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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old December 13th, 2005, 05:04   #1
jj_233
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Default 2001 Jetta Crayon Odor

Just bought a used Jetta TDI a couple weeks ago. It had been detailed and smelled fine when I took it for a test drive, but 20 minutes into the drive home I noticed a noxious smell best described as "melted crayon" and it's gotten progressively worse since them. It is to the point now where I get a headache within a few minutes of getting in the thing.

After researching the issue on the web, it seems the consensus is this is caused by defective soundabsorbing material and very expensive to fix. I've contacted the used car dealer, but he has been of no help. Also contacted VWoA and they will not help because the car is used and has no warrenty.

I feel like this is a serious problem VW should address. A manufacturing defect is making me physically ill everytime I drive my car. I'm interested in getting this fixed, but I don't want to spend my life savings on it. Does any one have advice on how to go about this?

Check out all these posts spanning the last five years for further descriptions of the problem:
Do you have a Crayon smell in your car?
http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?cmd=print&id=644816


2001 Volkswagen Jetta GLS VR6 from North America
http://www.carsurvey.org/viewcomments_review_80873.html


2001 Volkswagen Jetta from North America
http://www.carsurvey.org/viewcomments_review_82221.html

This car is amazing!

http://www.epinions.com/content_116762381956

Melted Crayon smell in TDi
http://www.automotiveforums.com/t429901-melted_crayon_smell_in_tdi.html

I nailed down the crayon smell!
http://www.myvwlemon.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/001119.html

I Need Help!!! Bug smells like crayons
http://www.dfwnbclub.org/forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1129&sid=69f73beebe208775e4b069fc9 7f68c32

sfo calling all 01 Jetta owners with interior odor < smellyjetta >
. . . yep ... we have a 2001 < tryingourbest >
. . . . . . pls write/call VW about odor in Jetta < smellyjetta >

. . . . . . . . . one more thing on quote to replace carpet... < smellyjetta >
. . . . . . . . . . . . if you don't replace the sound absorbing ... < dub-wrencher >
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . how is it so many people know of this? < tryingourbest >
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . If you have mold or whatever and something is... < dub-wrencher >
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . mold has been ruled out... < smellyjetta >
. . . . . . . . . Well ... I just havent had the time ... < tryingourbest >
. . . . . . . . . . . . response from VW on crayon odor < smellyjetta >


odd heater smell
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=98415&highlight=crayon
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Old December 13th, 2005, 05:56   #2
jsrmonster
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Hi,
Does it have a white or light tan colored interior? I own 3 of these cars and drive many and find that only the light colored interior cars have this annoying smell in 00 and 01.
Jeff
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Old December 13th, 2005, 09:08   #3
jj_233
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It has a black interior & dark blue exterior. Have you had any luck getting rid of the smell?
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Old December 14th, 2005, 21:48   #4
OdinsRageSS
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i work at a dealer, not VW but we get a decent amount of VW trades... almost all 99-04 used vw's ive driven there (all of them) had the crayon smell! didnt bother me TOO bad..

guys, also volvos have this smell and some saabs.
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Old December 15th, 2005, 07:41   #5
jj_233
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I think the smell I am experiencing is of a different (and much stronger)nature. From what I understand the super strong crayon smell is only present in certain 2001 model year VW's manufactured in Mexico...see this post from VWVortex:

Quote, originally posted by 03Jetta1.8T Adg44, a new update for you and the rest of the guys who have this problem. what year vehicles do you own? 2001 right? 2001 vehicles were affected and no other years. There was a batch of sound deadner that is used UNDER the absorbant layer under the carpet. This stuff is like tar paper or for you audio junkies, Dynamat material. The only change in the repair was to chisel all of this off the floor boards and to replace it with new updated sound absorber. This is still only for people in thier 2/24 bumper to bumper warranty. Otherwise your looking at 10+ hours of labor and a few hundred on parts. If i were you guys, id pull the front carpet up as far as you can on both sides, lift the thick layer of absorber up and throw some baking soda under to absorb the immediate smells, then spray each layer as you go, or line it with baking soda. Thats what we do when we re-assemble the vehicle.
Good luck all.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 18:20   #6
Burgermeister
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did you try this suggestion with any luck?
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Old February 19th, 2008, 04:36   #7
JTDixon4520
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JJ,
If the odor is as strong as you suggest, I don't think baking soda is going to fix your problem; unless you want to do this on a regular basis! The baking soda will obsorb what it can and that's it. If it were me, I would treat it much like you would radon gas! Since the layers on top of the source are pourous, I would put a non-porous barrier on top of the deadening material such as a heavy gauge plastic (or two) and the put my carpeting back in. Whatever it is that's off-gassing can't be good for you to breath so you need to somehow seal it off!!
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Old February 20th, 2008, 13:38   #8
4XTaco
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I'm with JTDixon4520.... If you don't want to take the old material off I would use something to seal it. I know is a lot of labor but if you want to keep the car and enjoy the car, think of it as an upgrade.
Personally- I would even take and dynamat over top of it, roll it down tight as you can and then seal over top that with thick plastic, you could probably get away with how they do door panels. Double side tape it in areas then seal the edges with double sided tape or fumeless caulk.
It will give you a chance to go ahead and clean your carpet vbmenu_register("postmenu_2031565", true);
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Old September 8th, 2009, 07:58   #9
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The $100 and 6.5 hour fix for crayon smell-

I can definitely and without question confirm the source of the "crayon smell"
There are many different opinions out there, but the the crayon smell culprit is the sound deadner underneath the carpet and behind the dash. I absolutely 100% can confirm this. If you look under the dash on the drivers side above the carpet level you can see some of the offending grayish waxy coated material(The underlay is composed of what looks like shredded cloth, covered by a waxy layer- Once you can get at it, this pad removes like carpet and is not stuck or glued down). When you locate it, go ahead cut a piece off with a utility knife and take a sniff-especially when warmed will smell like crayon. That small piece won't smell too bad by itself, but remember, there are about 14-16 square feet of it in your car. The good news is you can remove most of it pretty easily.

