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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09 Jul 2007, 10:15 pm
gigelus2k3
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default A/C related smell

Hi,

I just started noticing a rather minor inconvenience with my '98
Civic. Whenever I'm starting the car after previously turning it off
with the A/C working, for the first few minutes the ventilated air has
a tepid smell, regardless of whether the A/C works or not. The smell
is hard to describe, it hints an old, rotten, steaming rag. This did
not happen before or with my other, newer Civic.

If previously the car was turned off without having the A/C operating,
no smell comes out when I turned it back on.

What's up with this? Does the A/C need some sort of servicing? Is this
the way old A/C goes?

Thank you.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09 Jul 2007, 10:51 pm
mjc13
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: A/C related smell

gigelus2k3 wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I just started noticing a rather minor inconvenience with my '98
> Civic. Whenever I'm starting the car after previously turning it off
> with the A/C working, for the first few minutes the ventilated air has
> a tepid smell, regardless of whether the A/C works or not. The smell
> is hard to describe, it hints an old, rotten, steaming rag. This did
> not happen before or with my other, newer Civic.
>
> If previously the car was turned off without having the A/C operating,
> no smell comes out when I turned it back on.
>
> What's up with this? Does the A/C need some sort of servicing? Is this
> the way old A/C goes?
>
> Thank you.
>



You can use the rather toxic A/C cleaners commonly available, find a
shop that will use ozone to clean out the system, or make your own
cleaner with vodka and cider vinegar, believe it or not. To reduce the
smell, always turn the A/C and recirculate controls off well before you
shut the engine off, to dry out the coils. Also make sure the condensate
drain isn't blocked.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 09 Jul 2007, 11:00 pm
Michael Pardee
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: A/C related smell

"gigelus2k3" <popescu.serban@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1184037309.219513.254280@g37g2000prf.googlegr oups.com...
> Hi,
>
> I just started noticing a rather minor inconvenience with my '98
> Civic. Whenever I'm starting the car after previously turning it off
> with the A/C working, for the first few minutes the ventilated air has
> a tepid smell, regardless of whether the A/C works or not. The smell
> is hard to describe, it hints an old, rotten, steaming rag. This did
> not happen before or with my other, newer Civic.
>
> If previously the car was turned off without having the A/C operating,
> no smell comes out when I turned it back on.
>
> What's up with this? Does the A/C need some sort of servicing? Is this
> the way old A/C goes?
>
> Thank you.
>
>

The drain may need to be cleaned out. It is nothing more than a plastic tube
that runs from the drain pan to the underside of the car near the
passenger's feet. Cleaning is done by running a cleaning rod of some sort up
the tube or by blowing air through it. If the drain plugs up altogether it
is common for the drain pan to overflow with condensed water and soak the
carpet on the passenger side.

This is a very common problem and not often easy to correct. The smell comes
from mold trying to grow in the evaporator and drain pan. IIRC it was one of
the regulars here that came up with a vodka procedure (no kidding!) to knock
down the mold - maybe he will update me. This product has had good reviews,
too: http://www.carfood.com/bgfridsysdis.html

Mike



Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 09 Jul 2007, 11:03 pm
gigelus2k3
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: A/C related smell

On Jul 9, 9:00 pm, "Michael Pardee" <michaeltn...@cybertrails.com>
wrote:
> "gigelus2k3" <popescu.ser...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>
> news:1184037309.219513.254280@g37g2000prf.googlegr oups.com...
>
> > Hi,

>
> > I just started noticing a rather minor inconvenience with my '98
> > Civic. Whenever I'm starting the car after previously turning it off
> > with the A/C working, for the first few minutes the ventilated air has
> > a tepid smell, regardless of whether the A/C works or not. The smell
> > is hard to describe, it hints an old, rotten, steaming rag. This did
> > not happen before or with my other, newer Civic.

>
> > If previously the car was turned off without having the A/C operating,
> > no smell comes out when I turned it back on.

>
> > What's up with this? Does the A/C need some sort of servicing? Is this
> > the way old A/C goes?

>
> > Thank you.

