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RX-330 Sulfur Smell Danger

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Old 04-19-05, 08:12 PM   #1
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Exclamation RX-330 Sulfur Smell Danger

I read about some members smelling the rotten egg, or sulfur smell, which is sulfur dioxide, a by-product of the catalytic convertor. This normally happens when the convertor is overloaded. Now since it IS an exhaust component, this means exhaust is being sucked into the cabin area along with the more deadly carbon monoxide (CO) which does NOT have an odor. This means we are probably breathing CO all the time. My theory is that the aerodynamics of the car creates a vacuum around the rear cargo door and exhaust is being sucked back in around the door as it does not seal that tight (witness the road noise coming in around it), or it is being sucked back in the rear "flow-thru" vents. You older guys will remember the warnings about driving with the rear window down on a station wagon because the vacuum created by airflow over the vehicle could suck in exhaust from the rear. That is why many had the exhaust pipe turned to exit at the rear side of the vehicle - not directly to the rear like the RX. There is a real safety issue here as you should NEVER smell exhaust components inside the vehicle. I, like others, also have this problem, so I make sure to always leave my vent open rather than recycle. Any thoughts out there?
Oliver
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Old 04-20-05, 10:14 AM   #2
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hey oliver,

You know I never had that problem since I bought my 2005 Rx330. Interesting though.....
Is it only certain models?
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Old 04-20-05, 10:49 AM   #3
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Not sure about other models than the RX, but I've read mostly of 2004 RX-330's with this problem. My rear hatch door does close completely, but if I sit back there (and my wife drives) I can hear a lot of road noise from that area. I do know that the front door windows leak noise and you can slighlty lower them to eliminate it as the window distorts the gasket, but that is not where the fumes are getting in.
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Old 04-20-05, 10:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oseidler
I read about some members smelling the rotten egg, or sulfur smell, ........ I, like others, also have this problem, so I make sure to always leave my vent open rather than recycle. Any thoughts out there?
Oliver
I don't recall any other member reporting this issue. Anyway, just take it to your dealer and check for leaks in the exhaust system.
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Old 04-20-05, 10:56 AM   #5
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Try this thread as one of many if you search sulfur. Seems to be very common and dealers write it off as bad gasoline.

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/show...ghlight=sulfur
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Old 04-20-05, 01:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oseidler
Not sure about other models than the RX, but I've read mostly of 2004 RX-330's with this problem. My rear hatch door does close completely, but if I sit back there (and my wife drives) I can hear a lot of road noise from that area. I do know that the front door windows leak noise and you can slighlty lower them to eliminate it as the window distorts the gasket, but that is not where the fumes are getting in.
Oliver
Well, maybe they fixed it on the 2005 model. I don't hear any road noise. I often think this car is too quiet!.
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Old 04-20-05, 04:42 PM   #7
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Once in awhile, maybe every 2 weeks, I will catch the same smell. It seems like it is when I come to a stop. Almost like the fumes are pushed towards the car from behind.

As for other posters and car noise, my new 2005 RX330 is a loud windy, road-noisy car. A Mazda Miata with the top down is quieter than this car.
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Old 04-20-05, 06:30 PM   #8
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I agree on the wind, and road, noise. It is far higher during Interstate driving than the 2001 Toyota Tundra I traded for the RX. Lexus' answer: it's an SUV, not a car, and SUV's are inherently noisy. Great answer for a $40k vehicle. As a 27 year Toyota owner, I have really been shocked at the Lexus attitude - it is more of what I would expect from GM or Ford. Sometimes I wonder if Lexus really is a part of Toyota, as I have had excellent response and service from Toyota. I know my next car, truck, or SUV will be a Toyota - not Lexus.
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Old 04-20-05, 06:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oseidler
I read about some members smelling the rotten egg, or sulfur smell, which is sulfur dioxide, a by-product of the catalytic convertor.
I have this only if I really push the engine (5-6K rpm).
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Old 04-20-05, 10:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oseidler
Try this thread as one of many if you search sulfur. Seems to be very common and dealers write it off as bad gasoline.

