Why does my cars air conditioning smell bad

Why does my cars air conditioning smell bad Why does my cars air conditioning smell bad

There’s practically no greater feeling than starting your vehicle on a scorching day and cranking that A/C to max chilly. Nonetheless that chilly breeze can shortly go from refreshing to repulsive whether it is blasting a cool scent! Is it merely you, though, or is there one factor severely incorrect collectively together with your vehicle? Be taught what sorts of smells can creep by way of your vehicle’s A/C and what they could suggest to your automotive.

Why Does Car A/C Odor?

Your automotive’s air-con system can each scenario air from open air the automotive or scenario the air that’s inside the automotive by recirculating it by way of the system. If the availability of a wierd odor exists near or inside your vehicle, then your air conditioner primarily channels that scent straight by way of your vents and into your face!

Uncommon, sudden odors coming by way of your A/C from inside or open air your automotive can usually be resolved by eradicating or driving away from the odor. However when your vehicle A/C smells like vinegar, gas, mildew, mildew, and even favor it is burning, there is also set off for concern.

Your A/C Smells Like Gasoline

Whereas your cabin air filter does job of filtering out mud, particles, and totally different harmful provides, it isn’t pretty strong adequate to filter out stronger smells like gas. In case your automotive is leaking gas, there’s a good chance that the scent of gas will get sucked into your cabin by way of the air-con.

A gas leak will probably be very dangerous. In case you scent gas in your A/C, it’s best to shut off your vehicle immediately and have it towed to your nearest Firestone Full Auto Care to have your gasoline system inspected and repaired if wanted.

Your A/C Smells Like Mildew or Mould

In case your vehicle A/C smells like mildew or mildew, it would very properly be exact mildew or mildew! As your automotive ages, micro organism can develop inside the system the place moisture generally collects — notably on the A/C’s evaporator. When this happens, a pungent, mildew-like scent can get blasted into your cabin by way of your A/C vents.

In case your mildew or mildew draw back seems mild, there are over-the-counter cures obtainable. In case you are looking out for one factor with a easy software program, try a vent and duct cleaner you can spray into your vents to help neutralize the odor. For a long-term reply, schedule an A/C service appointment at Firestone Full Auto Care to have your system inspected and repaired as wanted.

Your A/C Smells Like Vinegar

Are you smelling a pungent vinegar scent when cooling down your vehicle? Whereas this foul odor is easy, the availability is also a bit powerful to pinpoint. Certain sorts of mildew may trigger your vehicle’s air-con to scent like vinegar.

Lots bigger factors would possibly set off foul odors in your A/C, too, harking back to ozone emissions, that are inclined to scent vinegary, or leaking battery acid, which has a robust sulfur scent. If a vent and duct cleaning spray doesn’t do away with your vinegar odor topic, it’s best to have an knowledgeable study your air-con system.

Your A/C Has A Burning Odor

A burning scent out of your vehicle’s A/C is not sign. Nonetheless the form of burning scent may make a distinction in the best way you react! Listed under are a few widespread sorts of burning smells you’ll be able to scent coming by way of the A/C.

Burning Rubber

You can scent burning rubber if there’s a matter with the A/C compressor, A/C compressor clutch or a misaligned pulley. Each of these may set off the belt to tug which may set off a burning rubber scent.

Burning Plastic

Electrical shorts, burning wires or hoses, and even excessive mud inside the vents may trigger a burning plastic scent in your automotive’s air-con.

Burning Oil

Over time, oil can leak out of your engine by way of gaskets, hoses, and even the oil filter. When this leaky oil hits your scorching engine or totally different heated elements beneath the hood, it would shortly emit a burning oil odor that will blow in collectively together with your A/C.

Principally, it’s safe to think about that any burning scent emitting out of your automotive’s A/C is not sign. Since each kind of burning scent will probably be introduced on by quite a few factors, it’s arduous to diagnose the difficulty with merely your nostril. Instead, head into your closest Firestone Full Auto Care to let our expert technicians sniff out the premise of that burning odor, so that you just and your vehicle can hold safe and funky on the freeway.

