Used car purchase - now dreading it

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
DB2
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:07 pm

Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by DB2 »

Last week I bought a three-year-old Honda Accord (Honda pre-owned certified) from a Honda dealership. For my entire life, I've always bought new. I bought used because I was able to save $125 to $150 a month versus getting a new model and I still get some warranty coverage.

When I test drove the vehicle, I noticed a strong lemony scent but figured it was just the cleaning 'stuff' the dealer used and surely will wear off. I was more focused around how the car drove, handling, breaks, etc. all of which checked out fine.

There were some very faint stains on seats (which are a tan/ivory fabric) but I was fine with them.

A couple of days later, I decided to clean the car as the lemon scent wore off and I started smelling a stench. I've had several people smell it and no one knows what it could be. It doesn't quite smell like smoke, but something 'old' or perhaps mildew-like.

I took the car to a highly reputable detailer who kept the car overnight. They did an extensive steam cleaning. Unfortunately, the odor is still present; those faint stains are now more evident. Apparently, the cleaning of the seats makes the darker stains stand out more. The detailer didn't see signs of tobacco during cleaning which is good, but he's not sure what it could be. He did say the passenger floor carpet was very dirty. He also said I could bring back the car and for free, he would spend time working on it again.

I called the dealer and the response was to bring it in - which I am doing tomorrow. They are going to do an Ozone treatment and presumably clean it again, but I am specifically telling them to not use smell-on products, etc.

I did ask about if I could return the vehicle and just buy a new one, but they said no. I could only do a trade-in. By my estimates, I would lose around $5000 on a trade-in. I am not going to be able to live with the smell. I still need to change the cabin filter, but waiting to see how the vehicle is after the ozone treatment. I suppose I can live with the stained seats although I am not happy about how that shows now. I almost wonder if they used something to hide that stain which simply came off - much like how they used a lemon scent to hide the stench.

I did contact Honda corporate, but they told me there is nothing they can do. It's between me and the dealer.

Any thoughts on how to proceed? I think it's just going to come down to me living with the car or taking the hit on selling it. :( I've never encountered an issue like this before. Very disappointing to say the least.
Last edited by DB2 on Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
renue74
Posts: 1874
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:24 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by renue74 »

Try the ozone treatment.

I have an ozone machine for my rental properties and it does wonders for smoke and "old" smells. I leave the thing going for 10 hours or so in a property.

It gives off a weird smell at first...but the smell goes away and supposedly the other scents as well.
Kagord
Posts: 526
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:28 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by Kagord »

Dealer tricks on used cars, you'll likely find other things like scratches start showing up. They are experts at hiding small issues like smells.

I bought a used car from someone who smoked cigars, leave the windows open when you can, 6 months it will likely be gone, but I knew that going in. In any event, I don't think you'll notice it in 6 months.
Last edited by Kagord on Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
bloom2708
Posts: 8368
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by bloom2708 »

Could it be a flood car that got wet at some point? Very hard to know as people are good at hiding those cars. Try lifting a corner of the carpet looking for sand/silt.

I'm surprised the Retail vs Trade value is $5k different on a used 3 year old Honda.

I find that my mind is not able to ignore these situations. No fun on a recent/large purchase.

Hopefully the dealer will help you find a reasonable resolution.
"We are here to provoke thoughtfulness, not agree with you." Unknown Boglehead
User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 12422
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona
Contact:

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by Sandtrap »

Example:
DW's Nissan was bought used in great condition.
The prior owner (dude) stank up the car with stinky "Axe" type man perfume.
It has remained that way for many years with the help of occasional renewal when my oldest son rides in the car who also wears that stink man perfume. Even the grocery bags smell like this just from the ride home.
Thus, I do not ride in DW's car as I have scent/chemical allergies.

Actionable example: there are some fumes/stinks that are just baked in.

And, futher cleaning sometimes just adds smells on smells. Something like someone with bad body odor just keeps putting on more stinky "Axe" man perfume. Ain't happenin'. :shock:

Is it possible for you to sell the car at a better price on Craig's list, etc to optimize your return?
Then buy a new car?

