Would you like a little story, DDG?
I was actually going to mention this in another thread, but decided it wasn’t very useful.
When I worked at a Benz dealership, we picked up a used 300E from an independent dealer for next to nothing. Aside from a dyed and overly soft driver’s seat, it was in exceptionally good shape mechanically. But it had a persistent, unusually bad smell which someone tried to mask by dumping a bunch of that new-car smell perfume into it. It reeked.
I personally ran the Benz Vehicle Master Inquiry on the thing and noticed nothing unusual about the car’s history, except that it changed hands several times in the past three months after having one owner its whole life.
My fellow car detailers all knew something was dreadfully wrong with the thing, because even after all of our best efforts, the smell would come back. Even the de-ionizer couldn’t tackle it. But we checked everywhere for the source of the smell and came up with nothing.
Finally, my boss decided to try to contact the original owner to find out what had happened to the car. He quickly learned that the owner had committed suicide–we weren’t told how. The car was put up for auction at Mannheim, Pennsylvania by the executors of the guy’s estate, not the police.
And the soft seat cushion? It was kind of soft and gushy because it was now impregnated with a healthy dose of rancid blood–the guy had shot himself while sitting in his car. That explained some of the barely perceptible stains on the headliner as well.
We never found out who did it, but someone simply cleaned the interior as best as possible and re-dyed the seat without replacing the cushion underneath the leather.
We replaced the seat (which isn’t cheap at all) and went through the cleaning process again, and that helped some, but I remember that the day we unloaded it on yet another independent dealer (no way we were going to sell it to an actual customer) it still had the faintest wisp of the scent of death.
Hope that helps to answer your question, and have a nice day, all!