Mildew smell in the air vents? - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 28 Old 09-27-2012, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
97cherokeegirl
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Mildew smell in the air vents?

I recently got my Jeep back from my ex, and today I drove it for the first time... I noticed when the air vents are on you can smell a mildew smell coming in the air... if you turn on the ac, then the smell goes away. Is this something that needs cleaned or is this a bigger problem?

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post #2 of 28 Old 09-27-2012, 08:57 PM
FastSUV
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its mold...they sell stuff at auto parts stores or online to kill it...watch 2-3 of these vids just to be sure these guys (other vids on the side pane) all cover it right...also check the instructions on the bottle....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk6Sk1uMn2U

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WJ - '04 4.7 Laredo
WJ - '04 4.7 H.O. Freedom
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post #3 of 28 Old 09-27-2012, 08:59 PM
sebian
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Lysol also works, if you can stand the scent.

1995 ZJ 5.2L V8 318. 230,000 miles and still rollin.

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post #4 of 28 Old 09-29-2012, 10:46 PM
MaintMech
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Atmosclear works well, you can get it at Ace Hardware.

'96 Grand Laredo, 4.0, Stock, Daily Driver

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If the faith isn't there,the doubt is.
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post #5 of 28 Old 09-29-2012, 10:55 PM
stojakovic
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Try to set high heat 3-5 min before you turn off the key. The heat will dry the air passages and kill the mold very quick.
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post #6 of 28 Old 09-29-2012, 11:14 PM
Uniblurb
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The cause of the musty smell to begin with is water accumulating in the HVAC box and becoming stagnant. Most likely your AC drain line is clogged and here's a real good thread on drilling a 1/4" whole to fish a wire through the line. It can't be accessed from the outside of your ZJ because the hose drains into the frame. Great design, not!

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/r...-drain-501895/

I don't bother to use silicone on a rubber plug and a piece of duct tape works just fine over the hole with no leaks. I have to clean this line out 2-3 times a years since I live in the woods and the tree crap tends to go down in the grate below the outside of the windshield.

I've actually put a real small hook on the end of the wire and have pulled leaf stems through the hole from the inside.

Good luck.

96 4.0 ZJ Laredo, 2004 4.7L WJ Limited, 93 4.0 XJ (spare), 96 4.0 XJ (son's)


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post #7 of 28 Old 09-30-2012, 06:17 AM
coralman
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You can access the drain end by cutting a small hole in the frame. A more complicated but more effective solution is to clean the evaporator. You'll have to pull the lower ash tray trim section and glove box to give you comfortable{kinda} work space. Remove the neg battery cable. Remove the blower assy. and resistor or atc fan control. With a small wet dry vac tape some 1/2 to 5/8 clear plastic hose on the end. Then get a $7 walmart lawn and garden sprayer. Put some coil cleaner in {a/c supply house has it, the non acid variety} it. Bend the wand slightly so it'll negotiate the opening where the blower was, and hose the evaporator coil down. As an alternative they sell foaming coil cleaner in a can at auto parts stores. You can feel around in the hole to give you an idea where the coil sits.

Let the stuff soak for 20 or so. Take a soft bristle brush or a cut off mans comb{the little black ones} and gently {GENTLY} brush the coil fins. Take the vac set up and run it all the places you can reach.NO jabbing,and dont rake the hose across the coil face, you just want to pull stuff out of the coil. Run the hose along the bottom of the coil at the drain pan also. Empty your sprayer and refill with hot water and spray the coil to rinse. Repeat until you aren't sucking anymore crud out the vac. You will need to cover your carpet to catch drips. Verify the drain is open by looking under the jeep. If not then the above mentioned procedures need to be done.

If you park around trees this needs to be done every couple years or so. You will be amazed at the difference in air flow. A dirty coil will lead to freeze ups,overcharging, water dripping where it shouldn't ect. While you are in there clean the blower wheel on the fan as well. Being a 97 this has probaly never been done and will give you a smell free properly operating system.

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Originally Posted by HighLonesome
lol...if life is as a simple as a 5.9 making you happy, I'd say go ahead and buy it on impulse. ZJs are the way of Zen. Wax on, wax off
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post #8 of 28 Old 09-30-2012, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coralman View Post
...While you are in there clean the blower wheel on the fan as well...
+1^ Crud builds up on the blower cage fins, then it's out of balance and rumbles.
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post #9 of 28 Old 09-02-2016, 08:18 AM
CamoX413
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I guess I'm just notorious for bringing you back on old threads. I found this thread because I am getting a moldy smell from my vents.

I never see anything dripping from my AC which I've run a lot lately. Should I follow the thread you linked and drill the 1/4" holet and snake out the drain?

Also my floor hasn't been getting wet that I know of. (Knock on wood)
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post #10 of 28 Old 09-02-2016, 11:44 AM
CamoX413
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uniblurb View Post
The cause of the musty smell to begin with is water accumulating in the HVAC box and becoming stagnant. Most likely your AC drain line is clogged and here's a real good thread on drilling a 1/4" whole to fish a wire through the line. It can't be accessed from the outside of your ZJ because the hose drains into the frame. Great design, not!

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/r...-drain-501895/

I don't bother to use silicone on a rubber plug and a piece of duct tape works just fine over the hole with no leaks. I have to clean this line out 2-3 times a years since I live in the woods and the tree crap tends to go down in the grate below the outside of the windshield.

I've actually put a real small hook on the end of the wire and have pulled leaf stems through the hole from the inside.

Good luck.
I meant to get your attention with my last post but forgot to quote you.
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post #11 of 28 Old 09-02-2016, 12:26 PM
coralman
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Even with a properly flowing drain the dampness will facilitate mold growth, on accumulated organic or non organic matter, after a time. Again, use caution cleaning the coils,one slip and its pull the dash time.

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Originally Posted by HighLonesome
lol...if life is as a simple as a 5.9 making you happy, I'd say go ahead and buy it on impulse. ZJs are the way of Zen. Wax on, wax off
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post #12 of 28 Old 09-02-2016, 12:53 PM
Buick350X
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id crank it on high, fresh air open, hose a can of Lysol through it. Then cook the vents with high heat for a while.

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post #13 of 28 Old 09-02-2016, 12:58 PM
CamoX413
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So are you saying that matter built up on the coils is what causes the smell?

Is there any benefit to Drilling and cleaning the drain without going in to clean coils?

I've never tackled a job that involves going into the dash or working with HVAC components before. If it means cleaning the coils I'll probably wait to tackle this project until I've finished a few others.
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post #14 of 28 Old 09-02-2016, 01:08 PM
Timo_90xj
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This is the smell you have. ZJs don't have a cabin air intake filter, just a very coarse screen. It allows little debris to enter HVAC box, and with moisture it starts to smell really bad.


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post #15 of 28 Old 09-02-2016, 02:06 PM
CamoX413
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo_90xj View Post
This is the smell you have. ZJs don't have a cabin air intake filter, just a very coarse screen. It allows little debris to enter HVAC box, and with moisture it starts to smell really bad.

Was that taken from your rig? That's pretty nasty looking. Looks like a big job.
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