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      12-19-2017, 07:12 PM   #1
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Exclamation Help! Poisoning Exhaust Fumes In 2014 F30 328xi Cabin

Dangerous Exhaust Fumes entering my car.

I have a 2014, BMW 328xi with 47799 Miles in NY, NY, orig. warranty till 01/31/18 (a demo model)

Hi all.
A few month ago I noticed something weird in my BMW, which I bought in may 2017 from a Dealership in Great Neck, NY.
Sitting in my car, driving, I felt like I was being surrounded by fumes. The ones you usually only experience when you standing next to the exhaust pipe. It was weird. I thought, lets make a Service Appt and check it out. I drove to the BMW dealership of Manhattan where I made a service appointment in advance.
It only took them 2 days to tell me there is nothing wrong with my car. But I might just have allergies. Maybe pollen. For a min I thought, maybe they are right. But they weren’t.
The issue with strange fumes being in the car cabin while driving only got stronger (like someone is trying to choke you right there in your car). It just got more intense as time passed. So after I nearly passed out one day while driving (I nearly hand an accident because of it) I decided to go back to BMW of Manhattan. But again, they send me away saying nothing was wrong. So I bought a air quality test device to see for my self if Iam just making things up. But sure enough after calibrating the device in fresh air and then testing it out in my car, it went off and alarmed me of the unsafe environment Iam in. (And it does so every time when I turn it on in my car and drive for about 30min.)
You literally see how the quality of the air just goes down and the fumes rise.

So now BWW of North America orders my car back in (after I complained to them and said I almost passed out behind the wheel which almost caused an accident). BWM North America stepped in and ordered a special Inspector to look at my car. But they stressed me to bring in my own purchased air quality test device to test drive my vehicle with.
As both BMW of Manhattan and BMW of North America stated to me:
they do not have the equipment nor the knowledge to test any of their vehicles for fumes inside the cabin. I was shocked to hear that.

I asked: so what and how did you test my car with all the other times when I brought it in?
And They said: We looked at it!
And I asked: You did what?
And they: Looked at it.
I: seriously? Just looked at it? Not even ones went under it, or even took things apart like the Evaporator, Catalytic Converter ..or at least the changed the Cabin Filter?
They: No! We are not in the business of taking things apart. We wouldn’t even know what to do with it if we did. We only exchange things/parts If the car prompts us to exchange things/something.
And I(stunned): And if it doesn’t?
They: Then we don’t!
And I again: Does my car have an Air Quality/ Bad Fumes sensor?
They: NO!
I: Any BMW?
They (Guess what): No!

So anyway...When the special BMW inspector drove my car for 11 miles (only, and I tracked it), he came back and was done. I was not allowed to be present. But I was there anyway. In the dealership tracking my car. So I saw him come and go. Talking to folks bla bla bla, but working on my car? Nope. And That was the only test BMW conducted on my vehicle. A 11 miles ride.

After two weeks BMW finally came back with the official findings of the inspectors test ride. Guess What? Exactly! Nothing wrong with the car.
My Air Quality Test device rendered not consistent enough, and because I don’t have the original BMW windshield in my car, they determind by just guessing it’s probably because of that. I should replace the windshield and that should do it.
So I am thinking..seriously?!

1. You tell me no one at BMW has the knowledge when it comes to serious problems like exhaust fumes entering the car cabin. And There are not test devices at BMW’s disposable (gee just go on AMAZON. Anything from $200-$4000. Like i did) to test a customer’s vehicle for fumes like CO, NO2 and etc. But you honestly tell me you determined my AIR QUALITY TEST DEVICE (sensor for gas fumes) inconsistent? Funny. Because I thought BMW has no one who knows about this stuff. (And they still say they don’t)

2. So BMW honestly thought and still does, that driving for 11 miles will tell them everything about my car. Especially when I told them that the toxins issues I have with my car start around 30min in, and THEN just keeps getting worse.

