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Old 02-08-2013, 09:40 AM   #1
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AC / Ventilation and smell Issues Ė 2013 Camaro

Is anybody having problems with the AC system? I run the ventilation on recycling mode most of the time, however I smell outside fumes on a randomly basis and itís very annoying. My dealer hasnít found any problem yet, but I was wondering if anybody else was experiencing similar issues.

Last edited by turbopote; 02-08-2013 at 10:07 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:42 AM   #2
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Is anybody having problems with the AC system? I run the ventilation on recycling mode most of the time, however I smell outside fumes on a randomly basis and itís very annoying. My dealer hasnít found any problem yet, but I was wondering if anybody else was experiencing similar issues.
Yes I am having the same issue, but it only lasts for a quick period and not all the time so i'm sure its going to be a hard find for the dealer. The weird thing is there is no smell in the engine bay at all so I'm not sure what it could be.

I'm hoping its just a break-in thing and will go away, if it continues much longer I will head to the dealer.


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Old 02-08-2013, 09:53 AM   #3
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Yes I am having the same issue, but it only lasts for a quick period and not all the time so its going to be a hard find for the dealer. I'm hoping its just a break-in thing and will go away, if it continues much longer I will head to the dealer.


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My dealer couldn't find any problem; they had the car for 4 days and ran several diagnostics in the shop. I told them to take the car for a ride to see if they could duplicate the problem on traffic conditions, but they had no luck. They did mention there's a bulletin from GM saying that if you use the defroster, the recycling function may fail. The only temporary solution is to push the recycling button twice to force the outside ventilation inlet to close.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:59 AM   #4
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My dealer couldn't find any problem; they had the car for 4 days and ran several diagnostics in the shop. I told them to take the car for a ride to see if they could duplicate the problem on traffic conditions, but they had no luck. They did mention there's a bulletin from GM saying that if you use the defroster, the recycling function may fail. The only temporary solution is to push the recycling button twice to force the outside ventilation inlet to close.
Holy crap they had your car for 4 days? I seem to notice it more when the car is 1st started but like I said not all the time, today there was no smell at all. What do you think it smells like? Sometimes I think it's an exhaust smell but sometimes it almost smells like a burning smell.

Also you should add the word "smell" to your topic title as that may get more people with the issue to reply. I also don't think its and AC issue as it happens with the AC off, it has to be some kind of ventilation issue.

The strange thing is I have a weird sound when starting and someone mentioned the compressor, I wonder if the 2 are tied together? Maybe the compressor is doing something funny at startup that is creating a buring smell.

I'm glad you posted this so I know I'm not the only one. I'm betting there will be others.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:41 AM   #5
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Holy crap they had your car for 4 days? I seem to notice it more when the car is 1st started but like I said not all the time, today there was no smell at all. What do you think it smells like? Sometimes I think it's an exhaust smell but sometimes it almost smells like a burning smell.

Also you should add the word "smell" to your topic title as that may get more people with the issue to reply. I also don't think its and AC issue as it happens with the AC off, it has to be some kind of ventilation issue.

The strange thing is I have a weird sound when starting and someone mentioned the compressor, I wonder if the 2 are tied together? Maybe the compressor is doing something funny at startup that is creating a buring smell.

I'm glad you posted this so I know I'm not the only one. I'm betting there will be others.
I've only noticed exhaust smell so far and it only occurs when I'm driving in traffic. Although I've noticed a weird sound when I get the engine started, I couldn't confirm if both issues are related. It doesn't matter if I have the AC on, or just the fan running in cool or heater mode. Most of the driving I do is on the highway, so I don't experience bumper to bumper conditions very often; that may be the reason why is so random.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:48 AM   #6
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I've only noticed exhaust smell so far and it only occurs when I'm driving in traffic. Although I've noticed a weird sound when I get the engine started, I couldn't confirm if both issues are related. It doesn't matter if I have the AC on, or just the fan running in cool or heater mode. Most of the driving I do is on the highway, so I don't experience bumper to bumper conditions very often; that may be the reason why is so random.
Can you describe the startup sound you hear?


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Old 02-10-2013, 10:55 AM   #7
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Can you describe the startup sound you hear?


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I don't know much about engines but when I get it started the RPMs seem to increase erratically. Much like if there was an internal combustion problem.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:47 PM   #8
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Is anybody having problems with the AC system? I run the ventilation on recycling mode most of the time, however I smell outside fumes on a randomly basis and itís very annoying. My dealer hasnít found any problem yet, but I was wondering if anybody else was experiencing similar issues.

