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Why Do My Ac Vents Stink?

During the hot summer months, there’s nothing quite as refreshing as driving with your air conditioner fully cranked and producing cold air. Sometimes, however, the air coming from your AC vents can emit a horrible, stinky smell. Each smell is different, and there’s usually a reason for it. Check out these various smells that could come from your AC vents and what’s causing them so you can fix it.
Stinky Mildew

The air coming from your car’s AC dehumidifies as it cools, so mildew is one of the most common culprits for bad smells. When excess water collected from the air is not drained away correctly, that moisture can linger. Over time, mold and mildew can grow, especially if you live in a humid area. Replace the filter and if that doesn’t work, take your vehicle to a professional who can clean your car’s AC system thoroughly.

Smelly Feet

Imagine driving in the summertime, turning on the AC, and immediately noticing the horrible fragrance of stinky feet. This is typically caused by stagnant water that has collected in your air vents. A quick cleaning using a disinfectant should help, and you should also check to see if the vents need any repair and draining.

Cigarette Smoke

If you smoke or the previous owner of your car smoked, those fumes can easily be pulled into the AC’s evaporator coil. This smoky odor will permeate the coil, and then blast it into the air every time you run your car’s air conditioner. Clean the evaporator coil, and it should reduce or remove the smell of cigarette smoke entirely.

A Strong Burning Odor

Burning smells are certainly something to be concerned about, as they often indicate a potential mechanical problem. In most cases, it’s a result of a faulty AC fan or compressor. Turn the air conditioner off and then check for the burning odor near the equipment. If it’s a strong smell, you should take your car in to see a professional who can fix the issue as soon as possible.

The Smell of a Gas Leak

When you turn on your AC in the car and smell gas, there could be a leak, which is a serious problem. Whenever you turn on the car and then the AC, the scent of gas is being sucked into the fresh air that your AC is taking in. You’ll need to have the actual leak repaired as soon as possible. It could be a result of faulty O rings in the fuel injector or another exhaust problem. Either way, you should have this annoying smell addressed sooner rather than later.

Come see the professionals at Meadows Automotive located in Waterford Township, MI or give us a call at 248-383-1535 to schedule an appointment so we can address your AC repair needs today.

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