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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi to all.

New here.

I just picked up a used 03 Element...the thing is just mint with low miles, however after getting it home we noticed a strange smell in the vehicle.

We had noticed a smell before, but just wrote it off as nothing.

After much sniffing we had determined that it is coming off the plastic or rubber on the seats.

Has anyone every had this happen before, and if so (or not) any ideas on how to remove the odour....not looking to mask it.



Thanks
 

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Did you get it at a dealer? If so take it back and ask then to remove the odor. Otherwise I have had good luck by just placing a bowl of vinegar on the floor overnight. I don't know exactly how it works but the vinegar removes the odor and the vinegar odor also disappears.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advise...

Thanks for the advise...I did try that.

The problem is that the vinyl still give off the odour.

So the vinager or bake soda clears the air...but the source is still in the vehicle and therefore the smell returns.

I will be calling the dealer...


Thoughts......
 

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That stinks . . . pun intended! :rolleyes:

Think the dealer is the best plan, but in the event you know anyone who owns a FreshAir by EcoQuest air cleaning system it can be used to sanitize the inside of the vehicle and most likely get rid of the odor. I haven't had to use mine for that specific reason, but I've known people who have- just parked their car in a garage with the cleaner running inside the vehicle and in 2 hours it is sanitized and smell-free. It's good for smoke, pet odors, etc.

They are pretty expensive to purchase from a distributor, but I got a used one off ebay for a reasonable price and love it.
 

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What type of odour? Is the plastic/rubber feeling slightly sticky? Could be they cleaned it with something that was not for plastic/rubber, or was too harsh, and the stuff is "outgassing" as it slowly deteriorates. Try cleaning those "smelly" areas with a good leather cleaner/lotion, to see if that does it.

If the plastic/rubber seems fine, but just smells no matter what - could be an absorbed order. If cleaning won't get rid of it - renting an ozone generator (tool rental place) and leaving it on overnight in the vehicle should do the trick. Had a friend accidentally leave a package of meat in her car (fell out of the bag, and slid under a seat) in the hot sun for a week. Smell when you opened the door would knock you over. She tried everything short of ripping all the upholstery and head liner out (her next step), when an airline pilot told her to rent the ozone generator. Said airlines use them all the time to remove strong residual shipping/cargo smells (strawberries, monkeys, etc.) from cargo planes. Worked like a charm.
 

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The other thing to try is Glass cleaner as it will take some smells out and clean it pretty well.
 

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Vinegar, Charcoal, and Air Filters

One time i bought a car which had been smoked in and the only thing that worked for me was vinegar.
I gave EVERYTHING (Panels, dash, floor) a rubdown with vinegar. Even though the car appeared clean, the vinegar removed a thin layer of invisible stench. Then that night I allowed a bowl of vinegar to set in the car.
Next morning: No Smell!!!

I have herd of some people placing charcoal in a bag under their seats to "absorb" Odors.

Also, you might try changing the in cabin air filter located behind the glove box. You can do this yourself. The filter is 20-30 bucks at the auto store/ dealer. Just open up the glove box, pop out the 2 tabs on each side and you will see the filter doors.

Hope this all helps!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow....this is some stong advice...Thanks so much!!

Thanks to all that took the time to respond.

I will start at the least expensive then work my way up.

I am confident it will be rectified.


Thanks again for all the sound advice.


Nick
 

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suggestion

The best thing I have found for removing odors is volcanic rock. It is available at Lee Valley Tools - www.leevalley.com. It can be used again and again and can be regenerated. It comes in a mesh bag that you can hang/place in your car until you don't notice any further smells. Good luck!
 
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