Please let us know if your dealership comes to a resolution for you. Also I can check your VIN.

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Old 02-14-2013, 11:53 PM   #9
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Yes I am having the same issue, but it only lasts for a quick period and not all the time so i'm sure its going to be a hard find for the dealer. The weird thing is there is no smell in the engine bay at all so I'm not sure what it could be.

I'm hoping its just a break-in thing and will go away, if it continues much longer I will head to the dealer.


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I has a similar problem with the a/c I noticed a couple days after I got the car the a/c wasn't as cold as I thought it should be. I asked my husband if he noticed it and he said yes but maybe because it was 103 outside? I have no clue a month later I was behind a p.u and I had the worst fumes come into the car smelled like brakes burning, and fumes. I first thought it was the car in front of me, I pulled over to give it some time opened my windows because I was literally chocking shut the air off and kept on going. It went away I never thought about it again, then it happened again and a couple days later I got a letter in the mail there is a recall on the a/c motor when I finally got my car into the dealership for the recall I no longer had a/c it blew out a horrible burning smell and a loud screeching sound. I dropped it off just for a recall got the car back with a check engine light on, donut powder all over my dash and crumbs on my floor oh and a large crack in windshield. Way to go service dept!!! A+ for trashing a brand new car I was told the reason my check engine light came on is because my sunroof needed to be reprogrammed. Really??? Do I look that stupid? I told the receptionist to get a clue before she tells me her diagnostics! I said to her in a nice way I may be a woman but I can tear down a 405 big block faster than she can put on her make up! Unless I am wrong but every mechanic that I asked said there is no way possible for the sunroof to set off the check engine light. Regardless that I said only the recall they call me to tell me I need a fuel injection flushing and I needed new brakes. I asked them who told them to go and check the fuel injectors.. the Service manager was silent I said only the recall. Well this is the problem of course they try to make money off you no matter why you bring in the car for service, they see a female and say let's take advantage of her... Not with me you won't! I told them they better fix my car and replace the windshield before the car will be back on the showroom floor through the front window! I seriously hate Chevy, Now my engine is leaking??????
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:33 AM   #10
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Is anybody having problems with the AC system? I run the ventilation on recycling mode most of the time, however I smell outside fumes on a randomly basis and itís very annoying. My dealer hasnít found any problem yet, but I was wondering if anybody else was experiencing similar issues.
I had a simialr issue where my a/c compressor was replaced I found this service bulletin below:

GM SERVICE CAMPAIGN: SEE DOCUMENT SEARCH BUTTON FOR OWNER LETTER. 2011 CAMARO. AIR CONDITIONING COMPRESSOR MAY NOT TURN ON OR OFF. THIS IS CAUSED BY THE BODY CONTROL MODULE. *RM
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:23 AM   #11
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I had a simialr issue where my a/c compressor was replaced I found this service bulletin below:

GM SERVICE CAMPAIGN: SEE DOCUMENT SEARCH BUTTON FOR OWNER LETTER. 2011 CAMARO. AIR CONDITIONING COMPRESSOR MAY NOT TURN ON OR OFF. THIS IS CAUSED BY THE BODY CONTROL MODULE. *RM
I haven't used the AC yet. I bought the car in December 2012 and it hasn't been hot yet in South Alabama. I guess I'll have to wait a few months and see what happens when I have the AC running all the time.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:05 PM   #12
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Same problem here...at first I that it was some of the labels and fluids that needed to burn off. 600 miles later still smells maybe not as bad but certainly enough for my wife to open the windows yesterday to get some fresh air. Seems to be only when the heat is on. I tried turning the heat full blast for an extended duration to accelerate any burn off to no avail. I'm not getting any fogging of the windows as you would with a bad heater core. Carpet is not wet. It's very frustrating and is ruining a otherwise great new car experience.
I'm a bit concern since my last experience with GM a 2004 and 2006 GTO with V8s had some major issues (replace engine and rear diff) although my 2011 CTS (V6) has had no issues.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:07 PM   #13
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Same problem here...at first I that it was some of the labels and fluids that needed to burn off. 600 miles later still smells maybe not as bad but certainly enough for my wife to open the windows yesterday to get some fresh air. Seems to be only when the heat is on. I tried turning the heat full blast for an extended duration to accelerate any burn off to no avail. I'm not getting any fogging of the windows as you would with a bad heater core. Carpet is not wet. It's very frustrating and is ruining a otherwise great new car experience.
I'm a bit concern since my last experience with GM a 2004 and 2006 GTO with V8s had some major issues (replace engine and rear diff) although my 2011 CTS (V6) has had no issues.
for me I get no smell when the heat or A/C is in, it's only on cool in fresh air mode.


