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BOBBYSS, Master Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 17043
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2008 Chevy: that has a very bad smell

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We have a 2008 Chevy HHR that has a very bad smell. It started just a couple of months after we got it. We bought it new. We've taken it back to the dealership several times and they can not find out what's causing it or they say they can't smell it. The odor is like the smell of wet tobacco. We don't smoke. Any ideas?
HelloCustomer is the smell inside of or outside of the vehicle?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

It is on the inside of the vehicle. We had purchased heavy duty car mats to go in it and the dealership thought that might be the problem. We told them that the smell was there before the mats. So we took them out anywat for 2 weeks and still had the same smell regardless. Doesn't seem to matter if its cold or hot outside, the smell still lingers.

Does the smell seem to be stronger after you use the a/c system?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No, it smells the same whether we run the air or the heater. Doesn't seem like it is coming from the vents though. Even sitting overnight, the smell is the same ... maybe a little stronger even, but maybe that's because we haven't been in it for awhile and have gotten used to it.
Okay. In some cases the interiors of some GM vehicles will smell. THis can usually be taken care of by the dealer cleaning the interior of the vehicle with GM odor eliminator. The other problem is with leaking body seams. If any of the body seams leak then the interior of the vehicle can become wet and start to smell. I would have this checked also.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Makes sense. I know they did put some chemical deoderizer up front, I think for the air conditioner... not sure, my husband would know. About the seam leaks, wouldn't that be noticable? Would I be able to detect that... if so, haven't seen any. Also, I have seen other posts about the HHR having "smell" problems, do you think that this is a common problem with the HHR?
I have seen this as a common problem on quite a few GM vehicles. If it was moisture intrusion you would not always notice it unless the interior got very wet. Typically the delaer would need to remove the carpet to check for this. In most cases they do not want to go through this unless the smell is extremely noticable.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I really appreciate you answers to all my questions about this issue. I do have one more. How would I go about getting the dealership to pull the carpet? I know this is troublesome for them, but for us it is an everyday event having to put up with it. For the dealership not to acknowledge there is a problem is very frustrating.
It will be hard to get this taken care of by the dealer. If they will not do this then you need to contact GM's national customer service line.
BOBBYSS, Master Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 17043
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