Flooded car

my car was caugut in a flood, how do i get the smell out?

If it smells, you probably left it wet too long. Speed is important. Stuff has grown in all things soft. Unless you give me more details, I have to say you need to take out anything soft, carpet, upholstery, head liner,… and throw them away. Get replacements new or from a salvage yard.

How deep did the water get?? Year, Make, Model??

it got all the way too the seats, chevvy cav… 2003.

Trust me–the smell is not the only problem that you are going to have as a result of the car being submerged in water that high. In addition to needing to dispose of the carpeting and possibly the seats, you can anticipate a lot of electrical problems in the future as connectors begin to corrode. Sorry to have to give you this bad news!

Bottom of the seats? Top of the seats? Salt water or fresh water?

My first attempt offroading with my 2000 Blazer ended abruptly in 30" of mud and water. The truck had about 5 inches of water and mud on the right side. It was towed out and I was able to nurse it home.

As soon as I got home I started removing the interior. The seats, carpet, padding, and anything else were removed until the interior was down to the bare metal. I dried all the wiring and connectors on the floor and let the truck air out for a few days while I scrubbed the carpet and seats.

I took the truck to my mechanic who gave it a clean bill of health, but noted if the water was an inch or two higher, the ABS and ECM computers would have been taken out and the truck would not have been repairable.

This happened 5 years ago and the truck has not had any electrical problems since.

In your case it might be easier to replace the carpet and padding to get rid of the smell. The important thing is to strip the interior to dry out the wiring and connectors on the floor.

Good luck,

Ed B.

I believe one of the other posts we had about this, someone recommended using a Bissel Green Machine on the fabric and a dehumidifier to help get excess moisture. I’d also follow the recommendation to strip the interior bare. It won’t be easy, or quick

i allready replaced the engine

rain water i was caught in a twister/flood. had to leave it over night to get to safety.

Hey, this question is right up my alley. I had my car flooded too. Yes, I had the smells to deal with too. My fix was simple (I’m a chemist). Here is the thing, if you are smelling something, it’s because something solid/liquid, is turning into a gas inside your car. When that stuff heats up with the sun, it turns into gases that come up to your nose and you are smelling stuff that you can’t see. When your car cools down at night, all the gas vapors get cold again and turn back into a liquid/solid in your car (carpet, upholstery, wherever). So if you keep your windows closed, the smells never go anywhere they are just playing around inside your car, solid again gas again solid again gas again, etc. If you keep your car with the windows open, well your car never gets hot enough to turn anything into gas so everything is still right where it always was. Until you close the windows, your car heats up and now you’re smelling the sweetness of a flooded car.

Here’s what you do. Leave your car out in the sun with one of the windows cracked open. You want to encourage your car’s inside to get hot and you want to leave an escape route for all the gases/vapors. Be patient, it will take you between 2-5 days. But you will eventually get all of that out. It’s science baby and, best of all, It Worked for Me!

Now if you are getting a bit antsy and want the smell gone pronto. This works with Fido’s pee or baby vomit too. Take some rubbing alcohol and generously sprinkle it all over your car’s interior carpet, seats, etc. Then do the same thing I suggested above. Leave your car out in the sun and leave both windows slightly cracked. Be patient, let all the alcohol evaporate away. When the alcohol smell goes away, all the nasty smells go away with it.

In essence, you are giving your whole car’s interior a poor man’s version of a dry cleaning. What happens is that there is a chemical principle that says that nothing likes to evaporate (turn into gas) all by itself. If there is something ready to turn into a gas and something next to it can turn into a gas too, they hold hands and do it together. Both leave together. It works beautifully.

I’ve used the rubbing alcohol technique plenty of times to get rid of all sorts of odors from carpets smelling like mildew to burnt mama’s cooking, to spoiled fish odor lingering in the bathroom, you name it. Make sure you use the clear rubbing alcohol, don’t get fancy with the winterfresh green stuff, the green color is an oil that you don’t want staying behind as a stain in your car.

Oh, by the way, nope rubbing alcohol or (Isopropyl Alcohol) the one you buy for first aid stuff won’t do anything harmful to your car’s interior. It is typically 70-75% water. Isopropyl alcohol is strong enough to wash dirt off of your hands but not strong enough to wash the paint out of your carpet or your car seats.