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      06-18-2020, 11:36 PM   #1
KAY-OS
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Smelly Aircon

Hello. My Aircon smells like socks when I first start car. Lasts for like 1-2 mins only. I would like to spray Lysol on the external ac air intake but I canít seem to find it. Any idea where this is located and any pics?

I changed my cabin filter 3 months ago. I took it out a few days ago and it looks and smell good.

In the mean time, I will try turning on max heat for a few minutes to see if it works.

Any other ways to deal with this? Thanks!
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      06-19-2020, 02:20 PM   #2
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Sounds like it MIGHT be mold due to condensation. Lysol won't help for long.
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      06-20-2020, 08:55 AM   #3
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If changing out the filter does not remedy this, you need to kill all the mold within the system, then make sure you don't have a malfunction in your AC system (I'm told it is supposed to run on a little bit to dry out the interior, but this may be insufficient for Hong Kong climate). I was always taught to run the blower with the AC off for the final 5 minutes or so of each trip to prevent this, but I don't practice it regularly in my 2'er (older cars seldom had anything to help dry, and seldom even a filter). Killing interior mold usually requires ozone treatment or some other chemicals - lysol might do it, but not likely; I'd look up a pro, since then you'll have a warranty to redo it if the first try doesn't work.
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      06-20-2020, 11:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H2O_Doc View Post
Sounds like it MIGHT be mold due to condensation. Lysol won't help for long.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maynard View Post
If changing out the filter does not remedy this, you need to kill all the mold within the system, then make sure you don't have a malfunction in your AC system (I'm told it is supposed to run on a little bit to dry out the interior, but this may be insufficient for Hong Kong climate). I was always taught to run the blower with the AC off for the final 5 minutes or so of each trip to prevent this, but I don't practice it regularly in my 2'er (older cars seldom had anything to help dry, and seldom even a filter). Killing interior mold usually requires ozone treatment or some other chemicals - lysol might do it, but not likely; I'd look up a pro, since then you'll have a warranty to redo it if the first try doesn't work.
Thanks for your inputs. I will definitely look into ozone treatment. I don't know much about how AC works, but I am guessing ozone won't treat the bacteria/fungus externally e.g. the evaporator? I was hoping to try a cheap DIY method like spraying lysol first. Any ideas where the fresh air intake for the AC is located?

Turning off AC with fan only for 5 mins before destination in the summer climate where I live is impossible (hot and very humid) .
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      06-23-2020, 06:46 AM   #5
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I don't know how complicated this is on our newer cars, but first step was always to ensure that the water drain is free flowing - used to be on older cars you could run a wire cleaner up a short drain tube. If your car isn't dripping water steadily when AC is running then that may be an issue (likely this won't fully fix things, but if you don't have easy draining the problem would return immediately). You are correct that the ozone if for the internals, where the cabin air flows, and the ozone treatments I referenced are the industrial units, not those little things that plug into your lighter socket. The only one I've seen had hoses to intake and outflow, so it recirculated the O3 through the system overnight. I know this is a problem that the manufacturers have been working on from many angles - sealed systems, coatings to discourage mold growth, etc. So it may be that there are also good cleaning/disinfecting routines if you ask around - in your area this can't be a rare phenomenon.
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      06-26-2020, 04:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maynard View Post
I don't know how complicated this is on our newer cars, but first step was always to ensure that the water drain is free flowing - used to be on older cars you could run a wire cleaner up a short drain tube. If your car isn't dripping water steadily when AC is running then that may be an issue (likely this won't fully fix things, but if you don't have easy draining the problem would return immediately). You are correct that the ozone if for the internals, where the cabin air flows, and the ozone treatments I referenced are the industrial units, not those little things that plug into your lighter socket. The only one I've seen had hoses to intake and outflow, so it recirculated the O3 through the system overnight. I know this is a problem that the manufacturers have been working on from many angles - sealed systems, coatings to discourage mold growth, etc. So it may be that there are also good cleaning/disinfecting routines if you ask around - in your area this can't be a rare phenomenon.
Water drains pretty good I think. There is a good flow of water whenever I turn on AC. I will look around for ozone and report back. Thanks!
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      06-26-2020, 07:09 AM   #7
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The people who I knew of that did this were the industry detailers - a couple of shops that handled a ton of used cars for dealerships. They use these ozone units to rid cars of odors like smoking or flood damage. You might ask around to used car dealers for who they work with. It might also be worth your time to ask local HVAC companies if there is a product they use to do this - indoor AC coils and ventilation ducts can also get this problem, so they may have a chem that is reliable and safe to use.
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      06-27-2020, 11:55 PM   #8
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Put the AC in recirc mode. Turn the fan on high. Spray Lysol in the footwell where the intake is for about 60 seconds.
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