Your A/C Smells Sweet

Can you scent a sweet scent popping out of your A/C? You could not want to take a large whiff. A sweet scent in your vehicle’s air-con would possibly level out an antifreeze leak in your cooling system. Ethylene glycol is a component in antifreeze that makes it superb at lowering the freezing temperature of the liquid. It’s also the similar substance that gives antifreeze it’s surprisingly sweet scent.

Leaking coolant will probably be detrimental to your automotive. In case you scent one factor sweet in your vehicle’s A/C, it is very important have your automotive launched in immediately for a Full Car Inspection.

Freshen Up Your A/C with Firestone

Uncommon smells in your air-con will probably be unpleasant, and some could even be downright dangerous! In case you’ve got acquired a weird scent blowing out of your A/C, then it’s time to head proper right into a Firestone Full Auto Care near you for skilled A/C service and restore! We’ll give your system a radical inspection — from seals and hoses to compressors and blower motors — and restore or alternate the required parts to verify your air-con is at its freshest!

Updated April 09, 2019

Your vehicles’ air-con unit is a vitally very important system in terms of making your driving experience a pleasurable one, notably as a result of the temperatures open air rise.

There could also be nothing greater than escaping the humidity by inserting the AC on full blast inside the summertime. Sadly, overuse and misuse of the air-con unit in your vehicle (and usually merely unhealthy luck), may trigger your vehicles’ AC to begin to emit some horrible smells.

In case you’ve ever had this happen in your vehicle or been driving in a automotive with the difficulty, you perceive exactly what we’re talking about. You get proper right into a scorching vehicle and instantly attain to indicate up the AC, solely to be hit inside the face with an unpleasant (and undesirable) scent.

This scent has been described in some methods – musty, rotten eggs, dirty socks, fishy, burnt plastic, gas, to itemizing a few – and should even be accompanied by the feeling of being in want of breath, dizziness, or problems. No one wishes that!

Let’s talk about why these smells occur and the best way we are going to forestall them.

What Causes the Car AC to Odor Unhealthy?

In short: moisture.

Your automotive’s air-con system would not actually create chilly air; it takes heat and moisture out of the air that is open air of your vehicle, which in flip, makes it actually really feel lots cooler than the air spherical you.

The coils inside the AC unit work to condense the heat and moisture inside the air, taking out the humidity sooner than pushing the cooled air into your vehicle.

As these coils are colder than the air spherical them, scorching air flowing into the unit can create moisture pockets that embody the condensing unit in your AC system; which create small swimming swimming pools of water which is perhaps drained open air of the car by means of the drain line.

Nonetheless, if moisture turns into caught or for regardless of objective cannot uncover its method out of the AC unit, by drainage or evaporation, the water will pool contained within the unit and throughout the coils creating moisture contained in the AC unit.

The wrongdoer: mildew.

In case your drain line is damaged in any other case you ceaselessly use your AC system, the unit is inclined to maintain damp regularly, which creates a breeding flooring for mildew and micro organism.

The air that passes by way of the evaporator and the gadgets’ mildew build-up will carry the foul scent inside your vehicle by way of your dash vents.

Mould is the commonest wrongdoer for inflicting raunchy smells to come back again out of your vehicles’ AC.

As a automotive will become old, micro organism, mildew, and totally different undesirable micro-organisms can start to develop. If the AC unit is not often used, or used lots too often, this may also improve the growth of these microbes inside your vehicle’s AC system and air move system as an entire.

Odor-causing mildew likes to reside in your vehicles’ AC unit because of it is on a regular basis moist and darkish – parts for a contented residence for mildew.

Learn the way to Cease Musty, Mildew Smells from Car AC

Your first exercise of movement should be to seek out the drain tube in your automotive and ensure that it is functioning appropriately. You may want to ship your automotive proper right into a trusted dealership or restore retailer to forestall inflicting extra damages to your automotive.

If the drain tube appears to be in right working scenario, you can rule this draw back out and check out killing off the mould at current inside your vehicles’ AC system together with stopping new mildew from forming in the end.