>
> The drain may need to be cleaned out. It is nothing more than a plastic tube
> that runs from the drain pan to the underside of the car near the
> passenger's feet. Cleaning is done by running a cleaning rod of some sort up
> the tube or by blowing air through it. If the drain plugs up altogether it
> is common for the drain pan to overflow with condensed water and soak the
> carpet on the passenger side.
>
> This is a very common problem and not often easy to correct. The smell comes
> from mold trying to grow in the evaporator and drain pan. IIRC it was one of
> the regulars here that came up with a vodka procedure (no kidding!) to knock
> down the mold - maybe he will update me. This product has had good reviews,
> too:http://www.carfood.com/bgfridsysdis.html
>
> Mike


Thanks for the heads-up. I'm glad that this is a common occurrence :-)
Where can I find some drawings or procedure description about this
thing? Is this tube accessible from the interior?

Thank you.

Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 09 Jul 2007, 11:28 pm
Michael Pardee
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: A/C related smell

"gigelus2k3" <popescu.serban@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1184040234.729263.142390@i13g2000prf.googlegr oups.com...
> On Jul 9, 9:00 pm, "Michael Pardee" <michaeltn...@cybertrails.com>
> wrote:
>> "gigelus2k3" <popescu.ser...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>>
>> news:1184037309.219513.254280@g37g2000prf.googlegr oups.com...
>>
>> > Hi,

>>
>> > I just started noticing a rather minor inconvenience with my '98
>> > Civic. Whenever I'm starting the car after previously turning it off
>> > with the A/C working, for the first few minutes the ventilated air has
>> > a tepid smell, regardless of whether the A/C works or not. The smell
>> > is hard to describe, it hints an old, rotten, steaming rag. This did
>> > not happen before or with my other, newer Civic.

>>
>> > If previously the car was turned off without having the A/C operating,
>> > no smell comes out when I turned it back on.

>>
>> > What's up with this? Does the A/C need some sort of servicing? Is this
>> > the way old A/C goes?

>>
>> > Thank you.

>>
>> The drain may need to be cleaned out. It is nothing more than a plastic
>> tube
>> that runs from the drain pan to the underside of the car near the
>> passenger's feet. Cleaning is done by running a cleaning rod of some sort
>> up
>> the tube or by blowing air through it. If the drain plugs up altogether
>> it
>> is common for the drain pan to overflow with condensed water and soak the
>> carpet on the passenger side.
>>
>> This is a very common problem and not often easy to correct. The smell
>> comes
>> from mold trying to grow in the evaporator and drain pan. IIRC it was one
>> of
>> the regulars here that came up with a vodka procedure (no kidding!) to
>> knock
>> down the mold - maybe he will update me. This product has had good
>> reviews,
>> too:http://www.carfood.com/bgfridsysdis.html
>>
>> Mike

>
> Thanks for the heads-up. I'm glad that this is a common occurrence :-)
> Where can I find some drawings or procedure description about this
> thing? Is this tube accessible from the interior?
>
> Thank you.
>
>

The interior end is hidden under the dash, but the outside end isn't hard to
find on a muggy day. When the A/C runs and there is humidity in the air the
drain tube will drip water (unless it is completely plugged). If you let the
car idle a few minutes with the windows open and the A/C on you will see a
puddle forming on the ground near the passenger door - that is dripping from
the drain.

You may want to spend the modest amount to have an A/C pro check it out.
They can ensure the drain is clear and probably have a procedure that works
well.

Mike



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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 09 Jul 2007, 11:38 pm
mjc13
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: A/C related smell

Michael Pardee wrote:
> "gigelus2k3" <popescu.serban@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1184037309.219513.254280@g37g2000prf.googlegr oups.com...
>
>>Hi,
>>
>>I just started noticing a rather minor inconvenience with my '98
>>Civic. Whenever I'm starting the car after previously turning it off
>>with the A/C working, for the first few minutes the ventilated air has
>>a tepid smell, regardless of whether the A/C works or not. The smell
>>is hard to describe, it hints an old, rotten, steaming rag. This did
>>not happen before or with my other, newer Civic.
>>
>>If previously the car was turned off without having the A/C operating,
>>no smell comes out when I turned it back on.
>>
>>What's up with this? Does the A/C need some sort of servicing? Is this
>>the way old A/C goes?
>>
>>Thank you.
>>
>>

