Does Your Chevrolet Traverse Smell? You Are Not Alone.
Imagine purchasing a brand new vehicle for $40,000, but instead of enjoying that fresh “new car” scent, your driving experience is being marred by a propane, gas or rotten egg smell. Chevrolet Traverse drivers are dealing with some unsavory scents in their vehicle and in certain cases, the dealer cannot figure out a fix.
In one of our cases, our client purchased a 2011 Chevrolet Traverse and immediately started smelling propane in the passenger compartment, especially when braking and using the air conditioner. He first complained of this issue under 10,000 miles and the dealer blamed the Traverse smell on clogged air conditioner lines. During the second repair, the dealer flushes and refills the differential three times and adds more fluid. This was repeated again for the third repair visit and on the fourth visit, a new vent kit was installed as well as a hose to the fuel tank door area. Sadly, the smell has resurfaced but has now moved to the rear of the vehicle.
We intend to fight this claim and ensure our client receives a significant recovery under the Lemon Law. If you are experiencing any sort of Chevrolet Traverse smell, be it propane, gas or rotten eggs, it is essential that you report the issue to a Chevrolet authorized dealership as soon as possible. And if these problems cannot be fixed after reasonable repairs, you need to fight for your rights. Feel free to fill out our Get Rid of Your Lemon Form and let us know about your issue. We will be glad to review the situation and determine if and how we can help.
January 19th, 2013 at 12:13 am
YES! We have the same problem with OUR 2011 Traverse too!!! This is VERY frustrating! Can only stop the smell by constantly hitting the re-circ air button and it will stop only by putting on the A/C
May 23rd, 2013 at 10:25 am
We experienced this with our 2012. I fought hard for months for a buy back and I won. Now I notice Traverse AWDs as rentals in locations where AWD is just not needed. It was a shame at the time and a nightmare of an ordeal, but we’re grateful we had the chance to buy a Honda Pilot instead.
June 24th, 2013 at 8:31 am
Our 2010 had a bad smell too! We had to get the windshield washer fluid changed. That was it. Took it in one time and it was fixed. Never has a smell with the A/C.
September 12th, 2013 at 5:15 am
My 2012 Traverse has the same problem. They changed the filter, cleaned the vents and more and the smell is still there.
August 3rd, 2014 at 12:02 am
Just bought 2012 Traverse. Smells like gas outside the car and inside when vents are blowing.
February 4th, 2015 at 7:17 pm
Horrible gas smell in car on drivers side seems like coming from vents.
February 27th, 2015 at 10:19 am
I have the same problem in my 2015 Chevy Traverse. It has a very strong gas smell which is intermittent.
March 10th, 2015 at 7:06 pm
My wife’s 2013 Traverse has been doing this since we bought it….we are currently dealing with GM to hopefully get a replacement. If not we are going to arbitrate through BBB. Thank you all for giving me this information for the GM Rep when they call tomorrow.
March 11th, 2015 at 10:57 am
@Josh: Be weary of the BBB. They are funded by the manufacturer so it’s like going to the lion’s den to battle the lion.
June 1st, 2015 at 2:12 pm
We have a 2014 Traverse with 19500 miles, we started getting a smell which the dealer could not find right after we took it for service. Service was for oil change and brake booster replacement. They had the truck for at least a week, they ionized it, they changed the ac filter, it smells like a burnt chemical smell. Mainly from the drivers side. You can still smell it in the back and the passenger side. It was so strong the day we picked it up, we had a headache, and other symptoms, almost went to ER! We had truck towed back to dealer!
When the AC is on with outside air, you can put your nose to the vent and it smells ok, but when you go on recirculating air, it smells, it also smells when you just open the door up with the truck siting there, it is not in the carpets, the floor mats, etc… We filed Lemon law, but GM has not called us back in almost 2 weeks. Truck is sitting on driveway! Will not be taking our child in the truck, only way to drive it, is with windows open and AC set to outside air!
October 24th, 2015 at 4:29 pm
I have a 2014 Silverado with 28,000 miles and it has the same problem. Very intense chemical smell with the A/C off. I have had it into the dealer many times and they said there is nothing wrong. I hate driving this truck, but have so much invested in it.
October 28th, 2015 at 8:43 am
Has anyone encountered a propane smell with their Chevy Equinox? We have a 2015 Equinox that has a propane smell, sometimes a hot smell, has an engine idling/cutting out problem, as well as a rear hatch that will not stay in adjustment. I truly think we have a “lemon.” It’s going back in to the ship, AGAIN, to see if they can figure it out.
November 6th, 2015 at 5:04 pm
@Randy: I am hoping you have your invoices. I would certainly speak to a lemon law lawyer to see if you have a claim.
