Air Conditioning emit strange smell

Old 10-14-2010, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by henryd1981 View Post
As I've said, it's not really a moldy smell that is bothering me, though I've been there with the moldy smell. This smell comes after the A/C has been operating as normal. You'll be driving along, and all of a sudden, you'll briefly catch a whiff of something almost as strong as nail polish remover. It's almost as acrid. However, it does go away after several seconds. Still, I've never experienced this in any of the other cars I've had.
I know what you're talking about. My month-old 2010 Sport MT has this problem. First I was worried it coincided with shifting, but my long freeway commute eventually proved that false. Now I can't figure out what, if anything, triggers it. Not a good sign that MakinUturns' dealer says it's just mold - it certainly isn't.

For everyone who keeps saying this problem is mold, you're clearly not smelling what we're smelling.
Old 10-14-2010, 08:09 PM
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Yeah I only had my fit for 6 weeks or so I have noticed this smell occasionally. It seems to mostly occur when the air is on and set to recirculate. If I have the A/C set to fresh air and then turn it to recirculate I seem to often smell it for a bit. Or if I had the A/C off and have it on vent fresh air then it will usually happen if I turn the A/C on and to recirculate.
It does not smell like mold to me and I not had any allergic reactions to it which since I am allergic to mold would seem a bit odd. I assumed it was some new car smell that would eventually go away but maybe not?
Old 10-16-2010, 01:33 PM
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I've had my GE fit since last November and I get that smell too coming from the AC, but only when I first turn it on. It slowly goes away after that. Smells kinda like mold or some kind of stinky sock lol. It's gross.
Old 10-18-2010, 07:21 PM
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Unfortunately, I'm experiencing the same problem. After having numerous sports related surgery's it smells more like rubbing alcohol or disinfectant with an alcohol base (after having tubes in your nostrils it's pretty hard to forget) .
I first noticed it on the drive home from the dealer (wife couldn't smell it).
That will have been three weeks ago tomorrow (10-19-10), if that is mold what's it going to smell like in a couple of years.
That really sucks that I can't enjoy the new car smell (I haven't even made my first payment).
I guess it could be worse it could be me that smells.
Old 10-18-2010, 10:15 PM
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i still have this problem after 3 years of owning my car. my fix was i got air freshners that go into the vents. my smell is pretty sour and i know when my air freshners are getting weak because the smell starts to over power the air freshners. if you go to wal mart you can find some that are cheap and i always buy 2 packs. most you can scratch and sniff before you buy them and they last awhile. easy fix for me and it keeps that car smelling nice. just sayin
Old 10-20-2010, 03:40 AM
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I sprayed Oust in the fan intake while playing with the fan speed settings, temp, a/c and recirculate/fresh air toggle. Did this for about 20 seconds at each possible combination by taking the filter out and spraying right over the fan. Replaced with new filter, which I had sprinkled some activated charcoal from a pet supply store.

I might need to empty out the old charcoal and put some new stuff in.
Old 08-20-2011, 12:39 AM
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I bought a 2011 Honda fit a week ago and the air conditioning emits that horrible toxic alcohol/chemical smell occasionally ( not a moldy/ mildew smell). I see that some fit owners have experienced the same thing. I plan on taking it in to the dealer but I am wondering if anyone has had it looked at and what was the verdict? It can't be a healthy to be exposed to it....
Old 08-20-2011, 01:00 AM
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First week there was a slight 'smell' nothing overwhelming. I ran the AC w/ max heat for a while on high fan switching between fresh and recirculate. For a while I would switch the AC off soon before I was parking it. That was 18months ago. I have no issues now, always run fresh air inlet. Only time I switch to recirc is if I'm behind a spewing bus.
Old 11-05-2011, 10:56 PM
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YES! Just bought my Fit this summer. Noticed it right away. When I accelerate, even slightly, that smell shoots into the cabin. Doesn't last long, is slightly "sweet," and definitely TOXIC. It makes my dog want to barf. If I had known I'd be rolling the windows down every time I accelerate, I definitely would've gotten a different car. Makes no difference if the AC is on or not; and no difference if the heat is on or not. I do, however, use recirculate all the time...hmmmmmmm. This is NOT a mold smell.

Last edited by bluebug; 11-05-2011 at 11:00 PM.
Old 11-08-2011, 01:16 PM
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bluebug - welcome to the forum!!!

Time to pull the cabin air filter and take a look at it. I'll venture a guess that it's going to have a nasty black goop covering the bottom side. Time to replace it. Some freaks are finding them around, but in my area I can only find them at the dealer. Don't pay them to install it, DIY and save $30.

Fresh air setting only ;-)
Old 11-13-2011, 10:40 PM
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Thanks! I changed to the fresh air setting and viola! No more smell. I'll take a stab at the filter next weekend.
Old 11-14-2011, 11:10 AM
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My 2011 has had this problem since we purchased it new in February. It is definitely a chemical-based odor and not mold. Using the fresh air setting isn't an option when running A/C in summer outside air temps of 110 degrees. It causes the system to work way to hard to cool the air down.

I'll check the cabin filter, but I don't think that's the source of this problem. Since its affecting so many Fits, I say it has to be a build issue.
Old 11-15-2011, 05:27 AM
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Thanks. I now know how to avoid bad smell of the airconditioning.
Old 01-25-2012, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by kelsodeez View Post
on a hot day, after you have been running your air conditioning hard, turn on the heat and let it run through all possible vents for about 10 seconds each different setting. condensation will build up in your vents and get moldy if you dont do this.
Nice now I'll know why it always stinks in there.
Old 05-09-2012, 08:14 PM
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I had the same issue for a year. tried everything... til I realize it was my girl friend. I wondered about that smirk. ugh.. roll down the windows!
Old 03-07-2013, 06:16 AM
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We have the same problem. But I let my car be inspected.
Old 03-25-2013, 10:56 PM
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:49 PM
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I remember the exact same smell in my 08 fit right from new when running recirc mode with or without ac on i would get the same smell like a chemical melting plastic kinda smell. I remember asking the service advisor about it but they just said it was normal.
I'm guessing its part of the new car smell, some kind of chemical coating on the new plastic from manufacturing maybe? It eventually went away by running ac and recirc until the smell blasts itself out. Eventually it went away and i sold the fit with 200,000km on it last summer, no funny smells. hopefully you won't have to wait that long to have a nice smelling fit.

Bought a new prius after I sold the fit and i had the exact same smell through the vents for the first few thousand miles. My prius has auto climate control so recirc comes on and off as it pleases, usually only if its really hot out recirc and ac will come on to cool the cabin quickly, but at 35,000km i haven't noticed the smell at all in the past couple weeks.
There is something to be said for the "old" car smell.
Old 04-20-2013, 02:03 PM
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same thing here. I have a 2013 Fit and its not a mold or mildew smell. As a matter of fact there is sound that the a/c makes when the smell comes in. It sounds like pressure relief or pressure exhaust and then the smell comes in for a couple of seconds. It definitely doesn't smell "right."
Old 06-06-2017, 11:09 AM
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I have the same weird smell in my 2013 civic and its almost new, just started using AC when this problem came out. do not have that smell with AC off.
It smells like a toxic alcohol chemical for 2 or 3 seconds when accelerate and then goes back to a normal fresh air.
Maybe the ac system is overcharged?
Has anyone figured out what causes the problem?
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