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Discussion Starter #1
Odors problem has been bothering me since the first day I sit in the car.
Everyday I have to commute 100km round trip to work, big trucks are around me most of my time on road.
When a truck is ahead of me, I can smell its diesel exhaust even I always keep recirculation turned on before I left my home.

I read through user manual and found a configuration that I am sure recirculation should be always on, not a chance for the climate system to turn it off for any season(e.g., defog).

1. Auto Off
2. Auto Defog Off
3. Recirculation On

Yet, I am still smelling those carsick smell everyday.:mad:

I went to a dealership to have this checked.
They turned fan to max power and played with recirculation button.
Fan sounded different when the button is on and off. So they said the door is working.
I still insisted them to check the door, after 2 hours, they said door is no problem, and according to their technical document, there is still 10%-15% outside air would be ventilated in.

I don't have this problem with other cars(VW Tiguan, VW Golf), recirculation keep outside smell out well.

Are they right about the recirculation design in Volt gen 2? or there is something wrong with my Volt?

If this is normal situation in Volt gen 2 would a high quality cabin filter such as FRAM CF11966 help ?
 

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Is there a filter installed in the A/C duct-work? Did you check it? Maybe put in a better one?
 

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I believe recirc still brings in a certain amount of outside air and although a good quality air filter will help you won't eliminate it entirely. If you get behind a smoke belching diesel ICE vehicle you're going to smell it in my experience.If you didn't bring in any outside air you would suffocate after a time...
 

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Is there a filter installed in the A/C duct-work? Did you check it? Maybe put in a better one?
Is there no filter installed in the Gen 2 like the Gen 1?

To the OP... With the Gen 1 Volt, I find a lot less smell with recirculation OFF. I find the A/C condenses into the line with Recirculation on, and that causes some odors when the car starts back up. Of course, if the smell is truly something outside that you smell when you exit your car, then I can see why you're trying to have recirculation on.

I also installed a filter in the filter holder behind the glove compartment, on the Gen 1 it doesn't come with one installed. Not sure about Gen 2.
 

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Is there a filter installed in the A/C duct-work? Did you check it? Maybe put in a better one?
Some filters have activated charcoal to reduce chemical type smells.
 

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No.
The idea of keeping some fresh air coming in when in recirc is to make sure there is always a positive pressure/air flow through the HVAC system and out the rear vents.
This is so no possible ingress openings bring in exhaust fumes.
It's a federal thing. I think it might even have a spec, like 10% outside air at all times.
 

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No.
The idea of keeping some fresh air coming in when in recirc is to make sure there is always a positive pressure/air flow through the HVAC system and out the rear vents.
This is so no possible ingress openings bring in exhaust fumes.
It's a federal thing. I think it might even have a spec, like 10% outside air at all times.
Probably a spec about the airflow ratio of outside to inside air. If that's too low, your passengers will give each other carbon dioxide poisoning ;)
 

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In an EV I notice the smells of others' exhaust because I don't make any exhaust to mask it
 

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In an EV I notice the smells of others' exhaust because I don't make any exhaust to mask it
The other day I started my car with the app while it was parked in my office's garage. I went out to the garage and was like "jeez, what's that awful smell?!" and then realized that my battery had reached empty during the remote start cycle and it was my car's exhaust I was smelling. *sigh*...
 

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I thought all cars allowed 10% fresh air, on the recirc setting. If I were the OP, I'd turn off the HVAC so that the fan didn't run at all until the diesel area was passed.
 

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I deal with this issue because I mostly drive highway (in the right lane grrr) and get smoked by some belchy diesel beasts.

While the recirc brings in much less odor, it also KEEPS a bad smell for longer, too. To rid the smell, get away from the belcher and open your windows to clear it out once fresh air is in front of you. You could also crack a window, turn the recirc off, and max fan for a minute.

Outside of installing a charcoal activated filter, this is the only solution. We're driving a car, not a hermetically sealed submarine.
 

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...Outside of installing a charcoal activated filter, this is the only solution. We're driving a car, not a hermetically sealed submarine.
And the odor/fume absorbing properties of a charcoal filter has a limited lifetime/capacity.
After X amount of time in service (days,weeks, maybe a month?) a charcoal filter turns into an ordinary filter.

Only the Golden Nose knows....
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all inputs, I know I am not driving a sealed submarine, but it is bothersome especially when there is no such problem with my another car.

I guess maybe the filer comes with Gen2 doesn't have activated charcoal layer to filter out odors, or it does, just performance is not good enough for my driving condition.

I have ordered a FRAM filter to see if it can make any difference.

ps.to caskConditionedAle, I believe you will have a different reply if your child ( if you have any) has asthma and has ever had asthma attack when you are driving with him. I hope I can get advice/help from experienced volt owner like you, not a taunt with my problem.
 

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Good luck with the FRAM filter. Sadly, in this day and age, a rescue inhaler is a must for asthma and allergy sufferers, as I'm sure you already know.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
thanks quirkySquirt I will update how it goes with FRAM filter. Hope it is worth the price.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Got the FRAM filter and replaced.

the old filter is very dirty after 15,000 KM.
IMG_1651-600.jpg

I think it was pushed too hard at installation and caused hole. Filter frame around the hole is dirty too.
Partial outside air went into cabin without being filtered.
IMG_1655-400.jpg

Here is new filter, it looks a little grey because of activated charcoal layer.
IMG_1658-600.jpg

new filter vs. old one.
IMG_1659-600.jpg

after installation
IMG_1662-600.jpg


Hope it will fix my problem!:cool:
 
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