I was spraying Lysol into the cabin air intake (not the engine intake) right under windshield wipers while running the fans, and after doing this for several minutes (fans on the whole time, Lysol sprays periodic) I went to start the car and it barely turned over. Once it started, there were a couple really bad smells (like burning/melting?) coming out from either the vent or the engine... I couldn't tell which because my windows were wide open and it only lasted a few seconds. There was also a rough idle so I revved the engine for a minute or so.

I can only think of a few things: 1) the Lysol had something to do with it 2) the battery was nearly dead from running the fans, and giving a little gas while trying to start it had some effect?

What might have happened?

  • The E46 has a rather large battery. If it died from that you might want to get it load tested. Commented May 21, 2015 at 23:48

1 Answer 1


In case you had the engine off while the fans were on, your car was in the "ON" state, which powers all the electric systems of your car. The fans were consuming most of the power which have drained the battery very quickly. You've started your car right on time to retain just as less energy as was needed to get your engine running again.

The smell you noticed while you started the car could be related to spill of the Lysol on the engine or heated/moving parts of it. This could have burned which would explain the smell.

  • Right, all of this makes sense except I'm unsure about the spilled Lysol part... is there anything that it could have actually gotten on? Here's a diagram: [i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af278/nicee46/Imola%20Bimmer/… The compartment for the filter must have an ability to drain liquids (in case it's raining) but it doesn't really look like there's much under there. Stating the obvious - I didn't make a gigantic mess with the Lysol, it went straight into the intake area.
    – s g
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 16:03

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