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Smelly A/C?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by GreenT, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. GreenT

    GreenT Member

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    #1 GreenT, Dec 3, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016
    I've had this "symptom" for over a month and am beginning to think it may be my A/C?

    Can air conditioning smell? A rancid kind of smell?

    I have had my car detailed, scrubbed my garage in case it's picking up a foul smell from rotting anything in the car or garbage cans in the garage.

    I live in a hot climate.

    I don't ever recall having a smelly a/c in my life before.

    I should add, the A/C cools the car fine and the smell only lasts it seems about 5-10 seconds. But still it's concerning me.
     
  2. evbeliever

    evbeliever Member

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    I have noticed a smell if the A/C is off...more of a "heating coil" type smell. It typically goes away after a few minutes or must have got used to it. You might want to check in with service.
     
  3. GreenT

    GreenT Member

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    Heating coil smell would smell like "burning"?? This is more like I'd describe as rotten garbage or "acid". Hard to describe and a video wouldn't help :)

    Service?

    Every time I take my car to service, it comes out with no problems fixed. So fed up with Tesla service. 250 mile round trip.
    Thinking of taking it to a regular car service center.
     
  4. No2DinosaurFuel

    No2DinosaurFuel Active Member

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    The problem is the AC design. This problem will only get worst as more efficient cars comes out. Below is why.

    In the old days AC vents were more open so when you stop and turn off the AC it would dry out by itself easily. Moroever because of the spacing fungus cannot easily bond and form in the vents.

    However with new regulations and new AC design they are much more efficient compared the old. However the one major flaw that I have yet to see any automaker address is the musty smell causes by the fungus or mold.

    The only good solution I have found is the following:

    1) turn off the AC about 5 minutes before arrival but keep the air flowing. This dries out the vents to prevent mold build up.

    2) turn on AC and like others have said it will clear out.

    3) turn on the heat before using the AC and it will help dries out the vents.

    4) don't use the AC at all.
     
  5. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    Also, make sure you haven't left it on recirculate. I find it easy to accidentally leave it on, for example after getting behind a smelly truck, and then never turning it back to fresh air. Over time, leaving it on recirculate can definitely make the A/C smelly.
     
  6. RumRunner

    RumRunner Member

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    I'd be looking for the dead mouse in the ductwork.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  7. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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    GM equipped cars with an afterblow feature that would run the fans for a little while some time after you got out of the car to circulate outside air to dry the vents and A/C system out. (It would only run the fans if the battery voltage was high enough.)
     
  8. FloridaGary

    FloridaGary Member

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    Perhaps condensation is creating mildew in your ac?
     
  9. *KT*

    *KT* Member

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    Or you are sensitive to the ioniser? Is it an old nose S? Those had an ioniser which could be turned on or off, a recent software update appears to have taken away that function and now some people who had it off, have found it back on and getting nauseous.
     
  10. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    Our Acura did this too. You would hear the fan running after the car was turned off for like 15 minutes. It would dry out the system - never had any AC smell from that car. GM's after-blow was enabled on my Volt, but it didn't do as good of a job (still smelly). I think it doesn't run long enough or something.

    Also - there should be a condensation drain somewhere in the system (I dunno where it is on a Tesla). If that gets blocked up with crap, mold will form in the system as well.
     
  11. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I have no issue in my MS. I have had this issue in just about every other car that I have owned. It's mold. So much so that I had the habit of turning off the compressor and recirc a mile or so from home so that the coils could warm up and dry off. That solved the problem. I have not experienced that in this car at all, which I find interesting.
     
  12. thecloud

    thecloud As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive

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    For the first year of ownership, I basically left the climate control set to AUTO. When you live in a place that's warm most of the year, the AUTO setting means air conditioning with recirculated air. Eventually the A/C started to smell musty for the first couple of minutes after starting up. To fix that, I made sure to manually switch to the fresh air setting before leaving the car. This allowed any moisture to dry out, and the smell went away.

    (I sure wish the main display explicitly showed whether recirculated or fresh air was set, as it used to when I first got my car. My brain has now trained itself to interpret AUTO as "probably recirc" and CUSTOM as "probably fresh air.")
     

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