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Third hand smoke in used car?


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#1 TwoEdgedSword

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 06:54 PM

What are your thoughts on purchasing a used vehicle that has been used by a smoker if you are a non-smoker? We found a good car for our student heading to college. The smell isn't strong at all, but we are unsure if there are any adverse health risks of the residual chemicals.

The seller is someone we know and trust. He said the smell won't go away %100 after they do an additional ion cleaning. But the smell really isnt the issue. It's the health concern, if it's a valid concern, that is.

Thank you.
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#2 MotherGoose

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 07:00 PM

I wouldn't like it from a stinky point. But from a dire health threat, no. I would buy the car.
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#3 LifeLovePassion

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 07:19 PM

We bought an ionizer that plugged into the cigarette lighter port and used it in a vehicle we purchased with only a hint of smoke smell in it. It worked well
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#4 heartlikealion

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 07:32 PM

I wouldn't want it for myself or my children, but I'm more picky than most. My in-laws smoke and imo it ruins their cars. MIL's car had a fabric on the dashboard of her old vehicle. I thought ugh, that must really absorb all the smoke. Anything that has fabric (car seat cushions, carpeting on floor and/or trunk) I imagine harbors those chemicals and/or smells. It would be a huge turn off for me. Also, my son has asthma so whether right or wrong I would mentally think it's worse for him to be in contact with a vehicle like that on a regular basis. I have taken second hand clothing from relatives that I washed and I felt funny about that as well, but at least I could wash it. I wouldn't feel the same about a car interior. Same with homes. The stuff lingers on the walls and such. There might be a residue left behind?? I don't know. When we stay at my in-laws' home you can't always smell the smoke super well. But boy do you notice it when you leave and open your luggage (they smoke in one part of the home so naturally it floats through the vents).

 

How does your family feel about it? One time my SIL sold a car and dh said I wish you would have told us. We might have been interested. Privately I told dh, no way!! Because of the smoke.


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#5 Rebel Yell

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 07:47 PM

Health? Not a big deal to me. But the smell could be horrific if your car sits in the sun, or once the heat goes on, or if the inside of the car gets wet.

We bought a used van and when it rained, it smelled like a wet dog licking an ashtray.
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#6 Mergath

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 08:48 PM

From a health standpoint, I think you'd be in the clear after a really thorough cleaning or two and you could get some seat covers just to be extra safe. It's the odor that sticks around. If it gets at all humid, it's going to stink.

I drove a car in college that had been owned by a previous smoker and smelled faintly of cigarettes, and I never had any health issues from it. It was just annoying.
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#7 PinkyandtheBrains.

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 08:51 PM



We had a car like that. We had it professionally cleaned and specially done to remove the smoke smell. It worked very well and was definitely worth the expense.
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#8 Tap

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 11:07 PM

I would clean it very thoroughly with a oil removing cleaner,  including a shampooing of the upholstery/carpets/headliner.  If the driver doesn't mind the occasional wiff of smoke, then I wouldn't worry about it.

 

 

I think the health risk (after cleaning) is less than a newer car that is off gassing. LOL



#9 heartlikealion

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 04:12 PM

I would clean it very thoroughly with a oil removing cleaner,  including a shampooing of the upholstery/carpets/headliner.  If the driver doesn't mind the occasional wiff of smoke, then I wouldn't worry about it.

 

 

I think the health risk (after cleaning) is less than a newer car that is off gassing. LOL

 

I laughed but eww. "new car smell" aka "chemical fresh" lol
 



#10 Minniewannabe

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 05:43 PM

There is no cleaning in the world that takes that smell out. Just wait for a hot, sunny day. Who cares about health concerns, what will the dates think about getting into a stinky car?
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#11 TechWife

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 10:20 PM

I passed on a used car just last week because it smelled of smoke. The salesman told me that they detail the cars thoroughly and it was as clean as they could get it and not to expect the smell to get better. I appreciated his honesty.
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#12 laundrycrisis

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 10:34 PM

It would make me wheeze.

#13 Stibalfamily

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 10:38 PM

I would pass on the car, the chemicals built up in that upholstery cannot be removed. Unless is was a dire need I would keep looking. 


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#14 gardenmom5

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 06:20 AM

the fact it can be smelled at all - nope. nuh uh.    because too many sensitivities.

 

there's a reason people will list if they have pets or not when selling things . . . pet allergens hang around and can provoke reactions in those who are sensitive.  same thing with smoke.   five or ten minutes might be tolerable - but not for an hour or 12 hours (when driving long distance).  and it can get on your clothes.

hotels will charge people who smoke in smoke free rooms because of how much deep cleaning they are supposed to do to get rid of the smell.  



#15 gardenmom5

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 06:24 AM

Health? Not a big deal to me. But the smell could be horrific if your car sits in the sun, or once the heat goes on, or if the inside of the car gets wet.

We bought a used van and when it rained, it smelled like a wet dog licking an ashtray.

 

I didn't think there was anything worse than a wet dog . . . that's a good one.

but wet dogs sure can be friendly . . . .