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Funny smell in my Model S when AC is turn on

Discussion in 'Model S' started by jtran65, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. jtran65

    jtran65 Member

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    Don't know if this topic was address recently.
    I usually do not turn the AC on unless its 79 degrees or higher. The weather has been really cool.
    The other day was humid so I had the AC turn on. I noticed a funny smell coming out of the vent.
    This happen again yesterday.
    I had my car for almost a year now and so far everything has been working great.
    Does anybody experience this at all?
    Planning to call Service center to see what's going on.
     
  2. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    I think that's just reality. Moisture builds up in the ducts and unless it's religiously dried out through frequent use, you get that sort of thing. Happens all cars as far as I know--particularly in more humid climates.

    Auto parts stores make a spray that can help, at least for awhile. You turn on the fan full blast, then spray it into the intakes.
     
  3. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Agreed. Virtually every auto air conditioner in the world does that--especially when you first use it in the spring. Generally the cure is: Ensure the drain isn't plugged, change the cabin air filter, Use the anti-mould spray or liquid.
     
  4. neroden

    neroden Happy Model S Owner

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    Eventually you may need to have the ducts cleaned. I've had to have this done on other cars. If you have really grimy road conditions, all kinds of weird gunk can build up in the ductwork, even on the far side of the air filter.

    I don't know if Tesla Service offers duct cleaning as something they've trained their techs to do. But it's something they'll need to offer eventually
     
  5. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I had that on my GTI for about 3 years. I would blast full heat for about 3 days straight when I drove it (~3-4 hours of drive time) and it would go away for a while. I thought it was just my AC ductwork.

    Then I finally changed my cabin air filter, and 90% of the smell was from that. I would recommend at least pulling your cabin air filter and checking it for odor, mildew.
     
  6. SeminoleFSU

    SeminoleFSU Member

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    mine stinks like mildew/mold wet everytime I run the AC. Never had a car with this problem.. ever. and it is really consistent with this car. Makes me wonder if that's why they added the ionizer in later versions.
     
  7. glhs272

    glhs272 Unnamed plug faced villian

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    Odd, doesn't happen at all with my non-ionizer car. Perhaps there is moisture build-up where there shouldn't be. Or my nose is failing me.
     
  8. Khatsalano

    Khatsalano Member

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    This doesn't happen in my S85D. But when I had a P85D for the last five days, the A/C definitely smelled liked mold when turned on. I have my climate control on AUTO all the time so I guess maybe that's the difference?
     
  9. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Member

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    Maybe a deadmau5 in the ducts ... :smile:
     
  10. spentan

    spentan Active Member

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    Just noticed this in my p85d 2 weeks ago when I was driving la to Vegas.

    Car is 4 months old
     
  11. ENZA

    ENZA Member

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    man... i hate hearing about mildew smells. my 14' prius had the same issue and that's why i got rid of it. i hope this doesn't last on the ms.
     
  12. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    No smell in two plus years. As others have said, change the air filter (the new ones have carbon rather than just being paper). Also check that the drain isn't blocked--that's usually why the system stays damp.
     
  13. ThirdMartini

    ThirdMartini Member

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    I've had that smell once in a while in every car I've owned. A little trick I've found to get rid of it is to turn off AC towards the end of the trip (Or turn it off and put the vents on HIGH heat when parking ). That seems to clear out any condensation enough for the mildew not to take hold.
     
  14. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    What I have done on my other cars is every 6 months to a year, I spray a bottle of Lysol into the intakes while the a/c is on max fan with fresh air (not recirculate).
     
  15. Haggy

    Haggy Member

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    The Lysol solution should work. There are also commercial products available for this. Using the instructions for one of them, but with Lysol, might be a good idea. As many have pointed out, it's a very common problem. Nevertheless I never encountered it in decades of owning other vehicles until it happened to me, but not in the Tesla. Don't blame the specific car for what was in the air.

    Aside from what people mentioned, a good way to avoid it is to leave the climate control on automatic. The car will use the AC to dehumidify when needed, and you won't be likely to use any significant amount of electricity in seasons where it's barely used. There are no fan belts and pulleys that affect the system so it's not a high overhead thing. Turning the AC on max every three months is also a good idea. It's something I mean to do, but never remember. Maybe I should add it to the car's maintenance minder in the "other" category right below tire rotations. Oh wait, the Tesla...never mind the last part. Put it on the calendar. That way it really will pop up on the console.
     

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