3. It gets better: So this was supposed to be a special BMW Inspector. Coming in all the way to Manhattan from BMW HQ. looking at my car. I guess noticing that my car has an aftermarket windshield installed (HUD/RainSens) was the most scientific thing he actually did that day (11/13/17). They/He never tested the windshield if it was actually leaking air in or not. They just said they did. But I knew they were lying because I had Tape all around it to seal it off. From weeks before when I thought “mhh, maybe its the windshield”. Amd to test my thought I taped the windshield with duct tape. It never made a difference. And the tape was still on when they test drove my car. And yes, if you looked at it it looked weird and suspicious. But why did they not took it off and see if its really the windshield they were so sure about? Why saying “oh yeah we did test it. Its the windshield. You have to get it replaced. I cought BMW RED HANDED. How/ Why?:
After BMW presented me with their cost estimate for the repairs they said my car needed to fix the issue (labor $926 and the windshield itself $1245)
I searched for the Business that installed the after market windshield on my car back in may’17 when I got the car from the Great Neck Autodealer. (Not a BMW dealership). They remembered my car. They denied BMW allegations towards the windshield and their installment.

The Glass Guys said they do this every day. Multiple times. Its their business. They don’t seal windshields improperly. They would be out of business quick if they did. But even if it were glued bad, the windshield could never be the problem for an issue like Iam having.
There are other parts like the “Catalytic Converter” who could be more responsible for the car cabin exhaust fumes issue Iam facing (But As I mentioned, BMW won’t even try to go look into that. Thats not their business) ..I asked the glass business to look at my car/their (6 month old) windshield installment anyway.
Better safe than sorry, right.
They agreed and I drove (from Manhattan) to DeerPark, NY. A horrible drive. I felt soo sick during..U have no idea (on my way back, too).

But yeah.They tested my windshield for any leaks by conducting a foam/air pressure test. Nothing leaked. They resealed the windshield. Again, no leakage
into the car cabin. We documented it. They signed off on it with a report. No leakage. Glass ok.

So I contacted BMW Right away about what was found and done. I told them If I notice anything like fumes in the cabin or continue to have that strange sick-feeling-why is something chocking me- while driving back to Manhattan (2h/heavy traffic), I would have to bring the car back in. And sure enough I did. And I was turned away again..12/17/17 Case status still unknown.

MY QUESTION:
ANYBODY ELSE HAS THE SAME OR SIMILAR ISSUES WITH THEIR BMW and can share his or her story?

THX. And happy Holidays.
Best, Sid
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      12-19-2017, 07:45 PM   #2
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Honestly I cant speak on the 'right or wrong' of the dealership because I just dont have any legal documentation that can support me in saying "dealer MUST take care of you" so i dont want to blindly say something wrong. But what I do want to do is help you narrow this down if i can.

So technically, there are a few things that can lead to this situation, one of which i experienced myself with my Mazda.

1. Cat converter is starting to fail - however this wouldn't necessarily smell inside the cabin.

2. exhaust leak - slightly more likely than #1. Best bet here is throw the car on some stands, and when the car is cold, turn her on, and start running your hand from the downpipe back and see if you can feel some cold air.

3. heater core - This is where things get interesting. Remember, that when the car is in vent mode over recirc, it is sucking outside air in and this is actually done from right below the windshield (i.e. the venting at the cowl). Here is where my problems with my mazda came from. It turned out that in the winter, i was really heavy handed on my washer fluid. This, in combination with running the heat caused a strange stink inside the cabin that smelled like exhaust fumes.

As bizaare as #3 sounds, lets try to rule it out. Have you been using your washer fluid lately? Yes, it sounds stupid, but some google-fu will show that this isn't all too uncommon lol.
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      12-20-2017, 08:18 AM   #3
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My guess is fumes coming from the engine bay... maybe EGR leaking ?? I've had that issue on my 96 Mitsubishi eclipse, there was a connected to the head and it was leaking in that area. Does your climate control set to sucking air from the outside or recirculate it ? Play with those settings to see if fumes reduce...
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Last edited by Domotron; 12-20-2017 at 08:32 AM..
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      12-20-2017, 09:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paimon.soror View Post
Honestly I cant speak on the 'right or wrong' of the dealership because I just dont have any legal documentation that can support me in saying "dealer MUST take care of you" so i dont want to blindly say something wrong. But what I do want to do is help you narrow this down if i can.

So technically, there are a few things that can lead to this situation, one of which i experienced myself with my Mazda.

