“What happened? My car “stinks” is what happened. And it’s destroying the lives of everyone in its path.” ~Jerry to Kramer in the Smelly Car episode of Seinfeld


After 2 years and 4 months of living with a stench in Dan’s car that couldn’t be identified, we found it!!  We found it and took it out and the smell is gone. 

This smell has mystified us — to try to get rid of it we cleaned, we febreezed, we had the car professionally detailed two times, we took it to the car dealership twice to be inspected for dead animals, taken apart and de-stinkified and I even paid $30 for some stink-be-gone magic potion.  Nothing could touch the smell.

This smell has entertained us — we got all of my siblings in the car one day, closed all of the doors and had everyone do their best to identify the location of the smell.    No luck. 

This smell has changed the path of our lives — I won’t go in to details of the shenanigans I went through one day to get a wad of cash big enough that I could tip the valet and make up for the stench (the ensuing discussion with the guy was classic – I apologized profusley for the smell as he was walking away and he yelled “it’s milk, it’s rotten milk maam”); my mom rented a car on her last visit because she was afraid she might have to ride in that car; we could never take anyone outside of our immediate family in the car.

The smell has encouraged us to look for answers outside of the box — the explanation for the smell that Dan had cooked up was very complicated and involved spilled milk that rotted deep down into the seat so much that it was alive and grew into the air conditioner and was actively swarming around in the vents (especially on the right side because when you turned right or drove on a curvy road it smelled worse, according to Dan) as well as a family of voles who buried their dead in the trunk and since their lifespan is so short there were burials every week providing for just enough smell at all times to make us wonder if Dan’s clothes had the stench on them when he went to work.

Like many things, the reality was much simpler than what we imagined.  When I drove the car, I had a small bag for trash stashed in between the driver’s seat and the consol.  At some point, someone must have put a piece of cheese in there.  And for two years and four months it has been rotting.  Dan found the bag and removed it from the car today.  And the smell is gone.

Halleluia, we’re rejoicing.