E90Post
 


VIBE Motorsports
 
BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > AWFUL AWFUL SMELL coming out of my Vents!!!



Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      09-03-2009, 01:48 PM   #1
xT4iw4n3zx
Private
Taiwan
11
Rep
76
Posts

 
Drives: 09' E90 LCI
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada

iTrader: (0)

AWFUL AWFUL SMELL coming out of my Vents!!!

So the other day I went into my car and sat down, started it up, and turned on the ventilation. It was set at 16 Celsius (or 60.8 F) but there was this AWFUL smelling warm-air coming out of the vents! I was gagging inside my car!!! I immediately hit the Frost-button to get some cold air and then after maybe a minute it was gone and clear.

But the thing is, when I put the heater to 28 degrees Celsius (82.4 F) and it couldn't even stand sitting in the car. This hot-garbage smelling air comes rushing out of the vents. WTF is this?

Should I get this checked out? It only happens when I just turn on the vents, no AC or Heater. I'm 100% sure it's not from the outside because I rolled down all windows to clear out the car.

The car in question is a 2009 LCI, only a couple months old.
Appreciate 0
      09-03-2009, 01:53 PM   #2
Prowess Symphony
Major General
Prowess Symphony's Avatar
United_States
96
Rep
5,860
Posts

 
Drives: ///Mistress
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: WV

iTrader: (12)

Garage List
Do you have the air recirculation button on....lol

Seriously though, I think there was a tsb about this a while back.
Appreciate 0
      09-03-2009, 02:18 PM   #3
F32Fleet
BMWCCA since '03
F32Fleet's Avatar
United_States
69
Rep
5,337
Posts

 
Drives: 2015 435i
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Atlanta (Vinings)

iTrader: (0)

Usually it's mold buildup because condensation from the A/C isn't able to drain adequately(sp?). You live in a very cool and wet climate, and to be honest I can't see how you would every drive the car w/out the A/C running. The smell will disappear after you've run the heat + A/C for awhile..
Appreciate 0
      09-03-2009, 02:28 PM   #4
FCP Euro
Lieutenant
FCP Euro's Avatar
United_States
4
Rep
464
Posts

 
Drives: Volvo 850 T5
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Old Saybrook, CT

iTrader: (0)

Normally when the AC drain is clogged, the water will overflow and you will see a puddle on the passenger side floor. It could also be a small leak in your heater core which would cause a musty smell.
__________________

sales@fcpeuro.com
FCP Euro - European Car Parts Specialists
Appreciate 0
      09-03-2009, 02:43 PM   #5
chinoxs203
Major
chinoxs203's Avatar
United_States
29
Rep
1,353
Posts

 
Drives: 08 E92 335xi AW
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: CT

iTrader: (7)

happens to me also. smells like some sh*t vinegar! i hate that i cant just use the vents to get outside air w/o AC
__________________

FOR SALE:
Dropbox - please
Appreciate 0
      09-03-2009, 02:53 PM   #6
xT4iw4n3zx
Private
Taiwan
11
Rep
76
Posts

 
Drives: 09' E90 LCI
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada

iTrader: (0)

I'm a little bit confused here. If this is mold build-up in my vents, shouldn't that be checked on? Should I take it to the dealer or is there some DIY method (like cranking the heater at max and letting it run for like 20 mins LOL)?

It's only been happening since the last 2-3 days. Before then I could turn it on without any issue or smell...

What do you guys mean by air-recirculation button, would that make it musty?
Appreciate 0
      09-03-2009, 03:15 PM   #7
Prowess Symphony
Major General
Prowess Symphony's Avatar
United_States
96
Rep
5,860
Posts

 
Drives: ///Mistress
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: WV

iTrader: (12)

Garage List
The air recirculation was a joke...nevermind. I thought that there was a bulletin about this issue. Most likely just run your heater for a bit while not in the car and see if that helps.
Appreciate 0
      09-03-2009, 03:16 PM   #8
F32Fleet
BMWCCA since '03
F32Fleet's Avatar
United_States
69
Rep
5,337
Posts

 
Drives: 2015 435i
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Atlanta (Vinings)

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by xT4iw4n3zx View Post

What do you guys mean by air-recirculation button, would that make it musty?

