Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Remove car carpet mold

The best way to get rid of car carpet mold

Whether your car carpet got wet due to a heater core leak, plugged condensation drain, windshield leak or a problem with sunroof drains, the end result is usually soaking wet carpet that grows mold and stinks. Here’s the best way to get rid of car carpet mold. You’ll find all kinds of advice online about how to deal with the problem without removing the car and padding. That advice is WRONG. You will never get rid of the car carpet mold and smell that way. remove car seat bolts. remove car seat bolts. Here’s the best way to get rid of car carpet mold and smells.

The padding has to go to get rid of car carpet mold

Look, this is no different than what happens if water gets into your home’s carpet. The first thing the remediation experts do is remove the carpet, shampoo it with clean water, carpet cleaner and mold killer. Then they drag it out in the sun to dry. But when it comes to carpet padding, it comes out and goes right into the trash. Period. The end. You cannot get mold out of carpet padding; not in your house, not in your car.

Carpet in bad shape? Replace it; it’s not that expensive. Here’s an example of custom molded carpet for a 2000-2077 Ford Focus from Stockinteriors.com. See, it’s only $138 for the entire carpet with the padding attached to the back of the carpet.

Or, just purchase new carpet padding

The padding shown here is $20 for a piece 3′ x 6′ from Stockinteriors.com.
carpet padding


How to remove carpet and padding from your car

Most late model cars and trucks have electrical connections to the seats and those have to be disconnected. Here’s what to look for:

Power down the airbag system, especially if you have seat airbags

Disconnect the negative battery terminal and leave the vehicle for at least 15 minutes to drain all the reserve power from the airbag system

Disconnect the power seat electrical connectors

Power seat may have several electrical connectors. Each must be car seat electrical connectorsdisconnected before trying to remove the seat. Mark each connector or take digital images with your phone so you know where they go when reinstalling

Disconnect airbag connectors

Most airbag connectors are bright yellow or green. They have locking mechanisms that take some time and patience to figure out. Do NOT just break off the locks. They either depress or slide. They can appear confusing, but it’s not rocket science. Be patient and figure it out.

seat airbag connectors

Remove the trim covers on the seat rails

Car makers use plastic trim covers to hide the seat rail bolts. Some of the covers unscrew while others unsnap. The screws may be rusted, so use a rust penentrant before removing.

Remove the seat rail bolts

Use a socket and ratchet to remove the four seatremove car seat bolts rail bolts. Mark the bolts so you know where they go. THEY MAY BE DIFFERENT lengths or diameters. Don’t screw this up. It’s a safety issue. Then lift the seat out of the vehicle.

Pry off the rocker panel trim. It comes off easy. Set it aside.

Remove the carpet from the vehicle. Then shampoo it and let it dry in the sun.

Remove all the carpet padding from the vehicle and discard it. Do NOT use bleach ANYWHERE inside your vehicle. Bleach is an oxidizing agent and will accelerate the formation of rust.

Wash the entire floor with a disinfecting cleaner. Rinse. Then dry the entire floor with a hair dryer.

Reinstall the padding and carpet. Move the seat back in place and reconnect the electrical connectors. Then install the seat rail bolts and torque to car makers specifications. Reinstall the trim caps.

©, 2019 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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