Cool Things For The GT-R Owner: Returning That New Car Smell (or something resembling it)
Old cars stink. They're really cool but they often have a funky smell inside from 25-year old materials, being in storage, and decades of accumulated flatulence.
My car had that problem – nothing unbearable and not a huge issue with the windows down and at speed but certainly quite noticeable. It didn't smell horrible but it wasn't pleasant either. It was like drinking room temperature Coke – tolerable but not something you really want to do.
I first tried my go-to for cars with cloth interiors sullied by some malodorous intruder (e.g. some of my friends) – good old Febreze. A generous application usually leaves my cars smelling freshly laundered but twenty-five years of noxious fumes proved to be too much for even my reliable spray bottle.
The solution I found was in the Walmart car care aisle and I stumbled upon it by accident while buying some other detailing needs. I saw this little box that said “Meguiar's Whole Car Air Re-Fresher” and it promised to remove any unwanted odors “at the molecular level” and leave the car smelling good for “weeks”. From the package info it sounded like a bug bomb for bad odors and it was only about seven bucks so I figured “what the hell” and tossed it in my shopping cart.
Now I know saying stuff like eliminating odors “at the molecular level” and claiming it'll last for weeks is usually just marketing hyperbole but I have to attest to this product's effectiveness. I used it on my R32 about three months ago now and it has actually delivered on its promises!
The way you use it is simple. You have to start your car and then turn the AC up to full-blast on recirculation which brings up the only caveat with this product that I have – you're SOL if you don't have working AC. Knowing how well this thing works though now I have to say it's worth fixing your aircon to be able to use it. The Re-Fresher unit itself is a little spray can that you trigger and it continuously blows a scented gas into your car – it's like an M7 tear gas grenade but causing less burning of your mucous membranes and so is probably much less effective at dispersing rioters. So you put the grenade, err, I mean, Re-Fresher on your car's floor about in the middle of the cabin – I put mine on the transmission tunnel hump in front of the back seats – and then leave your car running for 15 minutes. After watching half an episode of Archer you come back, shut off the car, and then roll down the windows to let it air out for another 15 minutes, during which you can go finish watching that episode of Archer.
After Mallory goes off again to her condo in Miami to embezzle more ISIS funds you can come back to find that your car that formerly smelled of deteriorating chemical agents and aged methane has now been magically transformed into the automotive equivalent of a high-class boudoir. Okay, okay, there won't be any naked ladies – it just smells that good! Anyway, as I mentioned, I tried it on my R32 and it smelled amazing right after. Three months later the new car scent has faded but it's still noticeable and the foul miasma of old has yet to resurface. I've also tried it in my SUV after leaving my R32's new wheels and tires in it for a few days left it with a not-so-nice aroma. It did the job there too.
So, if you suffer from old-car-funk, pick up one of these babies and prepare to party like it's 1990 all over again – just leave out the white powder and those moldy tapes of New Kids On The Block.