If it was me, I would hound this dealer until I got it resolved to my satisfaction.
(squeaky wheel gets the oil)
j :happy
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know
investordoc
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 1:50 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by investordoc »

Change the cabin air filter today and don't buy the cheap ones. Do it before the ozone treatment. That may solve the problem.
It is what it is until it isn't anymore
Topic Author
DB2
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:07 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by DB2 »

Having not bought used before, I now realize I went into it very naively. However, my 2006 Accord (I was original owner) had a camshaft issue, so I wanted a car fast for work, etc.

The Carfax shows the original owner with no incidents.

That passenger floor does have a deep fried oily stench if you put your nose to the carpet; yet I am not smelling that particular scent within the car.

I will also change the cabin filter after the ozone. It's also winter, but I will keep the windows rolled down at night in the garage.

I really haven't liked the dealer attitude. I actually got into a heated argument over the phone (even threatening legal action and social media exposure) before deciding to take their offer for me to bring it back in.
Last edited by DB2 on Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
sunny_socal
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by sunny_socal »

Yes, unfortunately this is part of buying a used car. You're already going to do the ozone treatment, good.

You can also run a can of "AC mildew remover" spray through your air conditioning ducts & vents. Search amazon. This will stink for a couple weeks but if the smell comes of the AC system this will take care of it.

If everything fails, sell the car through private party and try to recover as much as you can. Then buy a new car. Life is too short...
Topic Author
DB2
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:07 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by DB2 »

sunny_socal wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:51 am Yes, unfortunately this is part of buying a used car. You're already going to do the ozone treatment, good.

You can also run a can of "AC mildew remover" spray through your air conditioning ducts & vents. Search amazon. This will stink for a couple weeks but if the smell comes of the AC system this will take care of it.

If everything fails, sell the car through private party and try to recover as much as you can. Then buy a new car. Life is too short...
Yes, sort of my take.

Sometimes you take a hit in life. I figure whatever I drive, it will be for 10 years anyway. My last Accord went 14 yrs. I don't buy cars very often.
Jack FFR1846
Posts: 13076
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

You're a new car buyer. Take this as a confirmation lesson and remember it going forward. I predict you won't keep this car a year.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
User avatar
rh00p
Posts: 133
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:21 am

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by rh00p »

Mildew smells often come from the evaporator as part of the HVAC package behind the dashboard.

Run your A/C and spray Lysol into the intakes located at the base of the windshield below the wipers (outside the car). You might need to remove your cabin filter to do so and to inspect & replace it as well.

As a side note stick your head under the dash and look for a 'water line', indicative of a possible flood car.
Preparing for the worst. Hoping for the best.
Topic Author
DB2
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:07 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by DB2 »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:54 am You're a new car buyer. Take this as a confirmation lesson and remember it going forward. I predict you won't keep this car a year.
Yes. The more I thought about it, I should have just bought new as I can handle the heavier payment. It's also not like I buy cars often. If ozone doesn't help much, the car will be sold in less than a month.
User avatar
Sandtrap
Posts: 12422
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:32 pm
Location: Hawaii No Ka Oi , N. Arizona
Contact:

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by Sandtrap »

DB2 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:57 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:54 am You're a new car buyer. Take this as a confirmation lesson and remember it going forward. I predict you won't keep this car a year.
Yes. The more I thought about it, I should have just bought new as I can handle the heavier payment. It's also not like I buy cars often. If ozone doesn't help much, the car will be sold in less than a month.
+1
Once we decide we don't like what we're driving. . . that's the writing on the wall. . . inevitably it will be gone.

