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Old 09-06-2004, 12:16 AM   #1
cdibi
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Default Musty Smell in Air Vents?

Whenever I turn my air conditioner on I get a musty smell for the first 5-10 seconds and then it goes away. Anybody else experience this and have a remedy? Was thinking of spraying some fabreeze or something into the air intake, which I believe is just below the windshield in the engine compartment.
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Old 09-06-2004, 12:18 AM   #2
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I have this as well and am curious to see responses. So at least your not alone
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Old 09-06-2004, 12:22 AM   #3
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I get this too. I've seen a fungicide spray somewhere for exactly this purpose - just can't remember where I saw it or what the name of the product is. (It sucks to have C.R.S.*- we should have a C.R.S.* telethon! )

I'd try an auto parts store like Pep Boys or Autozone and see if they have a fungicide spray. The problem is that area collect moisture making it a natural habitat for fungus to form, and for that smell.








*C.R.S. - Can't Remember S**t
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Old 09-06-2004, 12:23 AM   #4
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Im in on this one....lets get some remedies goin here...
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Old 09-06-2004, 12:49 AM   #5
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GM has a special disinfectant, I can't recall the part number, but know it is expensive. Try a couple of bottles of Hydrogen Peroxide, pour in vents by windshield wipers. Have car running with heater on. Then put in a bottle of Mr. Clean pine, lemon, etc. whatever you like. This will usually take care of fugus and smell. Good Luck, let us know how it works out. Save the Wave.>George
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Old 09-06-2004, 01:05 AM   #6
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The smell comes from bacteria growing on the condenser (I think thats what its called) which is nice and moist. You can reduce the amount of moisture in that area by running the fan (with no a/c) for the last few miles before you stop the car. This will help evaporate some of the water thats lingering around.
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Old 09-06-2004, 02:12 AM   #7
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Check your evaporator box drain. It is most likely clogged. Mine was and did the same thing. Condensation builds up in there. It's on the firewall kinda behind the motor. It's a little rubber "L" shaped elbow fitting. Unclogged it and water came out. Problem solved. It took a few days for the smell to go away completely after the drain was unclogged. I didnt need the deodorizer spray, but you may. I heard the Autozone stuff works fine.

There are some good tips on the forum. Use the search to find out more.

(Subw00er: the Evaporator is in the dash, the Condensor is in front of the radiator)

Good Luck!
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Old 09-06-2004, 02:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve92LT1
Check your evaporator box drain. It is most likely clogged. Mine was and did the same thing. Condensation builds up in there. It's on the firewall kinda behind the motor. It's a little rubber "L" shaped elbow fitting. Unclogged it and water came out. Problem solved. It took a few days for the smell to go away completely after the drain was unclogged. I didnt need the deodorizer spray, but you may. I heard the Autozone stuff works fine.

There are some good tips on the forum. Use the search to find out more.

(Subw00er: the Evaporator is in the dash, the Condensor is in front of the radiator)

Good Luck!
Steve
Here is what another member posted some time ago:
Raise the right front of the car - use a jack stand for support. The a/c evaporator drain hose is a rubber, 90-degree hose attached to a hard plastic nipple that protrudes from the firewall. While the engine is cool, remove the hose. It is behind the right engine head. There is very little room to work, but it can be done. I used a small, screw driver size "tack puller" to help me pop the hose off of the nipple.
Clean out the rubber hose. You will probably find white, crusty material in it. Cut off the end of the rubber hose where it is moulded into the size of a small split pea. The opening is prone to clogging and does not permit enough water to drain during high humidity conditions.
Use a plastic "zip tie" and push the non-clasp end into the plastic nipple. This will help clear any residual material. Replace the rubber hose on the plastic nipple and lower the car.
Although a Chevrolet dealer replaced my car's computer and reprogrammed it under the new car warranty - they did not dry out the car. When I got it home, I removed the right seat (very easy) and then the carpet/pad (very easy). I was amazed at how much water remained in the carpet and pad. I disenfected the floor pan and dryed the carpet in the sun. I replaced the carpet and there has been no smell.
This C5 defect is a very common one during warm, humid weather and one that Chevrolet has chosed to ignore. Please contact me by email if you have any further questions. Good luck
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Old 09-06-2004, 08:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdibi
Whenever I turn my air conditioner on I get a musty smell for the first 5-10 seconds and then it goes away. Anybody else experience this and have a remedy? Was thinking of spraying some fabreeze or something into the air intake, which I believe is just below the windshield in the engine compartment.
there has been a tsb on this out for years.
there is a two part fix:
first is a special spray gm has part #12377951 "cooling coil coating" which kills smell and coats coils so it doesn't come back (it will come back over time in high humid areas if second part isn't done).

