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U.S. Expands Probe Into Ford Explorers Over Carbon Monoxide Concerns

blwnsmoke

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More upfitter issues..

B99563072Z.1_20170809094440_000_G3H1JKOIA.1-0.jpg
 


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aznkidlee

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I drive a 2012 with 82500 miles. The only time I have noticed the exhaust smell is when I'm sitting in Boston traffic with my windows open. Knock on wood, I have set to smell anything with windows closed and AC on. This type of news gets me nervous. I purchased my 2012 Explorer brand new and it is used daily to haul the family.
 




Tom Howard

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Well put 200 hard miles on the Explorer after the TSB....... tried as hard as I could to get the smell and the co2 detector to go off..... nothing..... and last week I would have had to roll the windows down........ I'm not saying it's fixed, but in my case it seems to be so far.....

Thank you very much for your reports. I'm going to schedule mine for the TSB update. I've measured as high as 19 ppm CO along with the smell after hard acceleration.

By the way, were you really using a co2 detector or a co detector? They are often confused. CO is what you want to detect in this case.
 




1995E

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I think I have actually suffered some sort of brain damage as a result of the carbon monoxide fumes over time. I have trouble communicating and it's getting worse when I commute with the Explorer. Who else lives in the MD area? I'd like to meet with other owners and possibly get a whole private investigation going and possible litigation because Ford has known about this issue for a long time.
 




KayGee

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I've measured as high as 19 ppm CO along with the smell after hard acceleration.
What type of equipment were you using? I was looking at the Pocket CO 300, but at $149/ea, it's a little pricey to buy a few of them.

I want to get a decent battery operated CO detector with display to check all of my vehicles, but the exposure limits seem to vary greatly as to what is acceptable.

OSHA says Maximum permissible exposure in workplace is 50ppm.

EPA has set two national health protection standards for CO: a one-hour TWA of 35 PPM, and an eight-hour TWA of 9 PPM.

Kidde says "For a person to begin feeling the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, they would need to be exposed to a carbon monoxide level of 50 parts per million (PPM) for eight hours.". According to Kidde it takes 10 hours to set of their alarms at levels of 40ppm.
 




Tom Howard

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KayGee: I have a Sensorcon Inspector, and I see their website now mentions the Explorer on their home page. This is a meter with a response time of 5 seconds, which is necessary because the results from hard acceleration dissipate quickly. Like you note, a home type CO alarm (as opposed to meter), averages levels over several hours. It won't work for a quick spurt like this. I have used a meter like this for several years, testing around the water heater and furnace at home, and in several automobiles. I've never registered any CO in a vehicle except for this Explorer. The Sensorcon is the cheapest I'm aware of with acceptable response time.

I agree, different agencies list different acceptable exposure limits, but no exhaust fumes should get inside the cabin with windows up and doors closed. I've confirmed that in other cars.
 




KayGee

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I should have specified CO meter vs. detector. I looked at several meters including the Sensorcon unit you mention, which is a little better price than the Pocket CO 300.

Since all vehicles have fresh air intakes and body vents that allow outside smells (skunk/exhaust/other) to make their way into a car, I guess I assumed that there were plenty of opportunities for some levels of CO to make its way into all vehicles, especially if in heavy traffic/congestion or other areas of poor air quality.

I have also heard that cars are less susceptible to CO intrusion from rear body vents because they have a trunk separating the rear of the vehicle and cabin. I wonder if things change when rear seats are folded down and the trunk is exposed to the passenger cabin. I guess I'll have to do some tests on all of my vehicles when I get my meter.

What kind of readings were you seeing after hard acceleration and how quickly did it dissipate? Did your meter provide total and average exposure over a longer time period of driving? If so, what kind of total and average results did you find after some longer periods of driving.
 




Sixonemale

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What type of equipment were you using? I was looking at the Pocket CO 300, but at $149/ea, it's a little pricey to buy a few of them.

I want to get a decent battery operated CO detector with display to check all of my vehicles, but the exposure limits seem to vary greatly as to what is acceptable.

