Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Mindy asks: Thanks for your article the other day about cleaning your own car. My question is about the smell of my car. It stinks! I’ve tried Febreze and other things but the car still has a “funky” smell that just doesn’t go away. Any advice?
My reply: The first thing I’d do is ascertain whether your car has any leaks – including internal ones, as from a leaking heater core. Feel with your hands for any sign of moisture on the carpets; be sure to feel up in the footwell area of both the driver and passenger side; a coolant leak – if you have one – is more likely on the passenger side. If you have a leaking heater core, the funk will not go away until the leak is fixed – and the carpet dried out.
A water leak will also lead to funk. A good way to check for a leak is to go through an automated car wash and see whether any water is slipping past door seals and so on. Once again, feel the carpet. If it’s wet, you will need to find the leak – then dry the carpet. It may also be necessary to shampoo the carpet, to get the stink out.
The best way to do this is with the seats out. Usually, they can be removed from their tracks by unbolting them. Now you have access to the whole surface area and can vacuum, shampoo and dry the carpet. Be sure it is dry before you put the seats back.
If you had a bad leak, it may be necessary to replace the carpet/underlay – if mold has taken hold.
Also: Check the air box (where the air filter is housed) for dead rodents. That is another way for funk to get into your car!
And: Check the drainage holes for the AC (look underneath the car, around the cowl area). If water stays inside the vents, the Funk will be with you, always!
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