Note: Before following these instructions, be sure to read the first comment on this entry, from the Head Lemur.
We recently managed to pour a full half-gallon of milk from the front passenger seat in our 2001 Volvo S60 (“The Car that Cluetrain Bought”) on to the floor. Here’s how to de-stink your car:
Use main force to remove the end caps from the four ends of the two runners on which the seat sits. They snap on onto either the front or the inside edges. Yanking hard with a screw driver did the trick. (Ah, yanking hard…what can’t it do?)
Get out your ratchet set. The seat is held in by four 14mm bolts. Once you break the lock-tight seal, they should come off pretty easily.
Try not to let all four bolts roll down a storm drain. If you put them in four different places, you are more likely to preserve one as a template, although you are also just about guaranteeing that you’ll be making a trip to the hardware store with the template bolt in your pocket.
Tilt the entire seat forward in order to scrape your knuckles mightily. Yank the back carpet out from the molding into which it’s been neatly tucked. You will have to pull the rear seat up. It unsnaps, but so does everything if you pull on it hard enough.
Remove the driver’s seat the same way. Yank the rest of the carpet out from underneath it.
Rock the passenger seat back and remove the front carpet. You will have to undo a plastic, slotted turn-y thing under the glove box.
Repeatedly hose down the carpet and the molded foam underneath it, squeezing soapy water through it by stamping on it. That may or may not get enough of the stank out of them. It will, however, make you feel better.
If the stank remains, purchase new Volvo carpets. Our local dealer sells the right front carpet for $167.38 and the rear carpet for $222.59. Consider visiting your local junkyard. (Hint: Use your other car.)
Close up the car for an hour. If when you open the door, you are pushed back two feet by a smell that is on the verge of achieving self-awareness, the spilled milk was also absorbed by the passenger seat.
You can replace the passenger seat’s bottom cushions for $232.24 and the upper backrest for $274.30. The foam padding for the right front button cushion is $75. Or, you can go on ebay and find an entire Volvo S60 seat for $150 (including shipping).
If you need to replace the seat itself, you will need a torx (sp) wrench — the ones with star tips. Our Volvo has heated seats (“The Warm Ass that Cluetrain Bought”), so you have to remove some electrical bits first. On the bottom of the seat are two black boxes, each held on by a single torx screw. Remove and deposit at the bottom of a storm drain, just to teach yourself a lesson. The big black box has wires going into it that you’re going to want to detach by pulling out the plug. DON’T. Instead, pop up the entire back end of the box — it has a hinge on one side that you should keep attached. The entire assembly detaches that way. That just leaves the seatbelt. For that you’ll need a big torx screwdriver. I didn’t try it.
Read these instructions backwards to reassemble.
Throw the left over parts down the storm drain.
Note: I am an irresponsible moron. It is entirely possible that if you do what I say, you will hurt yourself, destroy your car, or make your car unsafe by wiring the seat heater to the airbag or by not tightening the seat bolts so the next time you come to a stop sign, the rear carpet replaces your brain pan. In short, if you hurt yourself or destroy your car by following these directions, you are a moron for listening to me.
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