Thursday, October 11, 2007

SAAB Secret: Crayon Smell Edition

Congratulations on your discovery that a SAAB interior smells like crayons. You now have a conversation starter for your next party.

It is not your imagination; SAAB interiors smell like crayons.

I have read, but never smelled to be sure, that 2003 and newer SAABs don't smell like crayons. I'm guessing many people reading this post searched for "SAAB" and "crayons" because they have recently been inside a SAAB and were wondering why it smelled that way and if that SAAB was the only one with the crayon smell.

I can't smell the crayons in my SAAB 9-5 anymore. I ask everyone who rides with me if they can smell crayons and they all say the smell is still there. I've just become accustomed to it.

I figured it was a leather treatment that CarMax (where I purchased my SAAB 9-5) happened to use. My other thought was that the previous owner had children and some crayons were hidden down a crack somewhere... melting. It took a search of Facebook to find a group called "my Saab smells like crayons" before I realized that this is a normal feature of SAABs and not something done by the car dealership.

I don't have any real information about what causes the smell, but one message board post I read said it was the insulation under the carpet that smells like crayons. They went on to say that the type of insulation was changed in 2003, causing SAABs to lose the crayon smell. Sounds reasonable to me.


  1. I noticed that facebook group a while back as well and wondered what the hell everyone was talking about because my 2001 9-5 sure does not smell anything like Crayons. I just rode in someone else's' 1999 9-5 and holy crap now I know that they're all talking about. I think they must have changed something between 1999 and 2001 because mine smells nothing like it.

  2. @raquettelaker2

    I've heard similar things. Someone suggested it had to do with the GM switch and the end to the use of some type of insulation inside the car. I don't know if that is correct or not, but it would make sense.

  3. Ha ha! I thought my crayon smell was a vehicle specific thing too! This is so funny, every time my sister gets in my car she asks why it smells like crayons :)