Car Talk -- Helping Each Other Fix That Shit

We don’t seem to have a thread for horseless cart problems, so here we go.

Just Q & A about shit going on with your ride, please. No lusting after Hot Wheels and such.

I’ll start:

Would it be all right to hose out a Honda Civic’s trunk?

The Google is not providing.

(And no, i will never reveal just why it could use a good hosing. :grimacing:)

Obligatory homage:

Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers


I’m thinking that the water will have nowhere to go, except maybe into the back seat if those fold down… and you might end up with moldy/mildewed trunk carpet.

ETA: the carpet (I assume there is some) might come out of the trunk (i.e. without major effort/damage). clean trunk carpet at DuckDuckGo


First of all, next time wrap the “cargo” in two layers of plastic.

I wouldn’t spray water in there. Remove everything you can then clean with a dilute solution of vinegar. Rinse it a couple of times (by hand with rags) then leave the trunk open to air dry.


I can’t speak to a Honda Civic, specifically, but cars I’ve owned in the past have had a couple different electrical doodads in the trunk area, taillights being the most obvious, but a Ford also had a reset switch for a fuel pump shutoff.

I’d follow the advice from @WHY_NOT.


In case it helps, a quick spot of research said fold the rear seats and then you can unclip the rug/material to get it out.


If you are trying to get odor out, there is a product called “Nature’s Miracle”. A few years back my dogs got sprayed by a cute little skunk and made it back into the house and onto the rug and couch before I could stop them. Natures Miracle Skunk Odor remover killed the smell. It was truly a miracle.


Definitely do not hose out the trunk. There are electrical components in there, and trunks are rife with nooks that will collect and hold that water, causing rust.

It’s always possible to remove the carpet, though sometimes it requires effort with a panel clip puller. That’s the best option if you can, because you can hose down the carpet on the ground, or launder it, or do whatever you need to do. Just make sure it’s thoroughly dry before putting it back in. If that’s not an option, an upholstery shampoo might be the next best option, just go really easy on the rinsing.


Aren’t peroxide based cleaning solutions supposed to be good for ‘cargo’ leaks and drips :grinning:

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Yep, it’s a trade secret. Well, not any more.

What pro advice might look like:


If you live in a very hot dry place (for speedy drying, maybe with the aid of a strong fan), and if you can effectively seal all all wiring and all connections before washing the trunk, and if the trunk itself has removable drain plugs (consult an exploded diagram for your make and model year), it might be possible to hose out your trunk.

But not pressure-wash your trunk.

I suspect though that water would still get into a lot of unexpected places. You might end up taking all of the upholstery and carpet out of the car by the end of the process, even if you taped and masked and put plastic sheeting in to keep other parts of the car dry.

Steam cleaning? (Those are rentable too.)
I guess it depends on what substances you seek to clean off.

I guess if it were me, I’d pop out all the soft stuff (they attach with clips, see that Haynes manual again) and put it all on pavement, then maybe pressure wash those and dry them very well. Or rent a carpet cleaner machine to do it.

For the steel interior, I’d use a big non-scratching sponge, a bucket of Citrasolv and water, and a wet-dry shop vac, and wash and vac one section at a time. Vinegar and water may damage paint or rust metal if not rinsed off. Unless properly diluted, Citrasolv can eat through plastics like wire insulation.

Would probably still seal off all potentially affected wire connection points before starting.

Good luck…


What’s a good replacement car if one likes a honda fit, other than another honda fit?


Mini Cooper?

Similar size, supposedly fun…


That’s a possibility.


Damn - I was going to suggest a Honda Jazz (my folks love theirs) but it turns out in the US it’s called… a Honda Fit.


Yeah. For some reason, they stopped selling new ones in the North American market, which is a shame, as it’s a great car. A used one would be a possibility, but they are a bit harder to find now than they were a couple of years ago.


I asked the new driver, who (to put it mildly) knows such stuff:

  1. Civic hatchback (though “the new model is more like a sedan liftback than a hatch”); 2.0L (“slower than 1.5L turbo but more reliable”); “hybrid coming soon” (presumably not as soon as you need)
  2. Corolla hatchback
  3. Mazda 3 hatch (most expensive)
  4. Impreza hatch (least expensive; worst MPG due to AWD – but my 2015 Crosstrek is essentially an Impreza, and in 7 years, besides the normal wear on tires, brakes, etc. I’ve only had to refill the refrigerant)

Also the Chevy Spark but that’s not as nice as your Fit.

Or, just for fun, a used BMW i3, 2015 or newer & ideally w/ range extender (“coded to Euro spec” – Oh boy he’s doing it again…)


I thought this was going to reminisce about these guys.

Wet trunk reminded me of this story.

When I was in high school me and 3 other delinquents were skipping school. We were smoking pot and drinking at a local park, at some point I put my dad’s relatively new 1978 Mercury Monarch on it’s side in a ditch full of water.

Some guy in a 4 wheel drive van was amused and pulled us out but it cost a bag of weed.

We went to the car wash and sucked out all the water and gave it a good wash.

Phew, got away with it.

We forgot the trunk. When my dad came home later that day water was dripping out of the rear of the car.



If budget and lifestyle permit, take a look at the Chevy Bolt. It’s easily the best small car I’ve ever owned. It was an absolute joy to drive and being electric it was essentially zero maintenance.


Oh! Maybe next time! I ended up being able to find a Honda Fit that I liked. I really loved my old one and like my new one so far (which I named Furiosa, since the color is Orange Fury!).

Thanks for the advice everyone! I appreciate it.

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