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What To Do If You Notice a Funny Smell From Your AC This Summer

car a/cWhen you turn your car’s air conditioner on, you expect to be greeted by refreshingly cold air. You do not expect to get a whiff of something foul and pungent. There are a variety of reasons why an AC system can begin to smell. A household cleaner is not going to do you any good because it simply masks the smell without addressing the problem regarding why it occurred in the first place. You need to tackle the issue head on, which can be done most effectively by taking your vehicle to a professional for a comprehensive inspection.

Smells and Their Explanations

When you bring your vehicle to Sun Auto Service, you will be asked what the scent is reminiscent of. You should be able to describe it accurately because it will assist in determining the root of the problem.

  • Sweet: An overly sweet smell indicates antifreeze is leaking into the ventilation system. Antifreeze is incredibly toxic, so you need to fix the problem before you breathe in too much of the fumes.
  • Dusty: Similar to the ventilation system in a house, your car’s AC has an air filter, too. This filter generally needs to be replaced between 10,000 and 15,000 miles. Otherwise, you are going to be breathing in pollutants, dirt and dust mites.
  • Gassy: A fuel leak can bring the scent of gasoline into your air conditioning system. Breathing in these fumes excessively is detrimental to your health, so seek professional assistance promptly.
  • Musty: This is arguably the most common smell drivers will experience. It comes from the development of mildew and mold growing within the A/C accumulator due to condensation. Constantly using the AC, especially on full blast, can create excessive levels of moisture, leading to the formation of mold.

Other scents can enter your vehicle, but they are generally not related to the AC. For example, smelling cigarette smoke or the scent of a dead animal will require comprehensive shampooing of your car’s interior to remove the odor.

DIY Solutions to Eliminating Bad Odors

Sometimes you will need to contact a professional from Sun Auto Service to make your AC fully operational once again. However, there are a couple things you can do on your own. If your car smells dusty, then you can easily replace the in-cabin air filter. Make sure you get a filter that is compatible with your vehicle.

In the event there is mold, you can get a specialized car cleaner with stench-killing enzymes. While the automobile is running, pour it into your exterior air intakes. After your vehicle has been running for about 10 minutes, turn it off and spray the cleaner within the interior onto the air vents. You can repeat if necessary, but you should be able to remove any mold or mildew this way.

Professional Solutions to Eliminating Bad Odors

Even if you enjoy maintaining your car on your own, it is important to know when need to seek out a professional. Several of the issues mentioned earlier occur as a result of an internal leak, so the only way to get rid of the stench is by patching up the leak. Our professionals at Sun Auto Service are trained to expertly handle air conditioner repair, so after we run a full diagnostic check, we will be able to recommend the best course of action to make your car smell great once again.

Your One-Stop Shop

It gets hot in the summer and you’re going to want to use your AC as often as possible, so make sure there are not any unpleasant smells to ruin your driving experience. Schedule an appointment at Sun Auto Service to learn more about your options.