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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!!!



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      10-18-2009, 03:58 AM   #23
chch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mech_Man View Post
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 registered to E90post only to answer to this problem. I work for a company selling A/C's and accessories in Europe. The mold build up is a common problem with A/C units, household, industrial and in cars aswell. Household units (better brands) have usually a built in workaround, where the indoor unit fan is blowing down the moisture from the evaporator thus drying it after the unit has been switched off (uncontrollable by the customer). Cars unfortunately rely on our manual controls, so to prevent the mold build up the best way is to switch off the A/C 4-5 minutes before you reach your destination and you know you will shut down the engine.

If it's too late and the mold is already present (smelly odor from the vents) there are A/C coil cleaning products available in form of a spray usually. There are two basic cleaning methods, depending on the type of product.

First is aplicable directly to the coil, but not by drilling a hole close to the evaporator, but via the drain pipe present on the bottom of the car. You can easily find the pipe, it's the one that leaks water when the A/C is running (and you car is sitting on a parking spot). After locating the drain pipe (usually black rubber pipe around 10 cm long) you have to spray the content of the cleaning agent up the car (the A/C and the ventilation must be switched off !), wait at least 10 minutes, and then switch on the A/C with ventilation. The moisture mixed with cleaning agent should wash down the mold. The process should be repeated for better effect.

Second method is indirect application of the cleaning agent by switching on the internal ventilation, set fan to maximum, A/C on, spraying the cleaner inside the car, and close it. Let it run for 15-20 minutes, so the cleaning agent will 'wash' the coil (evaporator) by running through it.

To find the proper product you should find a household A/C shop selling accessories, they should have a A/C coil cleaner, which is usable for cars too. Better looking for a distributor/wholesaler supplying installation companies.

Hope this helps.
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      10-25-2009, 10:06 AM   #24
chch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chch View Post
To find the proper product you should find a household A/C shop selling accessories, they should have a A/C coil cleaner, which is usable for cars too. Better looking for a distributor/wholesaler supplying installation companies
Anybody tried some A/C coil cleaning product with good effect ? Don't let the summer mold sit on your A/C evaporator during winter, it will be much harder to remove it when the heat kicks in again next year !
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      10-25-2009, 11:05 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xT4iw4n3zx View Post
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.
1. Find your cabin air filter

2. Next to the air filter, to your left, you'll find a hole. spray a TOn of lysol down that hole

3. Spray some lysol into all the vents in your car

4. Turn on your car and run your ac at maximum heat, untill all the lysol smell has lessened.

5. Repeat as needed.
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      04-26-2010, 10:15 PM   #26
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I have this problem in my car and found this: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=372662

This is a common issue on all cars. I need to replace the cabin air filter (just in case), but would like to try the above product too.
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      04-30-2010, 09:41 AM   #27
UncleWede
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I took mine back to the dealer a couple times and they did the ozone thing to the system. Fresh as a daisy until the mold builds up again.
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      04-30-2010, 10:29 AM   #28
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Yes, it's an issue with almost all cars, and I have run into it before, but I have not had any problems in over 10 years now that I know how to keep it from happening.

When you are using the A/C, don't leave it on recirculate all the time (recirc makes the system work harder). Turn off recirc after the car has cooled down.

And a few miles before you reach your destination, turn the A/C off, but LEAVE THE FAN ON. Leaving the fan on for a few minutes will help dry out everything inside the system, and keep away the musty smell.
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      07-01-2010, 03:47 PM   #29
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Is this musty smell a salty, feet smell? lol
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      07-01-2010, 03:54 PM   #30
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i just sprayed half a can on this product to my air duct last weekend. My air condition smells fresh again

http://www.wellworthproducts.com/ima...x/frshvnt1.jpg

you can get the product here: http://www.wellworthproducts.com/ind...category_id=83
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      10-04-2010, 12:13 PM   #31
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Tried the Lysol directly into the air intake this weekend - I removed the air cabin and sprayed directly inside about 1/2 a can of mold/mildew killer and air refresher -

So far so good - will let you know how the situation evolves
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      10-14-2010, 01:28 PM   #32
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you might have a leaking heater core or the hose around it thats shooting up coolant. Do you some condensation thats on the very bottom of your windshield in the inside? check your coolant level often and see if theres even a slight decrease. if you under warranty just bring it to the stealership
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      10-18-2012, 12:53 PM   #33
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chch & Turkeybaster115, thanks for your posts on the solution. I will try these ideas!
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      11-30-2012, 09:17 PM   #34
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oil leak?

this may sound crazy but i had the same problem last year. it ended up being a leaky gasket. i remember the smell though. it almost smelled moldy, possibly even urine-like. i remember the smell would come and go depending on using heat or cool and what not. You probably pull in air from 2 locations. anyway take a look and see if you dont have a gasket leak. I fixed the gasket, fixed the smell
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      02-22-2013, 11:33 AM   #35
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I also get a funky smell, but it's not a moldy smell. More like a dirty, dusty garage smell. It only smells when I have the heat on. When I turn the temp down to cool the smell is not present. I've changed out the cabin filter. Oddly, my trunk smells like that too...

Going to have to try some of the recommendations here.
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