bought a new used car that makes me so so sick.......new problem, anyone else?

Mouse girl

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Hi there!

So.....I've been trying to problem solve and get myself to be set up as I've gone under huge changes in the last few years. I lost my father who I lived with which was horrible and had to move which was horrible. But, since he so kindly left me money so I could survive, I've been trying to fix things like getting a new used car to replace my old 22 year old car that i also bought used.

So, cut to: bought my second used car, both same maker, one a little suv which made me so sick to drive. So, I figured, well, it's an suv, so they are more bouncy and anything that sort of moves my neck or spine around (like riding a bus) can really make me ill, setting off just a horrific set of symtpoms and recovery time. So, got a used sedan by the same maker, but this makes me just as sick or if not, even sicker! I sold my old car when I bought the sedan because I thought I wouldn't have any issues. Now, I'm panicing because I need to be able to evacuate (live in so cal in new area that could need to flee), go the vet, to the bank and also look for a new place and want to drive to the ocean as that is my happy place. I think the seats are a bit too big for me, as I'm small and maybe old luxury type cars like this old lexus have big seats? But, I think the real thing is some tiny and I mean, tiny vibration type thing that made me want to abandon the car by the time I drove it 25 mins to my pharmacy. I don't think anyone else except someone with a severe illness that effects their nervous system could feel it, but I'm so terrified. Am I going to have issues with all newer used cars?

I've always driven very old cars except when I've driven friends cars many years ago or rented cars many years ago and never had an issue with any car making me sick. I was sick back then but perhaps I'm sicker now but still, my old camry that I stupidly traded in at carmax just to be easier and I thought it could be good use to someone who didn't have much money but would need something to get to work in as it looked like a wreck and had heating vent problems (main reason I sold it as I get cold and need to defrost the window when it rains). So, I'm freaking out. Does anyone else have this issue. I'm so mad at myself for not holding on to that old car. I loved the car, it's just had alot of little things going on and i figured, I would need to get a newer one eventually, so I thought stupidly I would be proactive. I've just had so many problems trying to get my life to a survivable point lately and I'm worried. Had issues with new mattresses and this move has been horrific but I couldn't have known how bad it would be. Geez, what a crazy time. I'm so grateful that I'm able to try different cars as I get the oldest ones that carmax sells but........it's scary since I really really need a car out here and need one asap. I have an old camry coming to try but I'm really worried and so regret the stupid mistake I made getting rid of my cute old car. It even had duct tape on it to hold on a back light. lol My dad used to glue it for me when I came loose but after I lost him, I just taped it figuring I would get a car eventually. I liked that it wasn't pretentious. :)
 

geraldt52

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It seems more likely to me that you are reacting to cleaning chemicals that are typically used in cars to "detail" them for sale. The "issues" you had with a new mattress would reinforce that idea, as new mattresses are also notorious for provoking reactions due to outgassing of chemicals. You might want to try just sitting/lying in the car for half an hour and see if it doesn't provoke the same reaction as driving.

If it is the cleaning chemicals in the car, they'll eventually diminish. You can expedite it by placing a small electric heater in the car with the windows closed and heat it up inside, then turn off the heater, open the windows and air it out. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Be very careful with an electric heater inside the car, as the interiors of cars are very flammable. If the heater scares you, people also use small ozone generators inside cars to rid them of smells, though I haven't used them myself. Don't overdue an ozone generator, as ozone deteriorates plastics, and the interior is loaded with plastic.

I'd definitely test the idea by just sitting in the car without driving before doing anything else. No sense wasting your time if it is actually the "movement" that is causing your reaction.
 

Wishful

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I agree with Geraldt's suggestion: do a test sit for half an hour or whatever is appropriate to see if it's the motion or something else about the car (chemicals).

If it's motion, you can do more experiments to figure out which vectors bother you: forward/back, up/down, side/side. If it's a chemical, there are probably good tips online for how to remove them quickly and safely.

