I left the pedicure salon, started my car and drove less than 3 miles to pick up something from the store, when I stepped out of my car my feet were black... and I don't meant just from dirt, It looked like someone dumped a bucket of black paint on me from shins down. I had my AC blowing on my feet but I didn't recognize and smells that were different than before. My neighbor said it Looks like I stood behind and exhaust pipe. My car is a 2011 Scion TC and about 65,000 miles. Any ideas of what it may be? I recently got my air filter changed as well.

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    Does it happen every time you drive? If it was blowing exhaust into the cabin, you'd pass out eventually from the carbon dioxide. Could you wipe it off? Could you post a picture? You can also put some white paper down there and see how much black stuff is coming out.
    – cloudnyn3
    Apr 25, 2016 at 3:19
  • I tried to post a photo but there is no place to post it. I never noticed it before, the only difference today was that I had lotion on my feet and legs that was still wet. I came home and washed it off but it took a little more effort than just rinsing off, I had to scrub. Also it died my tub black where the black splashed on my walls and where i was standing
    – Morgan
    Apr 25, 2016 at 3:32
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    The only way to diagnose this would be to, take a fine white cloth and wipe the inside of the ac vents by your feet. Next would be to have someone hold paper close to the area you think it's coming from while you're driving. As I said before, if it were exhaust fumes you would pass out while driving. At the very least you would smell it.
    – cloudnyn3
    Apr 25, 2016 at 3:55
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    FIRST OF ALL, Okay I will have to try that paper trick with my car. I drive with my windows downs and my AC cranked a lot because I work grave yard shift and it helps me stay awake on the ride home. SECONDLY yes it was the one above the engine so I will ask about the one on the inside of my car as well thank you for that. I Plan on getting my mats cleaned today to help me figure out the issue is on both sides or just the right driver side. THIRD, it is a TC not a BC unless you were refereeing to a Bitch of a Car, then yes it is a BC
    – Morgan
    Apr 25, 2016 at 17:57
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    @Morgan here is a video on howto replace the cabin air filter. youtube.com/watch?v=ZfqzvHT_118 It's very simple and behind your glove box. Requires no tools to do it. Apr 27, 2016 at 4:42

1 Answer 1


Cabin filters on modern cars use something called activated carbon (or at least some of them do) which is basically two paper / cotton sheets either side of a fine layer of carbon particles.

It looks to me as though your cabin filter has a hole in it and therefore is blowing carbon all over the inside of the cabin.

I'd take it back to wherever installed the new filtration and have them change it out under warranty as it looks as though it's been faulty when they've installed it and they've not noticed.

I'd also be tempted, once it's been changed, to vacuum the carpets in your footwells as they're probably thick with this fine black dust.

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