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  1. #1
    audigex's Avatar
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    "Chemical" smell inside new A3

    My car's 3 weeks old and I've (well, my girlfriend) just noticed in the last few days that there's a bit of a chemical, slightly acrid smell in the car sometimes. She first noticed it when I left her in the car to nip into Tesco for 10 minutes, engine off. Then again today I noticed it when she sat in the car for a moment while I nipped in to get a microfibre to remove some bird poo... she floated the idea that it seems to happen when she has the RNSe on without the engine, but that seemed far fetched.

    I stopped noticing it after driving for a moment, but I'm not sure whether that's due to getting used to the smell, it being pumped out/filtered once the aircon starts working, or it going away. There's nothing in the car which has spilled as far as I'm aware - I had a few bottles of wax, polish etc in the boot, but they all look fine. The car is running fine, I can't see any problems, leaks etc under the bonnet.

    I think it might just be that I've been cleaning the car more and had just used AutoGlym Car Glass Polish, so some polish or something may have gotten inside, or perhaps just the sun on new interior causing a smell, but I wanted to check whether there's anything more sinister to worry about before I spend 5 hours straight in the car over easter. Plus I'm paranoid
    Ibis White A3 Sportback Black Edition.
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  3. #2
    iamwhatiammomo's Avatar
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    excess engine movement and bad chemical smell

    Could be the coil pack? can cause this smell?

    http://forums.audiworld.com/showthread.php?t=2772875

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  4. #3
    audigex's Avatar
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    No warning lights, still drives perfectly and the engine is running fine as far as my fairly limited experience of it goes, so I wouldn't have thought it was that - although if it's potentially linked to things such as coil pack or boost, that's a concern.

    tbh I'm less bothered about potential failures - the car is under a month old so very much under warranty. My concern is more about whether the smell means anything is leaking into the cabin and potentially a health hazard.
    Last edited by audigex; 6th April 2012 at 02:32.
    Ibis White A3 Sportback Black Edition.
    2.0 TDI (170) Quattro
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  5. #4
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    Your car should be fitted with an activated carbon filter. These filters are there to remove smells. If you run the climate control and the smell disappears, then the carbon is doing it's job. Most car manufacturers today use a variety of adhesives in the car construction, so maybe it could be due to that. I would leave the car in full sun with all doors open, and let the fresh air circulate for a while. See if that improves things.
    French A3 Sportback 2006, 2.0L 140 TDI, DSG, RSN-E, Ambient lighting, Auto-lights/wipers, Reverse assist, Dolphin Grey, 17" wheels, Leather seats, Cruise control, Roof bars.

  6. #5
    pjr
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    Could it be your DPF regenerating ? When my car was new, there was a slight burning smell when the DPF went into a regen cycle - doesn't seem to be so noticeable now that the car is 18 months old - either that or I've got used to it.
    Current - 2014 VW Golf GTI (220PS) - Tornado Red
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  7. #6
    quattro81's Avatar
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    I have the same thing in my a3tfsi... It smells very much like coolant, or something similar? I thought it was only at first startup, but seems to be there occasionally at random times, even after the engine has been running for a while and is fully warmed up
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  8. #7
    audigex's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice guys - I'll keep an eye on it for a few days and see what happens. I've not noticed it in the last couple of days, so it might have been a bit of adhesive doing strange things in the nice weather or something.
    Ibis White A3 Sportback Black Edition.
    2.0 TDI (170) Quattro
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