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Fumes in the cabin of my 328. Please help!

1460 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Journey in NC
I took a 2-hour drive in my 328 GTS yesterday. I had the targa top on, and the windows were up. Everything was fine. I then lowered my driver's window about half way. I soon developed a headache that lasted for several hours after I arrived at my destination. When I hit the road for my return trip home, I drove with the top on and both windows all the way down. My headache became so bad that I felt sick to my stomach. I assume I was getting some kind of fumes in the cabin. Has anyone every experienced or heard of anything like this with the 328's or the 308's? Any ideas on a fix?

Kind regards.
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I can understand older, carb'd 308's with strong fumes, but not usually 328's. Their fuel injection systems are completely sealed with very good fuel-vapour recovery on the gas tanks.

This only happened AFTER you lowered the windows? Could you distinguish the type of fumes you smelled (pin-point it to either gasoline, hot/burning oil, antifreeze)? I'm not saying this as a joke, but did you hit some small form of wildlife? The ventilation system draws air in on the Driver's side of the opening of the air-dam and this is very close to the road, easy to scoop up tiny animals (again, I'm not saying that as a joke...).

Have you had the car in for servicing lately? If so, what type of work did they perform? They may have left something off, or forgot to tighten up something...
Brian said he had no problem with the windows up so I doubt it would be the ventilation system. Developing a headache and nausea would seem to indicate exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide (which has no smell or taste) but I can't imagine how it would get into the passenger compartment through the open windows. Just a thought, it is possible that when the window is open it creates a low pressure area inside the passenger compartment preventing any CO build up from escaping.

have you experienced this with the top off? You can buy a CO detector at most hardware and home improvement stores to verify the presence of CO. Home Depot has one for $15. (just a cheap one that has an alarm if levels are unsafe, one with a parts-per-million readout would be more expensive) 50 ppm is considered the "safe" exposure limit. CO levels of 200ppm can cause a headache after 2 hours exposure. A severe headache and nausea after 2 hours would indicate levels higher than 500ppm. I would have the exhaust system fully inspected for leaks. You could also have the exhaust tested with a 4 gas analyzer to make sure CO emmisions are acceptable out of the tailpipes. In any case, for your own health and safety, I wouldn't drive the car very far if you are getting headaches and nausea.
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328 fumes is the cabin

Thanks for the feedback. I am planning to take a "short" drive this evening with a portable CO2 detector. I have never had a fume problem with the top off of the car.

I am also planning to take the car to my nearest Ferrari mechanic to check out all of the areas suggested. I last had it services about 2 months ago (regular oil change). Thanks again.
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