I'm sticking with my 85 Toyota pickup. The rust is still holding it together. :D
 

Mouse girl

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I do have chemcial issues, but this is different. The reaction I have to chemical stuff isn't this profound and it is a movement thing. I had the prerfume in the suv which I had steam cleaned and was out in uber hot LA weather for years. i found that putting orange oil all over the car with this orange oil spray did the trick for keeping the perfume from bothering me as the oil was heavy. This is a movement thing. It doesn't make me sick at first like chemicals do, it's after driving it for a bit and I can feel it in my body, this sort of torturous tiny movement thing and the seats being big hurts my back. I've had this movement problem with riding a bus or in friends big suvs and oddly enough in just a couple of Disneyland rides. I think it's from the inflamation in the cerebral spinal fluid and the tightness where the spine attaches to the skull. So.........trying a camry soon. These cars are all around 9 or 10 years old. Oh and to carmax's credit, I asked them to not spray anthing in the cars as i'm allergic, so perfume or freshener or new car smell stuff. They were really good about that. I even saw a hand written note in the car when I test drove it telling all the techs not to use perfumes. I just didn't think the sedan would make me sick as it seems to smooth, but the vibration things kind of builds up over time. Once I get sick from it, takes days to recover and then when I drive it a little bit, gets me really sick. Problem too, is that buying the car takes so much out of me when I drive it the first week when you can return it, I just thought, well, I don't feel well but I'm worn from the three hours it took to buy it.

I should have known better and kept the old one just in case. It's just that without defrost vents, it's dangerous to drive in the rain. Man, this illness is just insane, makes surviving beyond difficult. Thank god, I didn't buy a new car! Would have wasted even more money. I test drove a newer camry sport but that one made me head bump when i leaned it on the headrest and I knew that would make me sick. Just afraid new car suspension might be a real issue. Maybe I'll just be scouring old used car lots looking for something ancient that will break down on me all the time, just like when I was a kid. lol Oh well. It's frustating but at least these mistakes aren't killing me, well, yet. If I never get a car I can drive, that will be a problem. Thanks for listening. Makes me wonder about the people who have the structural issue with their spine that when fixed, they are cured. I don't have all the symptoms of that lovely women who started action me, as she mentioned not being able to breathe and needing to be turned over but I remember he having issues in cars due to movement, a bit different. anyways....what a crazy disease. the guy i hire to help me is going to think i'm so crazy. he can be a bit......less than empathetic, but what are ya gonna go? I trust him, and i need him to help me with stuff.
 

Judee

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We've had a lot of cars over the years and our toyota sienna mini van drove like a luxury car. It was so smooth. The only thing is we had to trade it in because it was having transmission issues (common to that model) otherwise I would have kept it.

When we test drove the new used car we went where the salesman said to turn and didn't go on the more bumpy roads. That was a mistake. By the time we got the car home that night, our backs hurt. I put cushions for my mom but I was okay for short drives.

Now here's the thing. They sent me a recall notice for the brakes so I had to take it in and so I asked them to check the tire pressure. They told me they were very much overinflated and adjusted them for me. Now the car drives about 70% smoother. Still not as nice as that sienna but much much better. No cushions needed anymore. Have a mechanic check your tire pressures.

Also if you think it is the smells, get a lot of clean used newspapers and put them everywhere inside that car and then keep changing them out and throw them out as they absorb the odors. You could also try brown paper bags or 100% cotton towels or blankets.
(Make sure the papers don't have a smell before using. Sometimes they put perfume samples in the coupon sections and that permeates.)
 
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Mouse girl

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oh, interesting about the newspaper, haven't heard that tip, thanks! This car doesn't smell. I think the old old car I had just had that more boat type feeling, instead of little bumps, it would have larger softer bumps. Perhaps the new cars all have tighter suspension because people want that for performance. The sedan that made me so sick, felt really smooth, it's just like this very small vibration thing and perhaps the seat being too big that I have to strain a bit no matter how i adjust things. But overall, it's this vibration thing I think. I've had the same sort of extreme reaction to a small sander that my dad was using to buff out his plastic headlight cover on his toyota. I wanted to try buffing out mine and after using the thing for 10 mins, I was so sick, I wanted to die. My dad was so shocked and irritated because I had to abandon doing my headlight, so he did it for me. He was good after time with learning new info on what made me sick but it was hard to him to adjust at first. I think he was a touch on the spectrum, so sometimes he would react without realizing his effect on other's emotions. But, he took care of me and I am eternally grateful. He was really the only family member who tried to understand and he would show me articles he saw in the Wall Street Journal that this wonderful journalist did on how serious CFS is.

