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AC odor removal and cleaning

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Lanzer, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. RandomJohnny

    RandomJohnny Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2017
    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    Earth
    i know, right? the logic was just ridiculous nevermind the fact that we keep the car in the garage about 22 hours per day....full story here:

    Bubble like issue on dashboard
     
  2. robd

    robd Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA

    If you leave the setting on auto does it default back to recirc? Mine never seems to come out of recirc? Seems like in “auto” mode it would go to fresh air at some point? Anyone else see different than recirc all the time?
     
  3. evannole

    evannole Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2018
    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    Georgia
    Depends on where you are and what the weather is like. In Atlanta, in the summer, constantly bringing in 95 degree, humid air from outside is going to increase heat and humidity in the cabin, not decrease it. Sure, it makes sense to run the system with outside air when you get in the car, as that air is likely cooler than what's in the car after it's been sitting in the sun. But here at least, it makes sense to run recirculate once you're underway, as once that air has been cooled and dehumidified, it will be much easier to keep it cool and dehumidified if you're not bringing in outside air that is neither. On the other hand, in places like Santa Monica, with mild temperatures and low humidity, it might make sense to bring in outside air all the time.

    I leave my system set to auto and let the car decide when it wants fresh air. It does seem to go back and forth and I haven't yet been able to determine what conditions make it switch.
     
  4. Dr. J

    Dr. J Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2017
    Messages:
    862
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Only rarely have I seen Auto go to Recirc Off, and that on a very long trip.
     
  5. BioSehnsucht

    BioSehnsucht Model 3 LR

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,627
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    I think this mostly depends on the temperature differences between outside and desired inside - if they are large, it may be on recirculation to better cool. If they are closer, then it may switch to outside air to mix in warmer outside air so that the temperature drop through the condenser results in a more consistent desired temp (vs cycling the AC on and off faster and getting spikey temperature output to arrive at the desired average)
     
    • Informative x 1
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  6. ayrich

    ayrich New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Southern California
    Took ours into Buena Park SC on 8/2/19 and had the same service performed:
    VIN 38,xxx

    1. Evaporator cleaning (goodwill)
    2. Cabin filter replacement (goodwill)
    3. Charging pins replacement (recall)
    4. Front trunk latch adjustment (recall)

    Tech mentioned that the AC cleaning and cabin filter would be covered under goodwill as a first time fix per management direction. And apparently there is a service bulletin going around so this is a known/common issue. I was informed about the software fix coming later in a future release...
     
    • Informative x 5
  7. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
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    4,698
    Location:
    Palmdale, CA
    My ozone generator arrived today and I was able to drive down the the SC and pick up the 2 sets of cabin air filters I had ordered.

    Here is what I have done previously to remediate this issue:
    1. Had Tesla service run a AC cleaning service without changing my filters. Lasted a couple weeks
    2. Had Tesla service run AC cleaning with changing my cabin filters. Lasted 1 week
    3. Used 1 can of Klima without changing cabin filters. Lasted a couple of days
    4. Used 2 cans of Klima without changing cabin filters. Lasted a couple of days.

    If filters had been easier to obtain, I would have changed filters each step, but alas.


    Here is what I did tonight:
    - Moved car into driveway
    - Removed my existing filters and replaced the cover with the screw finger tight
    - Removed all my stuff from the car including frunk and trunk.
    - Set climate to manual, fan max, and recirc. on. with no filters in the system.
    - Placed 7000 mg/hr ozone generator unit on passenger seat on top of a towel. Ran cord out passenger door.
    - Set timer for 30 minutes and taped window portion of door, which was left cracked.
    - returned to vehicle after 45 minutes and opened all 4 doors. At some point the AC had turned off, not sure how to keep it running on high the whole time (“leave climate on” reset back to auto)
    - Let car air out for 30 minutes
    - installed new filters
    - pulled car back into garage, lowered all 4 windows, set “keep climate on” and plugged into shore power. Leaving like that overnight.

    The ozone odor seemed to dissipate fairly quickly with a good breeze to air out the car. The vents will take a bit more, which is why I am leaving it running on shore power overnight (or as long as it will run)


    Crossing my fingers this works longer than previous attempts. I will report back. My goal would be to get to a point where I only have to change the filters and run this cleaning process every 6 months if possible.
     