January 22nd, 2016 at 7:34 pm
We have this same problem! We purchased a 2011 Chevy Traverse at the end of April with 56,000 miles and the day we took it home we had the “pleasure”, of smelling the odor. I would say it smells like rotten eggs. It seems to happen mostly when accelerating while going up hill, however it does happen other times as well. We have had it in and they say they don’t smell it and only thing they can come up with is it could possibly be the catalyst converter, they won’t do anything about it until it has an error message. If anyone has any suggestions as to how we should handle this, I would really appreciate it.
February 2nd, 2016 at 3:22 pm
I have a 2015 Chevy Equinox and it has a very strange smell, like propane or plastic or something strong. Mainly coming from the rear of the vehicle. My son will NOT ride in the car because of the smell …
February 4th, 2016 at 3:51 pm
@Amy: How many times have you been back to the dealer to address the smell?
February 17th, 2016 at 2:16 am
I have a 2015 chevy equinox that has a horrible smell/vapor . Had the car for a year now. Been at the dealer at least 8 times. Dealer claims they cannot duplicate the problem. they have installed the after blowers and claimed to have changed the cabin filter but the problem remains. I do not believe this bad oder/smell is isolated to the Traverse. I believe it exist in several Chevrolet vehicles.
February 21st, 2016 at 5:14 am
Our 2014 Equinox recently started having the burning plastic / exhaust smell coming out of the vents. So bad it makes you dizzy. Took car to dealer once and they couldn’t find anything. It happened twice since then, so we called GM customer service. The dealer then called us, asked us to bring car in, and even offered a loaner car. Taking it in for 2nd evaluation this week.
March 11th, 2016 at 4:19 pm
We have a Chevrolet 2015 Equinox ad the noxious smell when the ac is on is making us sick!. It is at the dealership now ( 2nd time) and they want to take everything out and clean the interior for mold! We don’t want to keep this car if it makes us sick. thank you
March 14th, 2016 at 1:08 pm
@Shirley: If the problem continues you could have a claim under lemon law or breach of warranty. Click here for a list of Lemon Law lawyers throughout the country who may be able to help.
May 5th, 2016 at 7:31 am
I have a 2010 Chevrolet Traverse, when the air conditioner is turn on, it smells like the reon is coming through the vents inside of the car. The Chevrolet Company said it will cost $1700 or more to fill it. I cannot afford this amount to repair. This should be recall from the Chevrolet Company. I have always had a Chevrolet vehicle, I will never purchase another Chevrolet again. This is not the only problem I have had with My Traverse. Done with Chevrolet!!!!!
August 13th, 2016 at 11:31 am
What is the defect of chevy impalas 2006 where the computer is reading cut engine off engine is loosing or reduceing power
August 25th, 2016 at 1:58 pm
@Raymond: I am not sure what you are referring to but you can check out the consumer complaint database at https://www.safercar.gov/
September 7th, 2016 at 5:12 am
We have a smell in our 2011 traverse. Just spent $200 should have read this article before. Going to dealer today will inform you of what they say
August 3rd, 2017 at 3:45 pm
My 2011 Traverse has had a melting crayon smell lately. It’s not all the time and it doesn’t happen consistently (like when I accelerate, run the a/c, etc.) I haven’t taken it in yet, just curious what it could be before I do!
January 11th, 2018 at 9:45 pm
I leased my 2014 traverse when it had 11 miles on it, so there’s been no other owner, and I bought it about a year ago. The smell started about a year and a half ago when we started using the AC in the summer, and I thought it might be a mouse nest in the vents, so I brought it to the dealership and they found nothing, but flushed it out and said it was a bit dirty but no mice, except they forgot to flush out the vents that fed to the back seats. I dealt with it because it wasn’t that bad, but now, in the winter without using the AC I’m noticing the smell is coming back, and is what I’m seeing described here on this site by others. I have to wonder if its mold growing in the vent system. So, now I don’t know what to do because I don’t even get the truck serviced at the dealership now that I don’t lease it anymore.
January 18th, 2018 at 1:19 pm
I finished paying my 2011 chevy traverse last year, it has 75,139 miles on it. After at about the 3 year or of having purchased my vehicle i began to have air conditioning problems, from the heater blowing only cold air to my cold air blowing out hot air. I took my teuck into the dealer 3 seperate times and got my air condenser fixed on the third time, also under warranty. Only a frw months past and the problem began again, and has not gone away. Is there something that i can do to try and fix the issue or get the original warranty to service to do rhe servicing all over without having to pay a dime
January 22nd, 2018 at 11:55 am
We just bought a 2017 chevy traverse in December 2017. I’ve noticed the same thing. After it’s running for a while, there is a very strong propane smell front and back. Will be taking it to the dealer and see if they can get is fixed.