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Old 02-27-2013, 02:13 PM   #14
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for me I get no smell when the heat or air is in, it's only on cool in fresh air mode.


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I get the smell both on heat and cool mode. I'll have to wait until temperatures rise and I can use the AC to see what happens. Very disappointing!
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:20 PM   #15
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I get the smell both on heat and cool mode. I'll have to wait until temperatures rise and I can use the AC to see what happens. Very disappointing!
Agreed, very disappointing. The car was at the dealer Monday and they are not able to find the issue, they asked me to give it a few hundred more miles to break in. Not sure that will do anything but I agreed. I can see this becoming a big problem in which I will either get GM involved or be forced to move to a competitor.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:16 PM   #16
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Agreed, very disappointing. The car was at the dealer Monday and they are not able to find the issue, they asked me to give it a few hundred more miles to break in. Not sure that will do anything but I agreed. I can see this becoming a big problem in which I will either get GM involved or be forced to move to a competitor.
A few hundred more miles?? Unbelievable, how long do the expect the car to break in? 5,000 , 10,000 miles? This doesn't appear to be an engine problem.
Mine started to show the smell with only 1,200 - 1,500 miles. My odometer reads about 4,300
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:31 PM   #17
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A few hundred more miles?? Unbelievable, how long do the expect the car to break in? 5,000 , 10,000 miles? This doesn't appear to be an engine problem.
Mine started to show the smell with only 1,200 - 1,500 miles. My odometer reads about 4,300
Interesting that is about the same amount of miles mine started.

They actually said to give it a couple thousand miles more, I'll give it a couple hundred and see what happens, I have 1900 miles now.


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Old 02-27-2013, 03:55 PM   #18
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Playing with the fresh/recycle function today and seems to be only happening from the fresh air mode. I will continue to play with it to confirm.

I had a 2006 GTO LS2 with a minor oil leak that cause a smell. GM ended up replacing the engine claiming a porous block. I hope not to go there again!
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:03 PM   #19
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Playing with the fresh/recycle function today and seems to be only happening from the fresh air mode. I will continue to play with it to confirm.

I had a 2006 GTO LS2 with a minor oil leak that cause a smell. GM ended up replacing the engine claiming a porous block. I hope not to go there again!
Exactly, when fresh air is on is when it smells. I so hope this is not some engine issue. I know a couple ZL1 guys had a smell and needed their rear main seal replaced. I am going to forward this link to my Service Manager (who has been great with my issues) to read again. I am also going to message Brandon from GM customer service to document our issue. I'd like to keep this fresh on the minds of everyone so GM can come up with a fix.


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Old 03-04-2013, 06:36 PM   #20
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nyrfan...anything new?
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Old 03-04-2013, 06:48 PM   #21
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nyrfan...anything new?
Nothing new, going to be back at the dealer sometime this week.




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Old 03-04-2013, 06:55 PM   #22
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I had an appointment for tomorrow and while driving to my office today I couldn't reproduce the smell so I canceled it. Guess what happened driving home??? SMELL!
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:15 PM   #23
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I had an appointment for tomorrow and while driving to my office today I couldn't reproduce the smell so I canceled it. Guess what happened driving home??? SMELL!
I am beginning to notice it happens based on outside temp and not engine temp. Does not happen to me in the mornings but as it sits outside in the sun all day it starts. I'm not sure what could cause that but it's like the sun / outside heat is causing something in the vents / hvac system to produce a smell.


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Old 03-16-2013, 05:11 PM   #24
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Well the smell is still there, and the dealer has not been able to fine the cause of it. Looks like I am going to have to get GM involved at some point.


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Old 03-16-2013, 06:32 PM   #25
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Sorry to hear that. I went this week to dealer...nothing found. They made it sound like it was some what common and that I should wait to see if it burns off. Have about 950 miles will bring it back at 1500 if its still there. I want the new car smell!
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