Got awful smell inside Tahoe

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ojb226

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2004 Tahoe Z 71

Every once in a while, I’ve got this god-awful musty, rotten egg smell going on inside my car. I’m pretty meticulous about cleaning the thing and last summer when I smelled it for the first time I ripped out the entire interior from middle row back, including the carpet. I dynomatted the entire thing and carpet cleaned the used carpet.. I did not remove the front seats and the carpet underneath though.

I thought that the issue was that my two-year-old accidentally peed in the vehicle after a day on the lake so I just thought it was urine at first but clearly it’s not since the smell went away and it’s come back this summer.

Any idea what could be causing this? There’s no indication on my headliner of any type of water leaks. The roof mounted antenna thing on my driver side was leaking a few years ago and would come through right at my sunvisor on the driver side. I sealed that no water leaks since then but that’s the only, hint that I’ve got.

It’s a longshot, but I just wanted to see if anyone else has had this issue before.

TIA.
 
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Based on what you're saying about that funky smell, it sounds like mold or mildew might be lurking somewhere in your ride, maybe hiding under the seats or carpet where you haven't given a good scrub yet. Sometimes, even a little water leak or just the air being too damp can trap moisture and make moldy messes. I'd suggest poking around under those front seats and checking the carpet in that area to make sure there's no moisture or mold creeping around.
 

swathdiver

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Historically, a rotten egg smell is the sign of failed catalytic converters. Musty mold rotten smells can also come from mold growing on the evaporator inside the dash. When was the last time you replaced the cabin filter? The evaporator is right next to it. Sometimes critters crawl up in there and meet their demise.
 

Joseph Garcia

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^^^^^x2^^^^^ Take out and replace the cabin filter and vacuum the inside of the housing as best that you can. It is amazing what can accumulate in there.
 
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ojb226

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Based on what you're saying about that funky smell, it sounds like mold or mildew might be lurking somewhere in your ride, maybe hiding under the seats or carpet where you haven't given a good scrub yet. Sometimes, even a little water leak or just the air being too damp can trap moisture and make moldy messes. I'd suggest poking around under those front seats and checking the carpet in that area to make sure there's no moisture or mold creeping around.
Thanks @Alessandrolomb . I think you're right. At the end of the day, something is causing it. Only time will tell after more discovery.
 

ScottyBoy

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Once you do find the source, I'll tell you something that might be able to help get rid of the smell. Plain Ole charcoal briquettes. Just open a large flat cardboard box or plastic tote or whatever, and dump a whole 16lb bag of charcoal in it and let that just sit in your truck for a week or two. The charcoal will absorb the odor, provided that you don't have something in there continuing to create the odor. I read about this tip years ago in Truk'n Magazine. I had a BAD fishy odor in the cargo area of my Suburban because I went to the lake and went fishing, but the ice chest was leaking at the drain plug. It leaked some fishy water into the carpet. I immediately cleaned it, used a carpet extractor abd carpet cleaner and everything. But a few days later, I had this God awful fishy smell in my truck. It was epecially rank after the truck had been parked in the sun on a hot day. I tried that charcoal trick I mentioned, and after a week the smell was nearly gone. I left the charcoal sitting in there for another week, and then the smell was completely gone.
A few years later, I was transporting a lawnmower in the back of my truck and some gasoline dripped onto the carpet back there. Even after cleaning, I had a strong gasoline smell inside my truck. I used charcoal again, and after about a week the smell was gone. And the best part is that I still used the charcoal each time to grill up some chicken and burgers!
 

nonickatall

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Wow good advice..

Bur it sounds not very healthy to absorb gasoline vapor and use the charcoal for barbecue... :oops:
 

ScottyBoy

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Wow good advice..

Bur it sounds not very healthy to absorb gasoline vapor and use the charcoal for barbecue... :oops:
Why not? It's just vapor, it's not like I soaked it in gasoline. Actually, it's not even gas "vapor". It's just the residual smell. If I Actually had true gasoline "vapor" in my truck, I would not have been able to even breath. If it was truly gas vapor, then it was EXTREMELY diluted. Like less than .
0.1 part per million or something like that.
 

nonickatall

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Maybe I just makes me a bad feeling...

So I don't want any hydrocarbon compounds in my meat and what else is absorbed from the coal in a car..

That's why, and because it's a bit more practical, I also grill with gas and not with charcoal.

I'll have to try putting a gas bottle in my truck to see if the smell goes away... :favorites37:
 

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