1997 Maxima Exhaust System - CO Poisoning Problem
To 1997 Maxima owners:
My 1997 Maxima 3.0L 5-speed car may be the cause of several
consequences that now seem to be possibly more serious than I
had previously thought.
During the recent year or two I had noticed a buzzing sound that
was proportional to engine RPM, and the sound developed an
additional groaning characteristic. The buzzing from the engine
compartment is a built-in characteristc of the exhaust manifold
design of the '97 Maxima, and that sound may be fixed by
a redesigned "Y" pipe made by Warpspeed. The groaning and
roaring sounds that gradually increase in loudness over time are
a more serious matter for that may mean leaks of dangerous
I had developed an increasing awareness of odors that emanated
from the cabin interior. I thought that it may have been a mildew
in the carpets and upholstery, and I used all types of appropriate
cleaning materials. The odors existed both winter and summer.
I thought that some vermin may have crawled into the HVAC
system and ducting and died. I had the ducts cleaned and
replaced the cabin outside air supply filter.
However, the odors remained.
I recall that several months ago a woman writer posted a notice
on this news group site, alt.autos.nissan.maxima, and that
she thought that the problem of odors in her auto may be
related to the AC system. She was probably on the right track
to finding a solution.
The odors in my car remained, and nearly every time I was in the
car, and from time to time at not too predictable times, the odors
reappeared. The odors also were where I was, and I was often in
my car. I cleaned everything I owned, including my clothes and
home with a near paranoid fervor to no avail. The odors were still
where I was and also in the car.
I figured that I was breathing in something that was in the car, and
I couldn't identify the cause. I had characteristic bad breath that
would reappear from time to time, and others at work began to
notice it. One person asked me if I used incense at home. Yes,
My doctor couldn't identify the cause, other than to check the
lungs, and once I had the flu. The conditions didn't seem to
correspond with the facts.
I was sleepy at my computer at work, and my performance was
adversely affected. I stopped drinking alcohol. The breath odors
and sleepiness continued. A real puzzle, and I was mystified.
I turned on the intake of fresh air when driving the car. Nor
did turning on the recirculating of fresh air.
On day while taking the train to work, I feinted, and the doctors
in the ER could not identify the cause. I thought that I may have
taken too much of some medicine. I went home.
The odors were of two types. A musty moldy odor that was in
the car and permeated my clothes and breath, and, also, an
oily odor that was in my breath. Next day alcohol odor from
drinking wine at dinner the evening prior is not the same. That is
a sweet smell that is related to the type of drink or carbohydrate.
My own doctor said that I should continue working on my
cholesterol and to continue taking Lipitor to reduce cholesterol.
For me that works well. I still need to sign up for the physical stress
test and get another chest x-ray. She was on the right course of
diagnosis, that it is lung and blood oxygen related, I am sure.
I'll be continuing to adhere to her advice.
I lost two jobs due to sleepiness, low job performance and technical
and arithmetic work errors.
Even without alcohol the problem of odors where I was and also
related to the car persisted. Psychological stress was a problem too,
and there were those possible Platonists at work who were observing
my sleepiness as if it were some morbid game with them. When I
drank less alcohol the problems of sleepiness, anxiety, errors and
odors were still present.
One co-worker who was working on a design for a building asked
me about building air exhaust duct fans. Something to think about.
The mechanics at Meineke, Rt. 27, Edison, NJ, said that the flex
pipe of the exhaust system of my car that is made of wire mesh was
breaking and that it was leaking exhaust gasses. Vibration was
causing the deterioration of that pipe section.
The vibration and motion was being applied to the exhaust system pipe
by the engine. I knew the engine mounts had deteriorated, and the
excess motion of the engine was causing the deterioration of the flex
section of the pipe as well a breakage of the pipe support brackets.
The flex pipe is located nearly right under the engine and firewall.
When the car was at a standstill hot exhaust gasses would rise passing
around the engine, and they would exit the engine compartment at
the gap between the hood and the base of the windshield.
The fresh air intake opening for the cabin air supply is located right
at the base of the windshield. Right where the exhaust gasses were
available. The musty odors coming from the AC and heating ducts
would be originating from the air intake system and the exhaust system.
The odors also continued while the car was in motion, and I suspect
that the gasses were also being conducted by the turbulent air flow
in the engine compartment up to the cabin air intake opening.
Continued exposure to CO gas may be the culprit, and my persistent
health and work problems may be the consequence.
Readers or health professionals who have some experience with CO
poisoning and its consequences are invited to reply with their thoughts.
My personal experience tells me that the problem of CO gas in autos
may be a more serious matter than previously thought.
My recommendations are these:
1. A doctor's care is called for, especially insofar as blood,
nutrition, O2 transport, heart nutrition, CO poisoning, vascular system,
stress, cholesterol, and Lipitor are related. Immediate care is a good
There is more to this, and I'm sure that health professionals,
scientists, and military have extensively researched these matters.
2. Immediately stop using the outside fresh air intake for replacement
of the cabin air.
3. Use the air recirculation control, and open all the windows to change
the air frequently. Turn on the air cooling or heating that is required,
and that has nothing to do with the supply air. Control the source of
the supply air; and do that without delay.
4. Replace the engine mounts to stop breakage of the pipes, pipe
joints, and pipe support brackets of the exhaust system.
5. Replace the exhaust system components as needed and restore the
integrity of the system. Nothing needs to be done to the cabin air
heating, ventilating and cooling system.
I will report the consequences of this practical diagnosis; and my
health is improving as well.