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Old 04-03-2012, 01:03 AM   #1
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Angry want to rip out ac

Ok, not actually doing it, but I want to. Anytime I turn my ac on, I get that aweful mold smell coming out of it. I am in freakin AZ now and even ran the heat with the windows down the last couple days to try to dry it out. Does anyone have any suggestions/experience with getting the mold/mildew smell out of the system? I will rip it all out and do whatever I need to do. HELP PLEASE.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:08 AM   #3
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Yeah, when was the last time you changed your cabin filter?

If it's been a while, I'd take it out, clean as much as you can from the inside of the filter housing, close it up (no filter) and run the fan while spraying some Lysol in the cabin air intake under the passenger windshield wiper.

Once the smell is gone from the vents (even if it takes spraying Lysol several times), then install a new clean filter.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:11 AM   #4
GO VOLS!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKD View Post
Yeah, when was the last time you changed your cabin filter?

If it's been a while, I'd take it out, clean as much as you can from the inside of the filter housing, close it up (no filter) and run the fan while spraying some Lysol in the cabin air intake under the passenger windshield wiper.

Once the smell is gone from the vents (even if it takes spraying Lysol several times), then install a new clean filter.
yeah i would did this.


i think i need a new one my self.
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Old 04-03-2012, 01:11 AM   #5
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I actually have replaced the filter 2 times in the last 2 months. Thanks for the idea with the lysol.
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Old 04-03-2012, 04:14 AM   #6
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Try white vinegar instead of Lysol. Vinegar neutralizes mold, instead of covering up.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:00 AM   #8
My turn.
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^^^^ this. get the good stuff... dont go cheap and use every bit of the can the way it says to, half outside in the vents and the other half inside in the vents i have used this on a coupe friends vehicles and works wonders. smoke mold/mildew stale air all that will go away.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:47 PM   #9
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Wurth quickfresh a/c deodorizer, but you can't buy it retail. They only sell to professional shops with an account, but if you can find one of those, just buy it from them. It takes one can per treatment, and works awesome.

Then, turn your A/C off a couple minutes before you shut the truck off to dry off the condensation from the evaporator and keep the issue from coming back.

Edit. Remove the cab filter before using, the replace it when done.
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:37 PM   #10
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The intake vents to the cabin are right under the wipers outside the windshield. Spray the lysol in those intakes with the fan and A/C on high to draw it through out the whole air system. It will hit the evaporator coil and kill all the smell. And as said before, take the filter out first.
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:39 PM   #11
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Try BG Frigi Fresh
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hitmans.army View Post
Ok, not actually doing it, but I want to. Anytime I turn my ac on, I get that aweful mold smell coming out of it. I am in freakin AZ now and even ran the heat with the windows down the last couple days to try to dry it out. Does anyone have any suggestions/experience with getting the mold/mildew smell out of the system? I will rip it all out and do whatever I need to do. HELP PLEASE.
check your drain line to make sure its not clogged/dislodged.

my scion XB's drain line got "knocked" and was draining between the carpet and frame, cased a horrible smell had to rip out the entire interior to dry/air out.
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seric007 View Post
check your drain line to make sure its not clogged/dislodged.

my scion XB's drain line got "knocked" and was draining between the carpet and frame, cased a horrible smell had to rip out the entire interior to dry/air out.
I second this. I've seen it happen more times than I care to discuss on a variety of vehicles. Sometimes it will get clogged with crap, bumped out of place from where it is supposed to weep and will drain straight into a piece of the undercarriage rather than out the hole (thus creating a backup, which leads to mold and accumulation of dirt, and a seriously clogged hose that can go up inches). I've also seen hoses that were pinched shut because it looked like at the factory whoever was snipping hose that day didn't bother to ream it back out and just snipped it with whatever type of shears they use and left it pinched together (the new rubber is sticky and gets stuck together at the ends... you snip off the last 1/8 of an inch like you're opening an Otter Pop and out drains the sludge!).

You can spray stuff back up through that hose as well. Just make sure that sucker is draining free. Even if you see water after you stop... it may just be trickling out. This is more common than you'd think. I can remember seeing it all the time in my days as a mechanic and I'd just unplug the hose or move it into the right place for the person as a courtesy so it would start draining properly.