    • Helpful x 1
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  8. Atari2600

    Atari2600 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
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    589
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    I have this annoying issue as well now but I don’t understand it. Is the filter touching the evaporator or getting wet at the base or is it getting damp just from being close to a wet evaporator with no air flow? I follow the evaporator stinking but not understanding why the filter is doing so. I’m going to try Vital-Oxide.
     
  9. plasmo

    plasmo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2016
    Messages:
    396
    Location:
    Chicago
    Appreciate your updates. Let us know.
    This odor issue really is a nuisance.
     
  10. clmason

    clmason Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2011
    Messages:
    520
    Location:
    San Diego
    I had a cheesy smell in my 3 AC for about 4 months, progressively getting worse. I’m at 25,000 miles and 18 months of ownership. Brought the car in to get checked out and Tesla replaced 2 filters and used some kind of cleaning foam to flush the lines. No charge and done in 45 minutes.
     
  11. RandomJohnny

    RandomJohnny Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2017
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    Location:
    Earth
    To all the posters on this thread that have tried various remedies and had initial success please report back to let us know if your method actually killed the bacteria (and thus the odor) permanently. Thanks.
     
    • Like x 1
  12. Eno Deb

    Eno Deb Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2018
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    1,960
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    A bit early to call it "permanent", but I have replaced my filters and foamed the evaporator about 7 weeks ago and the smell hasn't returned so far. But as we see in this thread YMMV. I suspect in some cases the mold has spread to other parts of the ventilation system.
     
  13. 0mpg

    0mpg Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2018
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    163
    Location:
    Nc
    My smell keeps coming back. I have had the SC replace the filters on the last visit. I need to make another appointment. I’ve had them clean it and I cleaned it yet it still returns.
     
  14. XLR82XS

    XLR82XS Member

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    Jul 26, 2019
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    Location:
    SWFL
    If I ever get the smell I'll try the Lysol trick done by another member.
     
  15. Aellinsar

    Aellinsar Member

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    Aug 2, 2017
    Messages:
    153
    Location:
    Ohio
    I've tried the Lysol trick, cleaning the evaporator with commercial cleaner, and running the heater on HI for an hour none of them worked for me for more than a few days.

    I need to replace the filters and combine with the evaporator treatment, but my service center was out (and isn't terribly close to my house anyway). Why on earth can't we order a consumable part like a filter from the Tesla store (or Napa/Autozone/Amazon/etc.) and have it shipped?
     
    • Like x 1
  16. XLR82XS

    XLR82XS Member

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    Found cabin filter set on Amazon:
    https://www.amazon.com/WJM-Filter-Replacement-Activated-Compatible/dp/B07TZ5B9TQ/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3HRL3TZX0JOS2&keywords=tesla+model+3+cabin+filter&pd_rd_r=60052b20-1bfe-451c-b81f-70923b79503f&pd_rd_w=cpGRx&pd_rd_wg=sU4nz&pf_rd_p=a3978073-1659-4459-9864-85fa319939df&pf_rd_r=FWDNKC8EVSD7XREVMHVG&pid=hzr4nGs&qid=1566224306&s=gateway&sprefix=tesla+model+3+cab%2Caps%2C158&sr=1-1-catcorr&vehicle=2019-1164-2435-4791--1-6-6-23597--1-1-4683--&vehicleName=2019+Tesla+3
     
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  17. zosoisnotaword

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Messages:
    78
    Location:
    Alabama
    Schedule a service appointment through the app, select HVAC, and in the details box tell them you want to purchase filters to be shipped. Three days after I set the appointment they called, I paid over the phone, and they shipped the filters the next day. I cancelled the appointment after the filters arrived.
     
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  18. plasmo

    plasmo Member

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    Mar 12, 2016
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    Location:
    Chicago
    Thanks for this suggestion. How much did the filters cost? (I assume you bought 2), and did you end up installing the filters yourself?
     
  19. XLR82XS

    XLR82XS Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2019
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    490
    Location:
    SWFL
    Yea, with that shipping time I would order ASAP to have them ready before they require replacement.
     

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