My car smells


I drive a 95 Tercel. I was a pipe smoker until a few months ago. I always had a pipeful of tobacco going while I was driving.

I gave up the pipe a few months ago, but in humid or wet weather the car still smells like an ashtray. How can I get rid of the smell?


The smoke has been soaking into every pore in the fabric and paddings for 12 years now. While there are products out there to try to reduce the smell, and shampooing the interior may help, I honestly think you’re stuck with it.

  • mountainbike


If you have not cleaned and shampooed everything you can try that. Honestly, the only other thing that you might think about is swapping the interior from a wrecked Toyota. Check on a specialized board for interchangeability info.


No Mr Latimer, your car STINKS. You smell. Cars are incapable of smelling as they have no central nervous system, or olfactory nerve.

Seriously, do you live in a town big enough to have a detail shop? Some of those guys can work wonders with a carpet & upholstery extractor. A good shop will also have an ionizer which literally kills odors. I’ve bought many stinkin’ cars that have been fixed that way. I usually do my own detailing, but have a friend with an ionizer that I can borrow when he’s not using it to de-stink one of his rental properties. The machies used to cost over $500 new, but are less than half that now.

Another thing that will help is to simply give the car a good cleaning, and park it in the sun and (hopefully) wind with the windows open.


You can try cleaning everything is sight or a detailing shop, but frankly I suggest contacting one of those fire recovery outfits that work on cleaning up homes after house fires. They have the experience and special tools (like industrial ozone generators) to do the job.


Before spending to much money try spraying the seats and carpet with Lysol spray or Febreze and see if that will work. You could use a strong room deoderizer in thecar to hide the smell of the smoke.


[b]I agree. An ionizer placed inside the vehicle over a long period of time is about the best chance to remove the odor.

A friend bought a car that was owned by a cigar smoker. And him being a cigarette smoker couldn’t handle the smell. He brought it to a detail shop who had an ionizer. When the vehicle came back, there was no smell of cigars in the car.