I have a deisel 2012 Volvo C30. Previously, I could smell fumes coming into the cabin and I got it fixed.

I cannot smell anything but I am still concerned I might be getting fumes inside because if I go on a long journey my throat feels a bit raspy afterwards.

I am going to take my car back to the garage for an inspection but my question is - what gas is this likely to be and could I buy a detector (what type) that would alert me if the problem continues or reoccurs?

(I have carried a household carbon monoxide detector with me but this doesn't show up anything, which makes sence because I do not feel any CO symptoms)


The gases in your car are likely to be about 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, .9% argon with traces of other gases like CO2 - in other words air. Diesel fuel has an odor, exhaust fumes have an odor, so if you don't smell anything and the CO detector isn't reading anything then there's likely nothing amiss. Hydrocarbon fumes would cause other symptoms like nausea.

A few things may be causing your dry throat:

  • Ventilation: You've probably turned up the ventilation because of the fumes before, drying the air and therefore your throat
  • It's also possible you are experiencing a kind of selection bias, which is common with cars. A good example is someone hits a big bump then notices a clanking noise, it was always there but they didn't notice it before the bump. Now they hear clinks and clanks all over the place and think their car is about to fall to pieces. You may have a scratchy throat for completely different reasons
  • It's hay fever season, a common time to have a raspy throat and irritated eyes. It may help to make sure your pollen filter is fresh

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