When I've reacted to "new car smell" of rentals in the past or my friend's cars, I feel sick but nothing like this vibration/movement reaction. It's very hardcore and so much worse and effects so much more of my body for me than a chemical reaction.

I swear, that backlash of the illness can make it so hard to figure out what is making us ill in real time. Also, test drives aren't long enough and then being so sick from the day of buying a car, I don't seem to recover in the week I can return the thing to realize what is wrong. I do know that I am priviledged in that i can try and fix this issue by trying other used cars and selling the ones I bought. I just hate that I messed up but really thought I would be fine.

Maybe I'll have to try a mini van. I love toyota, that's why I bought these used lexus since they have more used ones than toyotas since businesses tend to have them in fleets for visiting business peeps, then sell them. But a mini van for a single cat lady would be kinda fun in an ecentric way. And hey, I guess I could use it to rest in if I drove an hour. Thanks for the tip. I love hearing others experiences and ideas with cars since I've been poor for my adult life until now so i have limited experience with cars.
 
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For me perfumes and chemicals are a big issue and this would have been my first thought as the cause of your problem. However I don’t have the issue with vibration you experience so I’m not really sure of the best solution.

One idea, if you have any friends or family who you can swap cars with for a period of time and perhaps even purchase the car from them if it works out... or at the very least you know if the brand and model of car is worth investigating further. Obviously friends are often few and far between with such a debilitating chronic illness but I thought it was worth mentioning just in case it was an option.

I hope you can sort this out quickly and with as little difficulty as possible!
Let us know how you go.
 

Wishful

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If you could figure out precisely what sort of movement causes the problem, there might be solutions. For example, it it was up/down movement, you might be able to have the seat mounted on dampers rather than bolted to the frame. If it was something about the Camry's seats that worked well for you, you could find a seat cheaply at car wrecking yard and mount that (might need adaptor plates).

If it's engine vibration, you might have to look for a certain type of engine. Maybe the other vehicles had engines running at lower rpm's, or the Camry's had good anti-vibration mounting. Maybe 'v' engines have a worse vibration mode for you than inline engines, or vice versa.

If it weren't for the problems you have test-driving, I'd suggest testing an electric vehicle, just to see if it's the IC engine that's the problem.

Another possibility: drive train differences. One car might cause a lot more small acceleration/decelleration changes while driving. Stick shift might be different than automatic, in regards to causing symptoms.

An interesting problem. ME20's suggestion of trying cars from friends or family is good. Maybe even try rental vehicles, if that allows you to find out what works for you.

It's just that without defrost vents, it's dangerous to drive in the rain.
Here in Alberta it's the ice buildup. :eek: On those -40C days, I have to keep scraping the frost off my side windows, and that's with the defrost vents working. Sometimes I get out of my truck with my left side covered in 'snow'.
 

gbells

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It's probably because the shocks are less worn so they have less travel. You probably can change them to less firm ones and make there be less shock. The best thing is to go with a sedan that has a reputation for a softer ride (Toyota Avalon).
 

Mouse girl

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Wow, so many people here know a heck of alot more about cars than I do! hehe.....no surprise there but kinda staggering to think of so many things. I don't have family, my dad died recently and his sons just wanted his money. I have a couple of good friends but they are far away or don't have a car they could spare. I would happily trade my car for much cheaper one if it worked well for me. But, all good ideas. I did think that if the camry I have set to test drive at carmax as soon as it's delievered doesn't work, i could try and rent a minivan to see if that had more of the boat feel to it as i think they are on car chasis. I was thinking that perhaps the lexus have really good preformance that maybe it's just a tighter set up all around rather than the cheaper models of toyota. I'm praying that's the case. This situation sent me into a panic and terror because if i can't find a car I can drive, I can't see how I'll survive or be happy again. I only have driven old cars since it's been years since i borrowed my friend's suv and rented. I drove my dad's 2005 corrola for an hour which wore me out but i don't remember it making me so ill. new cars are just sooo different. no visability, hard to see over the hood when you small like me or tight suspension. i'm scared. i just didn't think this would happen since i did a nice long test drive and did so much research on the car and haven't had this from a car in the past. I did just read an article that talked about why suvs can make some people very car sick and they did talk about a vibration, but couldn't find info on a lexus sedan causing vibration. what a nightmare this illness is. it really makes like just impossible and i am just dreading all the judgement and put downs or little digs that i am "crazy" coming from the only person i trust enough to fire to work for me to help out. he seems to have gotten much less kind lately or perhaps i just didn't know him as well, when i worked for him. But, i need him and he's been helpful was great to me as a boss many years ago.
 

