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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2019 Ascent with the touring package. Approximately 25,000 km.

Yesterday I noticed a slightly off odor throughout the car. Following my nose, I found that it absolutely stinks like dead fish in the spare tire tool area in the trunk under the carpet (the area where the jack stand and cargo cover are stored). I have no idea what might have caused this. I can't see any dead animals under the car. I had some muddy and wet camping stuff in the back for about one hour on the weekend, but nothing like this. I also picked up groceries on Monday night, but there were no known spills or leaks - and I didn't buy any fish!

To start, I vacuumed the entire car and wiped down all surfaces. I cleaned the carpet in the trunk with a carpet shampoo. In the affected area, I sprayed everything with a general household cleaner, then bathroom cleaner (with bleach!). It still smelled after that though perhaps it was better. I left it overnight with some charcoal briquettes in there. Tonight, I steam cleaned the entire spare tire cargo area, including inside all of the compartments. I'll re-evaluate in the morning.

I want to remove the entire spare tire area. I can wiggle the entire thing. If I remove all the tools and cargo cover, can I just yank the entire thing out? I want to see what's underneath it.

Thank you!

5316
 

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Yes you can remove that area.

I'd recommend finding the instructions for the factory tow hitch; they detail exactly how to remove that area.

There's a lot of room for activities beneath that area.
 

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Be careful of the following things...
  • Check and secure the winch bolt's rubber cover
  • Make sure the washers are in place on the pop in grommets under the tray
  • Clean out left and right quarter panels below the trunk line and make sure the drain holes are not clogged
    • DO NOT DAMAGE/MOVE/DISCONNECT/CRIMP THE MOON ROOF/ROOF DRAIN HOSES when doing so.
  • Be careful re-aligning the tray's outer most center retainer clip (the tray may flex, pushing it forward). If the edge of the tray isn't aligned, lift the center, find the clip, and pull it into place to fit in the slot on the trim piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I did it. I popped out the whole tray expecting to find a dead squirrel or droppings - but it was very clean! The only thing I could detect was the cotton-like fabric on the bottom of the tray was damp on one end. I let it sit in the sun until it was dry and put the whole thing back together. I'll smell it again in the morning!
 

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