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Smelly Air Conditioner?

  #1  
Old 04-02-2015, 10:06 AM
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Unhappy Smelly Air Conditioner?

I've run into this problem with all my Hondas (Civic, Accord and Odyssey).


When I turn the air conditioning on, it smells terrible. I can't quite describe the smell, maybe similar to mildew-y smell.


Anyone else experience this? I've only had my Fit for less than 3 months. What am I doing wrong?
 
  #2  
Old 04-02-2015, 10:35 AM
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Connecticut
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Check your cabin filter. Behind the glove box. Push the sides of the box in to lower it and take it off the lower hinges. Push the two tabs in on the filter holder and it slides right out. If its damp that's the source. I had to do this on my 2011 Fit. turns out it was on the lot for so long mice pooped and made a nest in there....ICK! I'll find a pic. there was also acorn nuts in my air filter for the engine too. Dealership changed both and cleaned the housings at no charge.


Its an easy fix and the filter is like $20 bucks I think. Easy to install yourself.
 
  #3  
Old 04-02-2015, 11:14 AM
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You need to turn off the condenser before shutting off the car to clear out any moisture. Here's a link that explains what's going on and how you can fix it:

https://www.aplusjapaneseautorepair....a-musty-smell-
 
  #4  
Old 04-02-2015, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bach View Post
You need to turn off the condenser before shutting off the car to clear out any moisture. Here's a link that explains what's going on and how you can fix it:

https://www.aplusjapaneseautorepair....a-musty-smell-
That makes sense. One thing they suggest that would not always be feasible is running the heater for the last minute of your drive. When it's 95deg outside with high humidity, that would not be fun.
 
  #5  
Old 04-02-2015, 02:49 PM
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I've owned 9 Hondas, and not one smelly issue. You must have the worst luck, it's something else, or your nose is too sensitive. Have it checked if possible at the dealer. Unknown how they would do this though.

PS: I live in Hot Humid Florida

2 Fits
4 Civic's
1 Accord
1 Eliment
1 Insight
 
  #6  
Old 04-02-2015, 02:57 PM
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Here's something to try since you may have a mold/bacteria issue in the ducts if changing the filter doesn't help.

Open all the doors, turn on the car and run the air but have it set to pull in outside air. Spray a can of Lysol along the duct by the windshield wipers where it pulls in the outside air while it's running. Also each time switch the baffles around to floor/dash/desfrost to get all the pathways. Hopefully that will kill the smell. Good Luck!
 
  #7  
Old 04-02-2015, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by GoBucky View Post
That makes sense. One thing they suggest that would not always be feasible is running the heater for the last minute of your drive. When it's 95deg outside with high humidity, that would not be fun.
You don't really need to crank the heat, just running the blower on one of the higher speeds ought to do it. Yeah, you can feel the difference pretty quickly but it's certainly not unbearable.
 
  #8  
Old 04-02-2015, 03:24 PM
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Febreze Car Vent Clips might do the trick.
 
  #9  
Old 04-03-2015, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by bach View Post
You need to turn off the condenser before shutting off the car to clear out any moisture. Here's a link that explains what's going on and how you can fix it:

https://www.aplusjapaneseautorepair....a-musty-smell-
+^ good advice
 
  #10  
Old 04-03-2015, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Padrinho View Post
Febreze Car Vent Clips might do the trick.
That may conceal the smell since Febreze can work wonders (it was a college staple, much like Raman noodles), but if you need to get to the root of the smell, you have to attack it earlier on. Redd, have you had experience with trying the Lysol thing?
 
  #11  
Old 04-03-2015, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by GoBucky View Post
That may conceal the smell since Febreze can work wonders (it was a college staple, much like Raman noodles), but if you need to get to the root of the smell, you have to attack it earlier on. Redd, have you had experience with trying the Lysol thing?
No that was something I heard on a call in mechanic's radio show. Make sure it's the Lysol for the air, not surfaces
 
  #12  
Old 04-03-2015, 11:33 PM
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Id go a step further and do watered down ammonia. That stuff will kill any mold/bacteria. Yes it will stink and sting the nose like something fierse, but once it dries out, your ducts will be clean of mold/bacteria And no smell

I did this when mice made a nest in my 2011. I have a pic of the nest ill try to upload sometime this weekend.
 
  #13  
Old 04-05-2015, 01:52 PM
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Hello fellas,

A couple of years ago my ex got the same problem the air smell pretty bad and could not be fixed even in the dealership. She sold the car and brought a new one.
One question though how to turn condenser (as you might notice English is not my first lenguage). Do you mean turn off the ac bottom or just stop the air from getting into the car?
Thabks
 
  #14  
Old 04-11-2015, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by KikeDiaz View Post
Hello fellas,

A couple of years ago my ex got the same problem the air smell pretty bad and could not be fixed even in the dealership. She sold the car and brought a new one.
One question though how to turn condenser (as you might notice English is not my first lenguage). Do you mean turn off the ac bottom or just stop the air from getting into the car?
Thabks
I always just turn the AC off a couple minutes before I park. Eliminating air from entering the car wouldn't do anything except maybe kill you.
 
  #15  
Old 04-15-2015, 11:28 AM
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Mildew can result from a clogged evaporator drain. It can cause water to pool and smell nasty.
 
  #16  
Old 04-15-2015, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by GeorgeL View Post
Mildew can result from a clogged evaporator drain. It can cause water to pool and smell nasty.


Very good point George. Unclogging the drain is often as simple as running a coat hanger through the drain hose and unclog the blockage. Sometimes it requires taking the evaporator housing apart to clean the caked up gunk on the bottom of it to prevent future clogs.
 

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