Has your vehicle’s air conditioner started to emit a putrid odor? If so, the obnoxious smell could be coming from a bad case of fungus. Now I am sure that revelation does not bring happy thoughts of kittens and chocolate into your mind. At least it didn’t bring those things to my mind when my 1997 Ford Taurus started smelling bad. However, I quickly learned that there are several ways to combat the issue. Here’s a look at what I did to rectify the problem:
Consider Professional Service
For starters, you could seek the help of a professional that specializes in servicing a vehicle’s air conditioning system. That way, you don’t have to stress over finding and eradicating the nasty substance yourself. However, keep in mind that going with a pro has the potential to cause your wallet to shrivel up in despair. Thus, you may want to take a moment to check your bank balance and gather a handful of price quotes. Compare those items to your automotive skill level and willingness to do the job yourself. Then make your decision. Personally, I decided to fix the problem myself.
Obtain DIY Supplies
If you decide to address the issue on your own as well, be sure to purchase the right supplies for the job. In my experience, no ordinary cleaner or homemade concoction is going to get the job done properly. With that said, the best way to obtain the right supplies is to visit your local auto supply store. Once there, you’ll need to purchase a heavy-duty, aerosol disinfectant that is specifically designed to service a vehicle’s air conditioner. Brands to consider utilizing are Liqui-Moly and 3M. If you have doubts about which one to use for your vehicle, don’t be afraid to ask a knowledgeable attendant for assistance. That’s what I did. I’d also recommend picking up a pair of safety goggles, a can of silicone spray and an evaporator housing drain tube. Depending on what you find, you may need them too.
Inspect Drain Tube
Once you get home, turn the car off and let it sit a spell. I let mine sit undisturbed until the engine got cold. It took about three hours to reach that point. Later, remove and inspect the drain tube for clogs and damage. Depending on what you find, correct the problem accordingly. Next, set the A/C to recirculation mode and disconnect the compressor. You’ll also need to set the blower speed and heat on high as well. Let the system run like that for roughly 15 minutes. Doing so should remove any residual water or dampness.
Once that’s done, you’ll typically need to remove the blower motor resistor in order to access the system’s internal parts. Continue by applying the disinfectant according to the instructions that came with the packaging. When doing so, just make sure that you don’t get overzealous with the container’s probe and accidently damage the blower motor.
Replace Filter and Clean Interior
Afterward, go ahead and replace your vehicle’s cabin air filter. You’ll also want to clean the car’s interior too. When you finish with those tasks, your car’s odor issues should be resolved. If it’s not, you may just need to pony up the cash and take it to a professional for further inspection.
Source: Personal Experience
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