EVAP system misbehaving? Fumes in the cabin. - 2019 Honda Insight Forum
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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy EVAP system misbehaving? Fumes in the cabin.

Hello guys,

I'm pretty upset. I literally just bought the Insight because my previous car (12 year old Mazda) had gas fumes coming into the cabin (not exhaust but gas!) and it caused me health issues. I confirmed that with a Formaldehyde and TVOC air detector which was maxed out at various times.

I've had the Insight for a week and I've been monitoring the air quality rather frequently because I was afraid of the off-gassing of the new materials. Luckily, my car has been manufactured a year ago so most of the off-gassing is already done. But today I randomly turned it on again. I left work, was in EV mode for a quarter mile then went on the highway. After maybe 2 miles, the monitor started beeping: all sensor were maxed out to very dangerous levels. I had to open the windows for 10 minutes to go back to normal readings.

I think the EVAP system is a fault. Somehow the vent valve must have opened and sent gas fumes into the engine compartment and therefore into the cabin. The only reason the vent valve would open would be if the charcoal canister is saturated AND the car had no chance to purge the fumes into the throttle body. I don't see how that would be the case because my commute is 12mi and the engine gets plenty warm. I am aware the Insight has a pressurized tank but I don't think it makes a difference.

What do you guys think? Why would the vent valve open during normal operation? Is there any disadvantage of burning the tank fumes? It's nothing but extra mpg right? (I am thinking of the next Volkswagen scandal here...)
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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 11:38 PM
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Do you smell actual fumes/gas in the cabin, as with your Mazda? Does your car still have 'new car smell'? Does your meter disclose levels of Formaldehyde and Total VOCs, or does it just indicate yes/no presence?

I guess I'm not convinced your car is fully off-gassed after a year on lot. Your car was "sealed" most of the time (and in steady-state/equilibrium?), assuming it wasn't test driven daily. Actively driving it (opening/closing doors and windows, running air/vents) is what would help purge things best... and that has just started for your car.

After a year of driving/ownership, my own car still has 'new car smell' - with glues, fabrics, plastics (dash, floor mats) and other surfaces still actively off-gassing. Some materials like carpeting off-gas VOCs for up to 5 years. And if the dealer cleaned/detailed the car before delivery, the after-effects of those cleaning sprays could still be on surfaces after use. If the meter only shows yes/no presence vs measured levels, it could detect trace amounts for years.

Worst case, if the EVAP system is at fault, there should be an electronic code of some sort that the dealer can find/diagnose. And the malfunction indicator lamp should come on if there's an issue with the emissions control system, which is checked as on board diagnostics at each start-up.

If you're concerned of issue, it's worth reporting and having the dealership check. Your car is still under standard 3 yr/36k warranty, and that warranty is extended to 15 yr/150k for the "Evaporative and Refueling Emissions Controls System" if you're in one of the 13 states aligned with California Emissions Laws (CA, CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT, WA).
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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 11:42 PM
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Somewhat related (but distantly so), there's a thread on 'Gas Bubbling Up Filler Neck' with some discussion on emissions system components and possible troubleshooting - https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/15...ller-neck.html
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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 11:50 PM
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Definitely concerning and you should bring it to the dealership asap.
  • Do you continue topping off the tank after the first click?
  • Didn't you mention in another thread filling up with the car still running? Maybe something went wrong when this happened?

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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by insightfully View Post
Do you smell actual fumes/gas in the cabin, as with your Mazda? Does your car still have 'new car smell'? Does your meter disclose levels of Formaldehyde and Total VOCs, or does it just indicate yes/no presence?

I guess I'm not convinced your car is fully off-gassed after a year on lot. Your car was "sealed" most of the time (and in steady-state/equilibrium?), assuming it wasn't test driven daily. Actively driving it (opening/closing doors and windows, running air/vents) is what would help purge things best... and that has just started for your car.

After a year of driving/ownership, my own car still has 'new car smell' - with glues, fabrics, plastics (dash, floor mats) and other surfaces still actively off-gassing. Some materials like carpeting off-gas VOCs for up to 5 years. And if the dealer cleaned/detailed the car before delivery, the after-effects of those cleaning sprays could still be on surfaces after use. If the meter only shows yes/no presence vs measured levels, it could detect trace amounts for years.

Worst case, if the EVAP system is at fault, there should be an electronic code of some sort that the dealer can find/diagnose. And the malfunction indicator lamp should come on if there's an issue with the emissions control system, which is checked as on board diagnostics at each start-up.

If you're concerned of issue, it's worth reporting and having the dealership check. Your car is still under standard 3 yr/36k warranty, and that warranty is extended to 15 yr/150k for the "Evaporative and Refueling Emissions Controls System" if you're in one of the 13 states aligned with California Emissions Laws (CA, CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, VT, WA).
Thanks for replying. I don't exactly smell it but my eyes become itchy. And every time it coincides with high readings. Yes my monitor is very accurate and gives a reading between 0 and 9.999mg/m3 for TVOC and 0-5.999mg/m3 for HCHO.

Actually my car was NOT detailed (the dealer had literally no time that day), which I'm actually happy about. It has a very faint smell of a new car, mostly the leather I would say. But most importantly, my reader shows very very low levels when I start the car, something like 0.01 for both. And then all of a sudden the readings shoot up when I was on the highway today. I've seen that behavior something like ten times with the Mazda, but today, exactly the same happened with the Insight. Now as you said, the system should test for leaks and report an error if something is wrong... unless it's intentional.......
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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by andrew28 View Post
Definitely concerning and you should bring it to the dealership asap.
  • Do you continue topping off the tank after the first click?
  • Didn't you mention in another thread filling up with the car still running? Maybe something went wrong when this happened?
Somebody is paying attention! So short answer... I have not refueled the car yet The dealer did the day of delivery though. Also I don't want to talk to them, they delivered me a scratched car and are being quite rude about it.
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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by insightfully View Post
Somewhat related (but distantly so), there's a thread on 'Gas Bubbling Up Filler Neck' with some discussion on emissions system components and possible troubleshooting - https://www.gen3insight.com/forum/15...ller-neck.html
Oh wow, weird video... His MIL should come up though if it's the EVAP.
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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by pasei View Post
But most importantly, my reader shows very very low levels when I start the car, something like 0.01 for both.
Sounds about right. I remember reading this report a couple of years ago where the 2012 Civic was awarded least toxic car. https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/t...s-on-the-road/


Honda's Enviromental Report for 2019 https://csr.honda.com/wp-content/upl...019_092519.pdf
Honda eliminated PVC interior content on the 2019 Honda Insight.

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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 06:02 AM
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My car has almost 17k and I’m still encountering out gassing. It shows up as a film on the inside of the windshield. Leather tends to outgas more then cloth. I think your just experiencing that “new car” smell.

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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Carfreak09 View Post
My car has almost 17k and I’m still encountering out gassing. It shows up as a film on the inside of the windshield. Leather tends to outgas more then cloth. I think your just experiencing that “new car” smell.
No, because levels are fine for a while and then they shoot up all of a sudden in the middle of a drive. It goes from 0.1 to 9.999 in a split second.
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