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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 08-19-2010, 09:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Cabin air smells like.....

color crayons! My first BMW. Is this normal? It's ok for a little while, but after the A/C gets to pumping the cabin really gets to smelling like crayons. The cabin air filter was just replaced. I know old German cars used to smell like gas, and I think I'd rather smell that....than this smell!

What gives?:rof
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Old 08-19-2010, 11:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It sounds like you have a condensation problem. If you have ever looked at the air channel on the E46 with the cabin filter removed you can see the potential for water to pool up. Obviously, this creates a favorable environment for mold and nasty things to grow. My suggestion is to spray some sort of air freshener into the ducting and make sure you turn your AC off 5-10 minutes ahead of time so the air in the ducts can warm up and not sit stagnant. This way you will minimize your condensation issues.
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BimmerE39 View Post
My suggestion is to spray some sort of air freshener into the ducting and make sure you turn your AC off 5-10 minutes ahead of time so the air in the ducts can warm up and not sit stagnant.

HaHa! It's 100 everyday here in Georgia!!! That long and I'd be dead!

I'll check for that condensation. I was gonna Febreze the ducts today.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ayev8r View Post
HaHa! It's 100 everyday here in Georgia!!! That long and I'd be dead!

I'll check for that condensation. I was gonna Febreze the ducts today.
That's probably not helping either when the air outside is that much warmer. It's not all that bad though, at least you still have AC. My FSU burnt out in my car and I've been too lazy to replace it.

Febreeze would cover the smell temporarily but you might also want to spray some kind of bio static solution into the evaporator for good measure. Wurth makes a product that does this so I would look into that as well.

I also thought the condensation issue may also be caused because the drain tubes for the air conditioner evaporator may be blocked which is allowing the condensation to build up.

Best of luck!
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Or you could lay some bacon up there across the filter!
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That's like a natural smell, this is my fourth German car and they all smell the same. My two vw's and also both my bimmers. I was at the dealer ship and the new ones smell the same.

Atleast till I stink them up!
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You admit to this? My wife and I have this joke: the moon-roofis known as 'the escape hatch', and its sole purpose is to release foul smells!
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Mine smells the same. I don't even smell it anymore, but whenever someone gets in my car....first thing they say is...."it smells like crayons in here". From what I understand, its from the adhesive BMW uses for like the headliner. I've tried almost everything to get rid of it, but I think its there to stay. Mostly I smell it when its been sitting in th sun all day, I suggest parking it in a shady area or garage.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The trunk is really bad!
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I hit up the trunk and cabin with some tropical scented Febreeze tonight.
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
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lol my wife and best friend both told me my e46 smells like crayons... i thought it was just my car lol thats funny
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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My wife said that fart smell is easier to deal with. At least that goes away!!!!
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