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Replacing the Carpet in an Older Car

Do you love your old car but hate the way it smells? Does the interior give off a mysterious odor that’s impossible to irradiate? Have you given up on air fresheners, shampoos, ionizers and all the quick fixes? It’s time to get your nose down in the carpet and face up to the facts. There’s a very good chance that your car rugs are harbouring those noxious perpetrators. This is a problem that can be solved and the materials are not that expensive. Replacing automotive carpets is well within the capabilities of a competent do-it-yourselfer.


Here’s a handy hint for anyone shopping for a used car. If you see a pine tree hanging from the rear view mirror and air fresheners in every dashboard vent, it’s a tip off. That car has an odor problem. Rather than addressing the source of the smell, the owner has chosen the easy route. But masking the smell doesn’t make it go away. It only makes it worse.

Your Car Stinks! Everyone’s faced it at one time or another. You open the door to your car on a hot summer day after work and the stench slams you in the face like a rocket-propelled skunk. You roll all the windows down and drive home with the air-conditioner on full blast. You cross your fingers and hope that does the trick. And maybe it does. For a while. It seems to get better. But then it creeps up on you during your morning commute …

I had never given thought to carpet replacement until last spring, shortly after I tossed all of the air fresheners that festooned our 1999 Honda Civic HX Coupe’s (a.k.a Slambo) interior. Within hours, the cabin’s true stench reared its ugly head. After bit of routing around, it became clear that the primary source of the offensive odor was the carpets (along with the upholstery). I made the decision to ditch the original front seats and swap out the smelly rug for a fresh set of custom moulded replacement carpets. This was all uncharted territory. I wasn’t sure about what to expect, but I wanted to share the experience. So we shot a video of the carpet removal and installation process for the Ain’t Fuelin’ video series pilot.

There are additional benefits to replacing your carpets. When you rip the old carpets out, you can fully inspect your floorboards and address any rust issues. You can add extra insulation, for climate control and sound deadening. And most importantly – from a visual and tactile perspective – you can change the color and upgrade the quality of of the carpet. It’s win win win, and then some.

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1 comment so far ↓

#1 Anthony on 03.06.15 at 11:56 pm

My car’s carpet has been rotting away for some time, so this has been at the back of my mind. Thanks for showing me how to go about changing it!

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