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UGH - The smell of it. [AC Smell]

KenR

Member
Mar 31, 2016
113
76
Atlanta
Hi all,
First day stander in line... Have my Model 3 since April of 2018 and gave in and let Tesla Mobile service my filters and awful sneaker smell on June 4th. Well 2 weeks later and the smell was back. I made another appointment using the APP and was pretty clear about the situation. They of course came back with the same estimate of $137 for filters and the Kool It. I messaged back..wait isn't there some kind of warranty on this? You can't expect someone to pay every 2-3 weeks for this. Obviously the stories about how to keep the air on or how to dry it out or how the software was updated to combat this are just not true...at least for me.

I remember way back that someone got an additional part replaced under warranty that helped alleviate the amount of moisture collection in the system. A google search has failed me so I thought I would post here.
Otherwise I have been messaging them that I don't think I should pay again.... and would cancel before shelling out this kind of money on a regular basis. I just had double knee replacement so doing it myself is not the option lately.

Any one else experience the quick return of the smell and did Tesla do a redo ? If so was there a charge? Thanks in advance.
 

ord3r

Member
Jun 27, 2018
240
463
California
That sounds bad! I am getting mine done for the second time today, though this is 1.5 years later after the first treatment. Will let you know how it goes.
 

Frank99

April 2018 Model 3 LR RWD, EAP, FSD
Apr 7, 2016
349
467
Arizona
Haven’t heard of anything to replace other than filters, and I’ve had mine since May 2018 and hang out on the various forums way more than I should.

The smell seems to come mostly from the filters-perhaps they touch the evaporator coil and get wet. I’m surprised you’re still having the issue this bad-Tesla pushed an update last year that runs the fan for something like 15 minutes after you park to dry out the a/c system.
I’m guessing you got a tech who didn’t do his job-swapped filters but didn’t clean the coil or something like that. Could also be that the drain is plugged, but from what I’ve seen that would be really unlikely.
 
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Jimbydude

Member
Jun 12, 2019
65
74
SF East Bay
My wife has early 2018 and still has this smell, never been to tesla for it but had changed filters, cleaned with the foamy stuff etc, but always appears back, seemingly at random.

I have 2019 and never had the smelll.
 

KenR

Member
Mar 31, 2016
113
76
Atlanta
Unfortunately you have to be a contortionist to get the screw off. I am 6'3 football player build. Not football player money though. And so I splurged. I did replace mine the first time and lost the screw in the car...so the cover was taped on. The first guy found a screw that was close and used that so today will be interesting to see if it comes off ok and goes back on. They are redoing it as a courtesy today....
 
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android04

Member
Apr 1, 2016
480
485
Southeast Nebraska
If you are replacing the filters yourself, spend the $10 and buy this replacement screw that you can turn with your fingers. Makes it easier not having to use any tools. Tesla Model 3/Y Cabin Air Filter Access Panel Screw Alternative Replacement | eBay

Here's a picture of the replacement next to the cover, the original screw, and another giant knob that I was thinking of using to make my own replacement.
IMG_20210626_034529__01.jpg
 

android04

Member
Apr 1, 2016
480
485
Southeast Nebraska
Abstract Ocean (and others) sell magnetic replacement air filter covers that eliminate the screw hassle altogether.
I bought one of those magnetic covers and could not get it to fit correctly. I think it might have been warped or the original cover snapped into it put too much pressure on it and would bend it. The replacement screw from eBay was a better solution for me. For the DIY types, the bigger knob in my picture can be drilled out and the original screw inserted and epoxied in for about $4 worth of materials.
 

Jonabramson

Member
Apr 27, 2019
45
23
Fort Lauderdale, FL
I replaced my filter and cleaned it with evaporator cleaner about 6 months ago. If you get a short torx driver (about 4") it isn't that tough to get in there and remove the screw. Only takes about 15 minutes. Get good HEPA filters to replace with.
 
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fortunex

Member
Mar 19, 2021
75
25
Arizona
We had the smell. A short blast only. I turned on the air conditioner, raised the temp and fan to max and let it blow for 10-15 minutes. Smell has been gone for 2 weeks so far.
Need clarification. "raised the temp and fan to max" as in the AC isnt blowing cold air, just a large amount of ambient air?

Or "turned on the AC" and running the AC fan on max with very cold air?
 
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Stingray.Don

Member
Apr 13, 2020
40
66
Indianapolis
I removed the cabin filter and cleaned the condenser. Instead of replacing the cabin filter, I installed an aftermarket filter that goes in the frunk. Granted, it may not be quite as effective, but it eliminates any odors and is much easier to replace.
 

android04

Member
Apr 1, 2016
480
485
Southeast Nebraska
Need clarification. "raised the temp and fan to max" as in the AC isnt blowing cold air, just a large amount of ambient air?

Or "turned on the AC" and running the AC fan on max with very cold air?
More like turn on the heat to the highest setting and fan to 10 for a little while. That heat has helped some dry out the filters and probably kill any mold that might be on them or the coils.
 

KenR

Member
Mar 31, 2016
113
76
Atlanta
This time they brought a very small can of something that just smelled nice.. LOL and they replaced the 2 week old filters. I am gonna start a new thread titled ...they broke my speaker...what does that speaker do.... LOL Stay tuned. I was not charged.
 

Mrcarcrazy

Another internet expert @ no charge
May 22, 2019
893
929
South Padre Island, Tx
This time they brought a very small can of something that just smelled nice.. LOL and they replaced the 2 week old filters. I am gonna start a new thread titled ...they broke my speaker...what does that speaker do.... LOL Stay tuned. I was not charged.
Most likely just forgot to plug it in.
 

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