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Do you buy used cars that the previous owner was a smoker?


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Jun 5, 2020
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Title says it all.

Been on the hunt for a replacement truck. Found a single owner rust free non modified 04 CCLB duramax for a decent price. Owner is a smoker and the truck reaks like an ashtray.

Pass on the truck or are there enough chemicals out there to make it smell new again?
Forget it, unless you are a smoker too? Vehicles aren't that unique that I couldn't wait for another one that doesn't stink like shit to come up.
Title says it all.

Been on the hunt for a replacement truck. Found a single owner rust free non modified 04 CCLB duramax for a decent price. Owner is a smoker and the truck reaks like an ashtray.

Pass on the truck or are there enough chemicals out there to make it smell new again?

A professional detailer should be able to get 90+ % of the smoke smell out. My guy pulled the entire interior... ever panel and piece of fabric that came out somewhat easily and pressure washed and hand scrubbed with a brush. He spent 2 days with a helper and I think it cost me $350. (Full detail inside and out) I have no doubt the truck was cleaner then when it left the delarship
I bought my tacoma used at a dealer and the PO was a smoker. I had them do an ionizing air treatment thing and they also detailed it and it got the smoke smell 95% out of there which was good enough for me. The burns in the seat annoyed me more.
i'd buy one from a smoker, but not one that was very overpowering. too overpowering just takes too much effort to get out. mild or non is fine and easy enough to clean.
Not unless a screaming deal and it was worth spending $500+ to get the stink out.
I would not buy it unless you're willing to completely strip and wash the interior, HVAC system included. Do all that, and on a hot day, you'll still get a whiff of smoke when you get in the vehicle. Unless the vehicle is unique or extremely rare, it's not worth it.
Depends on how bad it is, but considering I "hear" it's near impossible to remove probably not regardless of how good of a deal it is. That reminds me of that episode of Seinfeld when Jerry tries to sell his BMW after the fish or something died in it. lol
When I bought my Lexus you could tell it had been smoked in but wasnt super awful. I borrowed an ozone machine and ran it for 2 nights which helped a lot, then gave it a good detail. After a couple weeks you couldnt tell and now that I have had it for a couple years you'd never know. It has leather seats which might help too
I bought my daughter's car on ebay and when it arrived, I could faintly smell smoke. The headliner was falling out of it anyway which is common on those cars. I took every piece of upholstery out of it and took all the carpet out and the HVAC vents the dash pad. I left it out in the hot summer sun for 2 days after power washing what was reasonable and put it all back together. I would not do it again knowingly unless it was a good enough deal that I knew it was worth it.
When I bought my FJ62, the PO literally had been using it as an ashtray until the day it quit running. Cigarettes in heaps piled up on the floor, headliner black and brown all over, paint stained black and brown on the driver window frame. The works.

Woolite on the headliner, pulled the carpet and pressure washed it, woolite on the seats. You can't smell it at all now. I wouldn't be afraid of a little smoke smell after dealing with that hazmat situation. Usually leaving an open container of white vinegar inside with the doors shut is enough to absorb the majority.
My father bought a car owned by a windows up chain smoker. TWO YEARS after he got it, the smell was bad as soon as you opened the door. I sprayed everything down with white vinegar, soaking the seats and carpet/headliner. Then two rounds of hitting the carpet with a homeowner grade carpet machine with hand brush. Hooked a battery charger up and kept the HVAC fan running on medium, dumped about a 1/3 can of odor removal spray in every hr over the course of a day. Let it sit next day in the sun with doors open. Everything was nice and dry within that day, Smelled like a douche for one day, after that, no issues, other than a few burns on the drivers door, you cannot tell it was ever smoked in.
In certain conditions, you’ll be able to smell the cigarette smoke inside of the truck absolutely forever. I would have to pass because I can’t stand that smell.
My last two were. The last one wasnt too bad if I kept one of those air pod things in the back seat, cleaned it right up. Current I honestly had NO idea it was a smoker rig until I turned on the defrost one day and got a faint wiff of it. I can live with that. Eventually I'll figure out how to get rid of the defrost smell too.
Depends on price, but I'd never buy a LB7. Hopefully it's a LLY.

GMT800 are made like legos and extremely easy to tear down. You could have the entire interior out in a few hours. Powerwash the carpet, run the seat covers through the laundry, replace headliner and reupholster from another truck, wipe down and air out the truck for a few days and reinstall. Time consuming but theres no special tools are anything hard about it.

Someone will come along and tell you the $49.99 ozone generator will work.
My wife inherited her grandmother's accord. It had been smoked in for 40k miles with the windows rolled up most of the time. Needless to say it reaked. We carpet cleaned everything we could without removing anything. Sprayed odor remover everywhere and left the windows open for a few days. It was much better but still noticeable. It took repeating this process over a couple of months before it wasn't bad. It was probably close to a year before it was finally unoticable. In this case the price was right so it was worth it. It would have to be a great deal for me to consider it again.
Just plan to clean it well, fabreeze, and spend next summer with the windows down or cracked open all the time. They air out eventually or at least get good enough you don't notice it unless the interior gets wet.
When I bought my last 4Runner, it had a lot of cigarettes and meth smoked in it. Pressure washed the entire with interior with simple green and then shampooed it, doused the hvac with some bio something spray. Got the funk out good enough to wheel it, but not daily drive it. I was still finding cigarette butts, baggies and needles up until the day I sold it. I’m pretty sure it was the meth that I was smelling, I would buy a smokers car, but not methheads car.
clean and scrub everything.

buy a $100 ozone generator. run it 3-4 times in a month with the heat on recirc for 30 minutes.
smell will b gones.
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