April 29, 2024

Tips to Remove the Odor from Your Car

Tips on How to Get Odors Out of Cars

Have you ever offered a friend a ride, only for them to tell you that you have a stinky car? Sometimes, we get used to odors we smell every day and become ‘nose blind’ to them. You might not even realize that your car has a funky odor. At Fiesta Motors, we do everything we can to make sure our Lubbock used cars are in great shape, clean, and odor-free. Not all used cars get that special treatment. If you’ve been looking for an odor eliminator for your car in Lubbock, TX, read through our tips on how to get odors out of cars.

Why Does My Car Smell Bad?

The first thing you want to do is investigate why your car smells bad. Using a car air freshener or an odor eliminator for cars will mask the smell but won't do anything about the source. The most common causes of foul odors in cars are old food or spilled beverages, pet hair and pet odors, cigarette smoke, dirty clothes, and odors resulting from flooding or water damage in the car. Start by cleaning out your car and removing everything from it. Don't forget to check under and between seats, in your glove compartment, and in your trunk. If the cause of the odor isn't something obvious, it might be something like a water leak, blocked drain, or dirty cabin filter.

Do a Deep Clean of Your Car

Once everything is out of your car, do a deep clean of all surfaces, upholstery, and carpeting. Take your mats up and shake them out outside the car. Vacuum them and either shampoo them or spot-clean them with a carpet cleaner. Then sprinkle baking soda or a carpet odor eliminator on your car's interior carpeting. Let it sit for 15 minutes, and then vacuum it up. Vacuum the upholstery as well and look for signs of stains or wet spots. If you see any, use a shop vac to clean them or apply an upholstery cleaner. Leave your doors open to let your car dry and air out. When it is dry, leave an open can of coffee inside it overnight with the doors and windows closed.

Use the Right Cleaning Products for Eliminating Car Odors

It's crucial to use the right cleaning products when dealing with a stinky car. To clean your interior surfaces, stick with cleaners recommended specifically for cars. In a pinch, some household cleaners are safe to use. You can use isopropyl alcohol to get rid of germs on interior surfaces but do not use bleach or hydrogen peroxide. You should also stay away from any cleaner that contains ammonia. If you have a leather interior, you can use a mix of warm water and a couple of drops of dish soap. Only use clean microfiber cloths, and never use scrub brushes.

Check the Air Conditioner and Heater for Bad Smells

If the odor in your car is sweet or fishy, it might be caused by an issue with your car’s heater. If it smells sweaty or like dirty laundry, it might be an issue with your car’s air conditioning. If you don’t know how to remove odors from a car AC or heater, you can take your car to a professional at the dealership or an auto shop. An underlying air conditioner or heater problem will require more than a DIY fix. However, you can start by using an AC disinfectant from an auto parts store. Open your car windows and turn the interior fan on a low setting. Spray the disinfectant into the AC intake vents at the bottom of the sides of the windshield near your wipers. You should also change your car's cabin air filter, which removes allergens and other contaminants. The filter is usually accessed via your car's glove compartment.

Look for Signs of Water Damage or Rodents in the Car

If your car still smells funky after doing everything above, you may have a more serious problem. Water damage and decaying rodents can cause terrible smells that won't go away using simple DIY methods. Look for signs of water damage, like damp carpeting and upholstery, water stains, dark spots, and mold or mildew growth. Water damage can occur if your car's interior is flooded during a storm or has a water leak from a clogged drain. Rodents and other small animals can get trapped in your car because they are drawn to the heat from the engine and then can't figure out how to get back out. Water, mold, and dead animal problems are best handled by experts who can make sure your car is clean, free from contaminants and bacteria, and safe to use again.

How to Remove Smell from Car Seats and Upholstery

If you can tell that a foul odor is coming from the seats or upholstery, you’ll want to do a deep clean. Here are some tips on how to remove a smell from car seats and upholstery:

l Check for wet spots and dampness. If the odor is caused by flooding or water damage, take your car to a professional auto detailing company.

l Vacuum the seats and upholstery thoroughly.

l Use an upholstery cleaner to spot-clean any stains.

l Mix one-part white vinegar with two parts water and spray it onto the seats. If your seats are cloth, you can just let the mixture dry. If your seats are leather, you should wipe it off after a few minutes using a microfiber cloth.

l Make a paste of water and baking soda and use a microfiber cloth to apply it to the car seats and upholstery. Do not use this method on leather seats. Let the mixture sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up.

l Use an enzymatic cleaner that is safe for car upholstery, like Nature’s Miracle. Spray the cleaner on the upholstery and car seats and let it dry. Do not use on leather car seats.

l Use a steam cleaner to kill bacteria and germs and remove odors.

Why Does My Car Smell Burnt?

A burnt or burning odor in your car is never good. You should take your car to the dealership or an auto repair shop right away. The most common reasons a car has a burnt smell are:

  • Faulty electrical component
  • Damaged brake pads
  • A coolant leak
  • Air conditioner clutch is burning
  • A melting fan belt
  • An overheating air compressor
  • Burning clutch lining
  • Burning oil
  • Cracked or leaking heater core
  • An exhaust leak in the cabin
  • Damaged catalytic converter

Visit the Best Used Car Dealership in Lubbock, TX

At Fiesta Motors, we’re proud to call ourselves the best used car dealership in Lubbock, TX. We are a Buy Here, Pay Here dealership and can find financing solutions for everyone's credit situation. We have the widest selection of makes and models of used cars, trucks, and SUVs in the area, and we're always getting new inventory. We have a knowledgeable, friendly staff ready to answer your questions and guide you through the process of buying a pre-owned vehicle. We offer in-house financing for bad credit, good credit, and no credit customers. Call us today or contact us online to learn more or stop by one of our three used car lots in Lubbock, TX.


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