April 13, 2005 12:46 PM   Subscribe

AirFilter: I have a 92 Camry XLE with a dirty air filter. I bought a new one hoping it would help with the tobacco smoke smells, but I can't see where to install it...

So, two questions: 1) Where's the AirFilter go? The dealer I bought it from said it was easy. I have no manual and Google ain't helpin'... and 2) Once you've quit smoking (in your car), how do you get the smoke smell out? Many thanks.
posted by icetaco to Science & Nature (11 answers total)
1. There's a black plastic box somewhere under the hood, most likely. It will be held closed by 3 or 4 simple clips. Pop the top off of it, remove the old air filter, drop the new one in, and clip the cover back onto the airbox.

2. I don't know...
posted by knave at 1:09 PM on April 13, 2005

Don't know about the air filter, but there are many inexpensive ways to remove strong odors. You can use all these methods one after another or try combinations of them as you wish:
  1. Febreze all the fabric surfaces of your car, including the headliner. Leave the windows down and air dry.
  2. Leave a couple dishes full of orange peels in your car until they dry out.
  3. Partially fill a hoseiry stocking with coarsely-ground coffee and tie it off. Leave it in your car.
  4. Leave a bowl of white vinegar in your car overnight.

posted by pmbuko at 1:09 PM on April 13, 2005

1. Are you referring to the air conditioner filter? If so, on the 2002 camera it is behind the glove box.

Not sure if that is helpful; If it is air filter under the hood, that shouldn't help with smoky odors;

2. What pmbuko said; additionally, you can rub everything down with fabric softner sheets too.
posted by AllesKlar at 1:14 PM on April 13, 2005

Yeah, I should have mentioned what AllesKlar said. The air filter under the hood filters the air that the engine is consuming, it has nothing to do with the air that circulates through your car. If there is a separate filter for this on your car (which is news to me), then that's the one you want to change.

Then there's this thread: How Do I Make My Car Smell Nice?
posted by knave at 1:22 PM on April 13, 2005

I swear camera read camry on preview. (sigh) seems that tricky article "the" escapes me as well.
posted by AllesKlar at 1:23 PM on April 13, 2005

As noted above, changing the engine air filter will not help with smells inside the car. It will just make your car run better.

I recommend buying your car's Chilton's Guide to help you locate the air filter and so on. If you prefer, you can pick up a copy of the owner's manual on eBay.
posted by naomi at 3:50 PM on April 13, 2005

If there is a separate filter for this on your car (which is news to me), then that's the one you want to change.

Many cars have a cabin air filter, or at least a place to install one even if they don't come with one from the factory, and yes, you should change it regularly to prevent smells. In most cars it's behind the glovebox.
posted by kindall at 4:06 PM on April 13, 2005

Changing the air filter in the engine compartment will have no effect on how the cabin smells. It is easy to do though, and is a black box on the right of the engine.
posted by OmieWise at 5:58 AM on April 14, 2005

ExStink, despite the iffy-looking web page, works very well for removing smoke odor. Sprinkle liberally over upholstery and carpeting, leave for as long as you can, and vacuum it up. Chances are a vast majority of the scent is emanating from the seats, headliner, and floor.

Combine this with a change of the life support (rather than motor) air filter, if you have one, and it's pretty likely your car will smell a lot better.
posted by majick at 7:08 AM on April 14, 2005

Best thing to get tobacco smell out of a car short of stripping the interior down and washing every surface is an ozone generator. You can sometimes rent them from janitorial supply places or if you have a bit of electronics knowledge you can build one.
posted by Mitheral at 12:23 PM on April 14, 2005

Instead of ExStink, try regular baking soda. I suspect the former may involve the latter. Sprinkle it into the carpets, then a few days later vacuum out as much as you can, and hit the whole interior with a water-extraction upholstery cleaner. (Spray-and-leave carpet cleaners are crap. You need to spray in detergent, then suck it back out along with the crud.)

Try leaving one or two windows cracked when you park, if the climate allows. It's amazing how much a little fresh air will help.

As for the cabin air filter, yes it's behind the glove box in all the cars I've seen that have such filters. You might also find relays and turn signal flashers back there, handy to know the location in case one of those ever goes bad.
posted by Myself at 7:36 PM on April 14, 2005

« Older Help me stop crying...   |   Highsmith Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.