How To Eliminate Car Vent Odors

How To Eliminate Car Vent Odors


Unpleasant odors from your car heating or cooling vents can be annoying and distracting, but also harm you and cause health issues as well. Whether you have noticed your own vehicle starting to take on a funky smell, or recently purchased a used car with a strange smell, nobody wants smelly vents. This is what our How To Eliminate Car Vent Odors guide is for, to help you eliminate the strange smells that come from your car vents.

Of there’s an easy method of How To Eliminate Car Vent Odors, and that’s by replacing your air cabin filter. This air cabin filter is usually found under your dash board and can usually be replaced by your average shadetree mechanic in just a few hours.

How To Change your Cabin Filter


Before you learn how to eliminate car vent odors, it’s a good idea to learn just how this smell developed. You aren’t exactly sure of when and how, but over time you’ve found that the air that comes out of your car’s vents smells pretty bad. This smell is caused by the growth of fungus in your cooling and HVAC system of your vehicle.

Servicing a VQ35 AC compressor


Many times when using air conditioning, there’s fungus that’s growing inside the evaporator and to a lesser degree the inner portion of the evaporator core. Because this core is usually warm and very humid, this provides the perfect petri dish for fungus and bacteria to collect and fester. There’s a variety of treatments available like Frost King or Simple Green AC that can help eliminate this fungus by disinfecting the core.

How To Change your Air Conditioning Compressor


Unfortunately, many times these products are extremely expensive and difficult to use, requiring you to open your core in many cases. This really does defeat the purpose, as replacing your core is less work than cleaning it.

If you are using a aerosol type product to clean your air conditioning system, most products want you to put your air conditioning to the RECIRCULATION mode and disconnecting the compressor. By disconnecting the compressor, you are preventing it from kicking on during your testing period.

Always remember to never  loosen any fittings or remove any components until after your air conditioning system has been discharged. Air conditioning refrigerant should always be discharged into an EPA-approved container at a your certified repair facility.

Never work on your own air conditioning without the proper eye equipment, as all refrigerant is under high pressure and could blind you.

Here’s How To Eliminate Car Vent Odors using an aerosol spray :

  1. Remove your air conditioning fuse or relay, or simply disconnect all leads to your air conditioning compressor.
  2. Turn on your heater system in the RECIRCULATION mode for 15 minutes at its highest speed. Turn up your vehicle heat all the way so that you are drying out the system as best as possible.
  3. Prepare your aerosol can or spray. If your instructions ask you to remove the blower motor resistor and blow the disinfectant directly inside, you can elect to simply spray into your vent. Realize however this won’t work as well as if you completely sprayed this into your blower motor directly.
  4. Spray the evaporator section and try to be as thorough as possible. Check your air conditioning evaporator hose as well to make sure than the drain pipe is clear of any obstruction.

You can repeat this process as many times as you wish, or until your detergent runs out. Always allow for your core to dry completely before attempting another cleaning pass. These chemicals can be hazardous to your health, please check the safety label on your product, and if all else fails, check our Safety Guidelines here.

After you have cleaned your air conditioning system out, you’ll also need to replace the accumulator/drier unit that’s a vital part of your climate control. This item stores refrigerant and removes moisture from the system, which will go a long way in preventing the mildew from returning.

When you are servicing your air conditioning components, you must always replace the accumulator/drier unit. To do this, you will need to take the vehicle to a dealer service department or automotive air conditioning shop and have the air conditioning system discharged properly. The following steps are part of How To Eliminate Car Vent Odors, but more about how to replace your air conditioning accumulator.

  1. Disconnect the cable at the negative battery terminal.
  2. Disconnect the electrical connectors at your accumulator/drier, this is known as the compressor clutch cycling switch.
  3. Disconnect the refrigerant inlet and outlet lines using the dealer approved tools.
  4. Disconnect the two lines from accumulator/drier.

Many times these air conditioning lines are compressed and connected by a spring loaded locking coupler.  You will need an air conditioning tool to access these joints and service them.

The tool in question usually opens these clips by forcing open the tension spring. While the spring is expanded and tool is still in place, you should be able to pull the lines apart since the spring lock is no longer in place.

That does it for our How To Eliminate Car Vent Odors