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Old 04-18-2002, 07:59 PM
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Buffalo, New York USA
Posts: 69
terrible smell from air vents!

W107 - 560SL - 1986 - all of a sudden I have an absolutely horrendous smell coming from my air vents. I have it taken down to the center console area directly beneath the radio, and I still can't finds anything. I'm assuming a mouse or something got in there, but I haven't the slightest idea of how or when. Anyone ever had this problem? Any ideas for de-smelling? it's taken the fun right out of driving with the top down for sure....

Can I get into that center air flow area? I opened up the blower area - nothing. I can see around the fresh air intakes - nothin. It seems heavier on the right side of the car than the left.

1986 560SL 145k
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Old 04-06-2003, 02:16 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Fox Island, WA
Posts: 15
Doug 41,

I had the identical same problem. This smell was so bad that my wife could not drive the car. That's a real problem. Anyway I went through all of the things you mentioned. In the wheel well area rear of the front wheels there are two rubber plugs about the size of a quarter. Remove them and you will probably find dog food etc. in this chanel. Your mouse has probably entered through the throttle boot into this channel and filling the channel on both sides with food. Shop vac. will help and finally flushing with hose will float food down to remove. This channel also goes to the left wheel well. One plug in that side. Hope this is the answer to your problem.
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Old 04-18-2003, 10:05 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Posts: 58
my experience

After storing my '87 for the winter, a mouse had taken up residence in the passenger side panel beneath the glove box. The rascal was gone when I uncovered the car, but had left behind his/her nest and copious amounts of dried (and, sadly, some un-dried) urine and some feces.

I tore out all the insulating material, and scrubbed and re-scrubbed with OxyClean (on the recommendation of another MB driver dealing with pet urine smells). It was impossible to reach every nook & cranny and there's still some insulation left, so it still has a way to go to be odor-free.

The smell seems to accumulate as the car sits, then after driving a bit with the blower on, the smell dissapates. I'm hoping that by the time the top-down driving season truly arrives here in Minnesota (the ice just went off the lakes last week), it'll smell like a real car again.

I'm tempted to try some activated charcoal in those vents for a while...still have to shampoo the carpet under the vents...

Any other thoughts or ideas?

'87 560 SL
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Old 04-18-2003, 01:05 PM
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,565
How about some Lysol (or similar anti-microbial) spray?

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Old 04-18-2003, 05:20 PM
Posts: n/a
Hi Doug41,

Funny, I just sent an email to another forum member who bought an air purifier from me and one my recommendations was to place it in his car and let it run with the climate control and the purifier on high for about 30 minutes. (He bought it for his home but it's very light in weight so taking it outside is not hard.)

Anyway, Lysol, may help but may not reach everywhere.

Of course, the first choice is removal of the offending odor causing agent. If not found, you can try Lysol. If it works, great, you spent $4 on a can. Hopefully, the smell will not return.

If not, let me know, I have a few more ideas but they are more self-serving:-)

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Old 04-19-2003, 08:43 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Posts: 58

Actually, at the end of the process, I did use a Lysol spray cleaner.

Am hoping that time and air will make a difference...along with shampooing the carpets beneath the nest.

Next problem: How to keep this from re-occuring next winter.

'87 560 SL
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Old 04-26-2003, 10:28 AM
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Buffalo, New York USA
Posts: 69
looking for the plug

I got a chance to look for the plug about the size of a quarter, and I can't find it. Is it directly behind the tire where water would kick up, or is it further inside the wheel well?
1986 560SL 145k
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Old 04-26-2003, 01:17 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Reston, Va.
Posts: 13
I've tried a product made by BG, called Frigi-Clean, pretty simple instructions, got it at the dealer parts dept. for about $10.00, works great!
94' E500 67k sold 10/2007
88' 560sl 154k
99' LX470
02' Ducati S4
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:15 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Milton MA
Posts: 336

This has to be a labor of love-if no updated method, 87 560SL will be reduced to parts car.

Lifetime friend departing this life due to incurable illness. Flatbedded his prized (from new) possession from 3 year storage to trusted mechanic who did the mechanicals well but told me to sell it 'as is" before the smell killed me along with my friend. I removed all carpeting and "steamed" them. Removed nests from passenger compartment foot well and battery compartment. The mechanic removed nest from Air Cleaner. Gingerly Pressure Washed Engine Compartment. Steam cleaned all trunk compartment horizontal and vertical rugs. Did not remove seats YET. Stuck a pressured water hose into outboard and door air vents 5 times and vacummed the brown water from the wells. let it dry out three days in the sun, cranked it up and turned on air-YUCK!

Does anyone know what else and where else I can clean before using the Ozone machine and BG Frigi-Clean Condenser evaporator discombobulator?

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