>
> The drain may need to be cleaned out. It is nothing more than a plastic tube
> that runs from the drain pan to the underside of the car near the
> passenger's feet. Cleaning is done by running a cleaning rod of some sort up
> the tube or by blowing air through it. If the drain plugs up altogether it
> is common for the drain pan to overflow with condensed water and soak the
> carpet on the passenger side.
>
> This is a very common problem and not often easy to correct. The smell comes
> from mold trying to grow in the evaporator and drain pan. IIRC it was one of
> the regulars here that came up with a vodka procedure (no kidding!) to knock
> down the mold - maybe he will update me. This product has had good reviews,
> too: http://www.carfood.com/bgfridsysdis.html
>
> Mike
>
>
>

Here it is. I had to do a web search myself to find it. ;-)



Non-toxic A/C System Cleaner

Mold, mildew and fungus growth in automotive A/C systems is a
common problem, especially when the air intake control is
regularly set to "recirculate" or "Max A/C". There are commercial
cleaners available that can control the problem, but I have yet to
locate one that isn't both moderately toxic and strong-smelling.
Since I'm somewhat sensitive to noxious odors and to chemicals
like ammonia, I have developed an easy to mix, non-toxic
alternative that, for me at least, works as well as or better than the
commercial products. In the interest of a less-toxic environment
and as a public service, I am posting it.

Materials Needed:

Clean adjustable spray bottle, preferably 24oz or smaller.

Cheap vodka

Apple cider vinegar

It is probably possible to use white wine vinegar, but I haven't
tried it. Feel free to experiment, at your own risk. Mix the two
ingredients in the bottle: three or four parts vodka to one part cider
vinegar.

Application:

With the recirculate control set to "fresh", the ventilation fan on
medium, all windows open ,and the engine and A/C running, spray
generous amounts of the mixture into all of the outside air intakes.
These intakes are usually located at the base of the windshield. If the
system is already seriously moldy, wait a minute, set the air intake
control to "recirculate" or "Max A/C", and spray the mixture into the
air recirculate intake, usually located above the front passenger
footwell, or sometimes behind the glovebox. Let the A/C and fan
run for another minute or two, then switch off first the A/C, then
the engine. The car will smell strongly of vinegar for an hour or
two, but I find this to be both far preferable to the smell of the
commercial cleaners and shorter-lived. Leave the windows open a
little when finished, if possible.
Like commercial cleaners, one application may not be enough,
so I suggest weekly applications until the problem is gone, then
preventative treatment once a month during warm weather.


Precautions:

This formula is non-toxic, but not completely harmless. Use
common sense when applying it. That means not getting the spray
in eyes, nose or open wounds, and not applying it with people or
animals in the vehicle. Depending on the proportions (and again
like some commercial products) the mixture may be flammable, so
don't apply it while smoking or near any combustion source.

As with the commercial cleaners, remove any residue from painted
and/or plastic surfaces after application, as it may harm the finish.

Finally, don't drive the vehicle until the vapor has dissipated; not
only is there a slight potential for intoxication, there is also the
possibility that this cleaner can produce a false positive on a police
breath alcohol analyzer.


Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 09 Jul 2007, 11:55 pm
gigelus2k3
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: A/C related smell

On Jul 9, 9:38 pm, "mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"
<"mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"@verizon.net> wrote:
> Michael Pardee wrote:
> > "gigelus2k3" <popescu.ser...@gmail.com> wrote in message
> >news:1184037309.219513.254280@g37g2000prf.googleg roups.com...

>
> >>Hi,

>
> >>I just started noticing a rather minor inconvenience with my '98
> >>Civic. Whenever I'm starting the car after previously turning it off
> >>with the A/C working, for the first few minutes the ventilated air has
> >>a tepid smell, regardless of whether the A/C works or not. The smell
> >>is hard to describe, it hints an old, rotten, steaming rag. This did
> >>not happen before or with my other, newer Civic.

>
> >>If previously the car was turned off without having the A/C operating,
> >>no smell comes out when I turned it back on.

>
> >>What's up with this? Does the A/C need some sort of servicing? Is this
> >>the way old A/C goes?

>
> >>Thank you.

>
> > The drain may need to be cleaned out. It is nothing more than a plastic tube
> > that runs from the drain pan to the underside of the car near the
> > passenger's feet. Cleaning is done by running a cleaning rod of some sort up
> > the tube or by blowing air through it. If the drain plugs up altogether it
> > is common for the drain pan to overflow with condensed water and soak the
> > carpet on the passenger side.

