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AC odor removal and cleaning

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

  1. Marc_GA

    Marc_GA Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2015
    Messages:
    46
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Never had a car with this problem. Started smelling horrible in less than 9 months with my model 3.

    Local service center has no filters... wonder why?

    Maybe I'll have a car that doesn't smell like a bad shoe sometime this year.
     
    • Like x 2
  2. evannole

    evannole Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2018
    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Georgia
    Schedule an HVAC service in the app. Mobile has the filters, or at least they did a few weeks ago, while the service center did not. They'll text you with a proposed time, but I asked them to simply leave the filters at the Marietta service center with my name on them. My wife paid for and picked them up a day or so later.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. zosoisnotaword

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2017
    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    Alabama
    The total was $63. Filters are $17 each, and they only offered one shipping option - fast and expensive. I'm waiting until it cools down here to do the cleaning and filter replacement, but I'll be doing it myself.
    [​IMG]
     
    • Informative x 4
  4. NathanielHrnblwr

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Messages:
    693
    Location:
    San Diego (Oceanside)
    Getting mine done now. Charging me for the evaporator cleaning and filter. Waiving the filter labor.
     
  5. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    Messages:
    4,845
    Location:
    Palmdale, CA
    Minor update on my ozone treatment progress: The car vents did smell like ozone for a couple of days, which is a bit of an unpleasant odor for those sensitive to smells. It was pretty pungent the day after treatment, so I don't recommend doing this right before a road trip. Also, o3 half life is temperature dependent, so in colder weather it may take longer to fully dissipate. Next time I will leave the car for a day in the driveway baking in the sun (or run the heater) to speed that up.

    Tonight I noticed the ozone smell appears to have fully dissipated leaving no smell at all.

    So, will track how long it lasts.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Informative x 1
  6. JES2

    JES2 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2018
    Messages:
    95
    Location:
    Carrollton, Texas
    Just to add my info. Have had a Model 3 for over a year now. It started to smell about two weeks ago. Pretty bad on start-up, but would dissipate after a few minutes. Based on some of the comments, I ran the heater for about 25 minutes one night. I also turned off cabin overheat protection. Lastly, I turned off air recycle. So far, so good. No bad smell the last few days. I have an appointment in a couple of weeks to change out the filters. (First appointment I have ever made with the service department, no problems other than this in one year.)

    I would have preferred that Tesla just own up to this, and suggest the fixes (assuming these take care of the problem.) I really don't mind replacing the filters yearly. Changing out a few air filters is no big item. I'm in Texas and the temperatures have been well into the 100s the last few weeks. (It was 111 to days ago.)
     
    • Informative x 1
  7. bigroo42

    bigroo42 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2019
    Messages:
    157
    Location:
    mansfield tx
    In TX as well. I park outside during the day. If I turn off cabin overheat protection mode shouldn't I be concerned about the screen or other components getting too hot? I mean I assume it's why it's there. Actually kinda surprised you can disable it.

    My car is not even a week old and I'm not looking forward to this problem. Anything I can do to prevent it from happening all together?
     
  8. Lanzer

    Lanzer Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2018
    Messages:
    146
    Location:
    San Jose
    The problem with AC odor is more to do with Model 3 delivered in 2018, before the firmware knows to keep the fan running to dry the evaporator after AC is turned off. I don't think that cabin overheat protection causes AC odor and I wouldn't turn it off overheat protection even if that's the case. Worst case scenario you just need to spend $35 to replace your air filters after a year and spray some cleaner that cost $15. Only time will tell if the issue is truly fixed with firmware. Many of us will be checking back on this thread after a year. :)
     
    • Like x 2
  9. MacGreiner

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Messages:
    906
    Location:
    MD
    I used the ozone approach on ours. Seems to have improved a bit although I am still running the same filters so I expect better results once those are replaced. Be careful how long you run it in such an inclosed space. I run mine for 10 mins and consider that overkill.
     
    • Like x 1
  10. Solidred

    Solidred Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    So Cal
    turned my cabin heat protection to no a/c smell is gone now
     
    • Like x 1
  11. XLR82XS

    XLR82XS Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2019
    Messages:
    862
    Location:
    SWFL
    This is good advice. Even though I've only had my car a week I turned cabin overheat to NO A/C setting and I haven't had any HVAC smell issues. *fingers crossed*
     
    • Like x 1
  12. BioSehnsucht

    BioSehnsucht Model 3 LR

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,646
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    Perhaps the disabling of overheat protection isn't the fix directly (i.e., it being on wasn't the fault) but just leads to a very hot car - after all one of the suggested fixes was to blast the heat for a while. Perhaps the car just gets hot enough to kill off whatever the smell is ?
     
  13. NathanielHrnblwr

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Messages:
    693
    Location:
    San Diego (Oceanside)
    I think it’s more about disabling the AC for cabin overheat. More AC use = more moisture. Using cabin overhead protection w/o AC will run warm air through there and help keep it dry too. I’ve never had AC for cabin overhead enabled, just regular air. Now that I have a clean evap and new filters, we’ll see how the revised firmware works.
     
    • Like x 1
  14. insaneoctane

    insaneoctane Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,982
    Location:
    Southern California
    Might cost you $0.50 in electricity;)
     
  15. insaneoctane

    insaneoctane Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2016
    Messages:
    2,982
    Location:
    Southern California
    I'm curious why this problem could exist in dry climate like Southern California? It's hot here and dry here. I have cabin overheat disabled and have seen 150 degree F temperatures in my car. What can live through that? I understand the AC produces moisture, but once it's off it seems like this shouldn't be a problem in Southern California....so what's going on here?
     
  16. Firewired

    Firewired Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2013
    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    San Antonio
    I am also in Texas and have had this issue on both our 3s. My wife had the service performed on hers where they sprayed (?) Lysol smelling chemical in vents. Her smell is now back. For my car I have started running AC without circulate about once a week and the smell seems to be gone.
     
  17. Victor66

    Victor66 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Sunnyvale, California
    Which service center was this? The Santa clara location is telling me its not covered under warranty and that I would have to pay $190 to get this done. Curious to know how you described the problem.. Thanks!
     
  18. ryanmrf

    ryanmrf New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2019
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Mission Viejo, CA
    I'm bringing my Model 3 to a service center in 3 weeks for this issue. They quoted me $175 for filter replacement and "AC Odor Removal". I'll try to talk them into waiving the cost.

    Bought the car in spring 2018 (#16XXX). First noticed the smell a few months ago on a hot day. Tried spraying an AC mildew cleaner into the vents but the effects didn't last.
     
  19. plasmo

    plasmo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2016
    Messages:
    401
    Location:
    Chicago
    I really hope swapping the filters will solve the vomit smell problem.
    I took mine to the service center but all they did was clean the vents, and it didn't fix the smell at all.
    Now the smell occurs pretty much every time I start the car (worse when sitting out for a longer period of time).
    I "ordered" 2 filters via the Tesla App service request like some posted here, and will plan on installing myself once they arrive.
    I am getting to the point where I feel "unnecessarily upset" about this "small" issue, but I love my Model 3 --- and this is ruining the experience.
     
  20. dano9258

    dano9258 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2018
    Messages:
    244
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Just do it yourself. It is so easy. You can't just switch out the filters, you have to clean it too. Took me maybe an hour total to include the 20 minute soak time, and then $36 for the filters from the SC. And they have record of you buying the filters then too if they try to deny warranty in the future.
     

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