1. Cat converter is starting to fail - however this wouldn't necessarily smell inside the cabin.

2. exhaust leak - slightly more likely than #1. Best bet here is throw the car on some stands, and when the car is cold, turn her on, and start running your hand from the downpipe back and see if you can feel some cold air.

3. heater core - This is where things get interesting. Remember, that when the car is in vent mode over recirc, it is sucking outside air in and this is actually done from right below the windshield (i.e. the venting at the cowl). Here is where my problems with my mazda came from. It turned out that in the winter, i was really heavy handed on my washer fluid. This, in combination with running the heat caused a strange stink inside the cabin that smelled like exhaust fumes.

As bizaare as #3 sounds, lets try to rule it out. Have you been using your washer fluid lately? Yes, it sounds stupid, but some google-fu will show that this isn't all too uncommon lol.

Hi. Thx for your toughts/tips.
Unfortunately Iam not a technical guy that: like oh lets take my car apart over the weekend and my buddies garage lol. I ashamed to admit: I am just a simple consumer/driver. Who needs to rely on the original warranty the car came with and still is under. In my wildest dream I would never imagine that a company like BMW would not want to go and take its own product apart and see what is happening. I thought getting a BMW, I would also buy a type of service where I could rely that the manufacturer had my back and would make sure that as long as I do my part he always would guarantee an absolute perfect and seamless experience with its luxury product. But I was wrong. They exactly doing the opposite. At least BMW of North America is. They shaking it down like I am some weirdo customer who just mistakes being too sensitive with reacting to (bogus) dangerous toxins. Verry upsetting. And since the orig Warranty runs out end of Jan’18, I can already see where this staling behavior of theirs is going.

So yes, thx for the info where a problem might be at my car. Thats the whole point of my 1st long post. I want to collect as much input I can get. To:
1. Present it to BMW and say: hey look here. Thats what other BMW drivers think. Do u want to ignore them too?
2. Collect possible evidence to form a case against the manufacturer.
3. Brainstorm with others about possibilities we haven’t thuoght about yet. How to get rid of the problem. How to go about against BMW if need be.

I really like the idea you suggested, looking at the windshield wash fluid. But the gases that are in my cabin are oderless. I only know they are there because, after a while I feel like getting chocked, my eyes hurt, My tounge gets this weired “did I just licked a cat’s fur” sensation, My arm (mostly right side) gets a stinging pain in the upper part, my heart seems to beat irregular, I am getting headache attacks...and the Air Quality Sensor Device I bought myself (because BMW doesn’t have any such device in any of its nationwide facilities), measures the air and tells my: AIR QUALITY VERY BAD..GET THE HECK OUT OF THERE!

Hey Paimon.Soror, thx though for your comments. I really appreciate u took the time.
Best and happy Holidays, Sidney

Last edited by teamsidney; 12-20-2017 at 09:55 AM..
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      12-20-2017, 12:21 PM   #5
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Very very interesting. And I agree, this shouldn't be something you should have to dig into and sort out especially if it is a detrement to your health. And since catalysts and exhaust fumes are federally regulated, im surprised that the dealership isn't doing all they can to help you out.

My mistake on some of the things in my post. I thought the smell was a distinct 'fuel like' smell.

Wish i was more local to help lend a hand Good luck and def keep us posted.
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      12-20-2017, 12:43 PM   #6
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1. Report your issue to the NHTSA and the EPA. Neither may be able to help you, but they might. More importantly, it will then be documented outside of BMW.

2. Contact BMW in writing, preferably certified, stating the issue and the lack of support to date. Require a response with a plan to correct the issue by a date you choose (try to give them at least a couple weeks).

3. If/when you don't hear back by the response date, contact the news and explain to them in great detail how your expensive luxury car makes you sick almost every time you drive it... http://abc7ny.com/7onyourside/

I guarantee you, if 1 and 2 don't get BMW working for you, 3 will.
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      12-20-2017, 01:14 PM   #7
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The symptoms you describe sound potentially like mild CO (Carbon Monoxide) poisoning. By itself, it is ordorless and tasteless. Is your Air Quality tester capable of detecting CO? If not, you may want to see if you can find one and test that.
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      12-20-2017, 02:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uber Commuter View Post
1. Report your issue to the NHTSA and the EPA. Neither may be able to help you, but they might. More importantly, it will then be documented outside of BMW.

