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smelly vent



  • mrldmrld Posts: 1
    I bought a Lexus RX300 in March. As the new car odor started to lessen, I noticed an overtone of a chemical type odor. Last month, I went to the dealer for service and mentioned the odor. The serviceman did the service and then told me there were parts of a dead rat in the air conditioning filter. I think it was there when they sold it to me. The odor is still there. Any suggestions?
  • sbrandonsbrandon Posts: 24
    Although this may be too late for some, and may not even work, but we had a dealer tell us that if you run the a/c on recycle, you need to switch to open vent and let run for a minute or two when you are ready to shut down for an extended period. The closed loop of the recycle does trap "stuff" in the system. So far this has worked for us (in MD). I'm trying to get my folks in SC to make sure they do the same.
  • I have a Tacoma P/U & an Avalon both 1999 that both have the mold problem as well as my sisters 1995 Camery.the manufactures have been aware of this problem for many years and have failed to implement known solutions. The dealers solution is to turn on the blower to high and introduce lysol into the intake. Now I have a truck that three days after still smells of lysol so bad it just sits in my garage with the windows open. Help!!! this mold is a serious health hazard the warrants a recall on all makes and models where are the lawers for a class action?
  • jontyreesjontyrees Posts: 160
    I have a '99 Trooper that suffers from B.O. (blower odor), as does about every other car around here, (Austin, TX). I'm ready to try the Lysol remedy, or actually Clorox air freshener, but I'm not sure where the air system pulls in air. Someone told me to squirt it into the windshield defroster vents when the a/c is on recycle - does this make sense?

    Quick bad-smell-horror-story: my uncle in England had a Citroen that had the air vents between the front seats, (go figure, my brother had a Renault with a manual stick shift that you pulled and twisted out of the center of the dash!) Anyway, new puppy, car sick, dog vomit in heating vents, smell there for years.

  • My wifes Saturn started having this moldy smeeling odor after about 1 year. She took it back to Saturn and they installed a devise that runs the blower motor for about 10 minutes to dry out the system after the car has been parked for about 30 minutes. If Saturn can do it, why don't the higher end producers do it?
  • garyg4garyg4 Posts: 2
    I bought a 2000 Camry LE, living in Houston. In July, with 1800 miles, the a/c system starting emitting musty odors when I started the car up. Dealer says this is normal for Houston and provided a "one-time good-will" evaporator cleaning and said they couldn't do anything more. Has anyone had any experience to get this fixed with Toyota? Is there a Technical Service Bulletin from Toyota out there? Appreciate your responses.
  • I have a 1999 Pontiac Montana and am experiencing a bad odor from the vents. This problems happens every time we start the van up. If the A/C is on,
    then the smell only last for a couple minutes, but
    if you turn the A/C off and just run the outside
    vent, then the smell is constant and does not go
    away. This problem started at about 20,000 miles
    and the dealer installed an Electronic Dryer Module which cost GM Warranty about $800. I found out that there was a GM Service Bulletin out about
    this problem and it required installing this module so I passed on this information to the dealer and they did it. This helped for a couple monthes, but now the problem is worse than ever and the dealer has been unable to fix it the last couple visits. Last time they disinfected the A/C, but this did not help. They said this was common on the Buicks and thought this would solve the problem. Has anyone else experienced this smell from the vents? Any ideas on how to solve it? We now have about 35000 miles on the van and the warranty is about up. This has been one of the many problems this van has had and we have been back to the dealer over 15 times for different repairs. I have listed them under the Topic "2000 Montana". I live in NC where the humidity is bad.

  • Musky smells in summer are typically due to molds from the A/C vents. Ways to prevent this is to turn your A/C off when you get out of the car and turn it to a vent switch (not bi-level or defrosts). This will allow outside air to circulate (got that tip from my Ford Explorer owner's manual). Our old '96 Accord had this problem. My wife leaves the A/C on when she turns the car off, even worse was she left the A/C in recirculation (MAX A/C). DO NOT LEAVE THE A/C ON- MAX OR RECIRCULATE. Outside air can't come in to dry out the vent system. The condensate creates a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

    I finally got her out of that habit with the Explorer, showing her the recommendation from Ford. I then used a trick that I saw on the evening news. Spray Lysol into all of the vents to kill the mold. Her Explorer is now smell free.
  • rhiarhia Posts: 1
    We purchased a VW Jetta in 97 and have had the mold problem ever since. We had it back to the dealer at least 5 times, and they never were able to fix the problem. We were told by the dealer and a German import mechanic that it is a design flaw. Seems to me that should warrant a recall to address the problem. Does anyone else have a similar problem?
  • Does anyone know of a manufacturer that has NOT gone to the automatic opening to fresh air when defrost is selected, even though recirculation is engaged? I've found that most salesmen do not know that the vehicles they sell do this until I ask them to check the owner's manual. I am extremely sensitive to many chemicals, including exhaust fumes, and have always had Toyotas specifically for the manual recirc. feature. Alas, even they have gone to the auto. opening. I know their reasoning, but it is a nightmare for people who are highly sensitive to these fumes.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    1. The new refrigerants are less effective than freon, therefore the evaporators in most new cars are now more dense and complex than previously, total surface area is MUCH greater.
    2. Efficency is further improved by keeping the blower velocity as low as functionally possible. The slower the air moves through the evaporator vanes, the cooler it becomes.
    3. Many new cars have variable levels of flow-through (new intake air), RECIRCULATED air often does not need to be heated or cooled as much as incoming outside air. In automatic mode most cars modulate the amount of incoming airflow.
    4. Many manufacturer's signed on to NipponDenso, Denso USA's practice of embedding an anti-microbe chemical within the evaporator, this was done by attaching a porous nylon material to the vanes of the evaporator into which the chemical was "soaked". Once the chemical was all used up these nylon pores becames an excellent storage place for the cool moisture molecules which promote mold and mildew.
    5. In older vehicles, and in many newer vehicles such as Saab, the A/C compressor was not allowed to operate below about 45F. Then someone decided NipponDenso again?) that the A/C could be used below this temperature to help defog the windshield, IF (DAMN BIG IF!) the system could be made efficient enough to actually extract (condense) moisture from incoming airflow that was already cold.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    1. Disconnect the A/C compressor power at the clutch itself during continuing operation with outside air temperatures below 50F.
    2. If you are able to do so, open as many windows as possible when the car is parked, expecially overnite.
    3. Always use HEAT and flow-through ventilation mode to defog the windshield, and to dehumidify the cabin atmosphere, especially when temperatures are below 50F.
    4. Running the system on MAX HEAT, MAX blower and FULL recirculate mode (the A/C evaporator is upstream of the heater core, INCOMING outside air would not be heated)for a few minutes after the cabin becomes uncomfortable before shuting the vehicle down for the evening will certainly help.
    5. For those of you who still insist on using the A/C to dehumidify the cabin or defog the windshield please remember that by design, THERE IS NO EXISTING SYSTEM THAT WILL COOL THE EVAPORATOR BELOW FREEZING, and most cease to operate the compressor altogether below about 35F.
    If you drive into a climate wherein temperatures decline below this level the dehumidification capabilities of these systems will become nill. What is even worse is that the moisture previously condensed onto the evaporator surfaces will then begin to evaporate into the incoming airstream, sometimes rapidly so.

    So, be REALLY careful out there!
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