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So what's the latest best practice to avoid AC smell happening in new car?

Brnn

Member
Aug 5, 2019
139
61
United States
I'm aware a SW update was released that was supposed to address this issue. But are there still best practices that need to be followed to avoid the smell long term? Does anyone know what the SW update actually did?

Should Cabin Overheat be set to fan only, for example?

Any examples of newer cars getting the odor?
 

rhaekar

Member
Nov 9, 2017
455
380
San Diego
Turn of AC for cabin overheat protection. If using your AC, especially if it's humid, when you're almost at your destination turn off the AC and re-circulation and let the filters and evap dry out.
 
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m3supra

Closed
Mar 8, 2019
172
139
Bay Area
During the last 5 minutes of driving, turn off ac, turn off recirculate, turn fans up to 7 or so.

This brings in air from the outside To equalize the temperature difference between the environment and in the hvac system. This gives it a chance to dry out the evaporator.
 

XLR82XS

D M C
Jul 26, 2019
3,153
1,954
SWFL | Vegas
FWIW I always keep climate control on AUTO and have never had the smell. Cabin overheat always W/O A/C on. I live in humid south FL.
If there is any update maybe the system works it out on its own to dry the evaporator when it detects extra moisture?
 
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Eno Deb

Active Member
Aug 17, 2018
2,622
3,361
SF Bay Area
During the last 5 minutes of driving, turn off ac, turn off recirculate, turn fans up to 7 or so.
The car automatically runs the fans after about 10-15 minutes when you park it after having used the A/C. Turning the A/C off before you park may actually defeat this (haven't tried it though).

It's now been 3 months since I cleaned my evaporator and changed the filters. The smell hasn't returned. I'm not doing anything special.
 

Common_Loon

Member
Feb 4, 2019
109
134
AUSTIN
I'm aware a SW update was released that was supposed to address this issue. But are there still best practices that need to be followed to avoid the smell long term? Does anyone know what the SW update actually did?

Should Cabin Overheat be set to fan only, for example?

Any examples of newer cars getting the odor?
Talked to a mobile service tech. He said use the fresh air setting rather than recirculate is the best way to prevent it. Particularly if it's dry outside.
 

jdcollins5

Member
Aug 14, 2018
781
565
Wilmington, NC
AC on Auto always and no smell. The additional running of the fan on a past update also helps.

This is not a Tesla problem. Every car I have owned lately will do this if you stop the car with AC running without letting coils warm to prevent condensation puddling.
 

Krazaak

Member
Jul 30, 2017
909
1,015
Charlotte, NC
AC on Auto always and no smell. The additional running of the fan on a past update also helps.

This is not a Tesla problem. Every car I have owned lately will do this if you stop the car with AC running without letting coils warm to prevent condensation puddling.
Technically, with the firmware change to actively dry the coils after use, the Tesla is even less likely to experience this problem vs. needing to remember to do it yourself before you stop the car.
 
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WilliamG

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
4,092
5,703
Seattle, WA
Talked to a mobile service tech. He said use the fresh air setting rather than recirculate is the best way to prevent it. Particularly if it's dry outside.

I never use recirculate. Just so nasty, and means windows steam up so much more. Fine, it may use a little more power to heat the car in the winter, but it's worth not a) getting sick, and b) being able to see out the windows.
 
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rhaekar

Member
Nov 9, 2017
455
380
San Diego
Talked to a mobile service tech. He said use the fresh air setting rather than recirculate is the best way to prevent it. Particularly if it's dry outside.

I never quite understood why this would work. If you're pulling in fresh air, that outside air is usually more humid than the recirculated air.
 

m3supra

Closed
Mar 8, 2019
172
139
Bay Area
I never quite understood why this would work. If you're pulling in fresh air, that outside air is usually more humid than the recirculated air.

The way I understand it, especially with ICE vehicles, is to equalize the temperature between the hvac and the environment. Having your car on recirculating creates a cold and closed space while the environment is hot (especially the engine bays of ICE vehicles).

If you shut your car off in that state, the air condenses and creates moisture. There is limited routes for the air to escape as well since the inlet vent is closed.

That's how I understood it, but I'm no expert. It's been good practice to do this on all vehicles including ICE vehicles. BMWs are notorious for this issue because some models always turn recirculate on when in AUTO.
 
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rhaekar

Member
Nov 9, 2017
455
380
San Diego
The way I understand it, especially with ICE vehicles, is to equalize the temperature between the hvac and the environment. Having your car on recirculating creates a cold and closed space while the environment is hot (especially the engine bays of ICE vehicles).

If you shut your car off in that state, the air condenses and creates moisture. There is limited routes for the air to escape as well since the inlet vent is closed.

That's how I understood it, but I'm no expert. It's been good practice to do this on all vehicles including ICE vehicles. BMWs are notorious for this issue because some models always turn recirculate on when in AUTO.

That totally makes sense. I've done some home remodeling myself and when doing construction, anywhere hot air meets cold surfaces it creates condensation on the cold surface so that's when you need to introduce a vapor barrier to prevent mold growth.
 
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