What are people's experiences with getting rid of smoking smells in
cars' interiors? I have found an almost ideal used car that I want to
buy (2000 BMW 323it, manual, sport pkg, black with tan leather, 55
kmiles) but it stinks. I'm very hesitant to get it as I'm not sure I
could get completely rid of the smell.
The car is at a dealer. Would it make sense to make an offer
conditional to them having the car professionally cleaned so that it's
acceptable to me?
Thanks for all the input!
I have a different opinion: My 1997 528 (purchased used) smelled very
heavily of smoke when I bought it. I tried every trick in the book.
(i.e. febreeze, air fresheners, washing every surface including carpet,
seats and headliner)
Each thing that I tried helped a little bit. But the thing that really
worked was time. After about 6 months of all of the above , and leaving
the windows open as much as I could, the smell finally went away.
So, the answer is: If its a really good deal and you can wait six
months for the smell to receed: go for it.
I doubt this is possible, but you never know. Why don't you tell the car
dealer that he has a sale, but only if he can get rid of the smoke smell
to your satisfaction. What's the worst that can happen if you try that
Hell, it's been nigh on 35 years, but my first car was a former
'smoker's den'. I remember hitting it with a spray cleaner (409?) at
the time and seeing tobacco-colored drops forming on the windows and
headliner. I got it cleaned up pretty well, but I frankly don't
remember how well. I wasn't nearly as sensitive to smoke then as I am
now. While I never smoked myself, I hung around in bars & stuff. I
think a thorough cleaning and treatment with good leather cleaners -
and some time for it to dissipate - will probably do the job.
I doubt they'd take a conditional offer, but they may knock off an
amount to pay for *several* good cleanings, including maybe one in
advance (if they haven't already done one - it's possible they haven't,
if it 'looked good' when they got it in) to see if it will work at all.
I'd certainly ask, if you really want this one.
(Been there, done that)
When I went to buy my Legacy, the dealer had two. One had been a smoker's
car, the other had a pristine ask tray. We took the pristine one, even
though the dealer was willing to knock a couple thousand off the smoker's
car. If you can stand it, I and my wife can't, go for it.
BTW, it may have been a mistake, now we own two green Subarus (Subari?). I
like the cars but I keep getting the keys mixed up.
Surely time would cure it.. every couple of weeks a big shampoo and after a
3 or 4 months it would go.. After all smoke comes out of clothes... you can
get rid of it in houses, they're far more "permiable" to smells.. I think so
long as you're thorough.. you'd get rid of it eventually..
But I do agree with some other statements here... it will take a long time
to get rid of totally.. and you could find a car without this...
The other thing.. that perhaps no one has thought of.. is that.. a smokey
car like this .. will make your clothes smell of it too.. so it will
travel.. bear that in mind!
Best option would be to soak the thing in as much cleaner as possible then
dry it thoroughly, but and leave the cleaner in it for hours to work it's
way through.. use stain removers.. you can get some good expanding foam
ones.. they work nicely.. spray and rub them in really firmly.. then rinse
out generously.. and some serious detergents.. lots of airfreshners.. clean
absolutely everything.. things like the roof padding especially. .and
carpets.. the leather will come up easy..
After all this cleaning work and wait for months for the smell to go
advice I cannot help thinking that it will take less effort and time to
find a better non-smokers car to buy. Should be plenty of circa year
2000 examples around.
Underneat the carpets, behind a barrier of the plasticized layer behind the
carpet itself you'll find bonded foam underpadding. It takes a *long* time
to impregnate this with a smell, and a similarly long time to get rid of it.
Pulling it out to clean is possible, but very complicated and time
consuming... seats, center consoles, various trim bits all come out, then
remove the carpeting, and the cleaning and drying process is difficult and
takes a long time also as the foam is very thick in spots. Dry it
incorrectly and you'll have a brand new smell a few weeks later, that's as
bad as smoke in it's way.
Having to do that job would easly make any costs savings in buying the car
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