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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

In the past few days, I've discovered a residual cigarette smoke smell that wasn't there when I test drove the car (darn!). I believe I've traced the source to the sun visors (the car was pretty thoroughly detailed before I bought it, but maybe they didn't touch the visors..??..).

Anyway, I'm looking for recommendations on how to clean the visors in a way that doesn't deteriorate them but is effective in removing the smoke smell. They are constructed with some padding underneath the fabric, so I expect there is a lot of porosity in their construction to soak up several years of smoke.

If it is best to remove the visors to clean them, any advice on the best procedure to remove them safely?

Also, anyone know of any other places where residual smoke tends to settle that I should check out?

[2003 SE AWD, Polished Pewter with Charcoal Leather interior]

Thanks in advance!
 

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I'd try cleaning them with a standard trigger spray upholstery cleaner product for auto use and careful blotting with some good cotton towels.

But be sure to not get them too damp to prevent any possible problem with wiring if you have lights. Be sure to air dry them well in the "down" position.

You should be able to clean them fine installed.

Some people like the smell eradicators, which you might still try, but I think you'll feel better if you also clean them first.
 

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jdb06-

You may also want to consider having the dealer replace the cabin air filter. If the HVAC controls were set to "RECIRCULATE" while the smoker was puffing away the filter will be contaminated. I recommend having him replace it with a new activated-charcoal filter.

-njjoe
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Better, but not completely gone.

Thanks all for your inputs. I followed your advice as well as looked up some info on an auto detailing forum. Here is what I learned:

Clean A/C filter: Did this when I first bought the car a few weeks ago - helped a lot and I recommend anyone who just bought a pre-owned MO (or has more than 30K miles) should do this.

Fabreze: Nice smell, but after a day or two, visor smelled like a sickening mixture of smoke and Fabreze (two smells that don't go well together).

Bowl of vinegar: Found a recommendation to leave a bowl of vinegar in the car overnight. What a mistake! Car smelled like vinegar for 3 days and smoke-Fabreze smell still lingered in visors.

Ionic Breeze: Found in auto detailing forum that some detailers use ozone generators over night to help alleviate smoke smell. I recall reading that one of the troubles of the Sharper Image Ionic Breeze air cleaners is that they generate a fair amount of ozone. So, using this to my advantage, I put the Ionic Breeze in the MO all night running full blast. Sure enough, the car smelled very clean the next day, but alas the smokey visor smell came back a few days later.

Ozium: This stuff works very well at masking smells and it doesn't take much at all. One dose caused about half the smell to go away; second dose and sitting the visor outside in the sunshine seems to have helped further. Now let's see how long this will last..??..

Bottom Line: If you're not a smoker, and you want to buy a pre-owned MO, it may be worth the extra effort to find a smoke-free one!

Thanks again all!
JDB
 

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jdb06-

You certainly did a very thorough job.

If the cigarette smell returns I suggest replacing the visor(s).

-njjoe
 
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