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2000 Silverado wax crayon like smell. I cannot get rid of it.

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My truck did not have this smell for many years. I got it new in 2000 and it used to have that nice new car smell.  I am not sure when the foul odor started but it is bad and sticks. The smell gets on my clothes and everything that has been in the truck. 10 minutes in there and I can smell it on me.  Its not antifreeze and its not a crayon a kid stuck in the vents. I am sure of all that.


So I have tried everything I can think of to get this smell to go away. New cabin air filters, cleaned carpets and seats with a carpet shampoo machine and ran an ozone generator for hours a few times. The ozone did get the odor out of the seats however it just keeps coming back especially if the truck gets hot sitting in the sun.  The odor seems to be coming from the vents. I am wondering if it is the adhesives that were used that are breaking down. I know VW used an adhesive that gives off a crayon smell when it degrades.


Have any of you had this issue and were you able to fix it?




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For odors, sometimes they are really hard to get out. What I do is: Fog the entire interior of the vehicle with Fabreeze. Interior of the windows, the head liner, under the seats, etc. Then I turn the blower on max, with the air setting on "recycle". Then I start the car and run the blower motor, while spraying a fog of Fabreeze into the HVAC air intake that is by the floor. I do this on heat, and on A/C. Then I turn off the "recycle" option and spray the fog into the air intake by the hood. Then I leave the doors shut, with the blower on hi and recycle on and let it go for 20 minutes so that the Fabreeze is being recycled through the HVAC the whole time.


This gets rid of smells, but it only works if you like smell of Fabreeze.


Another thing that can help, is window rain gutters (air deflectors). You leave all 4 windows open about an inch, every day. It really airs things out pretty well.





Edited by Supreme Pizza
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  • 2 weeks later...

I found the source of the stench! It looks like a yellow urethane foam. It is only under the carpet on the firewall. Not sure why it smells so bad as it breaks down. Never smelled foam that looks like this kind have this terrible odor. Hell I cant even wash the smell off of my hands.


Unfortunately I cant get it all out. It goes up behind the dash where I cant reach. It looks like I need to be able to get to the firewall behind the ac box to get the rest of it out.  Are there any videos showing how to get this out?





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  • 5 months later...

Please tell me that I don’t have to take things apart to get rid of the smell!! I just bought a 2001 Suburban  two days ago and thought it would air out. It is bad though. I feel like it gives me a headache. Is it toxic? I don’t want to have to turn around and try to sell it. Help!!

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  • 1 year later...

Continuing on what Smitty454 wrote, did that help? As a small time used car dealer I've owned a number of these trucks but, this is a 1st. I will add, I remember a very similar smell coming from cars of the 80s and 90s. Especially if it was something that sat in the bright sun most of its life, closed up for extended periods of time. Usually the headliners were sagging significantly and i usually attributed it to that.

Did the firewall insulation removal resolve the smell?

I was thinking it might be the foam in the headliner and was about to venture into doing a new headliner. This is my personal driver, hate to get rid if it just because I can't stand the smell.

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  • 11 months later...

Gonna drag this one out of retirement again lol.  I got my fathers 01 after he passed and the truck had an odd smell I wouldn’t say crayon but deff strong in the heat and always there.  Anyway I pulled a chunk of that foam out and it smelled just like what I’ve been smelling. Nothing else I’ve shoved my nose too has so far.  
so I’m also here to ask if this has helped? I’m planning to rip up the carpet once the new seat leather comes in and at that point I’m pulling the foam.  If no one else updates I plan to update a few days after I’m done as I assume there will be a noticeable shift in the stench once it’s gone. 

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