Does your car smell? If the odors that are inhabiting or coming from your vehicle have become so pungent that you are no longer nose blind to them, it may be time to diagnose the issue and implement a plan of attack. Continue reading to learn the most effective solutions used to treat a variety of smelly car problems, as well as what to do if you have no luck after exhausting all efforts.
What Does Your Car Smell Like?
In order to diagnose the culprit behind your smelly car problems, you must try to identify the type of odor you are detecting.
Does your car smell sour or rancid? If your car smells rancid or sour, you may have an empty milk carton or juice box collecting mold underneath a seat somewhere. Sour smells could also be indicative of rotten fruit.
Does it smell like gasoline? If you are smelling gasoline odors, you could have a faulty gas cap or a leak in your fuel tank, which would require immediate auto repair. Or, you may have just spilled some gasoline in your car.
Does it smell like something is burning? The smell of burning rubber is often indicative of slipping drive belts in the engine or loose hoses that are rubbing against the rotating accessory drive pulleys. The smell of burnt carpet indicates a problem with a vehicle’s braking system, which is a serious hazard that requires immediate repair.
Does it smell like rotting meat or rotting eggs? If you smell something like rotting meat or decay, you could have a dead animal somewhere in your car. It could also just be last season’s fast food burger you forgot to clean out. The smell of rotten eggs, or sulfur, is a sign that your car’s catalytic converter is defective.
Is it musty or wet? Smelling moist or musty odors can be a sign that your auto AC system is moldy or malfunctioning. It could also mean that your interior upholstery is very dirty and old.
How to Treat Car Smells
If your car odor problems are caused by an automotive repair issue, the best way to treat the odors is to have your vehicle repaired or serviced. If the issue is simply due to your upholstery being old or a recent spill that left residual odors, an interior steam and carpet cleaning package at your local car wash is your best bet. Follow up with store-bought air fresheners and deodorizers specially designed for automobiles.
Getting Rid of Dead Animal Smell in Your Car
If your smell comes from a dead animal, you will need to perform a few tasks to rid the vehicle of odors. First, you have to find the animal and have it removed. This has to be done by a mechanic if the animal is inside the vehicle’s undercarriage parts. Squirrels, chipmunks, and birds are the most common critters found nesting inside vehicles.
Once you remove the dead animal, you can treat the odor. This should also be done by a professional. They will first use a saturated, ultra-hot dry steam to clear out the filtration system of the vehicle and kill all odorous bacteria. Then they will use deodorizing agents followed by an antimicrobial treatment.
How to Remove Gasoline Odors in Your Car
If you spilled gasoline on your car’s carpeting or upholstery, like your car seats or trunk bed, go for the classic baking soda and white vinegar combination attack. Combine equal parts water, vinegar, and baking soda, and then dip a cloth into the solution and delicately rub it into the spill.
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