Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Cape Canaveral, Florida
Here's how you fix the smell from AC:
What to do:
Spray disinfectant into the fresh air intake.
The smell from the AC comes about when bacteria, mold and mildew attach to the damp air conditioner coils located in the dash area. This is a common problem in high humidity areas, and not limited to cars. We all know our bathtubs will mildew if they aren't disinfected from time to time... same problem in your AC system.
1) Procure a can of antibacterial disinfectant such as Lysol.
2) Don't use the AC for a few hours so that the AC coils are dry.
3) Start car
4) Turn AC to lowest temperature setting
5) Turn fan speed to maximum
6) Set air for fresh air, ie. make sure you're pulling in outside air, and not recirculating.
7) Open hood. As the car is running, please make sure you're not wearing any loose articles of clothes (like ties) that can get caught in the turning parts
8) Locate the fresh air intake. This is typically just under the vents on the top of the hood near the windshield, by the windshield cleaner outlets
10) Remove filter if there is one.
11) Get the can of Lysol and spray into the opening. Make sure you get a fine mist going into the opening. How much to use depends on the severity of the odor. Try a little at first.
12) The fan is now sucking in the spray and the cold AC coils condense it so that it adheres to the affected areas, attacking the source of the smell.
13) Turn off the car and reassemble the air intake.
14) Do this when you don't plan on driving for a couple of hours. This will give the disinfectant time to battle the evil spores. (If you drive and use the AC right after the procedure, the condensation will wash off the disinfectant, reducing the effectiveness of the treatment.)
Now the car will smell like Lysol for a while as it kills off the mildew and mold spores and bacteria.
You may have to re-treat periodically, just as you have to clean your bathtub periodically to avoid mildew.
Cape Canaveral, Florida
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