second part is a fan relay switch installed to turn fan on to dry coils after car is shut off (providing that a/c was used.

i posted the info on tsb here before so search may show it up.

i had this on 5 camaro ss's before this vette and used just part 1 of fix as i don't keep my cars very long but any masking spray is short lived at best and smell will come back...the gm stuff seems to work very well.

and a quick fix many dealers use is "fridgi-fresh" very good stuff but agian just a masking spray not a cure.
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Old 09-07-2004, 04:29 PM   #10
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Used to have this problem on my old truck. I would just turn the a/c on high (but not recirculating), roll down the windows, and spray about 1/2 a can of Lysol through the vents in front of the windshield. This will kill any mildew or bacteria in the system.

If you suspect you might be part of the smell problem, leave the windows up and sit in the car while someone else does the spraying.
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Old 09-07-2004, 07:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SA04
If you suspect you might be part of the smell problem, leave the windows up and sit in the car while someone else does the spraying.
A little warning would be great before posting something that funny. I'm cleaning up chocolate milk off my keyboard....




Mark
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Old 09-07-2004, 11:27 PM   #12
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I saw a product on Two Guy's Garage (Spike TV) the other day that will address this problem. They showed a can being sprayed up the drain tube. and it cleaned the evaporator coil and removed the smell. You might search their web site for more details, sorry but I can't remember the product name (CRS these days).
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Old 09-07-2004, 11:51 PM   #13
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As mentioned above, but in more detail..

99-01-39-004A
A/C - Odor Emission in Hot Weather
May, 2001


Subject: Air Conditioning Odor (Install Kit)

Models: 1993-2002 Passenger Cars, 1993-2002 Light & Medium Duty Trucks


This bulletin is being revised to update the model years, service procedure, parts information and to add the GEO and Medium Duty models. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 99-01-39-004 (Section 01 - HVAC).


Condition

Some customers may comment on odors emitted from the air conditioning system, primarily at start-up in hot humid climates.


Cause

This odor may be the result of microbial growth on the evaporator core. When the blower motor fan is turned on, the microbial growth may release an unpleasant, musty odor into the passenger compartment. There are several other possible sources of a musty odor in a vehicle. A common source is a water leak. Follow the Service Manual procedure for identifying and correcting water leaks if other odor sources are found. The procedure contained in this bulletin is only applicable if the source of the odor has already been determined to be the HVAC module.


Correction

To remove odors of this type, it is necessary to eliminate the microbial growth and prevent its reoccurrence. To accomplish this, the following steps must be completed:

# Apply evaporator core Cooling Coil Coating (Aerosol 6 oz), P/N 12377951 (AC Delco(R) 15-102) (in Canada, use P/N 10953503) or Cooling Coil Coating Kit with Extension Nozzle, P/N 12346391 (AC Delco(R) 10-120). Refills are available for the Cooling Coil Coating Kit with Extension Nozzle, P/N 12346391 (AC Delco(R) 10-120). Refer to the chart below.
# Install the Electronic Evaporator Dryer, P/N 12497910 (AC Delco(R) 15-5876).

Important: The Cooling Coil Coatings listed above are the only GM approved products for the disinfection and long-term control of evaporator microbial growth. The Cooling Coil Coating will disinfect the evaporator core and help inhibit the growth of future mold and mildew.

The Electronic Evaporator Dryer will activate when the ambient temperature near the module is above 16C (60F) when the vehicle is started up. Approximately 30 minutes after the vehicle has been turned off, the blower will activate for 10 seconds every 10 minutes for 2 hours unless the vehicle is restarted. If a restart occurs, the Electronic Evaporator Dryer module will reset automatically. This on/off blower activation will dry the evaporator core and case reducing the chance of reoccurring A/C odor. The Electronic Evaporator Dryer is self fused and has a battery rundown protection feature that inactivates the dryer if voltage drops below 12.5 volts.


