help dead animal smell in car

kim39April 12, 2006

For the past week there has been a terrible dead animal odor emanating from my car! I have searched everywhere for the cause under my seats in my glovebox, behind my fuse box opening everywhere and have found nothing. I looked under the hood and pretty much just saw a bunch of stuff that i don't understand and therefore am too afraid to take apart because i wont know how God's name to put it back together. I did open the windshield wiper fluid tank and the smell was really bad in there. My boyfriend smelled it and said that it was "bad water". I know what death smells like and this is definately it! I know this is a wierd problem can anyone tell me what to do or how long it will take for this thing to decompose already and the smell will go away?

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Maybe the drain tube for the Air Conditioner (AC) drip tray is plugged. These trays are known to grow foul smelling gunk when they don't drain. Have someone help you check this out.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2006 at 3:26AM
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Did a bird fly into your grill? That happens often, and you can find them near the rad.

If your car was stored for a long period maybe a mouse got caught in there somewhere. Try turning on your heater fan and see if it gets worse.

Next, get a 3ft section of garden hose and put one end close to your nose, and slowly probe in the engine compartment. Also another area is the under frame of the car, maybe you have a piece of roadkill stuck under there.
The wheelwell may have some of that thrown up into it, or in the threads of the tires(I get that with dog poop).


    Bookmark   April 12, 2006 at 6:53PM
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I once had a mouse that got into the washer fluid reservoir and drowned. Very unpleasant. Doesn't have to be a car that's stored for a period of time either - mine is used every day.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 8:26AM
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Help me too I am having the exact same problem. Just started the other day. Help me !!!!!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 11:19PM
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Do you have a car that uses Dex-Cool type anti-freeze (the orange stuff)? This can smell very much like a dead animal. When I flushed out the cooling system of my truck, which has Dex-Cool, my garage smelled like an animal died in it for a week afterwards. If you smell it in the car, there could be a leak in the heater core or under the hood, but I'd watch the coolant level for a while to be sure. Or maybe if you recently added coolant or had it changed, some could have been spilled down the side of the radiator or other part that gets hot.

Of course, you could actually have a dead mouse or something. The smell will go away in a week or so if it's a dead mouse.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2008 at 11:40PM
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It could very well be a plugged drain tube to the Air Conditioner drip tray as mentioned in a post above. One more place to look: Open the air cleaner box, lift out the air filter and take a look/smell.

A carcas in this location would not circulate through your heater/AC system, but may smell to high heaven under the hood and up front behind the grill around the air intake for the engine.

(You did not run over a skunk, or a bevy of skunks did you now? Been there, done that!)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2008 at 11:35PM
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From the strange but true file...

I had a customer bring her Buick Riviera in for a bad odor inside the car, dang I just realized this was almost twenty years ago... VBG.... Anyway, it was such a foul odor, and so strong it would make everyone that got into the car start to get sick. The only solution since the odor was everywhere was to quickly pull out the back seat, and the deck tray to improve air flow all the way through the interior of car. This allowed first of all me to even be in the car investigating the problem, and of course it thinned the odor down enough that we could start to isolate it's source. Turns out the amplifier for the LR speaker was failing, and the potting material was "cooking" but had not yet as yet started to burn.

Which brings me to what kim needs to do. Get the car siting open, with fans blowing air through the car to cut the smell down, then stop the airflow and you should be able to narrow down where the odor is coming from.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 8:16AM
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