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I’m a happy owner of a GS300 2008 since March 2021 and everything’s great apart from that strange smell in the cabin that I cannot find the source of. 


It’s not a smell of fresh petrol or even fumes, it doesn’t smell like burnt oil or cooling liquid. It doesn’t smell like the air con needs cleaning (I’ve read that the system is covered in nano antibacterial layer and lexus doesn’t recommend cleaning the air circulation system). It doesn’t smell of rotten eggs (someone in this forum had that issue and it turned out to be an overheating battery). 


It’s difficult to describe that smell, it’s kind of like something overheated a bit (not burnt and it’s not an electrical smell), maybe it smells a bit like grease? 


Anyway I can’t smell it anywhere around the car outside, it’s not coming from the exhaust and I can’t smell it under the hood. 


I serviced the car in March, replaced all the air filters, oil and the oil filter.


The car seems to be dry inside and it’s not a smell of mould either. 


It seems to be coming out from the air system but not all the time. I might be wrong but I think it was stronger when I was stationary in the car park with the engine running for about 5 minutes. 


I dove a bit today with the air recirculation on and I think the smell is pretty much gone. But I cannot find a pattern, sometimes the smell is gone, sometimes it’s moderate and other times it’s a bit stronger…


Does anyone have any suggestions on what to check or what it might be?


Also I’m not sure if that’s relevant but one time when I was getting petrol from Morrisons the gas pump would shut off as soon as I pressed the nozzle, I went to Shell instead and it was fine. Then a few weeks ago I got a full tank from Costco with no issues. Today I went to get petrol from Costco again and the gas pump was shutting off, so in the end I had to pull the nozzle out a bit and press the nozzle only about ⅓ way, otherwise it would shut off.

This makes me think that maybe it’s a bad Charcoal Canister as I’ve read one of the symptoms is fuel smell (although the smell in my car is not petrol), issues filling up gas tank and getting fewer miles per gallon (last time on full tank I made 270 miles, that’s 120 miles on the motorway and 150 in the city).


Thanks in advance!

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No matter what lexus say, get the air con bomb and clean it out, and also replace the pollen filter 

And regarding the gas pump nozzle shutting off, that's normal for some lexus cars, you'll find that you will need to either pull the nozzle out abit, or twist it around, 

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Thanks for your reply.

Can you recommend any good air con bombs?

I bought this one before but I think the smell is too strong and I haven’t used it yet:

STP GST23150EN Cleaner-Clean Refresh and Disinfects Air Con System

Regarding the pollen filter, I had it replaced as well (it’s the cabin filter isn’t it?).

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Bilt hamber make a good air con bomb. 

Yes thats right, the cabin filter is the pollen filter 

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Have you used a OEM filter or AM Because it needs to be A Carbon impregnated  filter and i havnt seen any AM Carbon Filters


And as Qumar said get a Air con Bomb put it on pass floor and let it do its thing

with engine running and air con on full takes about 20 min


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