Listed under are some strategies you’ll be able to achieve this…

  1. Flip off the AC 2-5 minutes sooner than you shut off your automotive nevertheless go away the fan on. This will allow all of the AC unit to dry far more utterly every time you use it.
  2. Clear or alternate your AC filters. Dirty air filters reduce airflow by way of your AC and help moisture keep contained within the unit. You need to positively alternate the AC filters as often as advisable by the producer of your automotive.
  3. Spray an antiseptic into the skin air vents (the place your vehicle pulls air from open air into the car from). Be certain that your AC is able to the setting that pulls air from open air in, so that the spray is pulled into the air move system and should straight work at killing of mildew and micro organism.

Why does my cars air conditioning smell bad

Car ac smells unhealthy? Try altering your air filter as it would collect particles that will introduce mildew or act as an extra meals provide for mildew.

My Car AC Nonetheless Smells Unhealthy, Now What?

In case you checked in your drain tube and tried to filter out mildew your self with no prevail – all is not misplaced.

You don’t need to interchange your vehicle, nevertheless you MIGHT need to interchange the AC unit in it.

Carry your vehicle proper right into a trusted dealership or restore retailer to have your AC unit assessed as shortly as potential.

How Extraordinarily-Current Can Help Cease Car AC Smells, Like Mildew

By incorporating an antimicrobial agent into the froth, filters, rubber and adhesive elements of the Car’s AC system, mildew isn’t ready to start out rising inside the first place.

Listed under are examples of froth, utilized in vehicle AC strategies, after testing by means of the ASTM G21 antifungal methodology.

Why does my cars air conditioning smell bad

Antimicrobial dealt with foam, utilized in vehicle AC strategies, inhibits mildew progress and prevents musty odors

Why does my cars air conditioning smell bad

Untreated foam, utilized in vehicle AC strategies, will develop mildew and should contribute to musty odors

In the midst of the 7-day incubation interval, the untreated sample turns into totally coated in fungal progress. The Extraordinarily-Current dealt with sample stays clear and free of black mildew.

Extraordinarily-Current is at current being utilized by many automotive and aerospace producers to incorporate into filters, foam, adhesives, and gaskets/seals utilized in HVAC strategies.

When mildew turns into inhibited, the unpleasant mildew scent doesn’t have a possibility to develop.

Why does my cars air conditioning smell bad

It is perhaps a few days, per week or maybe a month sooner than you lastly get behind the wheel of your vehicle. It’s scorching open air. You start your vehicle, activate the air conditioner (AC) after which an unpleasant odor takes over the cabin.

For starters, let’s hope you are alone when this event occurs and by no means on any first date. An unpleasant scent in any environment would possibly flip into an embarrassing second for not solely you nevertheless your passengers.

Any Odor is The Car’s Voice Telling You It Has a Downside

There could also be nothing a lot much less inviting than getting hit by a wall of ‘stink’ for those who flip in your vehicle’s AC system. Some search recommendation from the odor as “dirty and sweaty socks”, “musty”, “rotten eggs”, “mildewy”, and “burnt plastic” to call out a few. What is perhaps the premise motive behind the odor and the best way can we get it to go away? Sooner than we get into what is perhaps the set off, it’s very important to not ignore the scent. And the scent will not go away by itself.

There are a number of causes for odor emanating from a vehicle’s AC system. Let’s go over a few recommendations on what to do about it and cease the scent from coming once more.

Change Your Cabin Air Filter

That’s generally the precept set off for a lot of odors coming from a vehicle’s AC system. A biggest observe is to range your vehicle’s cabin air filter(s) one every 30,000 miles or so. AC strategies generally tend to hold moisture from condensation – that’s when mildew and mildew can assemble up on the filter itself inflicting a extremely nasty odor when the fan is turned on. The Cabin Air Filter is a filter that sits between the floor of the automotive and the passenger cabin. It filters open air air sooner than it enters the cabin eradicating mud, small airborne particles, and air pollution. Each of these can collect and hold present on the filter.

Cabin air filters are simple to interchange, nevertheless for those who’re not cosy altering the Cabin Air Filter, have an space service technician alternate one for you. Openbay could allow you to uncover a local expert to hold out the service. The complete worth to interchange a Cabin Air Filter can widespread $35-$80 relying upon the automotive when put in by a retailer.

