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  1. #11
    Senior Member LSNAutoDetailing's Avatar
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    Jun 2014
    Chandler, AZ
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    Re: Any final suggestions before I sell this smelly car?

    You may have to replace the carpet.

    Since you donít know the source, any product recommendations arenít going to work, however one last thing to try, CarPro So2Pure. Spray that on carpets and see if that works.

    Sounds like youíve done everything else already.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Also known as Paul G

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Re: Any final suggestions before I sell this smelly car?


    Works for me.

  3. #13
    Senior Member TTQ B4U's Avatar
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    Jan 2016
    Central Ohio
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    Re: Any final suggestions before I sell this smelly car?

    Quote Originally Posted by itgoofy View Post
    I bought a used car about 5 months ago. When it was 'detailed' it seems they sprayed it down with some sort of fragranced product. I had a pro come out and detail the thing, steam it, extract the carpets, etc. Smell went away. About 2 weeks later it's back in full force. I buy an ozone machine, run it a few times. Smell is gone again, about 2 weeks later, back again. It's bizarre. I've scoured every last inch of this thing(GMC Yukon XL) and taken the interior apart. Is it possible that it's just saturated all of the fibers of the car? I can't find any hidden air fresheners or anything that could be causing the smell. The weird thing is that the ozone kills the smell almost entirely for a few weeks then it progressively comes back to full force. Is this possible if there is isn't something hidden in the car? I've replaced a bunch of the interior parts that I suspected to be the source of the odor. Still there, though definitely somewhat less. Removed the cabin air filter as well. Tried the deodorizing sprays, nada. I swear it's like there's a hidden freshener in the car that can't be found anywhere, but I've literally taken the dash apart, the console, the seats, I see absolutely nothing.

    Next step would be to have the headliner replaced, but at that point I'll just sell it and buy something else that doesn't smell. Due to allergies, it's become a real hassle having this lingering cleaner/fragrance type smell in the car. Any ideas before I sell this thing at a loss?
    Chlorine Dioxide Tablets. 300% better than any spray or even ozone. Takes about 40 minutes to fog the car. First 20 minutes get you started, then at that point Start the vehicle and put the HVAC on high in recirculate mode. Use AC mode too.

    Same basic procedure as Ozone but way more effective at penetrating fibers and small places and it's also more effective at Killing Bacteria that cause odors. Once complete, just air out the car. It will leave a very slight chlorinated fresh scent kinda like visiting the pool only not as strong. It dissipates over about 2 days.

    I use the 100g packets. Reset Chlorine Dioxide | Safely remove odor, mold, mildew, algae

    I buy them locally at my distributor for about $40. Contains 5 treatments per pack. Very cost effective.

    For best results, use a small aerator to agitate the Reset CLO₂ concentrate . Any low cost, $10 Amazon sourced fish-type aerator will do. The use of it will rapidly push the ClO₂ out of the concentrate and shortening treatment times thus why I say 40 minutes. Without aeration, ClO₂ vapor will release from product for up to 24 hours. Think leaving water on the counter to evaporate the chlorine.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Jacob Harrod AUTOCLEAN's Avatar
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    Mar 2020
    El Reno, Oklahoma
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    Re: Any final suggestions before I sell this smelly car?

    This is interesting. I hope you figure it out.

    I cleaned up a rat mobile once. We took the carpets, interior moldings, seats and center console out. I blew all of the debris out and vacuumed out everything. I pressure washed the carpets too. I even cleaned up where we could with a diluted solution of bleach. I blasted everything I could with the Tornador Black. The rats had chewed up and made a huge mess of everything, and a nasty smell. I could not get rid of the smell, but the car looked pretty good when I was done. It took about a week and I'll never take a job like that on again.

    As it turns out the vehicle ended up being totaled by the insurance company, so we just took all of the pieces, put them back into the car, and it was later hauled away by a tow company.

    If I can think of anything I'll let you know. In my opinion you may have to smell around like a detective until you can locate the source. I would say be prepared to disassemble some things if necessary, and get a buddy to help you out. Some one with a good sniffer.

    If it's embedded through out the whole car you may have to find some type of fogging product that has the ability to neutralize the smell.

    The smell may be in the ventilation system as well so you my try changing your cabin air filter.

    Try fogging the car with this while recirculating the air. I would take the old cabin air filter out and just let it fog and recirculate through the system until it is completely done fogging. Then when it's done put in a brand new cabin air filter and give the car a very thorough cleaning.

    Mothers Odor Eliminator & Refresher - Unscented

    They also have a new car smell as well.

  5. #15
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2014
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    Re: Any final suggestions before I sell this smelly car?

    I bought a car once and went through the process of detailing and working out the mechanical issues when I found rat feces and urine in the vents behind the radio. The urine had dripped down to the condenser. At that point I wiped it down with some cleaning products, put some clorox in a spray bottle and ran a towel down as far as possible. Sadly I decided in the interest of my family's health to sell the car. Smells are no different than electrical gremlins in used cars and its better sometimes to let go. Good luck.

    Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk

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