OSHA says Maximum permissible exposure in workplace is 50ppm.

EPA has set two national health protection standards for CO: a one-hour TWA of 35 PPM, and an eight-hour TWA of 9 PPM.

Kidde says "For a person to begin feeling the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, they would need to be exposed to a carbon monoxide level of 50 parts per million (PPM) for eight hours.". According to Kidde it takes 10 hours to set of their alarms at levels of 40ppm.

In the following video they measured 9 PPM in front and 30 PPM in back once the Explorer went over 40 MPH:

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/l...Making-Them-Sick_Washington-DC-443133203.html

There is unquestionably a problem that has been overlooked for six years and needs to be globally addressed IMO.
 




Tom Howard

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KayGee> "What kind of readings were you seeing after hard acceleration and how quickly did it dissipate? Did your meter provide total and average exposure over a longer time period of driving? If so, what kind of total and average results did you find after some longer periods of driving."

The highest I have seen is 19 ppm. It takes several minute to dissipate. Sometimes there's no smell or CO after hard acceleration. I always have the climate control on auto. The meter has a max mode to keep the highest reading in the display, but no total or average functions. I see maybe 5 ppm sometimes under normal driving, but usually 0 to 3. The meter is accurate to about +/- 5 ppm, so that doesn't necessarily mean there's CO, but I have used it in other cars and never saw anything but zero.
 




4ksk416

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Does anyone know what are the acceptable PPM readings inside a vehicle when being driven? I am about to purchase a CO Pocket Meter and would like to know. Thanks.
 




KayGee

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The highest I have seen is 19 ppm. It takes several minute to dissipate. Sometimes there's no smell or CO after hard acceleration. I always have the climate control on auto. The meter has a max mode to keep the highest reading in the display, but no total or average functions. I see maybe 5 ppm sometimes under normal driving, but usually 0 to 3. The meter is accurate to about +/- 5 ppm, so that doesn't necessarily mean there's CO, but I have used it in other cars and never saw anything but zero.
Do you recall any of the readings from your home furnace or water heater? Have you directly measured CO levels at the tailpipe or near streets with varying levels of traffic for an idea of the CO levels you may be exposed to throughout your day for comparison purposes?

Does anyone know what are the acceptable PPM readings inside a vehicle when being driven? I am about to purchase a CO Pocket Meter and would like to know. Thanks.
I would think it would vary greatly depending on what traffic conditions are, what outside air quality is like, and other factors. If you are in stop and go, rush hour traffic in an area with air quality issues and the HVAC system is pulling in fresh air, I would expect it to be worse than being in a rural setting with good air quality. My meter is supposed to arrive in a few days and I'll be running some tests around my house, workplace, all of my vehicles and when I'm out and about to see what kind of readings I get.
 




peterk9

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Does anyone know what are the acceptable PPM readings inside a vehicle when being driven? I am about to purchase a CO Pocket Meter and would like to know. Thanks.
Welcome to the Forum.:wave:
I know that it has been discussed in the forum but it can also be easily found by doing an Internet search. That is how I initially found it.

Peter
 




Tom Howard

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Do you recall any of the readings from your home furnace or water heater? Have you directly measured CO levels at the tailpipe or near streets with varying levels of traffic for an idea of the CO levels you may be exposed to throughout your day for comparison purposes?

I got zero at my furnace and water heater. They have exhaust stacks so should be zero. I have measured CO in the garage after I started a car (garage door open) and got around 30 ppm.
 




KayGee

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I got zero at my furnace and water heater. They have exhaust stacks so should be zero. I have measured CO in the garage after I started a car (garage door open) and got around 30 ppm.
Assuming there aren't any issues, I hope my furnace/water heater are also 0 or very close to it. My furnace had developed some flame rollout issues likely due to a cracked heat exchanger, so it was replaced not long ago with a new one, but it hasn't been tested.