Yes because you're recirculating mostly stale air. I never use re-circ unless it's really dusty outside. TBH..I keep my climate control on 72-74 degrees, a/c on, all year long.
Appreciate 0
      09-03-2009, 03:17 PM   #9
Prowess Symphony
Major General
Prowess Symphony's Avatar
United_States
96
Rep
5,860
Posts

 
Drives: ///Mistress
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: WV

iTrader: (12)

Garage List
The air recirc thing was a joke! You know, bad smell with the air recirc on......joke.
Appreciate 0
      09-03-2009, 04:49 PM   #10
Roowah
Captain
Roowah's Avatar
United_States
15
Rep
810
Posts

 
Drives: 2006 E90 330i 6MT
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cambridge, MA

iTrader: (0)

It's a known issue, and although there seems to be some temporary fixes to it, there really isn't a permanent solution. It was the same with my E46 as well.

The most popular way to prevent it is to run the climate control with the A/C off for a few minutes before shutting the car off. Other people have suggested spraying disinfectant into the intake vent, but I've never tried it.
__________________

2006 E90 330i 6MT: TiAg|Black Leather|Poplar Trim|Premium Package|Cold Weather Package
2003 E46 325i 5MT: Retired - The beginning of my BMW obsession!
Appreciate 0
      09-03-2009, 05:25 PM   #11
happy4nk8er
Second Lieutenant
2
Rep
277
Posts

 
Drives: 335i E92
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Milky way galaxy

iTrader: (0)

I take my Ionizer set it on passenger floor, put it on high and set the a/c to recirc with the temp set really low for maximum blow for 5 minutes, works great and I beleive the high level of ionized air kills any bacteria as well. You do not want to be inside the car while doing this especially if you have a high output ionizer.
Appreciate 0
      09-03-2009, 07:19 PM   #12
xT4iw4n3zx
Private
Taiwan
11
Rep
76
Posts

 
Drives: 09' E90 LCI
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prowess Symphony View Post
The air recirc thing was a joke! You know, bad smell with the air recirc on......joke.
Ha..Ha...Haha.....

So anyways, this is most likely MOLD inside my ventilation system?? Is it safe to even turn it on if I'm just going to be breathing spores...?
Appreciate 0
      09-04-2009, 05:15 PM   #13
FCP Euro
Lieutenant
FCP Euro's Avatar
United_States
4
Rep
464
Posts

 
Drives: Volvo 850 T5
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Old Saybrook, CT

iTrader: (0)

I can't believe this is a know issue and BMW has not done anything about it. There has to be a clogging issue with the AC condensation drain.
__________________

sales@fcpeuro.com
FCP Euro - European Car Parts Specialists
Appreciate 0
      09-04-2009, 10:29 PM   #14
Mech_Man
I'm feeling much better now, Dave
Mech_Man's Avatar
United_States
3
Rep
294
Posts

 
Drives: 2008 335i e92 (MontegoBlue/Bk)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Triangle, NC

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roowah View Post
It's a known issue, and although there seems to be some temporary fixes to it, there really isn't a permanent solution. It was the same with my E46 as well.

The most popular way to prevent it is to run the climate control with the A/C off for a few minutes before shutting the car off. Other people have suggested spraying disinfectant into the intake vent, but I've never tried it.
This is the best way to resolve the immediate problem.

What happens is that while running the AC, moisture condenses out onto the cooling coil. (It's suppose to do that, it's how the air gets de-humidified). But if the AC is working on humid air and the coil is wet then you shut down the car, some of that moisture currently on the coil will not go down the drain and will just stay there.
Now let it sit in the heat for a while and some mold can grow. Next time you turn on the fan, A/C or heating whatever, you get that moldy gym-sock smell.

