Stinky car? Tips to get rid of the funk for good

Does your car smell like a locker room no matter how much you clean it? ABC7's Car Specialist Dave Kunz and Consumer Reports have tips on how to get rid of the funk for good.

The dog, the kids or the compost in your trunk often mean a trip to the car wash.

But sometimes a car wash is just not enough to get rid of unpleasant smells once and for all.

"It can be really tough to figure out why a car smells so bad. There are lots of vents and crevices in a car where odors can hide and thrive," said Jon Linkov with Consumer Reports.

Mechanic Satoshi Fukunaga said it could be the filter.

"The first thing I look at when a customer comes with a smelly car, is look into the cabin filter," Fukunaga said.

Some obvious places to look and smell are the dashboard vents. If that area is the problem, look for debris like leaves in the cabin filter. Clear it out and if that works -- great. If not, installing a new cabin filter can really help. They're not very expensive and you can probably do it yourself.

"You can also try spraying a professional-grade vent and duct cleaner to get rid of any fungi that may have taken a foothold in a vent," Linkov said.

Moisture in and under carpet mats can also cause odor problems. Carpet cleaners can help, but for tougher smells, you may need to get professional steam cleaning.

Also, don't forget the sunroof. There are small drainage holes on the sides which sometimes get clogged, allowing water to seep into the roof's liner or even drip onto the seats. A quick vacuum of that area can solve that problem.

If none of those fixes work, you may have to have your mechanic check for a more serious problem with the climate control system.
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