As for smells. . . you will always smell that smell no matter how faint, . . . and it will always bug you.
(like a friend with bad body odor that comes into your home too often but you try to ignore the smell) :annoyed

j :happy
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know
FrugalConservative
Posts: 227
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:44 am

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by FrugalConservative »

Sounds like a flood car to me. Maybe a leak that wasn't noticed for months. Might be evap. Can buy a can of evap cleaner which you spray up the condensor drain underneath the car. Stains on the seats would give me pause, shows the previous owner was careless and probably ate in the car. Yuck.

Ozone may work, but I doubt it.

When it comes to Honda/Toyota very rarely makes much sense , especially if one drives vehicles for many years, to buy used.
forgeblast
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:45 am
Location: PA
Contact:

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by forgeblast »

Can you flip the car for what you owe on it and get one you want?
Topic Author
DB2
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:07 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by DB2 »

forgeblast wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:11 am Can you flip the car for what you owe on it and get one you want?
I'm sure I could get more selling it outright versus a trade-in. Just not sure what kind of hassle I might deal with either.

I owe $17,200.

According to Kelly trade-in, it's around $12,000-12,500 for a trade-in.
Lalamimi
Posts: 649
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:22 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by Lalamimi »

Can you contact original owner to ask what the cause of the smell is?
We used some sort of pink stuff in an old Mazda we had that had a smell in the carpets (our 1 of 2 used car mistakes)
My 2007 Lexus (bought from dealer preowned certified with 1400 miles on it in 2008) kept getting a terrible smell when left in the sun at the park n ride. I took it in to the dealer several times. finally had a recall on some sort of paint that had been used in the AC vents.
Topic Author
DB2
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:07 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by DB2 »

Lalamimi wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:24 am Can you contact original owner to ask what the cause of the smell is?
We used some sort of pink stuff in an old Mazda we had that had a smell in the carpets (our 1 of 2 used car mistakes)
My 2007 Lexus (bought from dealer preowned certified with 1400 miles on it in 2008) kept getting a terrible smell when left in the sun at the park n ride. I took it in to the dealer several times. finally had a recall on some sort of paint that had been used in the AC vents.
I have no way of doing so since it was purchased from dealer. Original owner name confidential apparently.

The Carfax is clean and shows a single owner who purchased from a Honda dealer close by.
260chrisb
Posts: 663
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:26 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by 260chrisb »

Sandtrap wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:04 am
DB2 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:57 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:54 am You're a new car buyer. Take this as a confirmation lesson and remember it going forward. I predict you won't keep this car a year.
Yes. The more I thought about it, I should have just bought new as I can handle the heavier payment. It's also not like I buy cars often. If ozone doesn't help much, the car will be sold in less than a month.
+1
Once we decide we don't like what we're driving. . . that's the writing on the wall. . . inevitably it will be gone.

As for smells. . . you will always smell that smell no matter how faint, . . . and it will always bug you.
(like a friend with bad body odor that comes into your home too often but you try to ignore the smell) :annoyed

j :happy
I disagree. Nobody has to be a "new car buyer" period. In my opinion and having bought a LOT of cars and only 1 new one when I was 20, there is really no need to buy a new car. That aside; you bought a certified preowned car from a brand specific dealer. Work this out with the dealer via the sales manager. Ask them to clean the car again after you've expressed your concern, change the cabin filter, and search the car COMPLETELY for anything that may be the cause of this smell.
User avatar
Nate79
Posts: 6734
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:24 pm
Location: Delaware

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by Nate79 »

Well, sounds like a bad deal all around. Perhaps previous owner spilled something on the carpet now it's stinking. Hopefully the ozone cleaning does the trick, I've heard great things about what it can do. Perhaps try another detailer if the first one couldn't fix it, especially before taking a $4k loss.

Concerning buying new vs used this certainly isn't the norm. And based on the language you used about "payments" my guess is this was a car you couldn't afford in the first place and you also shouldn't be buying a new car neither. It is not that difficult to buy a used car from someone and there are some services like Carmax or Carvana that have a money back guarantee (and I doubt they would do something as slimy as what your dealer did).

