Mazda MPV: Smell from A/C. Freon ?


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Old 02-15-24, 06:59 PM
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Mazda MPV: Smell from A/C. Freon ?

Hello. I have a Mazda mpv minivan. When I turn on air or heat it smells like a hospital. A friend said maybe freon? Is this dangerous?
 
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Old 02-16-24, 04:21 AM
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Does the A/C cool ? I don't remember Freon having much of a smell ....
 
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Old 02-16-24, 05:21 AM
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When is last time you replaced the cabin air filter?
 
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Old 02-16-24, 07:15 AM
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could be antifreeze from a heater core leaking or more than likely its just mold spores that is from the moist environment of the a/c evaporator changing the air filter and even using some form of cleaner may help with this but it is a fairly common issue and probably not dangerous.
if it was a freon leak severe enough you could smell it, would not take long to leak out all the freon of the system and your a/c would no longer blow cold so not very likely, usually evaporator leaks start off being very small leaks that you would not be able to smell.
 
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Old 02-17-24, 06:31 AM
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Puzzle is, what exactly is hospital smell?
Coolant will smell only if you have core leak. Is the coolant level OK?
AC radiator tends to build up mould on it and smell like old socks . There are special kits for cleaning.
Also, check flooring. Is it wet?
 
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Old 03-25-24, 03:31 PM
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Okay update on this situation. I finally took van into a graage. I told them I've had a burning smell for a while but no puddles underneath..oil level is always good and coolant level goes down occasionally. Not like any big leaks. I told them A/C is barely blowing and hot and smells really bad. So he put on lift and checked it out. He said my valve gasket covers were leaking and my evaporator core is bad and needs replaced. Gave me a (pricy) estimate. He said we could do gaskets today but have to order other part it will be here tomorrow. I drove home and throught about it and decided I needed it done. So went got a helper to come drop van off. That was Monday the 18th. Tuesday the guy called and said the part wouldn't be in till Wednesday. I said ok but it will be done? He said yes it will be done Wednesday. I called Wednesday afternoon and they said it's a big job whole dash comes off etc and it's being worked on. Probably be Thursday. Thursday morning they call and said they got the wrong part but there was no way of knowing till they got the other one out. So he overnighted a new part (which HE had to pay for himself) and it would be there Friday hopefully but they had no idea what time. So Friday afternoon I call...no part yet. It will be Monday. I called this morning..Monday the 25th. Yes part it there and they are working on it. Will it be done today? Yes. I called back in the afternoon because I had heard nothing yet. The guy answers and I said calling on the Mazda again. He said yes. He's working on it. Calling is not helping it get done. We will call you when it is finished. And he hangs up. Ok. So I am obviously very pissed by now. After a bit the "nice" guy calls back and says Ok..there are a bunch of wires behind the dash that are not factory and we aren't sure what they are for. ( a previous owner had installed a stereo/backup camera etc so I guess its from that) anyway he says we can't get the compressor to work? I think that's what he said and the A/C is not working but we are working on it to see what the issue is but it will be tomorrow before we are done. I said once again...I need my car. It's been a week on a job that I was promised in the next day or two. I am just so frustrated and don't know what to do next. Aside from losing my temper and going off on them..which I am so ready to do..what do I do from here? Help.
 
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Old 03-25-24, 05:32 PM
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Unfortunately replacing the heater or evaporator cores is a big project in many vehicles today.
It's very common to have to remove the entire dash to get to them.
I can understand 100% opening that Mazda and finding they had gotten the wrong evaporator.
There could be several that are used.

We did my fathers truck. The heater core was plugged in his Dodge pick up truck.
Since the A/C evaporator looked questionable when we got in there.... I changed that too.
Labor is 75% of that job. It was a several day project. Would be close to $2k parts and labor at a mechanics.

Some mechanics have loaners.
 
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Old 03-25-24, 08:24 PM
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Thank you for replying. And yes I get that. But they keep promising it will be done tomorrow. I mean tell me we aren't sure and you may need transportation for a week or something. I have no other vehicle. So I got a ride to store and ran in quick while they waited and grabbed a few things. I wasn't informed I wouldn't have a car for an undetermined length of time. And now I'm told we are putting it together but no AC works. So I'm skeptical.
 
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Old 03-26-24, 03:40 AM
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Sometimes thes ethings happen. Sometimes Darwin pops up. Thing's don't always go as planned. In these regards I try to be patient.
Here's my thing though. It appears the guy is incompetent. Not experienced.
I'm like, wait, he quoted a job and didn't know he had to pull the dash on the vehicle to change the heater core? This throws up flags for me. he didn't check the labor book? That alone would have told him the number of hours/time to repair. There's a couple of things here that throw flags for me but, again, I try to understand sometimes things happen.

Like PJMax, Anytime I am in the dash to change something like a heater core, yes, I always change both. Pulling the dash is expensive. It's best to change both while your there. it don't cost but a little more while your there & its good.
 
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Old 03-26-24, 05:06 AM
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I'm guessing this is a general garage and not an AC specialty place? My beef would be that they probably should have ordered the parts and had them in hand before scheduling you in, that would be the routine for the guys I do business with (and where I park my truck at night). I had evap done on my Camry and it was a one day job even though, as Pete mentions, entire dash had to come out. But they're a specialty shop and do evap cores all the time.
 
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Old 03-26-24, 06:28 AM
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This is why we are never again buying a Mazda. No aftermarket parts. Everything is national order and wait for days.
 
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Old 03-26-24, 11:14 AM
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Another update. FINALLY got my van back. The air works great. There is still a burning smell, however. He said it's probably still from whatever was burning off before but to give it a few days and see if it is still there. So fingers crossed!
 
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Old 03-26-24, 11:26 AM
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Since most cars draw air in from just below the windshield.... you will probably still be smelling oil burning off the engine from the valve cover gaskets. That may smell for a week or two.

You can probably reduce that smell by using recirculate mode on your hvac system.
 
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Old 03-26-24, 05:09 PM
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Ok thank you. I'm going in the am just so they can see it still smells. Also not as big a problem but apparently they unhooked my mirror adjusting wire. Doesn't work anymore. But I'm guessing that's behind dash and they can't get to it easily? I'll survive
 
 

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