Just tonite, I pulled out my seats and carpet and removed the sound damping material. It 100% stank of crayon-absolutely reeked. I removed all I could get to, now my trash can has the crayon stink-the car, not so much. There is still some sound damper matrial behind the dash, but I did my best to remove what I could and cover what I couldn't get out. It appears that i got about 80-90% of the material out of the car.

Here are some tips: I am average in my mechanical ability and interior removal took about 2.5 hours total. There are instructions on another forum on how to remove the necessary interior bits. The instructions are here:
http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?958556
and
http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?967146

I disconnected the battery and ensured the ignition was in the OFF position before removing the seats- to prevent airbag deployment. For the seats- Remove trim rail covers, then removed two nuts under front of seat. Lift seat release lever and slide seat back-may need to lightly hammer bolts to get them thru the holes toward rear of car. As soon as free, unclip the wiring harness. Most of the trim pieces were held in by Torx (star) type bolts or could be carefully pried free--be careful not to break tabs. The rear seats can be pushed toward rear of car to release the rear locking mechanism, then the back of the seat can be forward for easier removal.

As a side note: IF you too are going to remove your crayon stank, you really MUST also replace the sound dampner you are removing with a suitable replacement- Otherwise your VW may be loud with road noise and less solid feeling. I DID NOT replace the original carpet.
For the bulk of the floor I replaced the factory sound damping material with TWO 12 sq ft rolls of dynamat brand dynaliner material - 1/4 inch thickness. For the trim work under the dash and near the doors I used a roll of Mr. Gasket 11027 G-Sport Titan-Lite Sound Dampening Material. I purchased both materials from Amazon. With no mistakes in cutting, this was about precisely the right amount of material.

Removing the interior, carpet and sound deadener (no scraping needed), cutting the new sound dampener and removing the under dash dampening material took 2 hours and reassembly was about 2 hours for a 6.5 hour total job. Plan for up to 8-10 hours, just in case you are not mechanically inclined.


UPDATE - 1 Year 3 months later - the crayon smell is a distant memory. The car smells great. The "crayon-ectomy" is the best thing I have ever done to fix any car -EVER!

BTW- If this explanation helped you out, would love to hear from you. Or leave a post with your succes story! Thanks!

Last edited by pfredricks; January 5th, 2011 at 09:16.
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Old September 8th, 2009, 08:43   #10
puter
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A note on replacing the dampener, I used eDead when I was sound deadening my car and it works quite well.

I don't have the crayon issue described, I just wanted a quieter car. eDead was significantly less expensive than dynamat and according to my reading equally effective.

There are several reports of edead stinking...after some reading it turns out this was the case for a while, but that they changed their design and it no longer does. I can confirm this. It had a slight smell for two days but now I can't smell anything at all. Even the initial smell was mild enough that it did not bother myself or anyone else who got in the car.



I just suggest getting under your feet in the front of the car really well, that's where a lot of the noise comes from for me now (I didn't get under the seats/carpet).
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Old September 8th, 2009, 13:39   #11
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Funny, my car has been nicknamed 'The Crayon' by my local VW club because it has an overwhelming crayon smell. I don't even notice it anymore. And yeah, its part of the sound deadener as well as some of the adhesive used in the car. You'll get used to it. Doesn't take long.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 19:27   #12
pfredricks
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Default crayon smell follow up

Just a follow up on my crayon stink removal. It absolutely worked! There is no detectable crayon smell at all in the car, despite the remnants of sound dampner remaining in the dash. I left the car in the sun on purpose today-no crayon smell. As a side note, the car is just as quiet as before with the dynamat dynaliner 1/4 ". Also, I did NOT replace the carpet, just cleaned it thoroughly before replacing.

Finally a successfull crayonectomy at a reasonable price! I really hope this helps someone who was as desperate as me.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 15:58   #13
Sortova
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I took pfredricks advice and had a neighbor of mine (who used to restore Rolls Royce vehicles) take on the task of removing the sound dampener material from my 2002 Jetta TDI.

I just got off the phone with him. He told me that after he had removed as much as he could, he left it in the garage. The next day he came in and could hardly breath in there as the smell was so bad. He dragged it outside.

While it's not completed yet, my guess is that this will solve the problem.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 00:56   #14
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I've come to love my crayon smell. Give the car so much character.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 15:09   #15
ccs32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super T
I've come to love my crayon smell. Give the car so much character.
I second that. My crayola box makes me smile when I smell that faint, waxy smell. Takes me back old school. I guess it is worth mentioning that I cruise in an '02 - perhaps they found a solution to this pungent smell you mentioned.
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