Mouse girl

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If you could figure out precisely what sort of movement causes the problem, there might be solutions. For example, it it was up/down movement, you might be able to have the seat mounted on dampers rather than bolted to the frame. If it was something about the Camry's seats that worked well for you, you could find a seat cheaply at car wrecking yard and mount that (might need adaptor plates).

If it's engine vibration, you might have to look for a certain type of engine. Maybe the other vehicles had engines running at lower rpm's, or the Camry's had good anti-vibration mounting. Maybe 'v' engines have a worse vibration mode for you than inline engines, or vice versa.

If it weren't for the problems you have test-driving, I'd suggest testing an electric vehicle, just to see if it's the IC engine that's the problem.

Another possibility: drive train differences. One car might cause a lot more small acceleration/decelleration changes while driving. Stick shift might be different than automatic, in regards to causing symptoms.

An interesting problem. ME20's suggestion of trying cars from friends or family is good. Maybe even try rental vehicles, if that allows you to find out what works for you.



Here in Alberta it's the ice buildup. :eek: On those -40C days, I have to keep scraping the frost off my side windows, and that's with the defrost vents working. Sometimes I get out of my truck with my left side covered in 'snow'.
-40, I honestly can't even imagine! My family was from the east coast of the us and I would hear snow stories but man, up there in Canada, you guys really have it cold. Do you have to eat more calories to stay healthy up there like in Alaska?
 

Judee

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Maybe I'll have to try a mini van. I love toyota, that's why I bought these used lexus since they have more used ones than toyotas since businesses tend to have them in fleets for visiting business peeps, then sell them. But a mini van for a single cat lady would be kinda fun in an ecentric way.
Before you go to all that work though, have them check the tire pressure to make sure they aren't over inflated. It could be something as simple as that causing the extra vibrations. It really can make a difference. I looked into having the shocks changed out on our new used car as gbells suggested but it turned out it was just the tires.
 
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Wishful

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Do you have to eat more calories to stay healthy up there like in Alaska?
I don't think I'm eating more calories than when I lived in Vancouver. I'm pretty sure I'm eating fewer. I just dress warmly. I've gone for multi-hour hikes at -40, without problems. Bike riding below -35C is a problem, because my glasses start frosting up instead of just fogging up, and turning my head doesn't clear the frost. I found it interesting that at low temperatures, a bit of dirt on the icy roads made them fairly safe for bike riding. Snow is really tiring to ride through though.
 

Wishful

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I've had the same sort of extreme reaction to a small sander
That makes me think that it's not the suspension or acceleration/decelleration, but rather the engine vibration, although unbalanced tires could cause general vibration too. Different engines have different vibration modes, which might make one feel more like a sander. Check whether your 'good' Camry had a V6 or inline engine, and which type of engine the 'bad' cars had. Seats would affect that too.
 

Mouse girl

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All engines were or are, V6. Someone else talked about the tires too. I tried to get someone to take some air out but they wouldn't. With the next one, i will definately find someone to take a few lbs out of them though. I think with the lexus, I also don't fit in the seats since they are made for a large man. The lexus just seam so extreme, i just need to sell this one and move on. There are so many shiny parts on the dash that the sun flashes in my eyes too, and any strobe light effects make me sick. I have some of that blue tape on the dash to try and cover some of it. So funny to see in this "fancy" car. And even though the car is old by normal standard and used, it looks kinda too fancy for me. I'm not fancy so a hoping and praying or wishing that a camry might somehow be better. So worried it's how they make cars in more recent times for fuel efficiency or to feel less like a boat. For those of you who are older or were poor when they were young, like me, remember how boat like the 70's cars were? Or even the 80's or 90's?
 

