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Interior odor problem


414TATA
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Hello Old Car Lovers

I had this all ready to go and lost it (some where) in the Pre War Buick forum. I will try again here.

My 1941 Buick has an odor inside. No particular smell. Just smells old. (hey 70 years it could happen right)

I have done some things like a fan 24/7 with the windows down while the car was in the garage. Baking soda and vinegar (not together) with the windows up.

Today I placed a small room air filter inside with the windows up. I'll try this for a day or so.

It seems a lot better and is not over whelming but I would like to know if any of you have a suggestion.

The interior is original and in excellent condition. Maybe this is just the smell old foam and cotton upholstery?

Wayne B.

1941 Buick Super 50

Edited by 414TATA
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We got a new 5th-wheel camper and as you can imagine they have a powerful "new" odor to them.

We left a pan (we used a small new cat litter pan) in the middle of the camper with about a one inch deep mix of broken up charcoal, the plain kind of course, and baking soda. Every couple of days we would shake the pan to expose fresh material to absorb the smell. After about a week we changed what was in the pan for fresh. We did this for a couple of months.

We aired it out with all the windows and roof vents open in good weather.

It helped more to add the charcoal pieces than just the baking soda. Now there is very little "new" odor.

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eat lots of beans while taking a few long road trips, that old car smell won't have a fighting chance....LOL

Seriously, some cars just have their own odors. I've had my car a long time, new paint, new interior, etc. and still my garage smells like "Old Buick".

:)That's great. I think I may have that too. My garage just smells like an "Old Buick"

Thanks

Wayne

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Guest my3buicks

The dryer sheets idea will help, if you store the car for winter, load it up with them.

I like the smell of mothballs in an old car - let a bowl of them in the car for a while and you will smell monthballs not old car smell.

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Febreeze makes a spray specifically for car interiors, does not have the perfumey odor of their regular spray. I have used it on cars with tobacco odors, works pretty well. You may also need to clean as many surfaces as possible but that is not easy in a very old car without risking damage.

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Fabreze , Extra Stength in the dark blue bottle or the Fabreze for Carpet plus the dryer rags. The old smell is sort of a problem here in Florida with old people too. (Moth balls smell like old people too)

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Make sure there are no rodents getting into the garage/vehicle. Set a few traps for a week and if you don't catch anything you're probably o.k. there. Also, you could try running a dehumidifier in the garage. Indoors or out there are products available to help control moisture.

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Back in my car dealer days the owners son told me this story. He was able to purchase a like new low mileage Corvette for very little money at auction. There was one problem with the car. Apparently the previous oner passed away in the car. His body stayed in the car a little too long. No one would buy the car due to the odor in the car. The owners son said the odor was of no concern to him because of a trick that his grandmother had taught told him. He peeled a bushel of apples. He put the apples in the car with the windows rolled up. He let the car sit for a week. After removing the apples the odor was gone. I can not verify the truth to this story. Remember it was told to me by a car salesman!

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Sounds like it might be that "cold storage" smell prevalent in many old cars! After my dad died, I turned the heat down in his apartment to 60 degrees and I still can't get the smell out! When he was alive it didn't smell like that! And no, he didn't die there! But back to the cars! Mine is stored in an unheated garage over the winter. I load it up with Bounce Dryer Sheets and it smells daisy fresh in the spring. I also coat the Vinyl seats with Vinylex. It also has a pleasant smell and protects the seats as well!

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You may want to try Ozium, it is an areosal spray and little bit goes a long ways - Amazon, Walgrens, Ace or TrueValue Hardware should carry it. I used it in my '51 Buick as it smelled musty when I first bought it; after a couple of applications it didn't have that old trunk smell. It is a product that we have used for over 35 years in the FD to rid a residence of smoke odors after small fires.

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Interesting because I was actually going to write in with the same question. The '89 Cutlass I inherited from my uncle has a bad musty smell because it had a leak that saturated the carpets. It sat outside for several months before I was able to take possession of it and find the source of the leak. Anyway, it's been dry inside for almost 2 years but it still stinks. It's not an old car smell, either. That I wouldn't mind. I'm guessing the smell is coming from the matting under the carpet but I really don't want to go to all the effort of ripping the carpet out. I think I'll try the dryer sheet method and see what happens.

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Back in my car dealer days the owners son told me this story. He was able to purchase a like new low mileage Corvette for very little money at auction. There was one problem with the car. Apparently the previous oner passed away in the car. His body stayed in the car a little too long. No one would buy the car due to the odor in the car. The owners son said the odor was of no concern to him because of a trick that his grandmother had taught told him. He peeled a bushel of apples. He put the apples in the car with the windows rolled up. He let the car sit for a week. After removing the apples the odor was gone. I can not verify the truth to this story. Remember it was told to me by a car salesman!

I've heard that story half a dozen times, and it was always a low mileage Corvette. The apple thing is a new twist. I heard one guy burned a bowl of coffee grounds inside the car to remove the odor. Most of the times this story was recounted to me, the car had to be junked. Even the engine and running gear had absorbed the stench. As a former embalmer, I do know the smell will go away in time, though the mess left by advanced decomposition will not.

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I had an almost new '65 Cadillac convertible that developed a musty odor and a damp trunk about the same time. There was about 12-inches of sheet metal between the back window and the trunk lid. The rear quarter panels were welded onto this panel. Got to looking and found a hairline crack in the paint on both sides where the quarterpanels were welded on and water was seeping through the crack which turned out to be more than just the paint. Had it cleaned out, caulked (or leaded) and repainted. It lasted about 1 year and then the problem returned and I had to have it fixed again. Shortly after that I traded it off.

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Here is the stuff. I used to sell it in the 1990's. Great for musty cars, boats, and the like. They make a musty smell one and a smoky smell one.

It is available from Aritari Auto Finishers

995 Carter Street

Rochester, NY 14621-1909

(585) 342-7026

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I doubt if topical type treatments will be very successful for very long simply because the odor is in all the upholstery padding, headliner, underneath the dash, etc. Basically anywhere dust could collect and hold odors.

We've had great success in eliminating odors around the house with a product called ZERO ODOR, you might want to try it.

ZeroOdor.com

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