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AC duct cleaner/deodorant

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Old n' slow, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. Jul 28, 2019 at 4:01 PM
    #1
    Old n' slow

    Old n' slow [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I’ve got a foul smell coming from the AC ducts especially at start up.

    Any suggestions on a good foaming ( or other type ) duct cleaner ? Thanks.
     
  2. Jul 28, 2019 at 4:07 PM
    #2
    Murphinator

    Murphinator Well-Known Member

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    It's most likely a smell in your evaporator, not the vents. Toyota used to sell an evaporator cleaner and duct treatment, but I think they discontinued it. Subaru still sells one though, pick up some of this.

    You want something like this,
    https://www.amazon.com/GENUINE-APPR...cleaner&qid=1564355120&s=gateway&sr=8-2-fkmr1

    The big can you will use that tube and spray it into the ac drip line. Usually half the can at a time. Then once you do that, you let it drip everything out and dry a bit. Once that is done turn on the blower fan on high, and I like to set the heat on a little just to open the blend door to the heater core a bit. Go outside the truck and spray the odor treatment into the cowl. The blower will suck it into the cab and clean the vents. If you have a cabin filter make sure it's removed before doing that step though.

    EDIT: Here is the Subaru kit, it's a little cheaper than the stuff on Amazon. But most likely the same stuff. https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru__/Climate-Control-Cleaning-Kit-1-Kit/49506092/SOA868V9315.html
     
  3. Jul 28, 2019 at 4:14 PM
    #3
    Old n' slow

    Old n' slow [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your very informative reply. I do appreciate it.
     
    Murphinator likes this.
  4. Jul 28, 2019 at 4:23 PM
    #4
    Beater_Bimmer

    Beater_Bimmer Well-Known Member

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    I have a can and setup I never used if someone wants to buy it cheap!
     
  5. Jul 28, 2019 at 4:32 PM
    #5
    Parkvisitor

    Parkvisitor Well-Known Member

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    I removed the plastic trim under the windshield wipers and ran a tube into the ac air intake then while the fan was on high I sprayed Lysol into the tube. Worked great. Don't spray it all at once, more like spray, let fan run, spray.
     
    cruiserguy and GQ7227 like this.
  6. Jul 28, 2019 at 4:41 PM
    #6
    GQ7227

    GQ7227 mw survivor

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    @Running Man mentioned doing this just earlier this afternoon!
     
  7. Jul 28, 2019 at 4:54 PM
    #7
    Parkvisitor

    Parkvisitor Well-Known Member

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    Cool, that makes two of then, thanks!!
     
  8. Jul 29, 2019 at 7:59 AM
    #8
    ThunderOne

    ThunderOne 3rd gens stay in your section

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    just get a can of AC coil cleaner at home depot for $5.

    Make sure to turn recirculate OFF before turning off your truck and wait a few seconds for the recirc door to fully open. This allows fresh air to remove moisture from the evap. It also helps to just turn off the AC for a little bit before arriving home to dry off the evap, again with recirc OFF. Recirc being left on is a quick way to get mildew in your evap.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/AC-Safe-Air-Conditioner-Foaming-Coil-Cleaner-AC-921/206740351
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  9. Jul 29, 2019 at 9:27 AM
    #9
    RysiuM

    RysiuM Well-Known Member

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    I have bad news for you guys: any spray or deodorant it is not a solution to clean vent system, but just mask one smell with another. Kind of like scent candle in a toilet - instead of stinking a shit it will smell like a shit in the forest.

    Unfortunately out trucks did not came with cabin filter, so whatever that truck is inhaling it will stay in the heater and AC cores and in vents. When I was fixing my AC (cracked aluminium pipe going to expansion valve - that sucker cost 100 bucks) I had to get into guts behind the glove box. I found a mixture of leafs and mud inside ducts just in front of the evaporator. Evaporator was actually quite clean, I guess condensation is washing it quite well. But that mixture of dead leafs and mud was quite stinky - smelled like old pond.

    The other day I had to remove some ducts for other electrical work and while I should not be surprised by amount of dust collected in last 22 years, I really was. The plastic vents were literally painted with thick layer of gray/brown fine sticky powder (this is non smoking truck).

    upload_2019-7-29_9-21-25.jpg

    Normal washing with garden hose did not clean it - I had to use bottle cleaning brush to get all that crap out.
     
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  10. Jul 29, 2019 at 9:51 AM
    #10
    cruiserguy

    cruiserguy Well-Known Member

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    I did something similar a few years ago and still don't have funk smell returning, so it worked.
    Not telling you specifically parkvisitor even though I quoted ya, there can be a lot of moisture and humidity in the evap core box while we run AC especially in summer. This moisture not escaping the evap box soon enough is what leads to the wet funk smell we get after time. The best thing to do to keep the funk from happening in first place is to allow the fan to run on high but deselect the AC for last couple minutes of your drive/trip. This will keep the AC from removing more moisture in the evap box and allow the fan to blow high air through the box as well to hopefully get it to dry in there before your favorite smell builds. Hope this helps someone visualize what's going on when they get smelly AC. Truck is hot first few minutes along with evap box and so it's smelly with heat, as evap box gets cold smell goes away but those enzymes or whatever causes the smell is still there. Gotta kill that with Lysol or some other true odor killer not an odor masker. I'll shut up, enjoy :D
     
  11. Jul 29, 2019 at 9:52 AM
    #11
    cruiserguy

    cruiserguy Well-Known Member

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    There is some saying about minds thinking alike or something like that... ;):D
     
  12. Jul 29, 2019 at 9:59 AM
    #12
    Parkvisitor

    Parkvisitor Well-Known Member

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    All good info!!
     
  13. Jul 29, 2019 at 10:02 AM
    #13
    Parkvisitor

    Parkvisitor Well-Known Member

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    If that’s all after the fan/blower I wonder if a shop vac in place of the blower while using a swab brush in the vents would work?
     
  14. Jul 29, 2019 at 10:17 AM
    #14
    Wulf

    Wulf I never finish anyth

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    yes

    I used something similar to clean my evaporator while I had it out to replace the expansion valve. Even after hosing it down per the instructions I have a lingering, strong solvent smell in the cab when the fan is on.
     
  15. Jul 29, 2019 at 10:27 AM
    #15
    bagleboy

    bagleboy Well-Known Member

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    It's reccomended that you run the AC with the windows down for awhile also. It takes a few days for the cleaner smell to fade, probably longer if there's a pile of stuff that absorbed it rather than having it flow out the drain tube. I like the idea of using a vacuum and it might help to augment that with compressed air in the vents before using the cleaner. Something like scrubbing bubbles might be able to loosen simple dirt/dust allowing it to be flushed out as well. Auto parts stores sell AC cleaners as well.
     
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  16. Jul 29, 2019 at 1:07 PM
    #16
    ThunderOne

    ThunderOne 3rd gens stay in your section

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    same, it went away after a while though. Maybe a month or two at most.
     

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