Heater smell

Discussion in 'Hyundai Kona Electric' started by KonaEV-2019, Dec 1, 2022.

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  1. KonaEV-2019

    KonaEV-2019 New Member

    Hi all. Our 2019 Kona EV has alway given off the odor of maybe hot-melt glue. We have put up with it after complaining about it to our Hyundai Dealership. The past 2 winter were difficult for everyone with the pandemic and labor shortages and long long wait times. Now I have to get this fixed! I am sure this should be covered by some warranty We bought this vehicle in late spring 2020 and has been an issue since we first turned on the heat in Fall of 2020.

    btw, we are on the waiting list for a new battery... any guess as to when that will come through?
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  3. It's hard to comment without knowing what country you live in whether you have the heat pump option.
  4. Pastera

    Pastera New Member

    My 2021 US without the HP had a distinct smell at first when running the heater.
    This winter I haven't noticed any smell however, the temps haven't dropped below freezing much at all so far so heater use has been minimal.

    Resistance heaters are going to collect some dust that will "burn off" early in the heating season so if the smell bothers you then I would try parking outside with the windows slightly open and running the heat on max at max fan speed for an hour then letting the car air out.
    If it still smells after that then there is something else going on.
  5. KonaEV-2019

    KonaEV-2019 New Member

    We bought our 2019 Kona in NY in 2020. I am not aware of any heat pump. Can I look it up somewhere with VIN?
    I know what burning dust smells like and this is not that. Hot melt glue or other melting plastic is the closest I have come up with.

    There is no "airing it out" The smell varies from really stinky, to noticeable. Every time heater is used.

    Now begins the 3rd winter with that smell. I have breathing issues that become aggravated
    I don't want to expose our son to these fumes/odors either.
    I complained last year but it was impossible to get a straight answer during pandemic.
    I need to get this fixed either, as a warranty thing , or, self pay and fight later for money.

    I guess I need to know who to write about this problem. Also who to take this vehicle to who can
    vouch for my characterization of this smell.

    I am uneasy bringing our Kona (our only vehicle) to a dealership service department who is insanely busy
    and/or without trained Techs for EVs.
    Last summer Hyundai kept our vehicle for 2 overnights for battery inspection.
    BTW My dealership is owned by the The Atlantic group which is one of the largest Dealerships in the US.
    I have had serious issues with both the Hyundai and the Honda franchises owned by them.

    Any ideas or suggestions are welcome.
    Ferenc Jakab likes this.
  6. Genevamech

    Genevamech Active Member

    I'm 99% sure that a 2019 MY Kona EV sold in New York will not have a heat pump. It would have a PTC heater which is a self-regulating resistive heat element.

    Based on your description the odor is definitely not normal. I also don't think it would take an EV-trained tech to diagnose. *Maybe* repair as it would involve fiddling the HVDC cabling if the heater needs replacement, but not diagnose. Any mechanic should be able to inspect the PTC heater and surrounding area for signs of overheating or maybe contamination...
    Pastera likes this.
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  8. Did the "battery inspection" result in them telling you it needs replacement and would be ordered? If so, I don't think there's much further you can do.
    It seems to me you'll have to find a dealer you can tolerate.

    PTC heater issues have been reported by a number of owners, not that it smells over a long term but usually that it fails or has never worked. Certainly mine smells like burning dust even after 4 years because it's no-doubt dusty from lack of use (because the heat pump is used instead). It's also possible that there is mold in the area from the AC.
  9. Pastera

    Pastera New Member

    Concur with this assessment - if the heater is emitting chemical smells after a few initial uses then there is a problem. Some level of chemical smell would be expected as the epoxies used in producing the heater element outgas but that should rapidly diminish
  10. My 2022 has a strong fragrance coming from the fresh air vents (Heating, Cooling etc.) I have developed multiple chemical sensitivities and the fragrance irritates the Vagus nerve which controls most of the bodies internal organs. Consequently I can have reactions from palpitations to asthma like breathing difficulties.

    We have spent the winter rugging up like we used to before cars had these facilities but with summer arriving aircon is going to be a must. I have tried running the ventilation system with heaters and aircon on for many hours, possibly shortening battery life, and the odour is still as strong.

    I have removed the filter but the fragrance comes from somewhere after the filter.

    I have approached Hyundai and got the usual go to the dealer where I got the usual contact Hyundai. I don't know why they have introduced such a fragrance in a FRESH air vent. My guess is that perhaps, for some reason, there was a mould odour in this unit and they used one of those dreadful "deodorising" sprays. I am very concerned for the Summer and will try to press this issue with Hyundai but hold little hope as they are proving to be very customer unfriendly.

    I think I may have to take the whole dash and ventilation system apart and see if washing all the accessible parts can ameliorate the problem.
    Has anyone else noticed their fresh air is fragranced. I know most people hardly notice it. My wife notices but is able to tolerate it.

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