>
> > This is a very common problem and not often easy to correct. The smell comes
> > from mold trying to grow in the evaporator and drain pan. IIRC it was one of
> > the regulars here that came up with a vodka procedure (no kidding!) to knock
> > down the mold - maybe he will update me. This product has had good reviews,
> > too:http://www.carfood.com/bgfridsysdis.html

>
> > Mike

>
> Here it is. I had to do a web search myself to find it. ;-)
>
> Non-toxic A/C System Cleaner
>
> Mold, mildew and fungus growth in automotive A/C systems is a
> common problem, especially when the air intake control is
> regularly set to "recirculate" or "Max A/C". There are commercial
> cleaners available that can control the problem, but I have yet to
> locate one that isn't both moderately toxic and strong-smelling.
> Since I'm somewhat sensitive to noxious odors and to chemicals
> like ammonia, I have developed an easy to mix, non-toxic
> alternative that, for me at least, works as well as or better than the
> commercial products. In the interest of a less-toxic environment
> and as a public service, I am posting it.
>
> Materials Needed:
>
> Clean adjustable spray bottle, preferably 24oz or smaller.
>
> Cheap vodka
>
> Apple cider vinegar
>
> It is probably possible to use white wine vinegar, but I haven't
> tried it. Feel free to experiment, at your own risk. Mix the two
> ingredients in the bottle: three or four parts vodka to one part cider
> vinegar.
>
> Application:
>
> With the recirculate control set to "fresh", the ventilation fan on
> medium, all windows open ,and the engine and A/C running, spray
> generous amounts of the mixture into all of the outside air intakes.
> These intakes are usually located at the base of the windshield. If the
> system is already seriously moldy, wait a minute, set the air intake
> control to "recirculate" or "Max A/C", and spray the mixture into the
> air recirculate intake, usually located above the front passenger
> footwell, or sometimes behind the glovebox. Let the A/C and fan
> run for another minute or two, then switch off first the A/C, then
> the engine. The car will smell strongly of vinegar for an hour or
> two, but I find this to be both far preferable to the smell of the
> commercial cleaners and shorter-lived. Leave the windows open a
> little when finished, if possible.
> Like commercial cleaners, one application may not be enough,
> so I suggest weekly applications until the problem is gone, then
> preventative treatment once a month during warm weather.
>
> Precautions:
>
> This formula is non-toxic, but not completely harmless. Use
> common sense when applying it. That means not getting the spray
> in eyes, nose or open wounds, and not applying it with people or
> animals in the vehicle. Depending on the proportions (and again
> like some commercial products) the mixture may be flammable, so
> don't apply it while smoking or near any combustion source.
>
> As with the commercial cleaners, remove any residue from painted
> and/or plastic surfaces after application, as it may harm the finish.
>
> Finally, don't drive the vehicle until the vapor has dissipated; not
> only is there a slight potential for intoxication, there is also the
> possibility that this cleaner can produce a false positive on a police
> breath alcohol analyzer.


Thanks.

It sounds so fun that I'll try this method tomorrow. As I don't have
any wodka at home (and the tzuica I drink is far too precious for this
purpose), I think I'll substitute sanitary (ethylic) alcohol for it.

One thing I guess I have to check is if the tube is still draining
(i.e. if I get a condensate pool under the car). If not, the car will
see the mechanic.

B.t.w., the A/C was seldom used (I'm a MPG fanatic) and always on
Fresh intake. It's the age and the fact that the A/C system was never
serviced.

Kind regards

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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 10 Jul 2007, 12:23 am
mjc13
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: A/C related smell

gigelus2k3 wrote:
> On Jul 9, 9:38 pm, "mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"
> <"mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"@verizon.net> wrote:
>
>>Michael Pardee wrote:
>>
>>>"gigelus2k3" <popescu.ser...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>>>news:1184037309.219513.254280@g37g2000prf.googl egroups.com...

>>
>>>>Hi,

>>
>>>>I just started noticing a rather minor inconvenience with my '98
>>>>Civic. Whenever I'm starting the car after previously turning it off
>>>>with the A/C working, for the first few minutes the ventilated air has
>>>>a tepid smell, regardless of whether the A/C works or not. The smell
>>>>is hard to describe, it hints an old, rotten, steaming rag. This did
>>>>not happen before or with my other, newer Civic.

>>
>>>>If previously the car was turned off without having the A/C operating,
>>>>no smell comes out when I turned it back on.

>>
>>>>What's up with this? Does the A/C need some sort of servicing? Is this
>>>>the way old A/C goes?