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/show...ghlight=sulfur
Boy, that's about a year ago. Can't believe it's still going on. Agree that this is typical Ford & GM issue, should not happen to Lexus and Toyota. The dealer's attitude didn't help, either.

The more I read about RX330 problems, the more I appreciate my RX300.
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Old 04-21-05, 05:36 AM   #11
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That "rotten egg" smell is hydrogen sulfide, an exhaust product created from small amounts of sulfur in your fuel. Try changing brands of gas if the problem persists - but that may only be treating the symptom. Check your liftgate seals. You might consider having your cat converter checked for proper temperature and operation. If the problem were caused by mixture, you would have probably have gotten a cel warning, likely from an O2 sensor.

Check to be sure your liftgate is closing properly against the seals. Try the old trick of closing the 'gate on a dollar bill and trying to pull the bill out through the seal. If the bill comes out relatively easily, is a good indication that it is not closing and sealing properly. Try this test several times - especially near the bottom of the liftgate, near the bumper. If the motorized pull-down is improperly adjusted, or is not working, you can get exhaust into the cabin - and that's dangerous.

H2S is an extremely poisonous gas, common in oil and gas drilling, refineries, sewers, and anywhere decomposition with limited ventilation is taking place. It stinks, but it is nothing to fool around with. Your nose is very sensitive to H2S, detecting concentrations as low as .005 parts per million (PPM). You may experience itching, watery eyes, and a cough that serves to bring in additional gas. Here's where it can be dangerous: your nose is quickly desensitized as concentrations reach 100 PPM - you think the smell has gone, but at this level, extended exposure will probably produce headaches; at increasing concentrations, around 250 PPM H2S causes unconsciousness and at 500 PPM, respiratory arrest. In industrial situations, death can arrive with your second breath.

You are not likely to experience these high concentrations of H2S in your car, but H2S combined with carbon monoxide (CO) can quickly cause light-headness, loss of concentration, and eventually unconsciousness. With an engine producing unusual levels of CO an H2S, a leaky liftgate, and just the right combination of wind and humidity, you could find yourself in a dangerous situation where your judgement and motor responses are impaired and an accident becomes a high probability. Exhaust gases are nothing to ignore, get their source and cabin entry point checked by a good mechanic right away.
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Old 04-21-05, 05:55 AM   #12
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I definitely understand the dangers, but this problem appears to be widespread plus I understand a few complaints have been lodged with the NHTSA; and it seems it is not being taken seriously. Just blamed on the fuel you use. So it's OK if the fumes leak in if they don't smell bad?
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Old 04-21-05, 03:46 PM   #13
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As new fuel regulations come to life in 2007, this "problem" will dissapear. Right now, US is using some of the worst fuel on sale in the world today, with crazy amounts of sulfur in the fuel.

Reason why everyone is dismissing it is because by law, fuel stations are not required to use better fuel. That will all change in 2007 when much stricter gas regulations will regulate bad gas much better. Due to high pressure from oil industry (hello mr. president), US gas is now much worse than European gas.

Only way to fix this is to change your gas station and use better brands.
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Old 04-21-05, 03:58 PM   #14
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EVERY TIME I COME BEHIND AN RX330 On THE highway, i smell that ROTTEN EGG Smell! We have an RX330 also, and I say blame Lexus for using a crappy catalytic converter because Sulfer dioxide is harmful for you. I am upset about this, and all RX330 stink at high speed or accelerating.
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Old 04-21-05, 09:15 PM   #15
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in another thread, rxdriver wrote about a couple of recalls that affected certain 04 RX330s - mine was not included in the vin range, but one of them had something to do with the catalytic converter. i don't know anything about mechanics at all, but is it possible that yours is included in this recall?

i have never smelled any sulfur, but i also usually use recirculated air, not outside. is it really strong, or just faint? i haven't noticed it either in the SC or GS.
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Old 04-21-05, 09:15 PM
 
 
 
 
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2004, car, cayenne, danger, egg, eliminating, exhaust, lexus, odor, porsche, prius, rotten, smell, sulfer, sulfur, sulpher

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