Personally I'd start there and work backward ending with the spraying through the vents. Another thing you can try (or use as a really solid last step) is to rent an ozone machine and turn your A/C on and run it for about an hour in the vehicle.

I did this in a few and knocked out some pretty bad odors. It kills bacteria and odors through creating charged particles (think of the nice smell after a rain storm with lightning and thunder after it passes through... that's ozone for you). You can recreate that same effect in your vehicle. Just rent one for a small block (like 4 hours if possible... which I would do for about $20) from a place like Ace Rents or a similar tool rental place and let it do its thing. Just don't do it more than a few times or it can discolor and crack plastic pieces. Make sure you have your vehicle running, A/C on, fan blasted, not on recirculating mode, windows shut (with the extension cord running in through a window closed as much as you can of course), do NOT be in the vehicle as the ozone can damage your lungs, and do it outside of course and make sure your truck is in a place where it can draw lots of fresh air (so out in the open is better than say a car port or under a tree). It really does make a difference. My best results were on a day with a nice breeze and the front end aiming in the direction where the wind was coming from... resulted in more air changes... or it was all in my head!

Good luck!
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:15 AM   #14
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Where is the drain line located?
Thanks in advance,
Mark
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:44 AM   #15
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I just bought my Tacoma so haven't even checked mine yet. Typically on the passenger side in from the tire and in from the door (think of the tire and door being points on a triangle). The hose is typically the top of that triangle (I hope that makes sense).

Best way to find out is to run the AC for a few minutes. Then look underneath and see where the water comes from. If you look from the top you should see the AC setup and the lines running in and such. Look for the part that has the rubber line running out of the bottom of the evaporator. You can also try sticking a pipe cleaner or a hanger up there and see if flakes of "gunk" come out if you have the system dry (not run in a day or so). That means water isn't flowing freely and it's getting blocked. Just the same as your sink or tub would do if clogged.

Some people will extend the hose down a bit to make sure it clears any parts that it isn't getting past (if it ended up short and pops up out of the hole). In that case you'd just need one of those plastic rubber hose extender pieces that snaps in (male to male) and then another extended piece of rubber hose that goes on the bottom. You can hose clamp it on, or some of the extender pieces have little teeth that grab into the hose. You just don't want to create a further bottleneck effect. You want that hose draining smooth. Heat can distort them as well and rot and crack them, etc. So sometimes it's worth it to just replace the whole rubber hose and run it down properly.... you can even pull the hose off entirely for a day or so and see if the problem seems to be resolving itself (especially if you look down the hose with a flashlight and notice it's 90% plugged!).

Good luck!
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:01 AM   #16
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try to switch a/c to fresh(outside)mode and open windows in the last 5 minutes of operation, this will help to dry out condenser. disgusting smell is part of phoenix humid desert air mixed with all that carbon monoxide from the air inversion effect the valley of the sun suffers from. i lived there from 87- 94, had a toyota 4x4 the whole time,and smelled dirty-sock a/c for 7 long years... some of the best 4-wheelin', mountain bikin',campin', partyin' in my life. and the women... oh my! that 6 months of heat over 95, and all the thieves& gangbangers was too much for me!! still miss it though. power to the people!!!!!!
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:52 AM   #17
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You are not supposed to turn your car off with the AC on, this is why it developes mold, technically you are supposed to shut your AC off and let the nomral fan run prior to turning your truck off, this will allow the AC system to dry out, preventing the mold from growing.

Try Lysol or vingar in the AC intake while its running for now to get rid of current mold smell.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:48 PM   #18
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Don't constantly run your HVAC system in "Recirc" mode. You won't get enough fresh air in the core and will expedite mold growth. Not that you are- just a warning.

GM dealers carry an awesome evap core deodorizer...or at least they used to. You plug the evap drain and foam through the cowl intake and vents. Plugging the drain lets the core soak. It's expensive but it works!
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:52 PM   #19
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Even when AC is off, in either defrost mode, the AC runs. So don't run it in defrost all the time. Also I've found that if 5 minutes before stopping, I turn off AC (or defrost) and switch to one of the other settings, it dries out the coils, and the smell's not there next time you switch back to AC.
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:02 PM   #20
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I usually dont even use my ac. I like running with the windows down and just the fan on. Which pisses me off even more when I can smell it without the ac on. This weekend is a tinkering weekend, so I will try the vinegar thing and check the drain hose.
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