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Today has been a wacky day at work.

My coworkers and I are entirely too impish sometimes. We all subscribe to a listserv called "Personals" at work.

This email someone on the nearby campus sent got a reaction out of us this morning
"Hi folks,
Sorry for the long read, but I hope someone can help me with a mysterious problem with my 1999 Toyota Camry LE.

While it's had its ups and downs over the years, it's always run well with no serious issues that couldn't be dealt with. About a week ago, however, all that changed when out of the blue it developed a terrible smell which is something akin to paint thinner, with something else thrown in for good measure (but which we can't identify).

The only possible precipitating issue is that immediately before it started, I had my A/C on full blast because it was excruciatingly hot and humid and I was transporting some passengers who didn't seem to be taking that too well.

We took it to our mechanic (whom we've used for decades) who told us that it was not an automotive smell. He tracked it to the front passenger side carpet and mat. They shampooed both (we threw out the mat), but the car still smells awful. It's nearly impossible to sit in there without the windows open, so we have used it only for short trips when necessary. And, needless to say, the weather the past several days has not been helpful in our attempt to air it out.

Our mechanic also suggested that we have the carpet replaced and we did take it to a guy who does some detailing. He suggested removing the carpet to see if anything was going on under there that could relate to the problem. If not, he'd try to air out the car to remove the odor and would then would replace it with new carpeting.

We're holding off on this for now because I'm reluctant to replace the carpeting until we know what caused this (as it could happen again). And, despite the mechanic's assertion, I feel really strongly that this has to be connected to the A/C since there was no problem before I ran it on warp speed. The only thing I could find in Google searches was a leak of A/C lubricant oil, but there wasn't really much to go on.

If anyone has any thoughts or suggestions, I would be very grateful.
Thanks in advance,
P.S. We already asked my passengers if they were carrying anything that could have spilled -- negative on that."

My reaction, which I forwarded to my work buds:
"They’re kidding, right?

It’s nearly 20 years old and it’s a cheap ass CAMRY. Are they seriously considering spending giant chunks of money to replace carpeting rather than just accepting that the car is old and smelly and maybe they need a new one?"

But my coworkers are even more ornery than I am. They want to get a bunch of those smelly car trees and we can send them to her anonymously via campus mail every few days until she sends something to the listserv yelling for us to stop sending them. *evil chuckle*



( 9 comments — Something to say? )
Sep. 12th, 2018 09:59 pm (UTC)

I laughed extra hard at this because in high school my friend spilled a full, EXTRA LARGE coffee with FOUR creams, all over the backseat floor of my then-boyfriend's Camry. (Yes, he was totally livid!) It's long sold so reading this I was like wait...did we do that?? ;)

Camry's stink! Read all about it!

Edited at 2018-09-12 09:59 pm (UTC)
Sep. 13th, 2018 01:56 pm (UTC)
Hehehe - methinks that the passengers aren't fessing up too!

It's the Camry Curse!
Sep. 14th, 2018 08:06 pm (UTC)
Oh they're lying through their fucking teeth lmao
Sep. 13th, 2018 02:58 pm (UTC)
Sigh... children, children! Play nice.
Sep. 13th, 2018 07:42 pm (UTC)
Have they looked under the seats? Dennis had a piece of fruit fall out of a bag once and rotted away under his seat years ago. So gross.

However I will also add, I have a fairly new Toyota, 2015 Corolla, and when I first turn on the car in the summer months, when I use my ac, it smells musty but once the ac gets going the smell goes away. If I don’t run the ac it smells longer. I have not figured it out but I too think it is related to the ac so I do think it is a possibility for the person who sent the email.
Sep. 13th, 2018 07:47 pm (UTC)
I have no clue but I'd hope that while they were tossing out floor mats and sniffing carpet that they'd look under the seats LOL

It may be related to the AC but in a car that old, it's an absolutely absurd expense to replace the entire carpeting at this stage.
Sep. 14th, 2018 03:26 pm (UTC)
I *particularly* enjoyed how they were VERY specific as to it being the LE model - that is obviously an important detail!

I could see tossing the floor mats and getting new ones if something did spill on them. But when they started talking about replacing the carpet in the 19 year old car - oy!

OMG - it's REAL THING - there is a lawsuit against Toyota, who have known there is an issue since 1997

link - https://www.carcomplaints.com/news/2017/toyota-camry-air-conditioning-smell-lawsuit.shtml

Sep. 14th, 2018 03:28 pm (UTC)
Holy crap! Nice find! I may email her!
Sep. 14th, 2018 10:25 pm (UTC)
( 9 comments — Something to say? )