Listed under are some occasion costs of a cabin air filter put in by an knowledgeable technician. Pricing accommodates parts and labor:

2011 Honda Accord: $40.00 – $45.00
2011 Toyota Camry: $55.00 – $65.00
2010 Nissan Altima: $45.00 – $55.00
2002 BMW M5: $120.00 – $140.00

Clear Your Car Air Ducts to Get Rid of Mould, Mildew and Micro organism

AC strategies comprise an excellent amount of moisture. With any moisture rich environment, mildew, mildew and micro organism can assemble up. This can be one different provide contributing to odor inside the automotive’s cabin. When a Cabin Air Filter is appropriately put in and maintained, the result is the assemble up of mildew, mildew and micro organism. A typical vent cleaning service (removes micro organism all through the vent system) can worth upwards of $200. In case you establish to do-it-yourself, there are numerous residence choices that may be utilized to clean out the vent system. It merely takes an excellent amount of information labor, a rag and a small bucket of diluted bleach or simple-green kind of product.

Whereas cleaning out the vent system, guaranteeing the evaporator drain hose is obvious and free to allow the AC system to empty appropriately.

Protect the Drain Clear

The job of the car’s AC system is to remove heat and moisture from contained within the cabin – the air surrounding the passengers and driver. Quite a few system elements are involved in condensing the moisture after which channeling it to exit the automotive inside the kind of water by means of a drain line. If the drain line will get clogged or is leaking, this is perhaps one different set off for mildew and micro organism to assemble up.

Is there proof of a Gasoline or Fluid Leak

Let’s begin with the scent of gasoline. In case you scent gasoline whereas your automotive is each working or not, flip off the engine immediately. And positively do not drive it anyplace. Have it towed to an space retailer to have an knowledgeable technician have a look on the automotive. Even a small gasoline leak may trigger vapors to ignite, inflicting crucial injury.

A Sweet Odor is Not Good

If the scent is of a sharp, sugary-type scent, you are virtually positively leaking coolant. Coolant can leak from numerous parts of the HVAC system. Best to have an knowledgeable have a look on the system. It’s a service not for the do-it-yourselfer. The system should be pressure examined to look out the leak/s and restore or alternate any wanted elements.

In case you need a trusted technician to take a look at your automotive, give Openbay a try. Openbay is an web marketplace for automotive service and restore. Openbay has helped my vehicle homeowners get their AC system fixed and their odor isn’t present.

What causes smells in your air-con system?

There are a number of assorted the rationale why your air-con system is also producing a foul scent. Quite a few the widespread causes embrace:

Dirty Air Filters

In all probability essentially the most widespread causes of a foul scent out of your air-con is dirty air filters. These filters work to wash the air of water, filth, micro organism and totally different air pollution sooner than coming into into your air-con system. Over time, these filters begin to replenish with air pollution and need to be modified. If the filter is not modified on the suitable service interval, it may end in an unpleasant scent out of your air conditioner every time you use it.

A Micro organism Assemble Up

No matter among the finest efforts of your air filters, filth and micro organism can begin to assemble up inside your automotive’s air-con system over time. This assemble up causes an unpleasant and musty scent to move into by way of your automotive’s vents and into your vehicle. This assemble up may be introduced on by an extended interval of inactivity by your automotive’s air-con system, allowing a perfect environment for micro organism to breed.

A Fluid Leak

Your vehicle makes use of quite a few completely totally different fluids harking back to coolant and oil to run efficiently and hold healthful. When one amongst these fluids leaks and finds its method into your vehicle’s AC system, it may begin to present off an unpleasant scent. Not solely does it scent, it could possibly be indicative of a a lot greater topic in your vehicle that could possibly be inflicting hurt to your engine. In case your air-con begins to scent sweet, it could possibly be the toxic antifreeze in your coolant (additionally known as ethylene glycol) leaking into the system. It is best to have this topic addressed immediately as it would hurt your eyes and respiratory tract.