I would not buy a new car that you can't afford. I would look at Carmax or Carvana or something like that instead.
flyphotoguy
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu May 02, 2019 1:57 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by flyphotoguy »

Blast the A/C and change the cabin filter, hope it could help. Also a long time ago, I remember my uncle did the open windows and leave the car under the hot baking sun to get off the grocery fish smell when it leaked in the car. Maybe that would work for you but I don't think it's hot enough to do that yet. Good luck!
Topic Author
DB2
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:07 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by DB2 »

Nate79 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:17 am Well, sounds like a bad deal all around. Perhaps previous owner spilled something on the carpet now it's stinking. Hopefully the ozone cleaning does the trick, I've heard great things about what it can do. Perhaps try another detailer if the first one couldn't fix it, especially before taking a $4k loss.

Concerning buying new vs used this certainly isn't the norm. And based on the language you used about "payments" my guess is this was a car you couldn't afford in the first place and you also shouldn't be buying a new car neither. It is not that difficult to buy a used car from someone and there are some services like Carmax or Carvana that have a money back guarantee (and I doubt they would do something as slimy as what your dealer did).

I would not buy a new car that you can't afford. I would look at Carmax or Carvana or something like that instead.
Affordability is not the issue nor relevant. I mentioned payments only because initially it was difficult to justify paying more for a new vs three year old car since we are talking Honda. I went 14 years and 172,000 miles on my last Accord without one single issue (until two weeks ago when the cam broke). I've heard of people even going longer on these. I just didn't see the point in buying new and felt it was more prudent to save/invest extra money. If this car didn't have the odor, I would be fine with it (yes, I could even live with the seat stain). If I had to do all over again, of course, I would buy new and not think twice as this has been a terrible experience.
Last edited by DB2 on Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Topic Author
DB2
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:07 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by DB2 »

flyphotoguy wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:19 am Blast the A/C and change the cabin filter, hope it could help. Also a long time ago, I remember my uncle did the open windows and leave the car under the hot baking sun to get off the grocery fish smell when it leaked in the car. Maybe that would work for you but I don't think it's hot enough to do that yet. Good luck!
I've also heard spraying lysol (kills bacteria that causes odor...assuming odor stems from bacteria) and placing baking soda on it over night....such as the seats and carpet. Then just vacuum it out.
Goal33
Posts: 1586
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:30 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by Goal33 »

So do all the tricks and then let us know. Then make a decision. Also, find the relevant episode of Seinfeld.
FrugalConservative
Posts: 227
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:44 am

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by FrugalConservative »

The ozone may very well work.

To rule out flooding damage. Roll up some of the floorboard carpets.

Once the smell is gone, it will be smooth sailing! Stay positive.
mhalley
Posts: 8668
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by mhalley »

The one area of my life that is not boglehead is buyng new cars. After the dealer treatment, you might try the charcoal sachet.

https://www.amazon.com/Roontin-Activate ... JGPYY?th=1
Topic Author
DB2
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:07 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by DB2 »

mhalley wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:56 pm The one area of my life that is not boglehead is buyng new cars. After the dealer treatment, you might try the charcoal sachet.

https://www.amazon.com/Roontin-Activate ... JGPYY?th=1
Thanks...yes I've heard of that. Those look super easy to use.
mhalley
Posts: 8668
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by mhalley »

Somewhat picky, but shouldn’t the title of the post be used car purchase, now REGRETTING it?
NotWhoYouThink
Posts: 3273
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:19 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

Also remember to give back to all your friends here by letting us know what works.
hicabob
Posts: 3227
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 5:35 pm
Location: cruz

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by hicabob »

AC vent cleaning and replace cabin air filter might help. I had a mouse nest on the cabin filter of my old Tacoma. First smelled mildewy then "pissy" when the weather got damp. Replacing the cabin air filter, vacuuming out the fan,and "lysoling" the vents fixed it nicely.
tibbitts
Posts: 12540
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by tibbitts »

How much to replace the upholstery, seat foam, carpet, headliner and any other soft inside material? I'm pretty sure it's not the steel that's smelling.
Fallible
Posts: 7630
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by Fallible »

