very strong sulfur smell (from catalytic converter?) [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: very strong sulfur smell (from catalytic converter?)


BoulderElement
12-01-2003, 11:54 AM
Hey all - more recently (possibly since it has been getting colder in Colorado now), I have noticed a very pungent and unpleasant sulfur smell coming from my car - especially on the right side - when I open the doors as the car is still running. Whenever I drop someone off at his or her house, especially if they are getting out from the back seat, I open the door to let the person out, and when I close the door the smell is so strong that it lingers inside of the car for the entire ride home. :shock:

Is this something that other people have noticed? I know that a certain small amount of smell is possible, since it is most likely from the catalytic converter. However, this is the strongest I have ever smelled it from any car I have been in or owned. You can even smell it from the driver's side when you get out after the car has been turned off. Whew! :roll:

Thanks for your input!

towseyfrench
12-01-2003, 12:11 PM
When I was at the dealer having my oil changed, I noticed an announcement on the service center wall indicating that the CConverter in the Element was sensitive to sulpher-heavy fuels and if you use a gas that has high sulpher content you'll smell it burning when you stop or idle the vehicle. I smell it in my Element when I use Shell gas (and many other brands) but not as much with Chevron gas. The dealer recommended I keep shopping for low-sulpher fuels if it's bothersome.

Cheers,
Jeremy

looseleaf
12-01-2003, 02:29 PM
You are right on about the smelly fumes. I have a feeling the E converter does not get warmed up for a very long time to reach peak effective zone. As its new its not necessary to get an e-check so I did not have to get it checked.

I noticed the smelly exhaust syndrome since late summer so its been there even in 80 degree weather.

If the fuel is allowed into the market, it should be usable.

brendan
12-01-2003, 02:42 PM
[quote:7b759c18c1=" "]You are right on about the smelly fumes. I have a feeling the E converter does not get warmed up for a very long time to reach peak effective zone. As its new its not necessary to get an e-check so I did not have to get it checked.[/quote:7b759c18c1]

Hmm, I didn't notice the smell at all on the long trip, but had been noticing it on the short runs. Another good reason to use my bike on the short runs instead. Though, in that case, [I] get smelly. :)

-brendan

looseleaf
12-02-2003, 12:41 PM
Brendan,

Too funny.

true4269
12-02-2003, 01:55 PM
I have been noticing this also lately... also with the onset of cooler temperatures... (and I am also in Colorado).
How do you know which fuel is low in sulphur?

BoulderElement
02-20-2004, 12:07 PM
It was faulty! I got my Element checked out early this week because of the strong sulfur smell, and they said it was malfunctioning! So they put a new one in (for free, of course, since it was under warranty), as well as a chunk of the gearshift - for an unrelated problem.

Kind of scary to think that major sections of my E were malfunctioning... but at least it's all fixed and happy now! I was thinking I might not even take it in since I assumed it was normal, but I'm certainly glad I took it in for those problems!

Anyway, just wanted to update people on that, if they've had a persistent, very sulfur-like smell emanating from their E when they open their doors with the engine running.

Bill in Houston
02-20-2004, 04:57 PM
Hey, thanks so much for the follow-up post. Better luck with the new cat...

Rage
07-02-2004, 12:23 PM
I have tried all sorts of different fuel sources and I almost always get a sulphur smell when the vehicle has been running cold, don't notice it on the highway because highway speeds seem to dissipate the sulphur smell.

Honda dealership from day one told me it was common with the Accords, too, and to try different fuels. Are they trying to avoid having to change out the catalytic converter???

Is it harmful to inhale the sulphur fumes or other emissions a faulty catalytic converter might give off?

How can I get the catalytic converter checked to see if it is working properly? The vehicle has gone through the 16,000 km maintenance check.

Does everyone notice this problem? If not then maybe I do have a faulty catalytic converter. Its going in tomorrow to get new latch and strike plate on driver side door - the door is actually loose.

I also notice the tail pipe and exhaust system make a particular vibrating rattling noise, maybe this is related? Am searching the thread for this problem, too.

I find the sulphur smell very annoying and am concerned over toxins.

Thanks, anyone

Rage

Draco
10-18-2004, 04:57 AM
I don't know about the Sulfer smell, it could very well be from high sulfer containing gasoline. But one thing I noticed going through the Quick Start Guide is that gasoline containing the additive MMT is not so good for for your emmision control system(I believe that includes the Cat. C.)
MMT is more prevalent in Canada, and less so in the States not using reformulated gasoline. If you are constantly having fuel and emmisions trouble that might be the culprit. Do some timely research on the Web.
Honda also has a site if you want to join.
good luck

suje98
10-22-2004, 03:41 PM
We bought our E 4/2004. One month into owning it my husband noticed the strong sulfur smell and also a putt-ing noise. We took it to dealer. They changed catalytic converter. Temporarily the smell was gone; but the noise remained. Took it back AGAIN. You could actually here a gurgling/thumping sound when gas cap was removed and vehicle was running. They fixed something else in the fuel line. Now the noise was gone; but the smell was back and worse. Took it back again and they told me it was the gas I was using. What I don't understand is why the other Element drivers in this area that gas up at the same gas stations I do - don't seem to have a smell. Beginning to think my Blueberry Toaster is really a lemon. Anybody have any suggestions??

brendan
10-23-2004, 08:22 PM
I noticed a lot of sulpher smells last winter, but very few in the spring. Conventional wisdom was that it was a combination of Honda's Cat. Convertor and local fuels.

