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The story of the ‘Odd Odor'

Discussion in 'E39 (1997-2003)' started by yetchtoo, Jul 11, 2009.

    yetchtoo guest

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    The story of the ‘Odd Odor’

    Last October I bought my first BMW, an extremely well maintained and beautiful '02 525i, metallic slate green. Needless to say, I love my car. However, while driving with either the sunroof open, or with a window cracked, I began to notice an odd odor. It was kind of like burnt oil, but not quite. Crayons? This smell seemed to be coming from the rear of the car and being brought forward due to the venturi effect of the open window or roof. The smell was also quite strong when I opened the trunk. It had me worried: Was the car burning oil, was the rear end leaking and burning on the exhaust system? I took it into the dealer, and got quizzical looks from the service manager. I then happened to remove the rear seat, and the odor nearly overwhelmed me. Sure enough, I had discovered the source of the smell; the sound proofing that is installed between the body and the seats. After a bit of Internet research with a couple of the BMW forums, I discovered that this material is also installed under the rear parcel shelf. Apparently, BMW wouldn't recognize the problem. Either due to bad engineering, faulty construction of the material, or environmental effects, the black rubber based soundproofing material is the cause of the odor.
    Since then, I have completely removed the offending material, and replaced it with a product called ‘Spectrum Sludge', from an outfit called Second Skin, along with a noise barrier mat placed under the rear parcel shelf panel. What a difference! Now the only odor I have in my car is the smell of leather!

    Mike Brady
    '02 525i
    • Member


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    Thanks for the information. I will have to take a look around and put my sniffer to work. Although I have not had any bad smells, yet...

    ViolinARC guest

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