Stinky Odyssey

We bought a used 2005 Honda Odyessy which is a great car. Unfortunaly we have discovered that a smoker must have owned the car previously because of a strong odor of smoke when heater is turned on. We have look through the owners manual and found nothing about a cabin air-filter. Can we do anything-is there a filter that can be changed? Febreeze hasn’t worked, are there any other options? Please help…

Love the show, thanks for the advice.

I expect there is a cabin air filter. You may need to buy a service manual in order to find out how to change it. I don’t think changing the filter will solve your problem. The smoke has permeated the upholstery, carpets, ducts, and all inside surfaces of the vehicle.

Some years ago I saw a Motor Week show where Pat Goss said to avoid buying a smoker’s vehicle because the smoke breaks down the adhesive on the headliner. He said the smoke also coats the contacts on the circuit boards under the dashboard and will cause electrical connections to fail.

Many new cars do have cabin filters, check your owner’s manual or have your mechanic change it for you.

I suspect you should have someone with a commercial ion generator do a job on it. Look in your local phone book for a fire recovery company. It will not be free, but they can do a great job. Note: the type of ion generators you can buy at the store will not do it.

The way to go is a commercial grade ozone generator. Dealerships use them to give used cars that “new car” smell.