Your air conditioner pulls moisture from air as part of the cooling course of. This allows the air to be good and dehumidified inside your vehicle, nonetheless this moisture has to go someplace all through this course of. Water droplets can sort on the evaporator core of your air-con system, creating a moist environment which may be an excellent breeding flooring for mildew. This mildew releases an unpleasant scent which is then sucked up by your air-con unit. In case your air-con unit is dripping water nevertheless you’re unsure of the set off, ponder learning our weblog submit : Why Does My Air Conditioner Drip Water?.

What can you do to forestall smells in your air-con system?

Widespread maintenance of your air-con system is the best manner to verify it stays in working order with none unhealthy smells. Altering filters, fixing leaks and flushing your air-con system are good strategies to keep up your air-con servicing up to date.

In case you’re in a position to e-book in for an air-con service with a workforce of extraordinarily knowledgeable mechanics, contact us at Australian mechanical for the time being on 07 3356 1538.

Typically a vehicle air conditioner will not solely blow out chilly air, nevertheless they’re going to blow out a stagnant, musty scent as properly. When the air conditioner is turned on it creates moisture which attracts micro organism, mildew and odor. There are just a few choices to rid your air conditioner of undesirable stenches. Turtle Wax’s Vitality Out! merchandise are formulated with patented Odor-X experience that seeks and destroys odors on the molecular stage.


  • Turtle Wax Vitality Out! Odor-X Odor Eliminator & Refresher Spray will probably be sprayed straight into automotive air conditioner vents to do away with the odor at its provide. The Odor-X Odor Eliminator & Refresher Spray will not cowl up the foul air conditioner scent, because of it’s going to encapsulate the odors and take away them.
  • First wipe any further filth from throughout the vent. Shake the Turtle Wax Vitality Out! Odor-X Eliminator & Refresher Spray properly and regulate the nozzle to the jet-stream setting.
  • Spray barely or generous amount of product straight into your vents. The odor will proceed to be eradicated for weeks.

Why does my cars air conditioning smell bad


  • One different Turtle Wax Vitality Out! Odor-X Eliminator & Refresher that seeps properly into automotive air conditioner vents is the Vitality Out! Odor-X Whole Car Blast. The Whole Car Blast is an Odor-X concentrated fogger in a can that refreshes every flooring of the car and may move into deep into vents to remove odors.
  • To make sure that the Whole Car Blast to reach deep into vents, activate the car’s air-con to the utmost and activate the air recycle operate.
  • Place the can in a cup holder or on the bottom of your vehicle and firmly press down on the valve to launch the automated mist. Go away the car and allow it to run for 15 minutes.
  • The Whole Car Blast will enter air vents and may go away a Current New Car Scent. Select your most popular or every choices to remove air conditioner smells.

Why does my cars air conditioning smell bad

“Good product so glad I acquired it very current clear scent that blasts odors away and lasts.”


  • To cease the car air conditioner from smelling, limit working the air conditioner on the perfect setting to limit moisture assemble up.
  • If the air conditioner vents nonetheless scent continually the cabin air filter may need to be modified. For instruction on altering cabin air filters see the “How To Substitute a Car Air Filter” article.

Why does my cars air conditioning smell bad

Why does my cars air conditioning smell bad

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Why does my cars air conditioning smell bad


  • Odor-X mist reaches every inch of your vehicle’s inside and air conditioner ductwork
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Why does my cars air conditioning smell bad

Vitality Out Odor-X Whole Car Blast Car Odor Eliminator 2.5 FL OZ

  • Removes and prevents widespread odors from meals, espresso, pets and smoke from inside areas
  • Odor X experience utterly eliminates odors and continues to deodorize for the following 30 days
  • Easy to utilize, one-step course of with terribly extremely efficient outcomes
  • – Hurry whereas shares remaining! All orders supply by means of UPS Flooring. Often orders arrive inside 3-5 days.

Why does my cars air conditioning smell bad


  • Odor-X mist reaches every inch of your vehicle’s inside and air conditioner ductwork
  • Removes in all probability essentially the most stubborn odors and leaves a tropical Caribbean Crush scent
  • Includes a free travel-size package deal deal of Odor-X spray for spot odor eradicating
  • No residue technique
  • – Hurry whereas shares remaining! All orders supply by means of UPS Flooring. Often orders arrive inside 3-5 days.


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