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Horrible odor in car for months, like dead mouse

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10 Jun 2015, 02:24 am
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Default Horrible odor in car for months, like dead mouse

Hi,

I have a 2002 pt and can't figure out this smell. It's been in my car since Feb. I believe it is a dead mouse, but haven't been able to locate the body. could it be something else? This happened before a few years back and I never found a body then either, but the smell is the same. I even took it to a car wash specialist and the smell stayed, and eventually left after about a year. I have a very clean car. I looked throughout the interior, under seats, in the glove compartment, in the trunk, under the carpet, under the hood, etc. and nothing...

I cleaned the air filter, used charcoal bricks, vacuumed the carpet, used baking soda, used 2 Dakota car bombs, tried wintergreen oil... Nothing seems to get the smell out. I leave my car doors and trunk open as long as I can each day, which seems to reduce the smell a little but the next day it is awful again.

It seems to be directed more towards the driver side and not so noticeable in the back and trunk of car. Also, it is strong when I put the a/c on in the beginning. I don't notice any odor in the hood. It's strongest by the steering wheel area and air vent. Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 10 Jun 2015, 06:10 am
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Location: darien il
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Default Re: Horrible odor in car for months, like dead mouse

i recommend taking off the wiper cowl. i have a chipmunk living in mine there.

a mouse should only smell for about a week though.
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Old 10 Jun 2015, 08:25 am
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Default Re: Horrible odor in car for months, like dead mouse

Most likely due to mold that grew in moisture from condensation when using the A/C.
I would suggest taking some Fabreze and spaying it in the vents. See if that helps.
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Old 10 Jun 2015, 08:46 am
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Default Re: Horrible odor in car for months, like dead mouse

Well the good thing is that decaying animals smell does not last long. Its nature.

If it is mold than you need to track it down and clean it or it will continue to die and grow and smell bad.

Naturally there are exception to both and we can't expect to know all the variables on your personal PT Cruiser and its environment.
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Last edited by NitroPT; 10 Jun 2015 at 10:15 am.
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Old 10 Jun 2015, 10:10 am
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Default Re: Horrible odor in car for months, like dead mouse

First, the mouse could be anywhere. But a good location for a mouse to get trapped in is the AC intake. As mentioned above, removed the cowling. Then on the right side, you will see either a cabin filter housing or a leaf guard. A 2002 might have either but chances are that there is no filter element if there is a cabin filter housing. And with no element, a small mouse could likely get past the grill on the housing.

The filter housing or leaf guard can be removed. And then a small hand might be able to reach down inside. Personally, I would move the washer reservoir out of the way and use a crevice tool on a shop vac. Here's some photos:

"Leaf Guard":


Cabin filter housing with element:
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 10 Jun 2015 at 10:14 am.
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Old 10 Jun 2015, 07:04 pm
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Cool Re: Horrible odor in car for months, like dead mouse

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
First, the mouse could be anywhere. But a good location for a mouse to get trapped in is the AC intake. As mentioned above, removed the cowling. Then on the right side, you will see either a cabin filter housing or a leaf guard. A 2002 might have either but chances are that there is no filter element if there is a cabin filter housing. And with no element, a small mouse could likely get past the grill on the housing.

The filter housing or leaf guard can be removed. And then a small hand might be able to reach down inside. Personally, I would move the washer reservoir out of the way and use a crevice tool on a shop vac. Here's some photos:

"Leaf Guard":


Cabin filter housing with element:
I was assuming that when you said that you cleaned the "air filter", you were talking about the "Cabin Air Filter" behind the windshield washer reservoir.

Otherwise, no dead animal found = mold in the duct system.
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Old 11 Jun 2015, 01:46 am
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Default Re: Horrible odor in car for months, like dead mouse

Thank you, everyone for the advice. Since I can't locate a mouse, I am going to attack it as mold. I am going to try ac vent odor cleaner/evaporator core cleaner and see if that works.

I will also try what was posted here, years ago: A foul & mysterious odor..

Will keep you all posted to see if the smell goes away. Thanks again!
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Old 11 Jun 2015, 07:36 am
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Default Re: Horrible odor in car for months, like dead mouse

If I may add a suggestion to help remove some of the odor, place about a box of Arm & Hammer baking soda in a plastic flat bottom container. Either place on floor mat & remove each day, or simply leave it under one of the front seats for 2-3 weeks, it will remove the odor as long as you leave your windows up each night. I used this in a previous used car purchase where the owner smoked like a chimney, smell was gone w/in 3 weeks & just changed baking soda in container every other month. Also place a container of baking soda on the floor mat of my '05 PT convertible when stored over winter months, keeps musty smell from forming. Hope this helps...
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Last edited by DroptopPTGTCruizer; 11 Jun 2015 at 07:37 am. Reason: spelling
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Old 11 Jun 2015, 08:19 am
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Default Re: Horrible odor in car for months, like dead mouse

I used a couple of members technique for finding answers and looked on the internet for the solution.. um..I may have found it?
wada-ya think?

rob342 likes this.
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Old 11 Jun 2015, 08:33 am
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Default Re: Horrible odor in car for months, like dead mouse

Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
I used a couple of members technique for finding answers and looked on the internet for the solution.. um..I may have found it?
wada-ya think?

it's scary how many videos there are like that.
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