The car smelled so bad that I took it directly to get detailed. I tried to get the clerk to understand the gravity of the situation:
Me: Whatever the best service you have is, I want that.
The clerk: We have a super package, a deluxe package...
Me: I want the super deluxe. The most deluxe.
Her: Well if you go with the deluxe package...
Me: Can I get all the packages? I want them all.
Me: Like I want what the owner's mother-in-law gets. I don't care what it costs.
They did a remarkably good job on the exterior - aside from the dent, the car looked great. But the interior was a different story. They’d vacuumed out the trash, the ashes, the pine needles, etc. But I could still practically taste cigarillos when I was in there.
Somebody suggested baking soda. My wife proposed coffee grounds. My sister sent me an air purifier. A few friends mentioned ozone generators. One guy said to unbolt the seats and steam clean every surface (I was hoping this would be included in the super-deluxe detailing package, but alas).
The low-tech options didn’t do much. The air purifier sort of took the edge off after running for a couple of days. I ordered an ozone generator, and it improved things substantially, but it didn’t come close to eliminating the odor. I left the windows down for a while, but this just made my garage smell like really bad marijuana.
As of this writing, driving the car is mostly tolerable, but it still seems like somebody smoked Swisher Sweets in it every day for the last decade. And the car is only five years old.