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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
I bought a used 2011 Focus SE and it does not smell good inside the car. It smells similar to coffee but not. I found the strongest smell is from the air vents.

Usually, at the first 10 seconds of turning on the heater, there is bad smell coming out from the vents, eventually the bad smell disappears. But after 10 minutes, I don't feel very well sometimes it makes me cough. I have to turn off the heater.

Dealer told me there is no cabin air filter for that car. So, I think air duct needs to be cleaned.

I found two videoes on youtube and I am going to have a try.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q3lFsZuOnY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SokNZCZw6sc


Please advise if I need to check something else.

Thanks,
David
 

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Open the coolant reservoir (not while hot) and smell it, is that the same smell?

Does it have the vent smell when running AC?
 

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Can easily be oil leak from valve cover as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Open the coolant reservoir (not while hot) and smell it, is that the same smell?

Does it have the vent smell when running AC?
Thanks Elsolo. Not exactly the same smell as coolant. nothing is dripping on the ground.
I tried turning AC on while driving, but still felt uncomfortable.
The smell is noticeable at the first 10 seconds, after that I cannot smell it. but i guess it is diluted and built up in the car and make me uncomfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I drove the car this afternoon without turning on AC or heater.

After driving 20 minutes, I felt there was a little bit heat coming out from the middle vents on the dash. But I could not feel heat from the the side ones.

I also smell the same thing if I am very close to the middle vents. It is like plastic smell, I don't think it is burning smell. I can smell the plastic smell on driver side vent but passenger side vent. (Could this be related to cabin air intaker location?)

I opened the hood and could not find the same smell there.

When the car cold down, I notice the smell becoming bubble gum like smell. and eventually is gone.


Not sure why tiny heat coming out from the middle vents while heater is not on, this happens to my another car, so I am not surprised.
 

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Not sure why tiny heat coming out from the middle vents while heater is not on, this happens to my another car, so I am not surprised.
Probably just ram air coming in fresh air duct...especially so if system is not in Recirc mode.
 

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Hi All,
I bought a used 2011 Focus SE and it does not smell good inside the car. It smells similar to coffee but not. I found the strongest smell is from the air vents.

Usually, at the first 10 seconds of turning on the heater, there is bad smell coming out from the vents, eventually the bad smell disappears. But after 10 minutes, I don't feel very well sometimes it makes me cough. I have to turn off the heater.

Dealer told me there is no cabin air filter for that car. So, I think air duct needs to be cleaned.

I found two videoes on youtube and I am going to have a try.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q3lFsZuOnY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SokNZCZw6sc


Please advise if I need to check something else.

Thanks,
David
Hi David,

Thanks for informing. Any improvement after the air ducts were cleaned out?Send over the current odometer and any updates on this concern; I'll check resources on my end.

Nikki
Ford Service CA
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was told by the dealer it is the smell of the shampoo.
I put two odor eliminators in the car for around 10 days and it seems the smell is much better.
Thanks All for your help.
 
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