-brendan

sier
11-11-2004, 02:36 PM
I just noticed the past few days that my brand new E is putting out that smell. A few of my parents cars did the same thing for as long as they owned them and they never had any problems. I suppose if the smell is constant, thats a red flag that something is wrong. But I am a little disappointed that I have to put up with that smell now from time to time.

I had a Saturn SL1 for 7 years and it never gave off that sulfer smell, but I'd take my E over that hunk of plastic anyday of the week.

LEGO MY E
11-11-2004, 11:38 PM
Sure guys... blame the cat'! :) Remember, "You smelt' it, you dealt it"!

And I'm not even going to touch Brendan's earlier post about noticing it on the short runs! ;)

lars161
11-18-2004, 09:34 PM
From Acura service news from October 2003

Rotten Egg Smell?

Could Be
the Catalytic Converter
Are customers complaining of a rotten egg smell,
but you canít find anything wrong with their
vehicles to account for it: There are no DTCs set,
no driveability problems reported, and nothing
damaged or broken? Then it could well be coming
from the catalytic converter. That smell is a release
of built-up hydrogen sulfide (H2S) from the
reaction of the organic sulfur compounds in the
gasoline with the catalyst in the converter.
Almost all gasoline contains some amount of
organic sulfur compounds, and that amount varies
by region. The more sulfur there is in the gasoline,
the more H2S is built up and released by the
catalytic converter, so the stronger the smell.
In California, where low-sulfur gasoline is actually
required by state law, sulfur smell complaints are
few and far between. Low-sulfur gasoline will be
phased in nationwide between 2004 and 2006.
This low-sulfur gasoline should go a long way
toward making complaints about a rotten egg
smell a thing of the past.

wolftails
12-19-2006, 09:37 PM
What did they replace when you brought element to dealer? I have same problem with no result from dealer. Please tell me the part they replaced so I can drive without worry - I live in very rural area and cannot get stuck here, where even cell phones do not work.

Please let me know the part that fixed the burning smell...

uukbar
12-19-2006, 10:49 PM
i have also smelled the rotten eggs. first i thought something was lingering in my seat:shock: it hasn't been consistent so i'm not sure if it is the gas i had used or my Cat (meow....). i'll just be keeping an eye...errr, nose...on it and go from there.

lizzurd
12-20-2006, 12:12 PM
What did they replace when you brought element to dealer? I have same problem with no result from dealer. Please tell me the part they replaced so I can drive without worry - I live in very rural area and cannot get stuck here, where even cell phones do not work.

Please let me know the part that fixed the burning smell...


You may not get a response from Boulder....he hasnt been on here for over 2 years.

Totin' Notes
12-20-2006, 01:29 PM
You may not get a response from Boulder....he hasnt been on here for over 2 years.

Let's see: the sudden, constant smell of sulfur. Then the guy is missing for two years.

Could it be... SATAN (http://odeo.com/audio/1979820/view)????!!!!?

- Jeff

lizzurd
12-20-2006, 01:34 PM
Let's see: the sudden, constant smell of sulfur. Then the guy is missing for two years.

Could it be... SATAN (http://odeo.com/audio/1979820/view)????!!!!?

- Jeff


I think it was from eating too many gummie worms and drinking bad tequila.

dparrothead1
12-20-2006, 02:15 PM
I think it was from eating too many gummie worms and drinking bad tequila.
That was a gummie worm???? I thought it was an agave larva!

tooljedi
12-20-2006, 05:12 PM
Let's see: the sudden, constant smell of sulfur. Then the guy is missing for two years.

Could it be... SATAN (http://odeo.com/audio/1979820/view)????!!!!?

- Jeff

The Prince of Darkness, Lucifer, Beelzebubba! Loved that SNL skit with the church lady!

uukbar
04-05-2007, 08:02 PM
hmmmm, i just had the rotten egg sulfur smell come back today. last night i had to fill up at a non ethanol free station...mine was closed :( plus, today i took my E in and had the oil changed.

i'm think it's the change in gas....coincidence???

dparrothead1
04-05-2007, 08:04 PM
hmmmm, i just had the rotten egg sulfur smell come back today. last night i had to fill up at a non ethanol free station...mine was closed :( plus, today i took my E in and had the oil changed.

i'm think it's the change in gas....coincidence???
It could be......that's what happens to my Boxer when I change her food!!!!!!

lizzurd
04-05-2007, 08:37 PM
It could be......that's what happens to my Boxer when I change her food!!!!!!


Gas seems to be a re-occuring theme here on the EOC..........

uukbar
04-06-2007, 10:34 PM
you guys....:rolleyes:

gas gas gas