odor from air conditioner

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by WantEV, Nov 19, 2018.

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  1. WantEV

    WantEV Member

    Hi Clarity drivers: Have you had issue with vinegar, old sock-like foul odor from your air conditioner? How do I get rid of it?
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  3. petteyg359

    petteyg359 Well-Known Member

    I've smelled exhaust from mine sometimes, but so far every time that's happened I've had it on "auto" and it had switched to outside air instead of running the A/C or heat. Make sure it isn't on "auto" (the driver's side temperature dial should not have a green light) if you want to keep it recirculating the inside air and avoid foul odors from outside.
  4. rinthos

    rinthos New Member

    Various "smells" likely to occur when using the heater sadly since it is not a conventional heater...that being said if there is any sort of coolant leak or if someone spilled something under the hood you may be smelling that :(.

    There is a service bulletin for a fix to the climate control 3 way valve so if you smell moisture I would take it into the dealer asap and see if that applies to your vehicle.
  5. WantEV

    WantEV Member

    thanks; mine only smells when using AC (cold) not when running heater.. outside air or recirculate didn't matter. I will call the dealer an see if my car is applicable!
  6. bpratt

    bpratt Active Member

    Air Conditioner units remove moisture from the air and should drain it through a small tube onto the ground. Maybe yours is not draining properly which can give you a sour smell when you first turn it on.
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  8. WantEV

    WantEV Member

    I will drive home with AC blasting and then look for a puddle of water after parking!
  9. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    Do you live in a humid part of the country? If you run your A/C and stop the car w/o allowing the cooling grill to dry out, mold grows on it and that causes the odor, which gets worse with heating. To avoid that, always turn off the A/C while leaving the fan on for a couple of minutes before you turn off the car and/or fan.
  10. WantEV

    WantEV Member

    i am in SoCal, so I wouldn't consider it too humid? I have not run fans with ac off (which requires going into touchscreen), so I will try that... also, does anyone know if "Auto AC" is smart enough to keep foul smell away?
  11. E72

    E72 New Member

    You should NOT be smelling your own exhaust for any reason. If you are, then you probably have an exhaust leak and need to get it looked at sooner rather than later. Use the recirculate setting until you get it resolved. If it's just short duration random exhaust smells from other vehicles, that's fairly normal.

    As for the AC smell issue, the Clarity may be different, but turning the AC off is one of the easiest ways for mold and mildew to grow on the coil. I learned this the hard way. Smelly socks one spring after I turn the AC off during winter. I pulled the cabin filter, turn the air on high, and sprayed a disinfectant into the fresh air intake. A couple treatments killed the smell for me. Now I leave our cars in AUTO mode year round and have yet to see a reoccurrence.
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  13. WantEV

    WantEV Member

    Thanks, watching youtube videos on disinfecting ac system!
  14. megreyhair

    megreyhair Active Member

    I think there is a cabin filter. check that too.
    I used to do this in my bmw.
    Turn AC on and blast fan to high. Open all windows. Make sure no one is in the car. Spray lysol into the cabin air intake , which should be near the base of the wiper arm. then let it run for awhile.
  15. kcsunshine

    kcsunshine Active Member

    My wife used to complain about the musty odor in our previous car. When I got my Clarity, it had the same musty odor from the beginning. It usually happens when turning on the AC initially. I heard some people say that you should run the car with the AC off before reaching your destination for the last 10-15 minutes to get rid of the moisture. I think that is too much trouble and uncomfortable.
  16. WantEV

    WantEV Member

    this morning I drove with "Auto AC" mode set at 70 deg (outside was 50) and it didn't smell. I think I will try leaving it at Auto and see if this will work when outside is hot. I see people try: 1) spray lysol-type aerosol disinfectant into cabin air intake from outside, 2) "bomb" type aerosol inside sealed car with recirculation, 3) alcohol-based foam injected into condenser via tubing into the vents. There seem to be a minority of people having big issues (damages from lysol, leaked alcohol) from these treatments.
  17. E72

    E72 New Member

    If you have an issue that will not go away, then try #1 from your list but remove the cabin air filter first and replace with a new one when you're confident the smell is gone. As for auto mode, I'd just leave it in auto year round. It worked fine in my cars except the one time I thought turning off the AC in winter would save me some money (fuel). Altima Hybrid is 10 years old and only had the issue the one time I took it off auto for a few months.
  18. brownie17

    brownie17 New Member

    Yes, I had this experience with an unpleasant smell from my air conditioner. And I couldn't figure out what was going on and why my car smelled like a dead rat.
  19. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Well-Known Member

    Always a good idea to run the A/C at least once a month, even in winter. Helps to keep things dried out. Noticed mine had a funky smell when I ran it the other day.
    brownie17 likes this.
  20. brownie17

    brownie17 New Member

    I agree with your idea.
    As for me, when I finally discovered that this smell was coming from my air conditioner, I was both happy and upset at the same time.
    I was glad because I finally found the cause of the terrible smell in the room, because I thought that it was time to make big repairs. And I was really upset because it was very hot and without air conditioning it is impossible to tolerate this heat. And so, I had to contact the air conditioning repair servicing to get them to fix this problem. (The mechanic couldn't do it). I am grateful to them for their quick work and for not leaving me without air conditioning to die from the heat.
  21. Rav

    Rav Member

    I have this problem too. Never had this issue with any other vehicle I've owned. It's embarrassing to have a new car that smells disgusting. Yet another reason why I hate Honda.
  22. netvm

    netvm New Member

    2018 Clarity. Drive in EV mode most of the time. Car is in AUTO mode all the time. Sometime had similar smell in the past. But not caught my attention since I thought squirrels around parking lot might be the issue. But now I park my car in the garage all the time and my garage is fairly clean. Several days ago, smell strong odor when start the AC while driving. Yesterday I checked my cabin filter. It looks very clean. I had my dealer replaced the cabin filter 4 months ago. So it should be clean and not the source of the smell. Yesterday and today are a little better. But still wonder if something is wrong with the Clarity.
  23. turtleturtle

    turtleturtle Active Member

    Try forcing the car to external vent with the AC on. Constant fresh air and as it continues to dehumidify the external air, it effectively washes the condenser. I used to have this problem on a Corolla and this was the fix.

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