The fast way to get rid of the smell is just to kick the fan up high. I don't remember if the air from the heating core goes through the cooling coil, or if it's the other way around. If the heater is upstream, then turning on the heater would also help dry out the residual moisture.

This is a common problem down here in the south, for any kind of car. The only easy way to prevent it is to shut down the compressor (but leave the fan running), for the last 5 minutes or so you are in the car. That way the AC coil gets dried off.

I did read a DIY a while ago, about someone who had this problem often enough that he found out that the AC coil drain pan could be reached by the hump by the drivers right knee. He drilled a small hole into the drain pan and put a colored cover on the hole. When he got the smell, he unplugged it and had some deodorizer / mold-killer with a long plastic tub he could put in the hole and spray the core.
__________________
-=] 2008 335i e92 Montego Blue & Black; Prem; Sport; AT-paddles
-=] Mods= VEI Digital Boost Gauge in RiXeffects custom Pod
-=] Tinted (front: 3M Crystalline 70); (rear: Johnson InsulatIR 40 ceramic); 3M ClearBra
Appreciate 0
      09-05-2009, 11:54 AM   #15
xT4iw4n3zx
Private
Taiwan
11
Rep
76
Posts

 
Drives: 09' E90 LCI
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mech_Man View Post
This is the best way to resolve the immediate problem.

What happens is that while running the AC, moisture condenses out onto the cooling coil. (It's suppose to do that, it's how the air gets de-humidified). But if the AC is working on humid air and the coil is wet then you shut down the car, some of that moisture currently on the coil will not go down the drain and will just stay there.
Now let it sit in the heat for a while and some mold can grow. Next time you turn on the fan, A/C or heating whatever, you get that moldy gym-sock smell.

The fast way to get rid of the smell is just to kick the fan up high. I don't remember if the air from the heating core goes through the cooling coil, or if it's the other way around. If the heater is upstream, then turning on the heater would also help dry out the residual moisture.

This is a common problem down here in the south, for any kind of car. The only easy way to prevent it is to shut down the compressor (but leave the fan running), for the last 5 minutes or so you are in the car. That way the AC coil gets dried off.

I did read a DIY a while ago, about someone who had this problem often enough that he found out that the AC coil drain pan could be reached by the hump by the drivers right knee. He drilled a small hole into the drain pan and put a colored cover on the hole. When he got the smell, he unplugged it and had some deodorizer / mold-killer with a long plastic tub he could put in the hole and spray the core.

I don't think I want to drill a hole anywhere in my car...
But that was very informative and thank you! Now, when you say to turn the fan on "high", do you mean temperature-wise or just speed?

This is such an annoying issue...
Appreciate 0
      09-05-2009, 01:39 PM   #16
mojojosung
Private First Class
South Korea
2
Rep
149
Posts

 
Drives: SG 328i
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA

iTrader: (3)

a friend of mine who's a bmw SA told me to do this once in a while:

Before you start driving, turn on your car, and turn the heater on all the way at the highest temperature with all the doors and windows closed. Then wait a few minutes and get into the car and turn the AC on. He said the high temperature helps in reducing the mold build-up. It won't completely get rid of the mold, but it helps a lot.

It could be an annoying procedure but you don't have to do it everyday, just once a week or something until the smell is improved. I've done it to my car and I've seen a huge improvement after a couple of weeks of doing it. Give it a try
Appreciate 0
      09-05-2009, 01:43 PM   #17
snipersix
Brigadier General
snipersix's Avatar
Canada
55
Rep
3,515
Posts

 
Drives: 2008 328i Sedan Montego Blue
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Coquitlam, bc

iTrader: (3)

Garage List
2008 328i  [0.00]
Send a message via MSN to snipersix
I actually have this problem on my car right now...
__________________

Retired: |2008 328i Sedan|Montego Blue|AT|Nav/Idrive|PDC|Xenon Headlights| Black Leatherette Seats, Silver trim| COTM April 2010
Mods:PIAA, H&R Sport, Blacklines, BBS LM-R, Eisenman Race Quad Exhaust , Koni yellows, Full Mtech, Gloss Black Vinyl Roof
Appreciate 0
      09-05-2009, 10:44 PM   #18
Mech_Man
I'm feeling much better now, Dave
Mech_Man's Avatar
United_States
3
Rep
294
Posts

 
Drives: 2008 335i e92 (MontegoBlue/Bk)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Triangle, NC

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by xT4iw4n3zx View Post
I don't think I want to drill a hole anywhere in my car...
But that was very informative and thank you! Now, when you say to turn the fan on "high", do you mean temperature-wise or just speed?

