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I have a 1993 900 convertible that has an odor within the car (though not on the outside). My girlfriend thinks it smells like gas or exhaust and doesn't want to ride in the car because it gives her a headache. I have gotten used to it -killed enough brain cells - but would really like to have her company in the car with me from time to time (really the more the better).

The question is: Where is this smell coming from and how can I get rid of it (really get rid of it, not just mask it with an air freshener!)!?

Another interesting fact for everyone is that I had an '89 900 convertible before this one with the same gas/exhaust/not-quite-describable smell. My '93 is an automatic S and my '89 was a standard turbo if that helps.
 

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I have a 1993 900 convertible that has an odor within the car (though not on the outside). My girlfriend thinks it smells like gas or exhaust and doesn't want to ride in the car because it gives her a headache. I have gotten used to it -killed enough brain cells - but would really like to have her company in the car with me from time to time (really the more the better).

The question is: Where is this smell coming from and how can I get rid of it (really get rid of it, not just mask it with an air freshener!)!?

Another interesting fact for everyone is that I had an '89 900 convertible before this one with the same gas/exhaust/not-quite-describable smell. My '93 is an automatic S and my '89 was a standard turbo if that helps.
Does your car have a smell of fresh fuel at any time? That indicates a fuel leak somewhere in the system. Check the fuel pump and fuel level senders are correctly seated and sealed in the tank (under trunk floor) Sometimes a leaking fuel filter (under the car) can cause a fuel smell when driving. The fuel filters rust out over time if exposed to salty roads etc.

The evaporative system has lines that run from the fuel tank to the engine bay charcoal canister etc. These lines are under the carpet, I've never known them to break but if they have you could be getting fuel vapours in the cabin?

A lot of these really require some decent investigation. If it doesn't smell like fresh fuel but burnt fuel consider a leaking exhaust manifold/turbo flanges etc, the fumes could theoretically get sucked in through the evap housing in the engine bay.

In short
- check for leaking fuel tank
- check fuel filter and fuel lines under vehicle
- check engine bay for leaking fuel lines/disconnected evap canister lines
 

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Unfortuneately, the later years MY90(?) on, the tanks have a trait of cracking and weeping/leaking.
 

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Branching away from Fuel smells ( which may be spot on , but One I think most would pick up ) ... and focussing on the fact that both cars are/were Verts ....

The undelay noise deaden er will hold moisture for an incredibly long time ... and even roofs in excellent condition will allow some rain/moisture if exposed to heavy falls .. damp conditions .

Lift the back carpet behind your drivers seat and feel if the foam is damp...
 

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All the Saabs I've ever had, had a kind of smell... mind you my 900 vert does smell a little gassy I am told.
 

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I got in my 900 yesterday after 2 weeks in the garage and the smell was intense, not a bad smell, but leather and wood and age. (the wood smell may come from the logs I have in there too, not in the car but the garage:p)

Unless it is fuel/exhaust gas then it is a glorious smell, give her a slap and tell her to stop moaning;ol;
 

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I can point you to a problem I had for years with my 1985 16vT.
I could smell exhaust gas especially on the 'overrun', made my girlfriend sick but I got used to it!
I looked everywhere but it was not until I removed the inlet manifold (for a head gasket change) that I realized that the EGR system under the inlet was blocked with carbon, the EGR valve had rotted out and the gas that should be recycled into the exhaust was leaking under the bonnet and out into any open window or open roof...I completely sealed off the system with a plate under the inlet manifold and a bolt in the exhaust manifold. and never had a problem after this.
 

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does this smell occur at all after the window wash has been activated as stale screen wash stinks like anything and it's only released obviously when you wash the screen but you wonder where the smell has come from till the penny drops one day;ol;
 

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Mine had a heavy fuel smell when I first got it and it turned out to be the charcoal canister behind the left front headlight. It was heavy with fuel and I changed it out and all was good.
 

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Is the smell stronger if you have a full tank of fuel? Or after a bit of hard cornering? Mine was, and it turned out to be some fine cracks in the fuel tank that I had to get plastic welded up. With a full tank, park on a hill with the front of your car facing downhill and have a look under to see if any fuel is dripping out. Mine leaked considerably
 

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Mine used to smell funny as well it turned out to be the exhaust manifold to down pipe joint was leaking slightly had it refitted and it cured the smell, maybe worth a look.


Rob
 

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There is a plate for the ventilation duct in the firewall RHS. This takes the pollen filter or the AC evaporator. If the plate or the AC evap is not sealed properly with the correct gasket smells can leak in here from the engine compartment.
 
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