Service Procedure

# Visually inspect the air conditioning evaporator drain hose for obstructions and/or working condition.
# The cooling coil coating fluid must be applied to a dry evaporator core. Apply coil coating fluid as described in the instructions supplied with the kit. In some instances, the blower motor resistor can be removed for this spraying operation. If used, the opening can be taped over and the nozzle inserted through a hole in the tape. The kit instructions identify a drilling procedure to apply the coating fluid. When using this type of procedure, care must be taken to avoid evaporator damage and any holes must be properly sealed. Some coating fluid may overflow from the drain hose.

Important: When installing the Electric Evaporator Module, you MUST use the included electrical splice connectors to ensure a splice.
# Complete detailed installation instructions and wire connectors are supplied with the Electronic Evaporator Dryer. The ground wire should be attached to a body ground source. If any other wire splicing procedures are needed, follow the wire repair procedures in the Electrical sub-section of Body & Accessories in the appropriate Service Manual. I f required, the evaporator dryer can be installed underhood away from extreme heat conditions (i.e. exhaust manifolds) and/or water splash areas. In all cases, the evaporator dryer module must be secured with a Velcro(R) strip (not included in the kit), or you may use the integral hooks to utilize tie straps. Using a Velcro(R) strip is preferred as the use of the integral hooks may cause rattles.
# When the installation procedure is complete and power is supplied, the module will self-test. Thirty seconds after power is supplied, the high blower speed will be activated 3 times (for 2 seconds per cycle). When the test has run, install the Electronic Evaporator Dryer label on the blower motor case in a visible area.


Parts Information

Parts are currently available from GMSPO.
Part Number Description
12377951
(AC Delco 15-102) Cooling Coil Coating
(Aersol 6 oz)
12346391
(AC Delco 15-120) Cooling Coil Coating Kit w/Extension Nozzle
12346390
(AC Delco 15-121) Refill for Cooling Coil Coating Kit
12497910
(AC Delco 15-5876) Electronic Evaporator Dryer Module Kit


Warranty Information

Labor Operation Description Labor Time
D3316 Apply Cooling Coil Coating/Install Electronic Evaporator Dryer 0.8 hr
For vehicles repaired under warranty, use the table as shown.
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Old 09-08-2004, 12:21 AM   #14
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Wow! That made my head hurt. I was told the trick is to shut off your AC a mile or two before parking to let the water drain out, therefore no bacteria builds in the system. Works for me!
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Old 09-08-2004, 08:02 PM   #15
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I checked out the product on the "Two Guys" site. Looks like a similar pruduct to what Smokeytirez was suggesting. Where exactly does this stuff get sprayed? I'm not sure where the condensor is located.
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Old 09-09-2004, 12:18 PM   #16
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Kool-It Evaporator & Heater Core Foam
http://www.lubegard.com/automotive/radiator_foam.html
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Old 09-09-2004, 12:28 PM   #17
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The information available on this site, never ceases to amaze me. Talk about strength in unity.
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Old 09-09-2004, 12:36 PM   #18
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The condensation, especially during times of high humidity is bad.
Better Janie??

Last edited by srchief100; 09-14-2004 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 09-09-2004, 02:08 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyTirez
As mentioned above, but in more detail..

99-01-39-004A
A/C - Odor Emission in Hot Weather
May, 2001


Subject: Air Conditioning Odor (Install Kit)

Models: 1993-2002 Passenger Cars, 1993-2002 Light & Medium Duty Trucks
.
.
.

Warranty Information

Labor Operation Description Labor Time
D3316 Apply Cooling Coil Coating/Install Electronic Evaporator Dryer 0.8 hr
For vehicles repaired under warranty, use the table as shown.

Is this saying that this can be done as a warranty item?

Has anyone had this done under warranty?

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Old 09-10-2004, 08:07 AM   #20
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The smell is usually caused by mildew growing on the coils of the a/c system. It's very common in the south and is easy to correct. Note, however, that if you live in a warm (hot) humid area the problem will return after 6 months or so. Wynn Oil Co has a product called AircoFresh that will fix it. It may be hard to find because it's new. It' s just an aerosol product so you don't have to be an engineer to use it.
Here's a link to there site for more info. Just scroll down until you see the AircoFresh. There's also an area where you can look up local distributors.
http://www.wynnsusa.com/new.asp
Bill
2002 Z06
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Old 09-10-2004, 08:07 AM
 
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