2. Contact BMW in writing, preferably certified, stating the issue and the lack of support to date. Require a response with a plan to correct the issue by a date you choose (try to give them at least a couple weeks).

3. If/when you don't hear back by the response date, contact the news and explain to them in great detail how your expensive luxury car makes you sick almost every time you drive it... http://abc7ny.com/7onyourside/

I guarantee you, if 1 and 2 don't get BMW working for you, 3 will.
Hi. Great Idea. Thx. Iam on it.
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      12-20-2017, 02:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion4 View Post
The symptoms you describe sound potentially like mild CO (Carbon Monoxide) poisoning. By itself, it is ordorless and tasteless. Is your Air Quality tester capable of detecting CO? If not, you may want to see if you can find one and test that.
Yes. But iam in the mids getting an even more expensive one. They actually range from $200-$4000 yikes. My first one was already 200
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      12-20-2017, 02:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paimon.soror View Post
Very very interesting. And I agree, this shouldn't be something you should have to dig into and sort out especially if it is a detrement to your health. And since catalysts and exhaust fumes are federally regulated, im surprised that the dealership isn't doing all they can to help you out.

My mistake on some of the things in my post. I thought the smell was a distinct 'fuel like' smell.

Wish i was more local to help lend a hand Good luck and def keep us posted.
Thx. Will keep u all in the loop. For sure.
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      01-12-2019, 07:55 AM   #11
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I was wondering if your problem ever got solved. I'm experiencing the same trouble. 2014 328i x drive. first trip to dealer resulted in "we didn't find anything wrong with your exhaust system and we can't smell anything. Second trip they cleaned the vent system and changed a filter. there was a chemical smell in the car for the next cpl days. and the smell is back. I need help
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      01-13-2019, 03:08 PM   #12
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teamsidney, did you place air quality sensors in one specific location or multiple locations? Vert interested in the results.
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      01-16-2019, 05:31 PM   #13
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Help I'm having the same issue in my 2016 f36. When set to A for HVAC I'm getting a heavy exhaust smell. It's making me dizzy. It dosnt happen with MAX AC or set to M. Any updates?
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      01-17-2019, 05:14 PM   #14
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exhuast smell

did you every find the cause of your exhaust smell
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      01-23-2019, 07:00 PM   #15
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So I did an hour of sniffing around. I have isolated the smell to the drivers footwell vent. All other vents seem ok. Not sure why but I get a strong exhaust odor from the drivers footwell
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      01-23-2019, 07:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiceRocketier View Post
So I did an hour of sniffing around. I have isolated the smell to the drivers footwell vent. All other vents seem ok. Not sure why but I get a strong exhaust odor from the drivers footwell
I'd have the shop foreman get under your dash and verify the smell, once verified they can check where it's coming from.

Does it happen more when the car is cold?
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      01-23-2019, 07:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 328dX View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiceRocketier View Post
So I did an hour of sniffing around. I have isolated the smell to the drivers footwell vent. All other vents seem ok. Not sure why but I get a strong exhaust odor from the drivers footwell
I'd have the shop foreman get under your dash and verify the smell, once verified they can check where it's coming from.

Does it happen more when the car is cold?
More noticeable when the engine is warm around 200 degrees. Smell is stronger when the heat is higher.
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      01-23-2019, 09:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiceRocketier View Post
More noticeable when the engine is warm around 200 degrees. Smell is stronger when the heat is higher.
Sounds like you've got an exhaust leak combined with the windshield cowl not properly sealing (something to do with the windshield replacement?) the HVAC intake
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      01-23-2019, 10:04 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 328dX View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiceRocketier View Post
More noticeable when the engine is warm around 200 degrees. Smell is stronger when the heat is higher.
Sounds like you've got an exhaust leak combined with the windshield cowl not properly sealing (something to do with the windshield replacement?) the HVAC intake
I never had the windshield replaced. I'm thinking exhaust leak. Just not sure why it would only be coming through the drivers footwell vent
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      02-02-2019, 08:29 PM   #20
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I've actually started to notice this on my vehicle, which is all original as well. But at idle with the fan on (no re-circ) and A/C off, i can smell diesel exhaust fumes ever so slightly and it's kinda concerning.
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