This is such an annoying issue...
If the heater is upstream of the cooling coil, then you want both, otherwise just the fan on high. Either way, the idea is to re-evaporate the moisture off the coil.
__________________
-=] 2008 335i e92 Montego Blue & Black; Prem; Sport; AT-paddles
-=] Mods= VEI Digital Boost Gauge in RiXeffects custom Pod
-=] Tinted (front: 3M Crystalline 70); (rear: Johnson InsulatIR 40 ceramic); 3M ClearBra
Appreciate 0
      09-06-2009, 12:32 AM   #19
Craig@SupremePower
BimmerPost Supporting Vendor
Craig@SupremePower's Avatar
United_States
842
Rep
75,000
Posts


 
Drives: '12 Dodge Durango R/T
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: New Jersey

iTrader: (14)

ohhh my...
__________________
Appreciate 0
      09-06-2009, 01:24 AM   #20
Moxie
Lieutenant Colonel
Moxie's Avatar
Germany
25
Rep
1,860
Posts

 
Drives: AW 328d Touring/SG 335d
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Stuttgart

iTrader: (11)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mojojosung View Post
a friend of mine who's a bmw SA told me to do this once in a while:

Before you start driving, turn on your car, and turn the heater on all the way at the highest temperature with all the doors and windows closed. Then wait a few minutes and get into the car and turn the AC on. He said the high temperature helps in reducing the mold build-up. It won't completely get rid of the mold, but it helps a lot.

It could be an annoying procedure but you don't have to do it everyday, just once a week or something until the smell is improved. I've done it to my car and I've seen a huge improvement after a couple of weeks of doing it. Give it a try
Had this problem with one on my vehicles - Like he said, crank the heat to get rid of the mold build up.
Appreciate 0
      10-15-2009, 02:31 AM   #21
orys
Private
orys's Avatar
0
Rep
53
Posts

 
Drives: BMW Alpina D3
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Cyprus

iTrader: (0)

i have problem with my e90 too. it appears that i dont get the smell but i get something like small white particles. i suspect it is due to taking my car for someone to fix and paint the door that someone had smashed and probably was painting with the windows open or something. whenever i press auto and the fan kicks in on max (due to outside temperature being around 35 celsius) i get those particles in my eyes and the car looks like a barn after a few seconds. small white particles in millions. the car needs a cleaning every day. i removed the pollen filter from within the engine bay and blew some air with the air compressor. you cant imagine what was happening. trillions of small white particles were flying all over the upholstery. it became white instead of black. i cleaned everything with a vacuum cleaner and the next day the same thing happened. it's very annoying. please also note that this things start flying as soon as i switch the heater on. after a few seconds they disappear. it doesnt matter whether hot or cold they just come out depending on the fan speed. any ideas where the blower motor is located? also the evaporator? i want to see if they are clean. any ideas of what is going on guys? anyone knows how to clean the vents inside?
Appreciate 0
      10-17-2009, 04:42 AM   #22
Mookie77
Enlisted Member
Mookie77's Avatar
0
Rep
38
Posts

 
Drives: 2006 E90 325i
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Malaysia

iTrader: (0)

I had the same issue few weeks ago after i had my AC gas filled up by dealer. The smell is 'unbearable' for few seconds after AC turned on. But now, i noticed the smell is fading off as time passes by. Smell is still there but so much have improved. Hope it will 'go away' totally in a few more days.
Appreciate 0
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:52 AM.




e90post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST