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Car smells like stinky garbage!

I have a 2007 Nissan Murano. When I first get into my car after it is sitting the smell of garbage is overwhelming! Once I start to drive it, the smell begins to disappear. The longer the car is sitting turned off the stronger the smell when I get into it. We have searched the vehicle inside and out for signs of food, although the car is extremely clean. We have also searched for reminants of a dead animal as well as moisture but have found nothing. Can anyone provide any suggestions of where to look next?

Cabin Air Filter.

I agree…replace that first. It’s an easy DIY.

Likely a dead rodent in the ventilation system. You may have to disassemble the dash for a full cleanout.

I’ve had this situation more than once. I prefer to avoid the repair and I simply add a few drops of Pine-Sol to the fresh air intake before starting the engine. The odor dissipates in a week or two.

make sure the drain tube ( a little rubber piece) on your AC is unclogged. This could cause that smell. Clean all leaves out of the place where your wipers are. Or if the carpet has ever gotten soaked can cause it as well.

@SteveF, don’t you think the other guy’s advice was cheaper and faster?

I’m not saying there isn’t a dead rat in the ducting, but I would at least inspect/replace the cabin air filter and check that condensation drain tube before I tear out the dash!

Dead mouse ? Been there done that too. When you take the filter out, inspect for grass or debri that could indicate a nest. The nest can smell like garbage too after a while. It doesn’t have to be an animal. Garbage can be rotting organic material of any kind.