said they may look into the calibration. Not a Turbo, but on WOT those engines have an IMRC that opens the extra intake ports letting in lots more air for serious power.

Maybe someone look at their fuel trims when it happens, on the Conti (which is OBD2, it gets very rich, and probably drinks gas).

I also test drove newer explorers, had a similar odor. CO is indeed odorless.
 






PrettyToughGirl

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Im not incorrect. The reason there are hundreds of pages about this all over the place is because the general public is completely unaware of it. And people start talking and rumors spread like wildfire on the internet in forums like this. People are running around scared they are smelling CO, when thats not the problem. I can understand why though this is not known in forums like this. Because even though you all are explorer enthusiasts, you are for sure not into cars/trucks/performance tuning as the people on say mustang forums are.

This is a very well known condition in the tuner community that is usually disabled by default when a car is custom tuned for power. This COT or cat over temp protection is one of many tricks that OEMs use to keep the car from burning to the ground, or at least sustaining damage from extreme use.

If you were to delete the cats from a mustang, there is no need for this protection to be enabled. All it would do is mess up your air fuel mixture when it kicks in. You would be able to see this in real time if you had an air fuel gauge in your explorer. I could see it in my mustang. Once the car hit third at wide open throttle, the a/f would drop from 12.5 to 10.0. Thats plain and simple the car dumping way more fuel into the mix to cool the cats. ****NEWS FLASH***** Your explorers are doing the same. And Ford is literally changing how your HVAC behaves while this condition happens in an attempt to limit the smell in the cabin. But the explorer is still doing it. Same as before the TSB.

And with all that said, again this being a regular consumer forum, I can see that this is really "The problem" you all are talking about. The smell. Not whats causing it. My points have always been whats causing the smell and that its normal. And as I said before I have smelled this in several other cars I've owned. All the way back to the late 90's. My Wife's maxima does this too same as the explorer. And shes complained about it. The dealer told her to run premium gas. Needless to say she wont be going back there for service.

So I get the 100s of pages here and in other consumer sites. Just know that there is no more CO going into your trucks than any other time you step on the gas. And if the smell bothers you, get an air freshener.

And for the record, Ford techs are idiots. They are blind, deaf and literally just part swappers nowadays. They are lucky they are still getting paid at all, let alone at the levels they do. Any idiot that knows anything about modern cars and how their fuel trims are managed, knows about COT. Hell I wish Livernois would post in here and explain it too. Maybe you all would believe them. They custom tune these trucks.
I'm really interested in this, but have zero mechanical knowledge. I have a 2015 Explorer with the exhaust smell and I have put a CO monitor in my car. The monitor measured levels of CO that went from 5-7 in normal driving conditions that rose up to the high 50's when I had the car in recirc. Once Ford did the reprogram of the HVAC. It eliminated the issue in recirc but I am still getting levels in the high 30's when the car is in full throttle applications with the windows open.
 






peterk9

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It eliminated the issue in recirc but I am still getting levels in the high 30's when the car is in full throttle applications with the windows open.
Do you get those high readings at full throttle with the windows closed?

Peter
 






PrettyToughGirl

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Do you get those high readings at full throttle with the windows closed?

Peter
Nope. Ford has performed all of the Tsb's and sealed the car up pretty well I guess?? But still not sure why the exhaust is being sucked in when the windows are open.
 






marksmith9

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My local ford dealer told me 2018 explorer does not have this smell issue. But I doubt it. Does anyone still have this issue with 2018 explorer? Thanks.
 






peterk9

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My local ford dealer told me 2018 explorer does not have this smell issue. But I doubt it. Does anyone still have this issue with 2018 explorer? Thanks.
Welcome to the Forum Mark.:wave:
No one here has a 2018 yet. From what I gather only a very few dealers have received them.

Peter
 






stillmarried

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Dealer finished the 17N03 service for my 2017 today, then they took it out for a test drive and they still smell exhaust in the cabin after the service. The dealer is waiting for Ford to provide additional processes. The dealer will contact me when they have an update from Ford.
 



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gypsy321

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This thread literally makes me shake my head. I'm saddened that dealers are doing anything about this, and that they are not aware as to why this happens. This is not specific to these explorers. This is a general condition that most modern vehicles have. I have posted this before, but the smell you are smelling is extra fuel being burned by the cats. Its a condition called cat over temp protection. The computer is programmed to enrichen the air fuel mixture in order to cool the cats. You are smelling the byproduct of it. This happens on the new mustangs too as well as several other models and lines. My 2017 mustang had it and so did my 2014 mustang, my 2012 and my 2004 cobra. Its doing what its supposed to do. As for you smelling it in the car, that is another story. I smelled it in my mustang with all the windows up every single time after hard accel.

This is a normal condition. It's not carbon monoxide lol. That was a problem for the police trucks because they had holes drilled into the body for extra service equipment. The hard accel smell is not CO you silly people. CO is odorless and colorless. You'd be dead never having smelled anything.


If you burn fuel by any means ...........carbon monoxide is created.............you silly person. If subjected to it long enough and at strong enough levels YOU will be DEAD
 






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