Smells of drugs

subaru
outback

#1

I bought a used Outback. While parked on a college campus a drug door tagged the car. After 4 hours of scoping and removing parts no drugs were found. The smell is localized over the driver front wheel well (along the front hood gap). Any thought on how to remove the smell


#2

I assume you mean a drug dog.

Removing the smell may require scrubbing or steam cleaning. If something was stored in that area it probably left residue that you’ll not be able to see visually…but a dog can sense without hesitation.


#3

Is it inside or outside of the car? If outside, it will eventually weather away. Run the car through the car wash frequently.

If it’s inside, you may never get ride of it. You may need to replace upholstery, carpet, the headliner, take off the leather steering wheel cover and re-wrap it.

An auto detailer will have experience getting rid of bad smells, but since the smell is too faint for human noses, I don’t see how you will ever know whether your treatments work unless you invite Scooby over for dinner.


#4

Opps, yes drug dog.


#5

The smell is not inside the car its over the driver wheel well.


#6

Great, another thing to worry about when buying a used car…


#7

I knew a guy once who got busted for hemp seeds in the carpeting, his car and his seeds. You’ve got that one right tardis,


#8

My car was stolen by a bunch of kids who took it for a pot party & joy ride. The car smelled awful. The insrance paid for the broken window, checking out the mechanicals (the oil was down 2 quarts!!) and fumigating the interior. Any detail shop can do this for about $70+.


#9

If the dope was hidden inside the engine compartment, so that rain and car washes will not get to it, then try a detail shop and ask them to clean it out. You can get your engine “steam cleaned” for about 100 bucks, but take it to a good shop that is careful about intakes and electronics and other things that should not get wet.


#10

It was an Outback. I’m guessing California, Oregon or Washington.


#11

Ouch!

In the OP’s case, based on the decription of where the smell was, I’d bet they had the drugs hidden in a cavity. Getting that cleaned out could take some doing.


#12

Two years ago I posted about some mechanical problem my son was having with a Chevy Tahoe he was ferrying from the DC area to Alaska: http://community.cartalk.com/posts/list/1389011.page;jsessionid=4708842085DEB83E32772A5E7F659718. Even with those problems the trip was a great adventure, and one part pertains to this thread.

After finally getting the Tahoe out of Billings, MT, he headed for Calgary. As he crossed the border, Canadian customs stopped him to search for drugs. The customs guys were not being unreasonably suspicious. It turns out that these Tahoe-like vehicles are favored by drug smugglers. And the owner of this Tahoe bought it in the DC area, lives in Alaska, and during the trip he is on vacation in remote northern Scandanavia and can be reached only intermittently via e-mail.

I would have been sweating. In 1970 I was on a pleasure drive with a female friend in my Porsche 912, passing thru Platteville, WI, (home of a Wisc State University) on my way back to Madison (home of U of Wisc, a center of hippiedom, Midwestern patriotism, and the resultant “student unrest”). We stopped to pick up two female student-type hitch hikers. “Sure,” we said “squeeze into the back seats, but to ease the crowding there, stow your knapsacks in the trunk.” Well, they looked at each other nervously, said “Uh, OK,” and reluctantly put the bags in the trunk. We start off, and we ask them where they are going. “Madison,” they say. Duh! Where in Madison? “Uh, anywhere,” in a nervous, squeaky voice. Suddenly, the little light over my brain goes on. “Oh, s**t! They’re carrying! Please, G-d, if we’re stopped let them have the decency to own up and say it isn’t mine.” We dropped them off as soon as we could in Madison. Phew!

Back to the Mont-Sask border in 2008. As I said, I would have been sweating. My son had to unload the car. The customs guys searched the car thoroughly, and then drilled holes “in the frame”, assuring him that it would not hurt the car. They found nothing. (Phew!) But they did not help reload the car. My son was delayed there for two or three hours.

But wait, there’s more. Turns out that the car’s owner liked those barely-used Tahoes so much that, unknown to my son, he had bought a second one which was being ferried by a father-son team who came thru the same border crossing one day later. “Hmmm,” say the customs guys. “Another black Tahoe; same absent owner. Let’s drill the frame AND take off some body panels.” And they did. The drivers were stuck there for seven hours.

Yes, indeed, another thing to worry about when buying a used car.

So there you have two stories. Hope they were not too long.


#13

These dogs can be wrong. I loaned my sister my 2004 f-150 that has never had any weed anywhere near it and she and her husband were comming up from Nogales, the dog hit on the truck at a checkpoint and they went over the truck real well. It ended up with the Boarder Patrol saying sometimes the dog is wrong.

Get a second dogs opinion.


#14

Did they break down the tire and look inside there? It’s doubtful you should find something though. Those people generally like to keep track of their products.


#15

Good green bud often smells like skunk, so drug dogs do react to skunk smell. The car had probably run over a skunk at some point.


#16

That’s what I thought when I first smelled it was skunk. I know what it smells like as smoke, but have not been around the green stuff to know that oder.


#17

I think we all need a second dogs opinion. I know I trust my dog more than people.


#18

Yes, probably dismantling the steering column and part of the dash. That could cost $500 or so.


#19

Maybe one of the previous owners was a cancer patient going through chemotherapy.

There is a product called “Ozium air sanitizer” that might help. If you check with a local cleaning supply distributor, you might also be able to find an enzymatic odor digester.