Heater Core Leaked – Pontiac Grand Prix – Cleaning Car Carpet

Reader Question: My daughter’s car has a Pontiac Grand Prix, which had a heating coil leak last week. The carpet was very wet on the passenger side. Should I be concerned about toxic mold setting up?

What is the best way to prevent mold from growing. The car has been in the shop since the day it happened. I do not want to take any chances of my daughter being harmed and would like to clean the carpet.

What is the best way to ensure that mold is killed?

Thanks for your help!


Hi Jenny,

When this happens in our shop, we use a product called carpet and upholstery spray you can buy at your local auto parts store called TUFF STUFF by Simonize.

It dissolves grease and will remove the slick oily residue left over from the anti freeze leak. Spray the carpets well with the spray, use a bristle brush to work in the foam into the carpet them allow to dry.

You should make sure you pull the carpet back from under the dash as much as you can to spray behind the carpet and allow that to air dry as best as you can before pushing the carpet back down on the floorboard. A few shots of LYSOL on the front and backsides of the carpet once dry would be a great idea as well.

If there is a lot of water, you should visit your local coin operated car wash and use their wet/dry vacuum to suck up the water from the carpets. Do not use your regular house vacuum for this, it is not made to suck up moisture and will only cause problems.

If you cannot find the product TUFF STUFF, buy a can of carpet cleaner and use that instead. I really like TUFF STUFF, and we use cans of it each week when we clean out and detail customer’s vehicles.

It is safe to use on most interior finishes like seats (not leather), headliners, carpets, etc., etc. and you do not have to vacuum after using it, it is a great stuff!

Austin Davis

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