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Smelly Air Vents


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4 replies to this topic

#1 subyroo

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 11:11 PM

Over this past week I have noticed a foul odour (dirty sweaty body smell) coming through all the air vents on start up and whilst running. (My fan is set on #2 and the vents are set to face level all the time)

I pulled the glove box out today and checked the Cabin Filter as per
http://www.scoobymods.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2109
after getting everything out, I opened up the hatch to check the filter and found the slot empty - NO FILTER.

I then tried spraying some NILODOR into the fan/blower area and then running it on high, this had no effect either.

I have a theory but don't want to go there really but I feel I will have to get to the root of the problem.
I think that the fins on the evaporator of the A/C have collected lint and dust and it gets damp from the A/C and then as it dries out, it begins to rot and this causes the foul odour.

Has anybody come across this odour or read about other Forester - Subaru owners experiencing the same odour problem?



#2 Martinjmpr

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 11:38 PM

Not sure how to remove such odors, but here's what I do to prevent them (or minimize the odors): One of the things that causes odors like this is when running the AC in a humid environment, if you shut off the engine when the AC is still running, the cool temperature of your AC ducting will cause condensation to form and then mold grows where the condensation was.

To avoid this, always turn off the AC before you shut off the car, and run the fan to get the AC ducting up to the same temp as the car.

I think some custom shops have a treatment to spray into the AC vents to kill the mold, but I don't know if it's an expensive or difficult process.

#3 subyroo

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 02:36 AM

Problem solved............

I was having a problem with a foul odour coming from my vents NON A/C air coming through the vents, the smell was something like stale sweaty body odour.
I read about a similar problem on another Forum and somebody said to pour Lysol down the air vent inlet below the bottom edge of the windscreen.

I had never heard of Lysol before but it gave me a better idea, I used good ol' Aussie Eucalyptus Oil mixed in hot water to help release the odour and make it stronger.

Whooppeeeeee! it worked a treat (so far Posted Image ) and it also flushed out a heap of black sooty gunk which I can only put down to being road grime that had got into the vents from rainy days or being flicked up by the tyres and getting in behind the plastic protectors inside the R/H guard ( that's where the gunk came from).

NOTE: Eucalyptus Oil also has the benefit of being able to remove sticky substances like label glue & chewing gum so it works well in removing road grime, however, undiluted Eucalyptus Oil also has the ability to soften or melt some plastics so be careful and remember: if a little bit works wonders a whole will not get you any better result.

I will keep my nose on this one Posted Image over the remainder of this week and report back for other Forum members who may run across this same problem later on. I am not sure if our International friends have access to Aussie Eucalyptus Oil but I am sure they would have an equivalent ie Pine Oil - Lysol etc.

#4 Setright

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 01:03 PM

Where exactly did your pour the oil in? Around the vent or actually into it? Did the grime come into the cabin?

#5 subyroo

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Posted 27 September 2004 - 08:03 PM

Where exactly did your pour the oil in? Around the vent or actually into it? Did the grime come into the cabin?


I poured the oil - water mix into the vent area indicated by the arrows in the image below. I never experienced any water coming into the cabin as I only trickled the mix into the vents as I was aware that water may enter the cabin via here if it was poured in fast enough.

Posted Image




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