I had the same problem in my Company Warehouse. I was convinced one of my Employees had stashed some. I finally followed my nose to a dense rubber product…very close to what engine mount rubbers ae made of…smell the mounts!
Maybe the whole van is made from it ( a-la Cheech & Chong )
Smell the Mercon V transmission fluid sometime too.
( it’s not weed, but something else it smells like that’ll make you wonder. )
Pachouly incense should cover up the smell
The best bet is to take the car to the local cop shop (sheriff, state troopers or the local drug task force HQ. The higher the level of law enforcement the better) and tell them what’s going on. Ask them to have their drug-finding dog search the car. If the dog finds something or not, have the cops write something out (and notarized) that says the car was searched and either that no drugs were found; or that drugs were found (or a previous stash had been there) and were removed, and where it was located. Keep that paper in the glove box at ALL times.
Oregano, parsley, rubber, even certain tree leaves (like beech) can smell like pot, heated or not, and give a false positive.
This is a common problem with a lot of cars, bought at auctions from law enforcement agencies, that were used to traffic drugs, or just some pothead that got busted at a checkpoint with a nickle-bag stashed somewhere.
I suppose it could be hot rubber
I have had this exact same problem and so has my partner, when coolant is leaking and burns up it smells exactly like pot. I confirmed this with my mechanic and the same with my partner.
Yeah, I had this problem once, when I was a teenager. If only I had known I could blame the car!
Flashback! On our way to a high school ski trip to Summit County, CO back in the late '70s, our rental van crapped out in the Eisenhower Tunnel, and we exited in a horrible snow storm. A friendly native shuttled the 6-8 of us down to Frisco in a Monte Carlo or some such vehicle.
We rented another vehicle in town, only to be treated to the smell of a “Rocky Mountain High” coming from the engine compartment (and into the cabin). The teacher-chaperones quickly (?) switched the vehicle for a less aromatic one.
If only that was the end of the story. Those same chaperones were later implicated with a couple students for fencing stolen goods (students broke into homes, provided the goods to the teachers’ local shop). Draw your own conclusions.
By the way, I really must complain about your show. I can’t tell you how many “perfectly good hours” I’ve wasted driving and working in my garage listening to the rubbish you guys call entertainment. I’ve stopped giving to NPR, but they just keep you guys on!
Thanks for the memories,
You know, the same thing is going on RIGHT NOW with my 1995 Toyota Celica. Except it’s coming from the front passenger side. I keep thinking that the previous owner had a stash, but I’ve noticed the same smell on about two other cars at my job (at a local car detail shop). What I’ve noticed with the smell is exactly the same as the Villager. It only smells after a long drive and smells the most right up against the wheel. There has to be something with the wheel that is causing these smells.
I once bought a Canadian 87 Plymouth Reliant at auction that had been seized at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo. The trunk reeked of pot and it took a good year for the smell to go away.
While listening to your show I heard this call and knew immediately what the answer to this smell is. I wont say how I come by this information but I can state that I am almost certain that this smell is not pot but rather skunk! As I have been told that good pot smells almost exactly like skunk I postulate that the van in question either got sprayed by or became the home of a skunk and the left over musk smells more pungent as the van heats up!
I’ve never experienced an automotive fluid that smells even remotely like pot, burned or otherwise. What drugs are the people on who liken hot coolant smell to pot?
Not having paid much attention to the show this week, details of the year, make, and model are unknown, but something about engine mount(s) was mentioned. If this happens to be a vehicle with hydraulic mounts, either static or electronic vibration cancelling, then I wonder if the old torn mount’s fluid, after the mount was removed and spilled on the frame, might create such an odor. I’ve never had the pleasure of smelling warm/hot hydraulic engine mount fluid to know.