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17 – What is that odor from my A/C Vents?

The musty/mildew type of smell that comes from your vents when you first turn on the car air conditioner, is exactly what it smells like: musty, moldy – mildew.

You ask, “how does this happen? I take good care of my car and keep it clean” The biological activity is not from what you see but from what you don’t see. The odor is a result of moisture from your car’s evaporator cooling unit. The collection of dust, pollen and spores condensing together in a warm moist dark environment is the perfect habitat for this smelly condition. So now you know how it got there. What to do to get rid of it?

There are several things that can be done to remove the foul A/C smell.

  • If your car has a cabin air filter make sure it is changed at least once a year. This helps to block dust, pollen and spores from getting to your evaporator in the first place.
  • In dusty, humid or heavy pollen areas use recirculated air. Again, to minimize the bad stuff.
  • Under normal conditions (dry or low humidity areas) keep the air system in the fresh mode while driving.
  • While driving never turn the fan completely off. Especially after running the air conditioner. This helps to dry out the evaporator so the mold won’t start to grow.
  • Try to remember to turn the A/C off a few minutes before reaching your destination. But, leave the fan on; again to dry things out.
  • Occasionally in the warmer times, turn your heater on full blast for a few minutes with the A/C off. This will dry out the moisture and kill whatever is trying to spawn in your dashboard. (Note do this with the windows down while driving or let your car idle while parked with the heater on and windows open. (Sounds crazy but it works!)

Last but certainly not least, there are specialized chemicals that can be sprayed into the far crevices of your dashboard to kill the biological odors. These products will rid the evaporator of nature’s science experiment and prevent the smell from coming back anytime soon.

Sturken Automotive has the tools and the know how to eliminate those bad smells from your dashboard give us a call now. There is no need to put up with bad science anymore