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Buick Enclave Smells

tbgmontbgmon Member Posts: 5
edited September 2016 in Buick
Has anyone who owns an Enclave noticed a smell given off by the ventilation system when stopped? I took it to the dealer but they said it was 'normal' and would go away. Just wondering if anyone else had noticed this as I am not convinced it is 'normal'. Currently our Enclave only has 350 miles on it.


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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Unless the smell is blowing out of the vents (i.e., you have the fan on), I suspect it could be protective coatings "burning" off underneath the vehicle. I think the manufacturers spray oil like material on the undercarriage to keep things from rusting while the car is in transit to the dealer and some of that stuff gets on the muffler or other hot parts and bakes off.

    If that's what's happening here, the smell should fade away in a month or so.
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    tbgmontbgmon Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for the response Steve. I thought that only cars shipped over from Europe or Asia had the undercoating spray? Anyhow, there is no smell outside of the vehicle the smell is only on the inside while stopped. There is no evidence on the underbody of any leaks or anything, also the airfilter is clean as new (I thought maybe if it was pulling in some the combustion from burning oil). From what I can find it seems the only other thing it could be is a leaky valve cover. I'm going to let it run and look at it while running to see if there is any smoke or anything visible. The oil level is fine though, but I'm going to monitor it.
    I've owned a few new cars and never had one emit a smell before, so I'm just a little skeptical that it nothing. I'll give it a month and see.

    Thanks again.
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    I had the burning smell on my minivan back in '99. It was assembled in Ohio, but the drivetrain was shipped over from Japan, so who knows. The odor started fading immediately and wasn't noticeable after ~3 weeks.

    Maybe you could describe the smell a bit more - from what I'm reading through the lines, it sounds more like an oil/fluid smell instead of the interior plastics outgassing or some electrical smell.

    And is it stronger running the vent fan or A/C or defrost mode?
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    tbgmontbgmon Member Posts: 5
    It doesn't smell like plastics to me, it smells more like an oily fluid like smell. I would think that if it was plastics (i.e. interior) it would smell all the time not just when stopped. Definitely not an electrical or burnt type smell. So I am conviniced it is coming from the outside of the vehicle (maybe not exposed, but not in the passenger compartment). It seems stronger when the heat is set at a higher temp, I actually have not tried it without the vent on at all. I was going to do that today as well as let it run, confirm I can smell it inside and then look around outside to see if I can find or smell anything.
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    rjlukerjluke Member Posts: 7
    I get a strange gear oil smell when the vehicle is first started up if the vent is blowing. My AC has been out of comission for a month and I've been forced to drive with the windows down, so I haven't noticed the smell recently. The smell started after the dealer replaced the power steering pump at 49,000 miles. It seemed to get worse after they recharged teh freon just after 51,000 miles. Vehicle is ~ 54,000 miles and the smell is still there. I mentioned it to the dealer during last service, but they couldn't replicate the problem and therefore couldn't fix it.
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    unklrayunklray Member Posts: 4
    We bought a 2008 Enclave in 2011.
    It had the usual vanilla smell of the new car spray but after a few days that went away and we had this chemical smell, would give you a headache.
    Took it to the dealer and they said it was the rear AC evaporator, I believe there is a service bulletin on it.
    They cleaned and washed it and treated it but we didn't feel it helped.
    I then took a 10 quart pail of water and put a cup of bleach in it (my neighbor is a mechanic and suggested this) and poured it into the cowl vents just below the windshield behind the hood on the Outside of the car. Rain goes in there anyway. This flushes the front evaporator and kills mold. It seemed to help some.
    I alos purchase a spray that GM sells that removes odors, like Fabreese
    This help quite a bit. I installed a cabin air filter behind the glove box. They don't come with one but it is available. Didn't help.
    My wife thought the windshield wiper smelled like chemical. I had to agree. just the right one. Replaced it. helped some. It definately smelled.
    Finally we went back to the dealer Walser Chrysler in Hopkins MN. The GM agreed to Ozone treat the car. This involves keeping the car overnight, putting an Ozone generator in the car for several hours.
    The next day there was a slight Ozone smell which went away a day later and it hasn't smelled since, a year later. They didn't charge us for the treatment which I believe is about $200.
    So try the Ozone treatment is what I would say, Have no idea of the cause.
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    danson333danson333 Member Posts: 1
    I had this same exact problem in my 2012 Buick Enclave, car fume smell while my vehicle was stopped. I took my car to a Havoline Texaco oil change center and they improperly disconnected the air filter hose and tore it and didn't connect all the parts for the air filter system. They did this when they pulled my air filter to show me to try to sell me a new one. This caused fumes to be sucked into the car when it wasn't moving and the car to smell of exhaust when I was stopped. I discovered this after leaving them and wondering why I was smelling fumes in my car when I was stopped. I watched a youtube video on how to change the air filter and took a look at everything and saw the damage they had done. Have your mechanic check all the connections and hoses running from the air filter to the engine. It solved my odor problem. Very annoying, very incompetent of them. Oh well, stuff happens.
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    rpconway3rpconway3 Member Posts: 1
    Another culprit of this could be if you recently changed the battery. There is a vent hose that is connected to the battery since it is inside the car, and if dislodged or disconnected can cause the interior to have that musty smell. 
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