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AC SMELLS BAD!!!! help!

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Old 09-07-2010, 02:38 PM
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AC SMELLS BAD!!!! help!


Im driving a 08 g35x sedan. During hot weather I put the AC unit on, but as it first starts up it smells like a sweaty ball sac that has landed on my nostrils. Its horrible that it makes me not want to put my ac on. I tried solutions on my own instead of having to bring it to the dealer

I installed FRAM cabin filter. It works a little better than a ****tier one i bought off ebay, but you can still smell the initial scent. After the AC unit has been going for awhile, the smell does go away.

I did read that its due to fungi and mold build up. How do I get rid of this smell? Where is the AC main unit and is this something i can DIY, because i dont know too much about cars, i'd love to get to know mine. Any suggestions would be appreciate, this smell is horrible.

Thank you
Old 09-07-2010, 02:50 PM
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Quick fix for the smelly AC

After 3 years and 30,000 miles, I still experience the dreaded AC smell- changing the cabin filter didn't help me either. I seriously doubt it is fungus in our vents- my guess it's something in the AC coolant solution that permeates into the vents.

One trick I have done and I have no idea how or why this works- right before you park your car, turn off the AC. I usually do this about a 1/4 mile before I get home. When restarting the car and turning on the AC, voila'! - no smell
Old 09-07-2010, 02:58 PM
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oh no... i'd pay anything to get rid of this awful smell. I don't understand why it smells so bad!!, I appreciate your input.

I called my dealer they said, they will replace the cabin filter and spray something for 179. I told them to **** off. lol, i installed my own cabin filter, but i did buy this spray.

hopefully it will work, but I'm not sure where to spray it. I want to get it at the source of the smell.

Old 09-07-2010, 03:00 PM
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wheres the main AC unit, that sucks all the air in ?
Old 09-07-2010, 03:03 PM
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Did you really create 3 different threads for the same topic?
Old 09-07-2010, 03:09 PM
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i have no idea, my internet is lagging so bad. if there is, ill delete them. how do i view threads that i posted. sry, i dont go on the forums that often. ill find them and take them off

im using my iphone now trying to do this
Old 09-08-2010, 12:30 AM
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Mine is an 08 and has the same smell, I did ask the dealer also while I was in there for a routine oil change. They also said that its condensation build up of having the ac high and low or some bs and they also said they could charge me some ridiculous amount for some kind of spray. BUt he recommended that I just go home and spray air freshner into the inside vents and then the outside vents with the AC going for outside air. It helped a little but not much. I have been shutting off my AC before going home since I bought the car but that does not seem to help my situation either.
Old 09-08-2010, 12:33 AM
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turning off the AC 1min before turning off the car does the trick for me, havent had any smell whatsoever from my AC even on initial start up thanks to this little trick.
Old 09-08-2010, 01:28 AM
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I think it is the moisture. The G keeps the charges. That helps to start the A/C cold as soon as you turn it on.

Turn the A/C off a tad early helps and also if you turn on the heat once in awhile to dry out the moisture you might have in the lines.
Old 09-08-2010, 05:19 AM
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you can do an ac service to evac the moisture and recharge it
Old 09-08-2010, 07:21 AM
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This is such a common problem and one I've not experienced in any other car I've had. Some solutions are:

1) Spray Ozium into the intake vents (cost <$3) inside the car (on the dash an beneath the dash by your foot rest and on the other side I believe).
2) I've seen some folks pour a 30/70% or even 50/50% mixture of bleach/water down the intake vents located outside your windshield and let it sit for ~30 seconds, then run fresh water through the vents as a chaser. The bleach will wash out anything in the fungi/bacterial dept. that might be lurking in that area of the system. Make sure you run fresh water for about 30 seconds or more. Now run the AC on high with your car doors open. I'm not sure our car has an external venting system for AC though. I checked and couldn't seem to make mine work, unless it runs only on econo mode.
3) Run the heater on high once the car is hot, for several minutes.
4) Spray Lysol gently into the internal intake vents a while the AC is running, that generally will kill the fungi and bacteria. Do this for around 5 seconds per vent (4 I think). You car will have that Lysol spray fragrance for awhile, but it soon leaves the system and your odor should be gone.
5) Turn the AC off, as others have suggested, a minute or two before you stop driving, but keep the fans going with fresh air.

Our car's AC system has an evaporator (it should be underneath the dashboard somewhere- I haven't looked for it yet) whose sole job is to remove hot and humid air and turn it into dry cool air. If you've been running your AC, the core will still be moist after you stop driving, and since it generally sits in a sealed box the moisture tends to come to life in the form of bacteria and fungi. Sometimes the growth can be so bad that you have no choice but to clean out the drier, which can be a PITA.

Sometimes the evaporator system drainage hose can be plugged up, which then leaks water into your car. If you have this problem you then have to clean and drain the receiver drier.

Here's an image of a clean evaporator core:

And a dirty one:

Good luck and I hope this helps.

Last edited by Infiniti Chica; 09-08-2010 at 10:16 AM.
Old 09-08-2010, 05:02 PM
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wow thank you so much infiniti chica, and everyone else that helps
Old 09-08-2010, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Infiniti Chica View Post
1) Spray Ozium into the intake vents (cost <$3) inside the car (on the dash an beneath the dash by your foot rest and on the other side I believe).
I used Ozium last weekend at the recommendation of a guy at pep boys (who seemed to be smarter than average). I sprayed it directly in the vents on the dash, let it sit for a few mins then turned the A/C on. It worked.

He thinks the nasty stuff probably accumulates closer to the vents than outside intake, so if you spray something on the outside it could just get stuck in the in-cabin filter.

I'll try using it on the intake vents in the footwell if the smell comes back.
Old 09-08-2010, 10:38 PM
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The odor is usually caused by mold/mildew buildup on the Evap core. There are several over-the-counter remedies for this. Most are an aresol that you spray into you fresh air intake under the hood, let the A/C run, wait a specific amount of time (varies) and go away smelling like a rose. When I worked for Chrysler there was a TSB that covered this problem and a specific part number spray gizmo to fix it. The spray thing was ~$50.00 but I'm sure OTC stuff is much cheaper.

Usually this problem is in the AC housing and not the vents, etc.

This reminds me of a funny story. In the old days, to bust someones balz, we would get about 25 of those green "Christmas Trees" and stuff them into the heater. Man, that car would stink for months and he never knew why.

Old 09-08-2010, 11:45 PM
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mike is correct about the problem. It can happen to any AC system.

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