About: Repairs101 is a handyman how to skills and tools weekly show on YouTube. Demonstrations, diagrams, knots, life hacks, lists, tools, tricks and trade secrets, workshop projects and more! Helpful instruction f...
More About Repairs101 »
Eliminate foul smells!
That smell is mould and mildew.
That's me and what I use when someone comes to me with a funky smelling air conditioning system.
It's easy, inexpensive and effective!
Step 1: Start With the Vehicle's Engine Off
Work with the doors open for up to half an hour
With the brake set, shut the engine and air conditioning off
Have a look at this video I made explaining how Air Conditioning works and demonstrating this procedure
Although I strongly recommend using a product designed for the task (such as the one shown) you can use ordinary spray disinfectant like Lysol or a mixture of vinegar and water
Clean Air leaves the car with a "new car smell" that disappears in a few days and is otherwise odorless
Household deodorizers may leave strong lingering scents of their own
Step 2: Locate and Spray All Vents
Begin at the top of the dashboard with the windshield defrost vents
Work your way down the sides looking for side window defrosting vents
Check front doors for side mirror defrosting vents and open door to spray passages on door and dash
Spray driver / passenger vents across the face of the dash
Look under the dash for vents and spray generously
Look under seats for tube-like vents supplying back seat area with conditioned air and spray generously
The objective is to spray the evaporator from the vents so use the application straw to work spray in deep
Step 3: Start Engine and Set A/C to Max
Start the vehicle's engine
Set the air conditioning system to Max A/C, full fan
Step 4: Locate Recirculation Vent and Spray Generously
Look under the dashboard on the passenger side for a vent that obviously draws air in (as opposed to all others that blow air out)
Spray recirculate vent generously (full fan)
This is the best shot you'll get at the inside of the evaporator so spray thoroughly
Step 5: Switch From Max A/C to A/C Vent
Switch A/C selector from A/C Max setting to A/C Vent blended setting full fan
Step 6: Locate and Spray Cabin Air Intake Generously
Outside the vehicle at the base of the windshield is the cabin air intake vent
Keep the engine running and the air conditioning set to A/C Vent blend with full fan
Open the vehicle's hood to remove protective grate / screen to access the cabin air filter (if so equipped)
Remove the filter before spraying intake generously (full fan)
This is the best shot you'll get at the outside of the evaporator so spray thoroughly
Step 7: A/C Off, Full Fans, Windows Open
Shut off the A/C, leave the fan on full and the engine running
Leave all the windows down and allow the fans to blow full for at least five minutes