Living in such a small space like your interior cabin, it can quickly get gross and smell like a high school locker room. These 3 tips can help you remove those funky smells.
Watch all of our Autoblog Details videos for more tips on car cleaning and maintenance by professional detailer Larry Kosilla. While you’re at it, check out Larry’s other video series on how to diagnose, fix, and modify cars, Autoblog Wrenched!
[00:00:30] If the odor remains sprinkle baking soda on the fabric, and allow a few hours to absorb the smell. Afterwards, vacuum the powder, or repeat the steps again if the odor lingers. If you’re like me, I forget to change my car’s cabin filter, all the time. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended replacement interval, and how to actually replace it. Mine happens to be located behind the glove box. Similar to your engine’s air filter, the cabin filter cleans your vehicles HVA system, to prevent pollutants like pollen, dust, and mold spores from entering the cabin.
[00:01:00] However, as interior smells circulates the HVA system, it penetrates the paper filter, and may cause it to smell. Then, when you turn the blower or the fan on, the smell blows through the filter and back into the cabin. So the next step is to find and remove the old cabin filter, but don’t replace it just yet. For really bad odors, removing and replacing the cabin filter, may not be enough.
[00:01:30] The vents themselves, may still have lingering odor or mildew, and will continue to fill the cabin with funky air, when the fan is turned on. Likewise, the AC condenser is a breeding ground of mold, due to the moisture it creates during operation. First make sure the car is off. Then take your vent cleaner and spray it in all the vents, including the intake opening on the inside of the car, usually found in the footwells, and the outside fresh air intake, usually located in front of the windshield, under grates, to prevent leaves and junk from entering.
[00:02:00] Next, start your car and put the AC on full bast, with recirculation on. Then spray both intakes, once again, and let the system run for a few minutes. Afterwards, turn the AC and recirculation off, but leave the fan on full blast and lower your windows. This will draw in fresh air from the outside and further clean out the system. Finally, reinstall your cabin filter, and your HVA system is clean and ready to go.
[00:02:30] One last quick tip for cars with smoke smell, the primary source of the odor is typically focused on the driver’s side B pillar, the headliner, and the seatbelt itself. So the biggest return on your cleaning effort should start with these areas. Although, scrubbing them with carpet or fabric cleaner will reduce the smoke smell, multiple applications will be needed, in most cases. If you found this video helpful, please share, and keep up with all the latest detail videos by liking or subscribing the Autoblog page. I’m Larry Kosilla from ammonyc.com, thanks for watching.
Check out all of our season 2 Details episodes below:
Top 3 Car Washing Mistakes
Top 10 Car Washing Tools
To Paint Or Not To Paint
6 Quick Tips For A Cleaner Interior
The #1 Car Detailing Mistake
Clean These 5 Spots Before Selling Your Car
3 Quick Tips To De-Stink Your Car
A Cleaner Car In Just 5 Minutes
3 Best Towels For Detailing
Getting Started On Your Car Detail
Cleaning Your Engine Bay
Cleaning Your Car Interior
Wheels & Paint
Clay & Dry Your Paint
Compounding & Polishing Paint
Coat, Seal, & Wax Your Paint
Dressing Trim, Rubber, & Plastics
Plasti Dipping Your Grill
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