Car air-conditioning smells

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My wife bought herself a new car with air conditioning about 6 months ago. It now has a nasty (sweaty feet) sort of smell when the ventilation is switched on.
Any obvious cure, apart from taking it back to the dealer? Are we all going to die from Legionaire's Disease?
Thanks
Geoff
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Turn the heater onto full hot (A/C off) and leave it for a few minutes (after the car has reached operating temperature, obviously). This will dry the air ducts and kill the smell. Best to do this every few weeks.

No
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wrote:

I had a friend who had this with a Vauxhall and they never cured it !!
I have always left the airconditioning on, winter and summer. It de-humidifies as well as cooling which is helpful in winter.
The down side is you do have to learn how to use it . Invariably if a female member of the family borrows my car, when I get it back, as well as having no petrol, the airconditioning will have been turned off.
I once did a winter journey with a colleague, in her car, of about 120 miles. For the first 15-20 minutes the heater was on full blast. Then it was turned off completely and we suffered cold and condensation for the rest of the journey.
Paul Mc Cann
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LOL!
I thought it was only me that had observed this from the fairer sex. The upshot is wiping the windscreen and side window with a duster or the palm of the hand - lovely when it dries!
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the advice.

That's good
Thanks everyone for helping.
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It's very common.

Yes. Halfords etc sell anti-bacterial sprays specifically for this purpose - you switch the A/C to recirculate and spray it in the internal air intake. Alternately, some say that Febreeze works just as well. The other way - which I do - is to switch off the A/C but leave the system blowing a few minutes before stopping the car as this should clear all the cold air.

Heh heh - I've not heard of it being a health hazard - merely an unpleasant smell.
--
*Bigamy is having one wife too many - monogamy is the same

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Any bright ideas on hpow to get rid of the cement/chalk dust smell afflicting the Exploder? I've driven about 600 miles on dusty chalk roads in dry heat and the aircon has obviously sucked in the dust and deposited it somewhere. There's obviously no filter on the inlet air and I suspect that the dust is sitting on the heat exchanger or in the plenum box.
Would I be a silly boy if I tried to hose it out?
--
Mathematicians, please don't drink and derive.

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On Sun, 14 Sep 2003 12:56:36 +0100, "GB"

have. They sell a spray to spray into the air feed for the cabin.
Mark S.
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Most likely a build up of bacteria...do a web search on 'car air conditioning smell' and you'll find lots of companies who can treat it by killing the bugs...
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GB wrote:

Don't Saabs have aircon filters? They could be removed and washed or changed.
Roger.
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It's bacterial growth in the heat exchanger. Micro filters are usually just on the fresh air intake. I'm not sure where the bacteria comes from, but it could even be the person.
--
*Heart attacks... God's revenge for eating his animal friends

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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In the end, the kind people at Saab agreed to deal with it as a warranty repair - I must say I was rather surprised. My wife took it in, but she has no idea what they did.
Oh well.
Geoff
London SW 12

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I doubt the trade price for the deodorant is much above a quid or so - so well worth it for the goodwill.
--
*The colder the X-ray table, the more of your body is required on it *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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GB wrote:

Probably stick a bucket under the vents, and put an airline on the drain pipe. That cleras the drain and blows all water into teh footwell.
Then inject with anti-fingal/bvactaeial/nice smell and blow it in again.
I used to have an old XJS that would dump a half pint of icy water over the passengers leg on fast corners :-)
Took it to the dealership, where they did that. Took 5 seconds and fixed it completely.
The musty smells gradually faded out.

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Condenser coil water drain nipple is probably plugged up. When AC is on you should get water dripping under the front of the car. It should come from a rubber hose with a flat nipple on the end. Squeeze the nipple till it vents. (OOPS)
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GB wrote:

Looking at a Focus handbook I note they say the aircon should be run for at least 30minutes at least once per month. Friend's new Saab with aircon does not smell at all but he keeps aircon on all the time as company are paying for petrol :-)
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wrote:

Slightly OT: not to do with smells in Air con, but to do with the above comment: We had a Ford Galaxy, that had a similar warning in the handbook, just before we sold it, we found out why. Apparently, we hadn't run it enough, and the compressor seized. Since the fan-belt drives this compressor the whole time (even when the air-con isn't on), this was making a burning smell as the belt was forced over a fixed pulley. Cost >1000 to fix (20% of the value of the car). Another one from the Ministry of crap design.
    Tony.
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There's an electromagnetic clutch between the pulley and the compressor - so the actual compressor doesn't turn when not in use. It also cycles when in use. So whatever seized was to do with the clutch.
My old Rover has a clever idea to make sure the AC is used - it switches it on when you go to defrost, so will get used throughout the winter.
--
*I'm not as think as you drunk I am.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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On Sat, 20 Sep 2003 22:08:35 UTC, Dave Plowman

My (recent) Galaxy has that too...all electronically controlled...!
--
Bob Eager
rde at tavi.co.uk
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