Musty smell coming out of vents - Page 2

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Thread: Musty smell coming out of vents

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by VSurfn View Post
    ^^^^^Good advice here.^^^^^ Spray Lysol down into the outside vents by the windshield wipers.
    Unfortunately, spraying Lysol down the exterior vents won't do much as most of the Lysol will be caught by the cabin air filter... I know as I've done exactly that. The idea was a sound one BEFORE the advent of cabin air filters as it coated the entire passage way from the exterior through to the interior with Lysol.

    What I've have done with very limited success is to remove the cabin air filter and spray Lysol into the opening with the fan on high. That does coat the A/C coils with Lysol but does little to nothing to the condensation pan where much of the mould/mildew grows as that part is generally the hardest to keep dry.

    Here's a thread a started a few years ago - Cleaning the A/C Evaporator and casing

    AutoZone sells a version of the foaming cleaner that I referred to in the thread for $10.99 - Quest Odor eliminator OE-1 - Read 1 Reviews on Quest #OE-1

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  3. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by rlouie View Post
    Unfortunately, spraying Lysol down the exterior vents won't do much as most of the Lysol will be caught by the cabin air filter... I know as I've done exactly that. The idea was a sound one BEFORE the advent of cabin air filters as it coated the entire passage way from the exterior through to the interior with Lysol.

    What I've have done with very limited success is to remove the cabin air filter and spray Lysol into the opening with the fan on high. That does coat the A/C coils with Lysol but does little to nothing to the condensation pan where much of the mould/mildew grows as that part is generally the hardest to keep dry.

    Here's a thread a started a few years ago - Cleaning the A/C Evaporator and casing

    AutoZone sells a version of the foaming cleaner that I referred to in the thread for $10.99 - Quest Odor eliminator OE-1 - Read 1 Reviews on Quest #OE-1
    Lysol or even a good car wash soap will work just fine.... Ok, if you want to wast money on some Subaru or aftermarket AC deodorizer, go right ahead.

  4. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by VSurfn View Post
    Lysol or even a good car wash soap will work just fine.... Ok, if you want to wast money on some Subaru or aftermarket AC deodorizer, go right ahead.
    It's not the product - ie Lysol or beach or soap - but how and where it's applied. Like I said, Lysol does get to the A/C coils but it won't drip down in a large enough of a quantity on to the condensation pan to take care of the mould/mildew there. If you can get a long enough of an applicator (or spray head) and direct the Lysol on the condensation pan, that will work just fine. Or if you want to remove the whole assembly and clean it out manually, you can do that as well. Heck, you can even shove a garden hose into that area with plain water and flush the mould/mildew out but obviously, since you can't see where exactly that much water is in there and where the water is going, it's not recommended.

    The other problem with Lysol is the smell. If you use enough of it, it will stay in your A/C system for a few weeks so you better like the scent you picked because it's not going anywhere for a while.

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  6. #14
    That is also something I was concerned with- the constant smell of Lysol coming out of my vents. Lots of good advice. However, just to be on the safe side, I think I am going to take it to my dealership and let them handle it.

  7. #15
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    Mildew or Lysol, one might smell worse than the other but neither of them is good for you.
    What we always used with good results is peroxide, if you ever seen it acting on mould&C. you start getting an idea of what it does.
    The best, and cheapest we found is that laundry peroxide bleach ( or oxygen bleach whatever name the manufacturer decide to market it) its the liquid kind (no soda in that), there is no bleach in it... If you look at the "green" substitutes for common bleach you will easily find one that is just peroxide and water.
    In between all the various chemicals that actually did something to eliminate the smell peroxide is the only one that leaves no odours or smells or residue.
    Getting where it needs to go can be the tricky part, every car is different and sometimes I have been able to use the filter opening other times just used the drain.

    Cars should come with an access port to allow to pour whatever cleaner of choice on evaporator and flush away the condensate pan... dealer, detailers and assorted shops mostly spray some cleaner deodorizer into every opening and call it done, a little bit like spraying febreze on a teen smelly sneakers instead of washing the damn things...

    Ps: and if one mixes stuff dont go mixing bleach and other cleaners with ammonia in it

  8. #16
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    Just a thought..(maybe a silly thought)... I'm presuming the bleach or chemicals is to kill off the mold or bacteria causing the smell? Would it be possible to fit the nozzle of a steam cleaner in there and kill it all with steam?
    We had a similar smelly problem with the filters on one of our house air conditioners. It was awful. So we steamed all the filters and every part of it we could get into and then let it all dry out. And it worked extremely well! No more smells, and even better no chemical smells.

  9. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebsXV View Post
    Just a thought..(maybe a silly thought)... I'm presuming the bleach or chemicals is to kill off the mold or bacteria causing the smell? Would it be possible to fit the nozzle of a steam cleaner in there and kill it all with steam?
    We had a similar smelly problem with the filters on one of our house air conditioners. It was awful. So we steamed all the filters and every part of it we could get into and then let it all dry out. And it worked extremely well! No more smells, and even better no chemical smells.
    If you had direct access to the evaporator it would probably work, but often thats not the case. In the crosstrek, if memory serves, the evaporator is way on the left of the glove compartment, in its box, which means you have to remove most of what's behind the glove compartment, the whole assembly that holds the filter etc to get to the side of the evaporator. I dont even think there is enough room to slide a nozzle in to do the proper work. Since you need good heat for the steam to do its thing if you have to go through a bunch of rubber and plastic you risk ruining that and not cleaning anything.
    Usually with the cars now is the filters and the condensate pan that are the problem, if one keeps those in check it should prevent the evaporator getting nasty.

  10. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrossCanada View Post
    If you had direct access to the evaporator it would probably work, but often thats not the case. In the crosstrek, if memory serves, the evaporator is way on the left of the glove compartment, in its box, which means you have to remove most of what's behind the glove compartment, the whole assembly that holds the filter etc to get to the side of the evaporator. I dont even think there is enough room to slide a nozzle in to do the proper work. Since you need good heat for the steam to do its thing if you have to go through a bunch of rubber and plastic you risk ruining that and not cleaning anything.
    Usually with the cars now is the filters and the condensate pan that are the problem, if one keeps those in check it should prevent the evaporator getting nasty.
    The HVAC heat exchanger is actually right in the middle of the dash behind the stereo and the HVAC controls. There's really only four options to access the area (other than a complete disassembly of the dash...):

    1. Through fan motor/cabin air filter opening. This is the largest opening but is probably the furthest away from the actual coils. The cabin air filter doesn't allow free access as the fan blades get in the way so if you remove the fan blades, you can go right in but you will need approx 3 ft/1m of tubing to get to where you want to go.
    2. Through the fan motor resistor assembly. The resistor which controls the fan motor speed is mounted half the distance between the fan motor and the HVAC coils. It just snaps out of the place but opening is a bit on the small side (approx 2" sq or 5cm x 5 cm) and you would need to do an immediate 90 degree turn. Just remove the glove box as well as the glove box frame to get access.
    3. Through the drain. The output drain tube is located at the floor of the passenger area (as I pointed out in my original post) and outputs just behind the passenger tire. You can spray a chemical wash up through the hose and flood the condensation pan to kill the mould/mildew there. This is the preferred method used by many of the 3rd party cleaning chemicals as it's the same for most cars.
    4. Through the vents. The middle vents seem to be a very common area for 3rd party sprays. I don't recommend spraying anything down there as you might gum up the flaps that redirect air through different vents.

  11. #19
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    Ozone, or Ozium

    I've had this issue in other vehicles. Killing the Oxygen kills the smell this worked wonders under really terrible conditions. This is an MKIV.





    OZIUM



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