CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Cigars smoke in the car

i was looking at an 08 lexus ES. the dealer said he could get the smoke smell out. my

question is, can he get it out.

I think I would pass on the vehicle. There is a possibility he can get a good detail shop to get most of it out but it will probably show up again on cool, damp days. If you don’t like the smell and most people don’t, I would not take the chance. The smell is in the carpet, headliner, seats and the heater/AC ductwork.

In my experience with three smoker bought cars…No, but you can. All he can do is temporarily cover it up. Use it as a negotiating tool, which I do, if you’re willing to put time, elbow grease and at least 6 months of time spaced cleanings with rug shampooer and detailing; at least two or three of them. It took me this cleansing routine and airing time out which he can’t do very quickly. BTW, it can’t be much longer than a two year smoker.
If you own a dog, you can easily hide the smell too. :slight_smile:

I think cigarettes leave a more lingering smell than cigars. It is hard to park a car with open windows on a car lot, so the smell can be evident. I bought a smoker’s car and it took awhile but the smell eventually fades away. Sometimes an air freshener in the cabin air filter box can help.

If it really bothers you, skip the car. If you can live with it, eventually the smell will dissapate.

No, he probably can’t. He can mask the smell until it is too late for you to do anything about it. Pass on this car and look for another.

Think about all the places the smoke can get that you can’t - carpet (like under the seats), headliner, inside the vent system, the seats, etc, etc… If this at all bothers you, skip it, there are plenty of ESs out there.

The dealer has already had the car cleaned.
And, they couldn’t get the smoke smell out.
It will fade over time, but you will hate the car until it goes away.

We once bought a smoker’s car and did the following:

  1. Thoroughly shampood out the interior and let the car dry out with all the windows open in the garage.

  2. We used an airconditoner freshener kit that you spray in the air intake outside the car with the system running. It fumigates and deodorizes mouldy smells, and does a good job with smoke as well.

  3. For the rest year or so my wife put Bounce dryer towels under the front seats.

After one year, all the smell was completely gone, but if you can’t park the car and have the windows open, I would forget it.