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Odor From The A/c


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I recently purchased a 2001 GS300...love everything about the car, except for the fowl odor when the A/C is on. Smells like a damp, mildew laced cellar. I replaced the cabin filter behind the glove box, and even had a detail shop spray the air freshener through the intake for 15 minutes, but that only lasted 2 days.

I have read elsewhere (other forums) that other people experience the same problem. How can I get rid of this smell? I am taking it to the local Lexus dealer tmrw morning, but really have no idea what to expect. Hopefully they can locate the source.

Can anyone shed any light on my situation, other than remove the dead animal?

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You may have mildew buildup in the evaporator. If the mildew has been there for a while the air freshner won't fix it. There use to be a spray product called friggi-fresh that you can spray through the vents under the wiper blades. This may help kill some of the mold or mildew that's on the evap. Otherwise the only other thing to do is to remove the evap & clean it or replace it.

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Thanks for the reply, I just heard back from the Lexus service dept and they said it is likely mildew built up in the evaporator core or the hoses. They are going drill a hole in the case and flush out the core, using a anti-bacterial foam. He said it was 60-70% effective in removing the odor for at least 12 months. The problem usually occurs when owner's neglect to change the cabin filter (such as the case with the previous owner, who didn't change in once in 4 yrs according to the dealer service records), or when they do not properly use the correct air circulation mode during certain climates. They are going to recommend to me when to use a specific mode to help maintain a dry evaporator core and reduce the chance of future moisture build up. Moisture build up = odor!!!

The Frigi Fresh is a good alternative should the smell return. I will certainly buy a can of it.

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Alway use outside air and you'll have a dry, non smelling system. <_<

Great advice, and the same advice given to me by the Lexus Service Mgr. After running the A/C, remeber to bring in dry air from the outside for 5 minutes before you shut the car off. This will dry the evaporator and it's core and reduce the chance of further buildup.

I picked up my car yesterday and the smell is gone. The dealer blasted the core with Frigi Fresh and should take care of the problem. But it helps if you use the A/C correctly and keep as much moisture out of the system

Thanks to those who replied, hope this info helps others.

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