>>
>>>>Thank you.

>>
>>>The drain may need to be cleaned out. It is nothing more than a plastic tube
>>>that runs from the drain pan to the underside of the car near the
>>>passenger's feet. Cleaning is done by running a cleaning rod of some sort up
>>>the tube or by blowing air through it. If the drain plugs up altogether it
>>>is common for the drain pan to overflow with condensed water and soak the
>>>carpet on the passenger side.

>>
>>>This is a very common problem and not often easy to correct. The smell comes
>>>from mold trying to grow in the evaporator and drain pan. IIRC it was one of
>>>the regulars here that came up with a vodka procedure (no kidding!) to knock
>>>down the mold - maybe he will update me. This product has had good reviews,
>>>too:http://www.carfood.com/bgfridsysdis.html

>>
>>>Mike

>>
>> Here it is. I had to do a web search myself to find it. ;-)
>>
>> Non-toxic A/C System Cleaner
>>
>>Mold, mildew and fungus growth in automotive A/C systems is a
>>common problem, especially when the air intake control is
>>regularly set to "recirculate" or "Max A/C". There are commercial
>>cleaners available that can control the problem, but I have yet to
>>locate one that isn't both moderately toxic and strong-smelling.
>>Since I'm somewhat sensitive to noxious odors and to chemicals
>>like ammonia, I have developed an easy to mix, non-toxic
>>alternative that, for me at least, works as well as or better than the
>>commercial products. In the interest of a less-toxic environment
>>and as a public service, I am posting it.
>>
>>Materials Needed:
>>
>>Clean adjustable spray bottle, preferably 24oz or smaller.
>>
>>Cheap vodka
>>
>>Apple cider vinegar
>>
>>It is probably possible to use white wine vinegar, but I haven't
>>tried it. Feel free to experiment, at your own risk. Mix the two
>>ingredients in the bottle: three or four parts vodka to one part cider
>>vinegar.
>>
>>Application:
>>
>>With the recirculate control set to "fresh", the ventilation fan on
>>medium, all windows open ,and the engine and A/C running, spray
>>generous amounts of the mixture into all of the outside air intakes.
>>These intakes are usually located at the base of the windshield. If the
>>system is already seriously moldy, wait a minute, set the air intake
>>control to "recirculate" or "Max A/C", and spray the mixture into the
>>air recirculate intake, usually located above the front passenger
>>footwell, or sometimes behind the glovebox. Let the A/C and fan
>>run for another minute or two, then switch off first the A/C, then
>>the engine. The car will smell strongly of vinegar for an hour or
>>two, but I find this to be both far preferable to the smell of the
>>commercial cleaners and shorter-lived. Leave the windows open a
>>little when finished, if possible.
>>Like commercial cleaners, one application may not be enough,
>>so I suggest weekly applications until the problem is gone, then
>>preventative treatment once a month during warm weather.
>>
>>Precautions:
>>
>>This formula is non-toxic, but not completely harmless. Use
>>common sense when applying it. That means not getting the spray
>>in eyes, nose or open wounds, and not applying it with people or
>>animals in the vehicle. Depending on the proportions (and again
>>like some commercial products) the mixture may be flammable, so
>>don't apply it while smoking or near any combustion source.
>>
>>As with the commercial cleaners, remove any residue from painted
>>and/or plastic surfaces after application, as it may harm the finish.
>>
>>Finally, don't drive the vehicle until the vapor has dissipated; not
>>only is there a slight potential for intoxication, there is also the
>>possibility that this cleaner can produce a false positive on a police
>>breath alcohol analyzer.

>
>
> Thanks.
>
> It sounds so fun that I'll try this method tomorrow. As I don't have
> any wodka at home (and the tzuica I drink is far too precious for this
> purpose), I think I'll substitute sanitary (ethylic) alcohol for it.
>
> One thing I guess I have to check is if the tube is still draining
> (i.e. if I get a condensate pool under the car). If not, the car will
> see the mechanic.
>
> B.t.w., the A/C was seldom used (I'm a MPG fanatic) and always on
> Fresh intake. It's the age and the fact that the A/C system was never
> serviced.
>
> Kind regards
>



