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Unread 01-29-2014, 03:26 PM   #1
egrande25
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Providence, RI
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Please help! Strong plastic/chemical smell - caused by exhaust problem?

Hi all,

I have an '08 Grand Cherokee Laredo, 3.7L V6 with 74,000 miles on it. Recently the exhaust/muffler have been getting loud, and during my state inspection the guy said it would probably need a new muffler/pipe in the next few months. That was about a month ago. Since then there has been an on-and-off horrible plastic/chemical smell in the cabin some of the time. My wife drives it about an hour to work each way, and she says sometimes it gets so bad she has to open the windows (in 20 degree temps....) or she gets a headache. I checked all underneath but saw no plastic bags or anything else odd. Nothing unusual under the hood. No visible smoke. I have an appointment in two days to have the exhaust fixed. My question is - is there any way this weird smell could be exhaust related? I am hoping so, because otherwise it's a total mystery. It's definitely not an "exhaust" smell as I know it.

Thank you!!!

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Unread 01-29-2014, 03:32 PM   #2
Jaashua
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It's probably the coolant smell.
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Unread 01-29-2014, 03:48 PM   #3
egrande25
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As in leaking coolant?
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Unread 01-29-2014, 04:16 PM   #4
yzjwk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egrande25 View Post
Hi all,

I have an '08 Grand Cherokee Laredo, 3.7L V6 with 74,000 miles on it. Recently the exhaust/muffler have been getting loud, and during my state inspection the guy said it would probably need a new muffler/pipe in the next few months. That was about a month ago. Since then there has been an on-and-off horrible plastic/chemical smell in the cabin some of the time. My wife drives it about an hour to work each way, and she says sometimes it gets so bad she has to open the windows (in 20 degree temps....) or she gets a headache. I checked all underneath but saw no plastic bags or anything else odd. Nothing unusual under the hood. No visible smoke. I have an appointment in two days to have the exhaust fixed. My question is - is there any way this weird smell could be exhaust related? I am hoping so, because otherwise it's a total mystery. It's definitely not an "exhaust" smell as I know it.

Thank you!!!
The transmission cooler lines have been known to leak atf . If it drips into the splash pan it can slowly build up or mix with water to where the wind moves it out the back of the pan and on to the hot exhaust/cats . That's got a pretty nast smell as you describe and it's close enough to be sucked into the fresh air intake .
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Unread 01-29-2014, 04:48 PM   #5
tom19511
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The smell could be what yzjwk or Joshua says. Also it could be pre converter gasses.
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Unread 01-29-2014, 05:20 PM   #6
jjt250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yzjwk View Post
The transmission cooler lines have been known to leak atf . If it drips into the splash pan it can slowly build up or mix with water to where the wind moves it out the back of the pan and on to the hot exhaust/cats . That's got a pretty nast smell as you describe and it's close enough to be sucked into the fresh air intake .
Isn't that problem with the 545RFE transmission?
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Unread 01-29-2014, 06:12 PM   #7
egrande25
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I put my wife through this because she deserves it.

No, you ***, it has not been terribly bad until this week, and I made an appointment right away.

And, TBH, it's "I wouldn't have" not "I wouldn't of".

Other folks, thanks for the actual info. I'll ask the mechanic to look for coolant issues.
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Unread 01-29-2014, 07:09 PM   #8
yzjwk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjt250 View Post
Isn't that problem with the 545RFE transmission?
I may be wrong , but i thought even the nag1 had transmission cooler lines going to the radiator .
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