February 26th, 2018 at 7:13 pm
We bought a 2012 Chevy Traverse LTZ AWD in 2013 and had it in a few times for a bad smell coming from the vents. Almost smells like exhaust. took it in all they would tell us is your recycle button isn’t working. So now the extended warranty has ran out and they’re still smells coming from this vehicle and it’s not paid off until July. I guess I should have looked into it more and not just make sure the air in the vehicle recycles properly
May 23rd, 2018 at 10:29 am
It is happening to me as well but my Traverse is 2017. I have had it to the shop at least 6 times with no end in sight of it being repaired! They tell me they can’t recreate the issue when they drive it. So i drive with them and immediately recreate it.
June 6th, 2018 at 11:37 am
@Susan: If you have not done so already, please call our office to discuss at 1 800 536 6652 or send us your information at https://www.lemonlaw.com/rid.html . I believe we can help.
June 22nd, 2018 at 6:00 pm
I purchased a 2011 Chevy Traverse in April. Every time I roll the windows down while idling or turned off, it smells like body odor. It only does it when the windows or down.
July 1st, 2018 at 7:45 pm
I have a 2014 GMC Acadia, I have had these same issues, I haven’t even had it a year and it’s been in the shop 5 times! I also have been doing lots of research! Seems to be all GM SUV’s!! My Sister in law has the Buick Enclave and has had nothing but issues with this! SOMETHING SHOULD BE DONE! Ford had a outbreak with their ford explorers and they were all recalled shouldn’t someone be recalling these??? Buick, Chevrolet and GMC are all same parts etc.. just a different model!!
September 21st, 2018 at 7:56 pm
I bought a GM certified 2015 Equinox and there is a really strange musty smell in the car. The car only has 22k miles on it so it is very strange that it is encountering these issues. I contacted GM about it and they opened a claim. The car has been to the dealer 3 times and the dealership (where I bought the car) are flatly denying that there is any smell. Can I use the lemon law on a Cetified used GM car (GM extends limited bumper to bumper warranty for a year or 12k miles). I have only driven it 1000 miles. My plan now is to do independent investigation and if the lemon law applies to this, I plan to pursue it. I don’t really care about the money (this is not my primary car) but I will not let GM or any of their dealership to victimize people. Also, my best friend bought a Nissan Rogue a week after I bought mine, and I assure you that Nissan is the way to go.
September 28th, 2018 at 12:57 pm
I purchased a 2009 Chevrolet Traverse about 2 weeks ago. It has been to the Chevy Dealer 3 times for strong has smell coming from AC vents when AC is on. Dealer has services the system, added deodorizer, checked all fuel lines and the smell persists.
October 7th, 2018 at 1:26 pm
I just bought a 2019 Equinox. It only has less than 100 miles and it smells like rotten eggs. I am so upset over this. I love the car but I do not like the smell. It makes me sick. It came right off the show room floor. I had it to the garage once and they could not find anything. I am SUPER SUPER UPSET. We are a Chevy family and have for years, but that may change very quickly.
October 11th, 2018 at 2:01 pm
@Heidi: If you bring the car in three times for the issue, please give us a call at 800 536 6652 to further discuss.
February 6th, 2019 at 1:22 pm
We bought a 2015 Acadia certified used this summer. We have the smell too. Of course dealer’s service can not replicate smell, driving now to replicate smell and then take back to dealer. Is there a TAC # that covers a 2015 Acadia/Traverse. I found something for earlier years, but they said it would not apply since it is not for 2015. I replaced the cabin filter with a coal filter and doesn’t help. Plus they said that the warranty would not cover fix unless there is complete failure. Thanks!
September 21st, 2019 at 3:03 am
We bought our 2017 chevy traverse in Jan 2018. It’s hot this really strange smell and it’s making my wife sick. We thought it was a skunk or really bad marijuana. Not sure what and why. Glad to see this post. Are there other with the same problem. It looks like we have to take it in AGAIN. IF YOU ONLY KNEW THE HISTORY WITH THIS LAME DEALERSHIP. Argh. One time they had the car for 6, yes SIX weeks. Unbelievable service. The thought of taking it in again for a smell raises my blood pressure.
September 23rd, 2019 at 2:35 pm
@James: 6 weeks is absolutely unacceptable. Please call us at 800 536 6652 to discuss your rights.
February 14th, 2020 at 10:00 am
We took our 2019 Travers High Country in for a leaky sunroof. Mold was found in the head liner and they can’t figure out where it came from.
March 16th, 2020 at 10:45 am
I bought a 2019 Chevy Traverse and have taken it in 3 times now for smelling like rotten eggs coming out of the vents front and rear. The dealership just keeps on spraying some deodorizer under the hood and sending me on my way, im pissed! They act like they don’t know what’s going on, come on! Going to take it in again…
March 16th, 2020 at 11:07 am
@Kathy: Please call 800 536 6652 to discuss your rights and how we may be able to help.