Rain = Cat Pee Smell! - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum

6.0L Ford Excursion Discussion This forum is for topics relating to the excursion only.

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post #1 of 18 Old 07-19-2012, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Rain = Cat Pee Smell!

I know this isn't a proper introduction and no doubt there's a few folks laughing at my predicament right now, but I'm at my wits end!

After lurking for a couple of months on the boards while I shopped for a 2005 Excursion 6.0L PS 4x4 I finally found a reasonable (not great) deal on one with 106K miles in Georgia. I bought it sight unseen and had it trucked to Jacksonville only to find that the condition was not quite as described - shocker!

I laid it up for about 2 weeks while I replaced some wear parts on it and made sure it was in good running condition. I got it ready just in time for Tropical Storm Debby to flood my house and give me a good reason to use the 4 wheel drive!

I loved the truck until recently when I started noticing a strong cat urine odor in the vehicle right after its been sitting in the rain. There is no smell when it's dry and the smell goes away quickly when I turn on the A/C. I don't see any visible stains and can't locate a source inside the car.

Full disclosure: After the storm I drove (repeatedly) through water that came up to the top of the front bumper - a small amount of seepage got through the door seals and dampened the edges of the carpet (not really bad, but enough that I took care to dry them thoroughly) and bought some Damp Rid to capture the moisture.

I ran water over the vents behind the hood for a minute or so thinking a cat might have peed in them (yes, I have a cat) - the odor came back again at the next rain. I don't know what to try next - steam clean the carpets? Bleach in the vents? Run water down there longer (where does it go)? I'll try any suggestion - I'd hate to dump the vehicle but I'm a freak about stuff like this and won't keep it if I can't get rid of the odor!

Thanks - and sorry for the "stinky" way to introduce myself to the forum!

Michael O.
2005 Ford Excursion 4x4

Last edited by moleary; 07-19-2012 at 11:27 AM.
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post #2 of 18 Old 07-19-2012, 11:19 AM
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Kind of having a similar issue with my truck the past couple of weeks, but mine happens when I first kick the AC on for about 20 seconds. Sour smell comes through the vents for that first 20 seconds then disappears. I've never had a truck do that before and I'm hoping someone on here has some sort of answers for that. Bump for ya!
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post #3 of 18 Old 07-19-2012, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by k.thed View Post
Kind of having a similar issue with my truck the past couple of weeks, but mine happens when I first kick the AC on for about 20 seconds. Sour smell comes through the vents for that first 20 seconds then disappears. I've never had a truck do that before and I'm hoping someone on here has some sort of answers for that. Bump for ya!
Thanks for the bump! In researching my situation I've heard that there could be smells coming from bacteria in the ventilation system or that a coolant leak can smell funky. Neither explanation matches the symptoms I've had but maybe they apply to you?

Michael O.
2005 Ford Excursion 4x4
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post #4 of 18 Old 07-19-2012, 11:32 AM
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Thanks for the bump! In researching my situation I've heard that there could be smells coming from bacteria in the ventilation system or that a coolant leak can smell funky. Neither explanation matches the symptoms I've had but maybe they apply to you?
I read that somewhere as well. I've tried searching on the matter but couldn't exactly line up my symptoms with any solution that seemed viable to me. Best I could figure is I read somewhere that you can have your AC system 'cleansed' by a dealer. It's weird how your smell goes away when you kick you AC on and mine starts briefly when I kick mine on?
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post #5 of 18 Old 05-30-2015, 02:09 PM
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The smell is probably related to water getting in... My 2013 edge always has soaked carpets... Leaked pretty badly from day one... Was in several times and still smells and leaks. Probably going to just drill out the floor boards so the water can drain...
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post #6 of 18 Old 05-30-2015, 02:24 PM
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My first thought after reading this is a couple cans of carpet deodorizer powder. Pull all of the floor matts out, and sprinkle liberally. Then vacuum out like a champ. Then I would roll all the windows down half way and put a box fan in the back, for a day or so.
I had a Nissan pathfinder years ago that had a similar problem. On hot muggy days you could always catch a little hint. Spent a small fortune on pine tree air fresheners.

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post #7 of 18 Old 05-30-2015, 05:57 PM
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First thing that comes to mind is a leaking windshield. Then it leaks down the fire wall and you get kind of a mildew on the carpet. Take a hose and run some water over the windshield. Start checking for leaks. If you find one replace the windshield. Viniger will help pull the mildew smell out.

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post #8 of 18 Old 05-31-2015, 05:30 PM
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Might also wanna spray the crap out of the cowl with Simple Green, let it sit a few minutes and then spray it off.

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post #9 of 18 Old 05-31-2015, 07:39 PM
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If there is a leak find it and fix it. Rent an ozone machine for the smell. My truck smelled like an ash tray. I paid $20 to rent a machine for 24 hours. My understanding is ozone kills bacteria that cause oder.
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post #10 of 18 Old 05-31-2015, 08:58 PM
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If there is a leak find it and fix it. Rent an ozone machine for the smell. My truck smelled like an ash tray. I paid $20 to rent a machine for 24 hours. My understanding is ozone kills bacteria that cause oder.

It produces o3.. But you must fix the problem first in order for the ozone to cleanse the vehicle. My dad actually makes these machines that produce about 5 parts per million. He makes them for a company that uses them houses, apartments, stuff like that. It'll take the cigar smell out of a room that's had cigars smoked in it for 15 years. Awesome stuff.

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