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Left sunroof open, heavy rain, smell


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#1 derelict

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 07:55 AM

Last weekend I went away with my folks on vacation. When I came back I was horrified to see I had left my sunroof open and apparently it had rained quite heavily while I was gone. The floor mats were not that wet, but the leather seats still had water on them (and collected where the lower seat meets the upper back). The cupholder showed about an inch of water in it. I dried everything up by turning the heat on high and leaving the car on for a couple hours. Then I opened all the windows and let it sit overnight to air out and get the moisture/humidity out of the car.

All that remains now is a smell that comes wafting at me sometimes during my drive. It smells like garbage :/ I tried leaving a couple boxes of baking soda in the car but my fear is that the water seeped through the leather and the smell is coming from the foam or cushion material underneath.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

thanks so much!

#2 autoprecise1

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 07:58 AM

run deoderizer through your ventilation system. you can also check to so see if your vehicle is equipped with a cabon air filter, if so it wouldn't hurt to change that too.
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#3 Mr. Clean 2K

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 08:35 AM

I feel it is time to test this product out: (check out autogeek. It is called Clean Air Genie Fogging Fresh Air System. It is 9.99... Let us know.

The Clean Air Genie Auto Air Freshener will grant your wish for a clean-smelling interior! The name is apt because, with the push of a button, an air-freshening fog rises out of the Clean Air Genie and fills your vehicle with a fresh odor neutralizer. Like magic, foul smells and stale odors will disappear from your car’s interior.

The Clean Air Genie is a new air cleaning technology that doesn’t just mask odors – it permanently eliminates them. If you’ve left wet clothes or towels on your backseat and mildew has set in, the Clean Air Genie gets rid of that smell forever. Did a smoker ride shotgun? The Clean Air Genie’s penetrating fog will neutralize that stale smoke smell in the air and the seats. Your vehicle’s interior will smell fresh, even if some of your passengers are not!

#4 Grouse

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 10:03 AM

there was another thread where windows were left down. It's a few days back try search for windows left open.
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#5 brwill2005

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 10:13 AM

The leather and the padding may well be full of mold. Short of getting new seats and a carpet shell; a thorough interior detail, an application of Microban (or similar), and an ozone treatment will work. I know it sounds like a lot, but if it got as wet as you say, the mold may be in many areas.
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#6 newagain

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 10:36 AM

Remove seats from vehicle turn upside down and check padding if wet EXTRACT and let air dry then inject with an odor control enzyme make sure you cover the area with a damp towel so product won't dry out too quick.

Remove the side foot panels from the vehicle and lift up and check to see if all water was removed if not remove the drain plug and allow water to drain extract water from padding then spray with enzyme allow to dry or you might have to replace the padding. I would replace. Vacuum the carpet and shampoo the carpet.

If all else fail or your not comfortable with that procedure take it to a professional detailer who has knowledge with odor removal. GOOD LUCK

#7 derelict

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 10:50 AM

Thanks everyone for the prompt responses. I bought the Clean Air Genie Fogging Fresh Air System that was recommended and will attempt to use that as a first solution. If not, I suppose I'll bring the car for an interior detail and see if my guy can do something more professional to de-odorize.

#8 David Fermani

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 06:51 PM

If the insulation under the carpet is wet there is virtually no way to correct the effects of a mildew smell. Even if you remove/tear away the insulation from the carpet, it's too late and has ruined the carpet too. DO NOT leave the windows up. The carpet should be peeled back to see if it's wet or got wet. When water gets under carpeting, mold occurs from the lack of sunlight. I've adjusted for water damage cars and had to replace virtually every piece of fabric on the inside(even the insulation behink the dash). Right now I'm up to a $25,000 repair bill(so far) on the interior only of a 2002 Mercedes S-Class caused by minor water(not flood) damage. Hopefully the radio isn't damaged($8000). It's a mess. Pray that you or anyone that drives in your car doesn't have allergies.

Deodorizing is just putting a temporary bandaid on the problem. If your car is smelly and had that amount of water in there, I'll bet money it will never smell the same with out replacing atleast the carpet assembly.

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#9 Tex Star Detail

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 07:37 PM

I agree about the padding underneath may be bad/molded....
I did one a while back. Guy left his window down for 2 weeks......auto sprinkler system had a ball soaking his interior......
I would think the carpet is the culprit for the majority of the smell....
had to pull everything. Extracting a lot of water, through the carpet isn't the best route to go, as all the dirt under the carpet will want to come through.........
I would pull a seat, pull up the side of carpet, and feel underneath.
I would think the carpet is the culprit for the majority of the smell....

Pic of that car.....(water was in the dash as well, had to pull the dash apart)
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I had to pull the padding, extract the carpet a few times, and put new padding in place....

#10 GregCavi

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 07:43 PM

I had an incident a month ago in which water soaked my front seat and carpet. I had to pull the carpets, and rent a blower to dry out the padding which had only been soaked for 10 hours. I fixed mine really quick. You might need to replace the padding if its to soaked.

Greg
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#11 David Fermani

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 07:45 PM

I had to pull the padding, extract the carpet a few times, and put new padding in place....


I love it when just the padding is replaceable. Much cheaper. Lots of cars are sold the carpet and padding together/glued and are not serviced individually.

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#12 Grouse

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 08:46 PM

I did enough mold remeediation jobs when working in water damages for homes and buisnesses. I will let some other detailer do it for cars. I am not the least bit interested in doing this.

I stress unless you have the proper training and systems you will likely becausing you great serious physical harm in the long run. Many of these water damaged cars become salvage cars. simply because the cost to fix them properly is so great the car has lost complete value.

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