You may have legal recourse with the dealer. Check out nolo.com re used cars:

https://www.google.com/search?q=nolo.co ... irefox-b-1
"Yes, investing is simple. But it is not easy, for it requires discipline, patience, steadfastness, and that most uncommon of all gifts, common sense." ~Jack Bogle
Topic Author
DB2
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:07 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by DB2 »

Fallible wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:28 pm You may have legal recourse with the dealer. Check out nolo.com re used cars:

https://www.google.com/search?q=nolo.co ... irefox-b-1
I was wondering about that. But, this seems like such a grey area.
squirm
Posts: 3077
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by squirm »

Open all the doors get a good fan and let out blow through the car for a couple days. I bet the smell will be gone. If not, then there's bigger problems.
TheDDC
Posts: 1238
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:11 am

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by TheDDC »

squirm wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:45 pm Open all the doors get a good fan and let out blow through the car for a couple days. I bet the smell will be gone. If not, then there's bigger problems.
Yes. I would add to throw some gasoline on the floor of the garage (not the car) while the fan is blowing with the doors open. Give her a good old fashioned sterile garage smell.

-TheDDC
Rules to wealth building: 75-80% VTSAX piled high and deep, 20-25% VTIAX, 0% given away to banks, minimize amount given to medical-industrial complex
Dottie57
Posts: 9547
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm
Location: Earth Northern Hemisphere

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by Dottie57 »

How about Febreeze fabric smell remover. Try it on the seats to see if it helps. Fairly cheap
User avatar
JAZZISCOOL
Posts: 1356
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 11:49 am
Location: Colorado - 5,700 ft.

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

FrugalConservative wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:40 pm The ozone may very well work.

To rule out flooding damage. Roll up some of the floorboard carpets.

Once the smell is gone, it will be smooth sailing! Stay positive.
I'm just curious, isn't there a legal obligation to disclose if a used car was in a flood? Maybe it is one of those gray areas.....

:?
FrugalConservative
Posts: 227
Joined: Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:44 am

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by FrugalConservative »

JAZZISCOOL wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:03 pm
FrugalConservative wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:40 pm The ozone may very well work.

To rule out flooding damage. Roll up some of the floorboard carpets.

Once the smell is gone, it will be smooth sailing! Stay positive.
I'm just curious, isn't there a legal obligation to disclose if a used car was in a flood? Maybe it is one of those gray areas.....

:?
Yeah I believe it has to be, but the only true way to see if its flood damaged is via the title. Also dealers can wash titles, which is legal. So yup, its a pretty grey area unfortunately.
Thesaints
Posts: 3501
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:25 am

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by Thesaints »

It appears the OP bought a lemon...
UncleBen
Posts: 315
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:43 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by UncleBen »

What does the "certified" paperwork say regarding warranty? I've never bought certified but was under the impression that it offered some additional protection to the buyer.
Bruse213
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 9:45 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by Bruse213 »

You might be surprised at just how effective the ozone treatment will be. We had spilled milk in a car once which smelled absolutely terrible. Nothing worked until I ran an ozone machine inside with the windows up for an extensive amount of time. That took care of it for good. I wouldn’t even bother going back to the dealer at this point. Purchase an ozone machine on Amazon, let it run for 12-15 hours inside the vehicle and the smell will be eliminated.
fru-gal
Posts: 1590
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:48 pm
Location: New England

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by fru-gal »

Dottie57 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:00 pm How about Febreeze fabric smell remover. Try it on the seats to see if it helps. Fairly cheap
Febreeze is wretched stuff. I think I'd rather ride in a car that had a cat piss smell than a Febreeze smell.
User avatar
jabberwockOG
Posts: 2363
Joined: Thu May 28, 2015 7:23 am

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by jabberwockOG »

Try to find a charcoal impregnated cabin filter and install that. Tell the dealer this is a health issue for you and ask the dealer to clean/ disinfect the HVAC system in addition to doing the ozone treatment.

