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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.
Brian
 

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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...
 

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Peter,
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.

Brian,
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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Discussion Starter #4
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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