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AC odor removal and cleaning

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

  1. SMAlset

    SMAlset Well-Known Member

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    Not familar with the dry cycle and didn't see anything in the current manual or in any release notes that I received. More info?
     
  2. Firedog7881

    Firedog7881 Member

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    Received my M3 back in Nov ‘18 and just got the smell beginning/middle June (8 months-ish). I thought someone sprayed something in my car. The timing proves it, I started smelling it right when it was getting really hot and humid here in Florida.

    Florida car, so very humid. Garage kept, work from home.

    I found some nice smelling Lysol spray and sprayed the intake under the hood for a good 20-30 seconds about once a wee with the windows open. This worked great. I tried to keep it on outside air and it kept changing back to recirc, apparently that could be a bad sensor?

    Thanks for the instructions.
     
  3. Eno Deb

    Eno Deb Active Member

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    It's not an official name and was not mentioned in any release notes as far as I know. Basically, when you park the car after using the A/C, the fans will come on after 10-15 minutes or so and blow for a while to dry the evaporator and filter.
     
    • Informative x 2
  4. Eno Deb

    Eno Deb Active Member

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    It'll probably not last long that way because the spray won't reach the evaporator (because it'll be blocked by the air filter).
    If you have it on "auto" and it's hot outside, it may switch to recirc to cool down the car faster.
     
  5. Firedog7881

    Firedog7881 Member

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    As someone else said “too smart for its own good.” If I want it on outside air it should stay on outside air. Where is the manual lever that opens and closes the damper and you hear it opening and closing?
     
  6. Eno Deb

    Eno Deb Active Member

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    Well, you can always turn off "auto". I never use it because it often turns the fans up too high (loud) for my taste.
     
  7. Vintre

    Vintre Member

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    Add me to the list of bad smelling AC. Mine smells like bad milk when I first turn it on. Seems to go away after a few minutes, or I just get used to it.

    Vin 28,XXX
    Mileage 40K Kms
    Picked up in June 2018

    Will see if it persists and if so, will speak with SC and if no satisfaction there, will try the evaporator cleaner.

    Thanks to the OP for instructions.

    Vin
     
  8. Dr. J

    Dr. J Member

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    On the dash of my 1998 Honda Accord. :)
     
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  9. run-the-joules

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    Where did you find klima cleaner? Nobody seems to have it in stock except 12-packs on amazon…
     
    • Like x 1
  10. Eno Deb

    Eno Deb Active Member

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    When I ordered a few weeks ago they were selling single cans. Will probably be back in stock soon. Although, it seems for Tesla drivers the 12-pack might be appropriate. :p
     
    • Funny x 1
  11. run-the-joules

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    Maybe I'll buy the 12 pack and sell it to other local drivers at $20 a can…
     
    • Funny x 1
  12. suitep

    suitep Member

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    I provided previous information about this problem that is consistent with many automobiles. The common issue you have here is that the mould forms primarily as the result of using the recirculating function of the HVAC system. The organisms that provide the material for growth originate within the car primarily from the occupants. Fresh air is fresh air and has virtually nothing in it to provide food for the growth of mould or other scum. When on outside air only; the incoming air is filtered of components that could cause a growth issue. With no contaminants available to support the growth; you remove the ability to develop the smell. Most automobiles are deferred to outside air with the recirculating function as a manual only selection. It is very simple. Use outside fresh air and there is a dramatic reduction in the ability to develop and feed the organism that creates the smell. It also works better in the winter months because the lowered humidity causes less vision fog inside the car on the windows. Also consider that these smelly organisms are detrimental to your health.
     
    • Informative x 1
  13. RandomJohnny

    RandomJohnny Member

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    So are you saying that only outside air goes through the filter? I don't think that is correct.

    Oct 18 Build. Started getting the vinegar smell about a month ago. It only seems to happen after driving for a bit, stop at location, and restart. Last for like a minute. Never smell it when initially leaving house (probably bc of dry out from firmware update). Also don't notice very often when out and about bc usually turn on ac before getting in car and thus it is probably already gone.

    I tried turning off recirculation from auto but just can't stand the smell of other cars, etc.

    I'm curious how Tesla will handle this because I suspect it will only get worse over time as more cars develop it. I'm hesitant about the sprays. Does it really kill the mold? Is it really just masking the smell? I would rather have a minute of vinegar smell vs constant chemical smell.

    Anyway, I hope people keep speaking up about this. Maybe Tesla will have to replace coils with a coated version to prevent mold?
     
  14. 127.0.0.0

    127.0.0.0 Member

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    I smell it if it is sitting in hot sun and overheat cabin comes on.. When I first come in the car I smell it in my Car. What can be done to fix this ?
     
  15. Eno Deb

    Eno Deb Active Member

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    Well, that's not the case for me. I almost never use recirc mode (only when there is a stink outside or I'm behind an old smoke-belching Diesel), and I still got the A/C smell. I think it's simply condensation on the evaporator, which is unavoidable whether you use recirculation or not. The problem may be aggravated in the Model 3 because the air filter is right next to the evaporator (it may get damp and thus store more humidity).
     
  16. suitep

    suitep Member

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    Most cars including the Tesla have a cabin filter for cleaning outside air....not inside air. The only access to fresh air is through the outside air cabin filter....which is a very good filter. Outside air is less humid than inside air......and the evaporator removes significant moisture from that air source. I will continue to operate my 2016 S on fresh air year round.....with no smell at all.
     
  17. Eno Deb

    Eno Deb Active Member

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    When you switch to recirculation the inside air is definitely routed through the cabin air filters. There is no way for air to flow through the A/C evaporator without also flowing through the filters (which are mounted directly in front of the evaporator).
     
    • Like x 1
  18. Lanzer

    Lanzer Member

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    I ended up buying mine at Autogeek. They had a 15% promo and shipping is free at $50 so I ended up buying 3. I only need 2 but it makes sense to just pay a few bucks to get free shipping. Anyways if you're in the bay area I can sell my extra bottle to you. PM me if interested.
     
    • Love x 1
  19. Vintre

    Vintre Member

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    I did this as soon as I read it. Makes sense to me.

    Ever since, no smell.

    I am going to replace my filters and give the evaporator a cleaning if I can ever find the stuff as well as leave the cabin overheat setting to outside air only.

    Thanks for the thread and help.

    Sincerely,

    Vin
     
  20. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 100D 2019.32.2.2

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    Where do you set cabin overheat to outside air only? I've heard about that but when I poked around, I couldn't find the setting. :confused:
     

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