Mouse girl

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I don't think I'm eating more calories than when I lived in Vancouver. I'm pretty sure I'm eating fewer. I just dress warmly. I've gone for multi-hour hikes at -40, without problems. Bike riding below -35C is a problem, because my glasses start frosting up instead of just fogging up, and turning my head doesn't clear the frost. I found it interesting that at low temperatures, a bit of dirt on the icy roads made them fairly safe for bike riding. Snow is really tiring to ride through though.
Wow, multi hour hikes? Dude, your name says it all to me. "wishful" is the only way I could even dream of doing an hour flat walk since I've been sick. I'm really glad you can do all that. Canada looks so beautiful. What climate changes do you see up there? Here, it's like there is no where safe, half the country is burning constantly, the other half flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes. I had dreamed of living in a place with more land but doesn't seam possible in California any longer. You need to be deeper in a city, surrounded by homes so you don't have your home burn down.
 

Wishful

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I tried to get someone to take some air out but they wouldn't.
Releasing air is easy. Unscrew the valve cap, then push the valve in with any convenient object. Stop when you think enough air has been released. Get a tire pressure gauge to see what the pressure is (you really should check tire pressure once in a while). Recommended air pressure should be listed on the side of the driver door; at least that's where it used to be.

Putting air back into a tire is harder. I'm offgrid, so I don't have a compressor, which means using a manual pump as I had to do a few days ago when putting my snowtires on and finding two a bit too low for safety. I'll stop at a tire place on my next trip to town and get them topped up, since they're still a bit low and it gets harder with each psi added.

What climate changes do you see up there?
So far it's hard to tell climate change from normal variability. Last year seemed very wet, but much less snow than usual. This year had a wet spring, but not much summer precipitation and only two or three thunderstorms, which is unusual (some years they've seemed like every day). Fire hazard was unusually low this summer. So, overall, no major climate change impacts. I do like the dramatic changes in weather as the seasons change here.

Wow, multi hour hikes?
I didn't suffer from any physical limitations from ME. I could do long hikes and rides before ME, and that didn't change after. It's mainly been the cognitive symptoms hampering me. The last few years I've been finding it harder to find the mental energy to go for a long hike, or to bike regularly enough to accustomize to the bike saddle enough to tolerate long rides.
 

geraldt52

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If ride quality is your problem, as mentioned, tire pressures and shocks can make significant differences. Any gas station/tire store would be willing to lower your air pressures, but they won't lower them below the recommendation on the tire.

If what you want is a "70s boat", Ford made the Crown Victoria until about 2010, and lightly used examples are readily available. Mostly older folks were buying them toward the end, and many of them spent their lives in garages, almost literally only driven to church on Sunday. They are probably as comfortable and reliable a car as was ever built, and if you can't tolerate one of them you probably can't tolerate any car. No one wants them today, as everyone has to have an SUV, so they can be had for very reasonable prices.
 

Wishful

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The problem is that it might not be ride quality. Vibrating sanders don't have ride quality, unless ... well, let's not go there. :redface:

Actually, that's an experiment to try. @Mouse girl could try sitting on a washing machine while it's running, to see if that sort of vibration is causing the symptoms. There might be kitchen appliances or other tools for generating physical vibration at different frequencies that would simulate car vibrations. Riding on a swing might simulate ride quality better. Figuring out what kind of vibration causes the problem would be cheaper and less stressful than testing a large number of cars.
 

Mouse girl

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@geraldt52 , that must have been it. I took the one car back to the tire shop that filled the tires as they were a bit low and asked them to take some out and i think it would go against their policy. That car did run better before I had the tire pressure checked and they filled them up.

Thanks for the idea of the Ford Crown Victoria. I've never heard of a modern ford being reliable, so never even though of that. Most people I know who have had american cars (myself included) just were constantly left on the side of the road. Lol So, that's why I loved my old camry. My old camry had good tire pressure but it just was an old car so it was built so differently. Thank god I didn't buy a new car and went for used, so at least less money was lost. So, that's good. I got back almost how much I paid for the sedan when I turned it in today which was so surprising. So, it was like I paid to rent it really.