If that does not work your next move would be to replace the carpeting and possibly even the front seats. It is important to find out specifically where the smell is or if it across the entire interior. Replacement carpeting might work if that is where the smell is. Replacement front seats may be found at junkyards.

Or just take the financial hit, acknowledging you took a risk on a used car and lost, sell the car on autotrader and move on.

A good lesson for picky folks is never ever buy a stinky car. Some odors are extremely difficult to remove from a car's interior.
User avatar
Orbuculum Nongata
Posts: 537
Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:58 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by Orbuculum Nongata »

DB2 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:29 am Any thoughts on how to proceed?
This is how I would live with the car:

I would put an open container of charcoal with a clean rag over it on the back floor. I would put a dryer sheet in the glove box and one on each seat when it is not in use. I would leave the windows down overnight in the garage every night. I would do all of these things until the stink is gone. I would because I did and it worked great. This is how horrible, weird smell went totally away and never came back on a car we got a deal on because it had a horrible, weird smell. The car turned out to be great once the smell was gone.

I wouldn't take a $5000 bath on it.

Good luck.
Potential - distraction = performance.
atikovi
Posts: 1020
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:20 pm
Location: Suburban Washington DC

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by atikovi »

Thesaints wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:27 pm It appears the OP bought a lemon...
A perceived smell isn't actionable as a lemon law defect in any state I know.
Lalamimi
Posts: 649
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:22 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by Lalamimi »

I have no way of doing so since it was purchased from dealer. Original owner name confidential apparently.

The Carfax is clean and shows a single owner who purchased from a Honda dealer close by.
[/quote]

We have found old receipts in the owner's manuals, etc. Just a thought.
User avatar
unclescrooge
Posts: 5507
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by unclescrooge »

fru-gal wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:25 pm
Dottie57 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:00 pm How about Febreeze fabric smell remover. Try it on the seats to see if it helps. Fairly cheap
Febreeze is wretched stuff. I think I'd rather ride in a car that had a cat piss smell than a Febreeze smell.
Why do you say that?

I would never choose cat piss over anything.
User avatar
unclescrooge
Posts: 5507
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by unclescrooge »

Presintense wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:42 pm
DB2 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:29 am Any thoughts on how to proceed?
This is how I would live with the car:

I would put an open container of charcoal with a clean rag over it on the back floor. I would put a dryer sheet in the glove box and one on each seat when it is not in use. I would leave the windows down overnight in the garage every night. I would do all of these things until the stink is gone. I would because I did and it worked great. This is how horrible, weird smell went totally away and never came back on a car we got a deal on because it had a horrible, weird smell. The car turned out to be great once the smell was gone.

I wouldn't take a $5000 bath on it.

Good luck.
I would get charcoal cat litter and dump it all over the car.

But it's probably the cabin filter that just needs replacing.
Topic Author
DB2
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:07 pm

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by DB2 »

Presintense wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:42 pm
DB2 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:29 am Any thoughts on how to proceed?
This is how I would live with the car:

I would put an open container of charcoal with a clean rag over it on the back floor. I would put a dryer sheet in the glove box and one on each seat when it is not in use. I would leave the windows down overnight in the garage every night. I would do all of these things until the stink is gone. I would because I did and it worked great. This is how horrible, weird smell went totally away and never came back on a car we got a deal on because it had a horrible, weird smell. The car turned out to be great once the smell was gone.

I wouldn't take a $5000 bath on it.

Good luck.
Encouraging. Thank you.

My plan is now to see how the Ozone works. Then keep windows open in garage each night, use the charcoal + baking soda + lysol and new Cabin filter.
atikovi
Posts: 1020
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:20 pm
Location: Suburban Washington DC

Re: Used car purchase - now dreading it

Post by atikovi »

DB2 wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:29 amBy my estimates, I would lose around $5000 on a trade-in.
Did you overpay? That seems like a huge spread.
Post Reply