I'm also a 'MPG fanatic', but I've found that the A/C uses little
fuel if you don't mind turning it off to accelerate and to climb hills.
Years ago I even built a unit that used a headlight relay to turn the
A/C on only when the brakes were being applied. It was perfect for city
driving.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 10 Jul 2007, 12:47 am
Gordon McGrew
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: A/C related smell

On Tue, 10 Jul 2007 04:03:54 -0000, gigelus2k3
<popescu.serban@gmail.com> wrote:

>On Jul 9, 9:00 pm, "Michael Pardee" <michaeltn...@cybertrails.com>
>wrote:
>> "gigelus2k3" <popescu.ser...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>>
>> news:1184037309.219513.254280@g37g2000prf.googlegr oups.com...
>>
>> > Hi,

>>
>> > I just started noticing a rather minor inconvenience with my '98
>> > Civic. Whenever I'm starting the car after previously turning it off
>> > with the A/C working, for the first few minutes the ventilated air has
>> > a tepid smell, regardless of whether the A/C works or not. The smell
>> > is hard to describe, it hints an old, rotten, steaming rag. This did
>> > not happen before or with my other, newer Civic.

>>
>> > If previously the car was turned off without having the A/C operating,
>> > no smell comes out when I turned it back on.

>>
>> > What's up with this? Does the A/C need some sort of servicing? Is this
>> > the way old A/C goes?

>>
>> > Thank you.

>>
>> The drain may need to be cleaned out. It is nothing more than a plastic tube
>> that runs from the drain pan to the underside of the car near the
>> passenger's feet. Cleaning is done by running a cleaning rod of some sort up
>> the tube or by blowing air through it. If the drain plugs up altogether it
>> is common for the drain pan to overflow with condensed water and soak the
>> carpet on the passenger side.
>>
>> This is a very common problem and not often easy to correct. The smell comes
>> from mold trying to grow in the evaporator and drain pan. IIRC it was one of
>> the regulars here that came up with a vodka procedure (no kidding!) to knock
>> down the mold - maybe he will update me. This product has had good reviews,
>> too:http://www.carfood.com/bgfridsysdis.html
>>
>> Mike

>
>Thanks for the heads-up. I'm glad that this is a common occurrence :-)
>Where can I find some drawings or procedure description about this
>thing? Is this tube accessible from the interior?
>
>Thank you.


It is a common occurrence and the suggestions offered so far are good,
but here is something easy that works for me. Anticipate arrival at
your destination and turn the AC off a mile or so before you get
there. Run the fan at full blast. The cabin doesn't heat up much and
it completely eliminates the problem in both my Hondas. (At least to
the extent of my ability to smell it.)




Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 10 Jul 2007, 07:04 pm
Woody
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: A/C related smell

Not familiar with that year but make sure it doesn't have a cabin filter. A
10 year old cabin filter will really smell....


