2008 Prius smell

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Archer Berzins, May 11, 2021.

  1. Archer Berzins

    Archer Berzins New Member

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    Hello all,
    I recently found a great deal on a low-mileage 2008 Prius, and I pulled the trigger. So far I’m really loving it! Except for one thing...
    There is a very unpleasant smell in the car. It’s hard to describe, but it’s kind of a sweet, chemical, plastic-like smell. It reminds me slightly of cow manure. It’s bearable to ride In the car as I kind of forget about the smell, but it gets into clothes and linens and stays with me throughout the day. I’ve left the doors and windows open for a long time to hopefully get rid of it, and sprayed air freshener, but it always comes back.
    At first I thought it could be some kind of product used to detail the car, but I feel like it should’ve gone away by now. I’ve checked to see if it’s coming from the leather seats, or the ac, or an offgasing dashboard or something, but none of these areas really have the smell. It seems strongest near the battery vent in the rear passenger-side seat.
    I’ve seen a few older threads that mention this issue, but I’ve yet to find a more modern one, or any which offers a solution.
    Has anybody else had this problem and discovered a way to fix it?
    Any help is appreciated.
    Thanks!
     
  2. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    I've heard of this problem, but never actually experienced it. My understanding is the smell is coming from the rubber vent tubes that are installed along the top of the HV battery. These tubes connect all the individual module vents (28) into two lengths of rubber line that then combine to one, which then passes any vent gases out the bottom of the car at the passenger side of the battery. I've heard the only way to get rid of the smell is to replace or remove the vent tubes.
     
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  3. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    I would vote for something in the seat covers or rugs. Even if they look clean, I would shampoo them again and consider having an ozone treatment done inside the cabin.
     
  4. Archer Berzins

    Archer Berzins New Member

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    I’m pretty certain it’s not the carpet as they do not smell at all. The smell definitely comes from the battery area so this battery tube idea seems promising! Are there replacement tubes or something you can buy that won’t smell?
     
  5. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Somewhere in the middle of the Gen 3 campaign, they stopped installing them.

    This is what they look like, but I think you could get away with just removing them. At least then you could see if they are the actual source. See if the smell goes away or not.

    2004-2009 Toyota Prius Hybrid Battery Vent Tube OEM | eBay
     
  6. Moses Bruh

    Moses Bruh Member

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    Does the car have any old plastic weather mats? those tend to smell over time especially the cheaper rubbermaid kinds. I would also check your 12v battery compartment or trunk compartment for any old water pooled up (caused by leaks).
     
  7. Archer Berzins

    Archer Berzins New Member

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    No old weather mats. The smell is definitely in the battery vent. What do these vent tubes look like? Has anyone tried and figured out if it’s okay to just remove them?
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    see post #5
     
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