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    Thread: Smelly Car AC

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      kb100's Avatar
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      Smelly Car AC

      Friends,

      We must all have encountered a smelly AC situation. I did not have an issue till I left it for two days at the workshop last week. When I got it back, a mild foul order seems to be emanating from the AC vents. To the workshops credit they made me remove the car perfume when taking the car in - therefore I would not have noticed if this situation had existed before that as well.

      Anyway what are the options available - do we have any sprays/agents that can be used to clean the system?
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      avinash's Avatar
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      kb100, if the source is not found, then the smell will be perennial.
      what kind of smell is that? does it come when the blower is on Fresh air mode or in all modes?
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      Avi.. the smell is kinda there on fresh air mode.. goes away (almost completely) with AC on... the smell is exaggerated with just the blower on.

      Lemme explain better...

      Elantra has a climate control system... So when the car is in motion with the AC off one gets a small amount of fresh air thru the vents... it smells - a very mild smell.

      Toggle the recirculation switch (shutting the outside intakes) the smell goes away - almost.

      Switch the AC on - the smell again drops.

      The smell itself is such that only the front seat passengers feels something wrong - that too if the draft is hitting your nose direct..
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      How old is the car in question ?
      A/c is being used on a regular basis ?

      Reason might be a very dirty filter and/or a/c ducts.

      Last service I got a complimentary a/c cleaning by hella.
      They use some machine to clean the a/c system. Blower and the stuff.

      Initially I did't feel much difference. But after the long drive and even now
      I've noticed the car is getting cooled faster and a/c does't have any smell.

      EDIT : Since the car has been in service please see if the mats/floor carpet is really dry. They have a funny way of getting this wet and that makes it smell like 3 days old socks.
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      One thing I have noticed with the Elantra climate control is, if you drive the car without the a/c on, eventually funny smells starts coming out...

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      Dinesh Sachdev's Avatar
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      mould growth in a/c vent is the reason for this..get it serviced.. mould dies in cold air
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      The smell not there in recirc mode but in fresh air mode right? The air intake filter if present has something fouling it or something has fallen through the intake from outside causing the foul smell.

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      I have noticed this especially with the aged cars and AC filter causes most of these issues. I had to get my Getz's ridiculously dirty/damaged filter changed few months back.

      God know when the 1st owner serviced it.
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      Sujit, change the pollen filter in the car. And change the gas if its been a while since it was last changed.

      Also, like Dinesh mentioned, the primary cause for the smell is the growth of mold inside the AC system. You can read more about it here.

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      I have peciular problem with my car, the problem is that in rec mode , there is a strong burning smell lasting for few seconds and then disappears only to reappears after few minutes.I showed it to MASS but they say that smell will be there s it is due to some gas.I had done anti rust under coating - Could this be problem?

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