AC smells


Old 10-01-05, 09:47 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: USA
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AC smells

I have a 99 RAV4 and the AC has an off odor. It isn't a musty smell like from mold. Any recommendations on how to rid the off odor. Is there a way I can clean the condenser coil? How would I access it and what is the best way to clean it? Is there a filter to clean also? Thanks.
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Old 10-02-05, 06:14 AM
the_tow_guy's Avatar
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Location: SW Fla USA
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I think you mean the evaporator coil. The condensor is in the engine compartment and would not contribute to a smell inside the car. The evaporator core is under your dash. Very hard to clean without dismantling the dash. You might try locating the air intake for the blower, either the fresh air intake or the recirculate intake, and spray a deodorizing product with the fan on "high". Make sure you use a product that is designed to deodorize, not just an air freshner. Fabreze makes one, for example. Use one that is an aerosol vice a pump sprayer as the aerosol will create a finer mist and will be sucked up and distributed more evenly. If that doesn't work you may be stuck dismantling all or part of the ductwork to look for whatever is decaying in there, usually dead leaves or (hopefully not) something biological.
Old 10-04-05, 07:37 AM
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re:a/c odor

i had the same problem with my nissan altima.smelled like sour milk.i found a product at an auto parts place that was a was an aerosol can with a long thin tube that you sray into the fresh air intakes,which in my car is just below where the wipers sprayed it with the blower on high heat then high a/c while changing the directional settings[eg.defrost,floor etc.]i had good results with it .been about a year now. good luck.
Old 10-04-05, 04:05 PM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Texas
Posts: 2,345

Here is a tip that will prevent the smell.What happens is the ducts sweat and the evaporater coil is wet when you run the A/C.When you shut down the car for the night this water has no place to go but grow mold.
So what you need to do is have the selector on outside air ,blower switch on high and A/C off a few blocks from the place you are going.This will force fresh air thru the evaporater and ducts drying them.

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