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Info about air conditioner odor

Discussion in 'General Automotive' started by genxer36, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. Apr 8, 2009 at 11:43 PM
    #1
    genxer36

    genxer36 [OP] Lord of Tomfoolery

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    What causes air conditioner odor? How can I prevent the odor from occurring?

    From the Toyota website.

    During air conditioner operation, cold refrigerant is pumped through the evaporator core by an engine-driven compressor. A fan then blows air through "fins" in the evaporator to cool the air. These fins also act as an air filter, trapping bacteria, spores, and dirt. These airborne particles are normally washed out a drain hole with condensation, but if they remain on a moist evaporator, they may collect and cause an unpleasant odor. This effect is more frequently found in humid climates where more condensate accumulates. This situation is not unique to Toyota; it is an industry-wide condition.

    To prevent the odor, Toyota recommends the following:


    • Avoid parking under trees to reduce the possibility of leaves entering the air intake
    • Use the fresh air setting on your climate control rather than the recirculated air setting whenever possible to allow the evaporator to dry out
    • Drive on paved roads whenever feasible as dusty conditions may accelerate the condition
    If the condition already exists, spraying a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water (1 to 5 ratio/mixture) or a disinfectant in the outside air intake may help reduce the smell. If these steps do not alleviate the odor, we encourage you to contact your local dealer for a thorough evaluation of the condition.
     
  2. Jul 3, 2009 at 10:44 AM
    #2
    aacomi

    aacomi Member

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    this happens also with residential heat pump/ac units in the mid to south east states.......we call it the dirty sock syndrome.....it is cause by bacteria getting on the evaporator coil.......it should cure itself eventually when the condensate actually washes the coil several times........
     
  3. Aug 9, 2009 at 6:30 AM
    #3
    Old Soul

    Old Soul Well-Known Member

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    not to many, love it the way it is
    while driving with the a/c on, a few minutes before arriving at your destination turn the ac off and just run the fan on a high setting. this will help to blow/dry up accumulated condensation out of the air paths so that build up will not occur
     
  4. Sep 29, 2009 at 6:31 PM
    #4
    dsds

    dsds Well-Known Member

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    I've read that checking the "drain tube on the AC box" is the thing to do to make sure water is ok to drain.

    Where is the drain tube and where is the AC box?
    Maybe dumb question but I'm too dumb to care about snide remarks.

    Thanks! Gotta get rid of the smell before a hot date!

    Cheers!
     
  5. Mar 28, 2010 at 12:32 PM
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    JKD

    JKD Well-Known Member

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    I saw this while searching for something else, and I thought I'd add this. The Dodge/Plymouth Neon owner's website has a TSB on this, with a good procedure for eliminating A/C odor:

    http://www.neons.org/neontsb/TSB/24/241197.htm

    I know some people have used Lysol disinfectant spray instead of the specified "evaporator coil cleaner" and have had good results.
     
  6. May 27, 2010 at 10:22 AM
    #6
    Wreckless_71

    Wreckless_71 WRECKLESS for Life...

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    Agree with old soul here... run the fan with A/C off before shutting your truck off.
     
  7. Jun 16, 2010 at 6:13 AM
    #7
    Barnone

    Barnone Guest

    I did the run A/C blower on high in out side air mode and spray shower cleaner (bleach) in the cowl intake to get rid of the smell. It did take two treatments to get the job done.
     
  8. Jun 16, 2010 at 6:18 AM
    #8
    BradleyScottETC

    BradleyScottETC Class IV Category 8 Elite VIP Member (Only)

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    You wouldn't have this problem if you regularly replaced your cabin air filter. It protects your evaporator from exactly what they're talking about, JUST like the filter in your unit at home. Check and change them as often as necessary.
     
  9. Jun 16, 2010 at 6:20 AM
    #9
    BradleyScottETC

    BradleyScottETC Class IV Category 8 Elite VIP Member (Only)

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    If you open your hood, on the passenger side on the firewall will be a small rubber tube angled downward at about 45 degrees. That is your condensate drain.

    The A/C box is located behind your glove compartment.
     
  10. Feb 28, 2011 at 12:42 AM
    #10
    island808

    island808 Me l've got brains.

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    Good I didn't have to post it.

    If its a hot rainy day (can't crack windows) I'll even turn the heat on when I enter the sub division. Help dry out that coil.
     
  11. Mar 4, 2011 at 11:16 AM
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    sxgt

    sxgt Member

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    Correct me if I am wrong - 1st GENs do not have in cabin filters. Good tip for 2nd GENs though.
     
  12. Mar 4, 2011 at 11:35 AM
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    genxer36

    genxer36 [OP] Lord of Tomfoolery

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    Some 2nd gens do not have cabin filters. I know the 2005 doesn't
     
  13. Mar 4, 2011 at 11:42 AM
    #13
    genxer36

    genxer36 [OP] Lord of Tomfoolery

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    True for those that have cabin filters. Alot of the trucks do not have them. I'm not sure what year Toyota started putting the cabin filters in the Tacoma's. Anyone know? Was it 2007 forward?
     
  14. May 25, 2011 at 12:37 PM
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    DGXR

    DGXR Well-Known Member

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    My 2006 has a cabin air filter.
     
  15. Aug 20, 2011 at 11:35 PM
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    UndefinedTaco

    UndefinedTaco I'll eat all your food.

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    It's an 89 Toyota Pickup. I got some stuff done to it.. FJ axles going under it soon.
    Did your truck come with one in it? Or just option to install.


    I know alot of trucks that came with the space for one..but never had one.


    Fuck paying $30 for a filter.
    Another reason why I don't like 2nd Gens.
     
  16. Aug 21, 2011 at 1:30 PM
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    Krazie Sj

    Krazie Sj Resident Jackass

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    Yup. Works every time for me.
     
  17. Jun 10, 2012 at 6:27 PM
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    koco

    koco Well-Known Member

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    At some dealerships they use a foam that is sprayed in through the drain hole, it cleans the evaporator core. Corrosion and dirt can affect the ac's function and cause funk.
     
  18. Jun 10, 2012 at 6:46 PM
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    genxer36

    genxer36 [OP] Lord of Tomfoolery

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    You can spray Lysol into the vent intake just below the windshield (on the outside of the windshield) with the A/C running, put the fan on full , & the windows down. The Lysol will kill the bacteria & mold in the system.
     
  19. Sep 1, 2014 at 9:26 PM
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    Purpleman

    Purpleman Active Member

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    If you're under warranty, they should take care of the odor at no charge. This issue goes back to at least 2006. I purchased a 2007 is250 in august 2006, ran the a/c all the time and ran across the TSB for A/C odor. I don't remember if it smelled that bad or I just took it in to be a dick and put miles on the free loner vehicle.
     
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