"mjc13<REMOVETHIS> @verizon.net>" <"mjc13<REMOVETHIS> wrote in message
news:tJEki.5445$475.246@trndny04...
> gigelus2k3 wrote:
>> On Jul 9, 9:38 pm, "mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"
>> <"mjc13<REMOVETHIS>"@verizon.net> wrote:
>>
>>>Michael Pardee wrote:
>>>
>>>>"gigelus2k3" <popescu.ser...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>>>>news:1184037309.219513.254280@g37g2000prf.goog legroups.com...
>>>
>>>>>Hi,
>>>
>>>>>I just started noticing a rather minor inconvenience with my '98
>>>>>Civic. Whenever I'm starting the car after previously turning it off
>>>>>with the A/C working, for the first few minutes the ventilated air has
>>>>>a tepid smell, regardless of whether the A/C works or not. The smell
>>>>>is hard to describe, it hints an old, rotten, steaming rag. This did
>>>>>not happen before or with my other, newer Civic.
>>>
>>>>>If previously the car was turned off without having the A/C operating,
>>>>>no smell comes out when I turned it back on.
>>>
>>>>>What's up with this? Does the A/C need some sort of servicing? Is this
>>>>>the way old A/C goes?
>>>
>>>>>Thank you.
>>>
>>>>The drain may need to be cleaned out. It is nothing more than a plastic
>>>>tube
>>>>that runs from the drain pan to the underside of the car near the
>>>>passenger's feet. Cleaning is done by running a cleaning rod of some
>>>>sort up
>>>>the tube or by blowing air through it. If the drain plugs up altogether
>>>>it
>>>>is common for the drain pan to overflow with condensed water and soak
>>>>the
>>>>carpet on the passenger side.
>>>
>>>>This is a very common problem and not often easy to correct. The smell
>>>>comes
>>>>from mold trying to grow in the evaporator and drain pan. IIRC it was
>>>>one of
>>>>the regulars here that came up with a vodka procedure (no kidding!) to
>>>>knock
>>>>down the mold - maybe he will update me. This product has had good
>>>>reviews,
>>>>too:http://www.carfood.com/bgfridsysdis.html
>>>
>>>>Mike
>>>
>>> Here it is. I had to do a web search myself to find it. ;-)
>>>
>>> Non-toxic A/C System Cleaner
>>>
>>>Mold, mildew and fungus growth in automotive A/C systems is a
>>>common problem, especially when the air intake control is
>>>regularly set to "recirculate" or "Max A/C". There are commercial
>>>cleaners available that can control the problem, but I have yet to
>>>locate one that isn't both moderately toxic and strong-smelling.
>>>Since I'm somewhat sensitive to noxious odors and to chemicals
>>>like ammonia, I have developed an easy to mix, non-toxic
>>>alternative that, for me at least, works as well as or better than the
>>>commercial products. In the interest of a less-toxic environment
>>>and as a public service, I am posting it.
>>>
>>>Materials Needed:
>>>
>>>Clean adjustable spray bottle, preferably 24oz or smaller.
>>>
>>>Cheap vodka
>>>
>>>Apple cider vinegar
>>>
>>>It is probably possible to use white wine vinegar, but I haven't
>>>tried it. Feel free to experiment, at your own risk. Mix the two
>>>ingredients in the bottle: three or four parts vodka to one part cider
>>>vinegar.
>>>
>>>Application:
>>>
>>>With the recirculate control set to "fresh", the ventilation fan on
>>>medium, all windows open ,and the engine and A/C running, spray
>>>generous amounts of the mixture into all of the outside air intakes.
>>>These intakes are usually located at the base of the windshield. If the
>>>system is already seriously moldy, wait a minute, set the air intake
>>>control to "recirculate" or "Max A/C", and spray the mixture into the
>>>air recirculate intake, usually located above the front passenger
>>>footwell, or sometimes behind the glovebox. Let the A/C and fan
>>>run for another minute or two, then switch off first the A/C, then
>>>the engine. The car will smell strongly of vinegar for an hour or
>>>two, but I find this to be both far preferable to the smell of the
>>>commercial cleaners and shorter-lived. Leave the windows open a
>>>little when finished, if possible.
>>>Like commercial cleaners, one application may not be enough,
>>>so I suggest weekly applications until the problem is gone, then
>>>preventative treatment once a month during warm weather.
>>>
>>>Precautions:
>>>
>>>This formula is non-toxic, but not completely harmless. Use
>>>common sense when applying it. That means not getting the spray
>>>in eyes, nose or open wounds, and not applying it with people or
>>>animals in the vehicle. Depending on the proportions (and again
>>>like some commercial products) the mixture may be flammable, so
>>>don't apply it while smoking or near any combustion source.
>>>
>>>As with the commercial cleaners, remove any residue from painted
>>>and/or plastic surfaces after application, as it may harm the finish.
>>>
>>>Finally, don't drive the vehicle until the vapor has dissipated; not
>>>only is there a slight potential for intoxication, there is also the
>>>possibility that this cleaner can produce a false positive on a police
>>>breath alcohol analyzer.

>>
>>
>> Thanks.
>>
>> It sounds so fun that I'll try this method tomorrow. As I don't have
>> any wodka at home (and the tzuica I drink is far too precious for this
>> purpose), I think I'll substitute sanitary (ethylic) alcohol for it.
>>
>> One thing I guess I have to check is if the tube is still draining
>> (i.e. if I get a condensate pool under the car). If not, the car will
>> see the mechanic.
>>
>> B.t.w., the A/C was seldom used (I'm a MPG fanatic) and always on
>> Fresh intake. It's the age and the fact that the A/C system was never
>> serviced.
>>
>> Kind regards
>>

>
>
> I'm also a 'MPG fanatic', but I've found that the A/C uses little fuel
> if you don't mind turning it off to accelerate and to climb hills. Years
> ago I even built a unit that used a headlight relay to turn the A/C on
> only when the brakes were being applied. It was perfect for city driving.



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