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Why Are My Car Vents Blowing Smelly Air?

Car Blowing Smelly Air

It is quite disappointing to hop into your vehicle and turn on the AC and what you get is a musty and foul smell from the vents. It can ruin your ride's quality, and no passenger (or even yourself) would want to sit in a car with a bad odor.

While you might head to the gas station or car wash to get the vehicle cleaned thoroughly inside and out, that can't fix the problem. Instead, it requires the expertise of a certified technician to repair the air conditioning system to restore its proper function. Besides, repairing the problem asap alleviates complex AC issues, which are often pricier.

Causes of Bad Smell from the AC

The primary cause of musty or moldy smell from your vehicle's AC system is mildew growth within the system. The smell resembles that of dirty socks. It is a common automotive issue, usually occurring when you operate the air conditioning on recirculate, not blowing the fan after switching off the AC or shutting off the car motor.

Moist, dirty, and dusty air enter the system and cause mildew growth at various AC parts. However, you'll find the mold lodged on the evaporator and condenser because the dirt and moisture provide a favorable environment for mold, fungus, and mildew buildup. It might not cause serious health concerns, but it surely ruins the quality of your car's interior atmosphere and climate.

How to Fix the Musty Smell from Your AC

Most car owners leave their AC systems on throughout their journey. If you're driving over a long-distance, moist and dirty air will pass through the compressor and evaporator the entire time. When you arrive at your destination, the evaporator remains moist because the AC is still on. The organic matter causes mold buildup on the evaporator, causing the stink. You can fix the issue by:

  • Turning off the AC about 200-300m from your destination, set it to vent mode, and let the fun run for a minute or two.
  • Drying the evaporator using a blower, especially during the wet season, when there're high humidity levels.

If you're looking for AC repair services to rid your car of the musty smell from the vents, call our auto repair shop today!