I guess where I was going with things was that if I can expect to be exposed to varying CO levels on a daily basis because:
of my proximity to cars that are started/idling (garage or parking lot)
I am around a campfire or cooking on a gas grill or gas stove
I am boating/tubing/etc...
I am cutting the grass or using other gas powered lawn equipment
I am exposed to other sources of CO, like being around smokers or a smoking area

I guess I'm not sure what levels of CO I may be exposed to in a given day or for how long, so hopefully I will find out when my meter arrives and see if any of my vehicles are adding that exposure level/time. I don't typically accelerate hard or WOT at all, so I hope CO levels in my vehicles are low/close to 0 for the majority of my driving.

If it turns out that any of my vehicles are regularly emitting higher levels of CO (say 9-30ppm or more) and occupants are being exposed for long enough durations to cause issues, or I find out that any other daily activities are exposing me to more CO than I'd like, than I will be concerned. Hopefully my meter shows up on schedule so I can do some testing in my vehicles, home, work, etc... to see if I have any issues that need to be addressed.
 




peterk9

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Does anyone know what are the acceptable PPM readings inside a vehicle when being driven? I am about to purchase a CO Pocket Meter and would like to know. Thanks.

The CO level inside a vehicle should be no more than outside, which is usually <1ppm except in heavy traffic, tunnels or garages when the air around your vehicle may have 5-35 ppm.

You cannot rely on EPA's average outdoor limits of 9 ppm over 8 hours and 35 ppm over 1 hour because these were set in 1971, before catalytic converters, when the actual 8-hour and 1-hour CO levels in most cities were HIGHER.

As a result, non-smokers living in cities in the 1970s were much better habituated and more tolerant of CO--as smokers still are--compared to non-smokers today who are habituated to only 1 or 2 ppm in ambient air, and so much more likely to suffer symptoms from repeated exposures in the 9 to 35 ppm range. People start absorbing CO as soon as the level they inhale exceeds the level they exhale. (CO exposures below the level you exhale may still be absorbed via your skin, eyes, nose, and ears, just not via your lungs.)
 




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Remember, untreated carbon monoxide (parts per million) from exhaust leaks before treatment of the catalytic converter is about 30 times greater or so than those concentrations after treatment of the catalytic converter. It very well could be a combination of both tail pipe exhaust as well as exhaust from manifold leaks, certainly not sure. Like I said I'm going to let this play itself out now that the experts are working on it.

I agree that CO may be leaking from a cracked manifold or just from the tailpipe, but either way it is entering the vehicle via the many holes and seams that Ford left unsealed around the rear end and underbody.

if the CO leak is at the manifold prior to the catalytic converter, the CO level is typically 100 times higher (from 20,000 to 50,000ppm, or 2-5%), compared to under 200ppm when the catalytic converter is working properly. But depending on conditions (worse under cold start, for example), untreated exhaust can have over 1000x more CO.
 




KayGee

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...either way it is entering the vehicle via the many holes and seams that Ford left unsealed around the rear end and underbody.
My only issue with your hypothesis is that, although it is possible for vehicles to have QC issues, the probability of that happening over tens of thousands or hundreds of thousand of vehicles over several years has to be statistically low. If it isn't, then one would think the issue would appear in other Ford vehicles using similar assembly procedures/components/materials, and even at other manufacturers.
 


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My only issue with your hypothesis is that, although it is possible for vehicles to have QC issues, the probability of that happening over tens of thousands or hundreds of thousand of vehicles over several years has to be statistically low. If it isn't, then one would think the issue would appear in other Ford vehicles using similar assembly procedures/components/materials, and even at other manufacturers.

You would think Ford would have fixed such obvious design and assembly flaws sooner, but what if Ford deliberately made the choice not to in the early years (before the NHTSA investigation opened) as the result of some cost benefit analysis?

Sealing seams and holes correctly takes a lot of human time (especially if pressure tested afterwards) and this makes it expensive.

That Ford still has not equipped its dealers with CO detectors is proof that it is not trying very hard to find and fix the problem
 




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