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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. We were just gifted a 2012 Mazda 3 automatic sedan from a family member, with about 65,000 miles on the odometer. The car is great, but we are having a problem that we cannot solve. We smell a strange odor coming from the vents under a few circumstances. The odor is hard to describe, but it is unpleasant and smells a little rotten and a bit like exhaust or fuel.

We only get the smell when we are coming to a stop, when we are backing up, or when we are starting to move forward from a stop. Once we are cruising on the road, there is no odor. Also, it seems like we only get the odor when the heater system is set to take in air from the outside, not when we are recirculating internal air. We had the catalytic converter checked and the car scanned for codes, and no problem was detected.

Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this? I'm concerned that we are inhaling CO while we drive, and that this could have harmful effects.

Thanks!
 

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Gearhead
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Would check and probably replace your cabin intake air filter. Could well not be this, but amazed at how many Mazda owners have found "stuff" in theirs. I found a "nice" little mouse mini-nest in another brand's.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. We had it replaced three weeks ago, so I really doubt that's the problem.
 
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