A foul odour from man's best friend

Just a quick note per the concern with the person who had a musty smell in his car after having the carpets professionally cleaned.

  • transportation, business, shopping and ownership concept - customer and salesman shaking hands outside

Dennis, I’m a big fan of yours and have been reading your column for years; keep up the good work. Just a quick note per the concern with the person who had a musty smell in his car after having the carpets professionally cleaned.

A few years ago, I purchased a leased van from of one of our sales reps — it was kept very clean and was well maintained.

As it was a new vehicle to us, I sent it in for detailing. After picking up the vehicle, I noticed a musty smell and returned to the detailing and asked what was the source. There was no smell prior to having the carpets shampooed.

They mentioned that whoever owned the van prior to me must have had a dog. I asked what did that have to do with the musky smell? Their comments were, when a dog lays on the carpet or cloth seats they tend to expel sweat that is absorbed into the cloth or carpet material, this sweat isn’t really noticed until the carpet/seats gets wet, or cleaned.

The detail company said they used extra-strong cleaner and perfume spray to try and hide the smell but this didn’t help.

I left the van for a few days to see if the musty smell would go away when the carpet dried, but this didn’t help either.

The stringent smell was still very noticeable, especially to my wife. I ended up replacing the entire floor carpeting.

Just thought I’d let you know of my “musty” experience.

— John Brown, Product Support Manager, Harper Ontario Truck Centres, Mississauga, Ontario.

A: Thanks John, I appreciate the time you took to help out.

Q: A week or so ago, I wrote about a person wanting to know where he could find old Corvair manuals and how to adjust the valves without losing all the oil in the engine.

I did not know where to find a manual for this vehicle but reader Nancy Sebring was good enough to answer the call for help.

“Mr. Sullivan, I read the article about the gentleman wanting Corvair manuals. If he is interested my father, Russell, has some.

A: Thank you, Nancy. The reader was able to find two old Corvair valve covers in Guelph and I am sure he will be glad to talk to you about the manuals.

Q: I had the oil changed in my van about three weeks ago and the gasket on the oil plug was broken, which has spilled oil all over my driveway.

I went back to the garage that changed the oil and they would not take any responsibility for the broken gasket.

When I told them that I was going to write to you, they then brought the van in and put a new gasket on the oil pan, but they will not do anything for the oil that spilled on the driveway.

A: The garage has a signed release form stating that the oil pan gasket was installed as a “good will gesture only,” and that they take no responsibility for the oil spill on the driveway.

If you did not sign that release form, then let me know.

Do you have a query for Dennis O’Sullivan? Send your questions by email to: or by mail at Box 10019,

Winona, ON, L8E 5R1.

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