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Used Cars With Bad Smells Inside – How To Eliminate Odors Coming Through The Vents

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Buying a used vehicle, from a place like Kar Connection, is a wise choice for many people. It saves you money on the purchase of the car and the insurance. It helps you avoid the trips to the dealership to take care of the recalls that many new cars receive over the first year or two, and it provides you with many more options to consider than if you were to buy a brand new car. One downside of buying a pre-owned vehicle is the fact that another person has owned and used that car, and there is no way of knowing what they may have done inside it. If you purchase a used car that doesn't smell nice inside, there are some things you can do to eliminate the bad odors left behind by the previous owner.

Some of the odors that remain after you purchase a used car come from the ventilation system. If you notice the bad odor more when you turn on the heating or air conditioning, start with the following steps to make the car more enjoyable to drive.

Temporary Fix for Bad Ventilation Smells

A quick and easy fix for those bad smells is to use a dryer sheet, empty paper towel roll, a rubber band and a can of compressed air or air compressor.

  • Stuff the paper towel roll with dryer sheets.
  • Cover one end of the roll with a dryer sheet and wrap the rubber band around it to keep it in place.
  • Hold the roll over the vent and stick the nozzle of the compressed air can inside the tube. Press the button and blow the air into the ventilation system. Complete this process with each vent inside the car.

This process help alleviate the unpleasantness of riding in your car until a permanent fix can be made.  

Permanent Fix for Bad Ventilation Smells

Performing a thorough cleaning of the ventilation will likely eliminate the odors for good. You will need some white vinegar, wire drain cleaner, bucket, water, duct tape and a cleaning cloth.

  • Mix one cup of vinegar with four cups of water in your bucket.
  • Use duct tape to securely attach the cleaning cloth to the wire drain cleaner.
  • Remove the vent covers on each vent in your car.
  • Wet the cloth and gently wring it out slightly. You want the cloth to be wet, but not dripping.
  • Slide the cleaning cloth down into the vent and work it back and forth and side to side for a bit.
  • Turn the heater on to dry the inside of the vents.

If this didn't work the first time around, you will need to repeat the process. Eventually, all of the odors will go away and you will end up with a car that no longer smells like its previous owner.