Odd smell from air vents - ModernCamaro.com - 5th Generation Camaro Enthusiasts
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-11-2009, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Odd smell from air vents

Question for anybody who may know:

What would make the air coming from the dashboard vents have any type of odor to it? Lately, my car has this odd smell coming from the vents, almost like dirty water or dead fish. It's not overpowering, but definitely noticeable. I can't figure out what it's from.

Thanks....
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-11-2009, 10:21 AM
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Usually microbial and coming from the AC evaporator. The heater core does not usually have this problem. Do you have a pet? ride in the car? after awhile, there can be a build up of hair in the evap and it will start to smell. Pretty much any foreign matter that gets in there will cause this and sometimes all on its own thru the cooling/heating cycle inside the box which contains the heater core and evap core. They have spray chemicals to disinfect with. Justice Bros has one for sure...

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post #3 of 8 Old 12-11-2009, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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We keep our pets out of our cars.

Unfortunately there's no Justice Brothers near here. Do you happen to know the name(s) of these types of chemicals? If not, I'll go to Advance auto parts & ask them.

Thanks for the input!

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Originally Posted by hypurone View Post
Usually microbial and coming from the AC evaporator. The heater core does not usually have this problem. Do you have a pet? ride in the car? after awhile, there can be a build up of hair in the evap and it will start to smell. Pretty much any foreign matter that gets in there will cause this and sometimes all on its own thru the cooling/heating cycle inside the box which contains the heater core and evap core. They have spray chemicals to disinfect with. Justice Bros has one for sure...

Last edited by classicrockr; 12-11-2009 at 10:30 AM.
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-11-2009, 11:12 AM
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Yeah, that would be a good option. Just tell em it's for a smell from the AC and they should be able to get you something that works. I just mentioned the JB brand cuz I have used their stuff (many diff things from penetrating/lubricant, to AT stuff to oil stuff to octane etc) and it is truly amazing sh1t! But, hard to find....

I forgot to mention that mebbe the drain for the plenum has gotten plugged! You might want to check that too. The drain hose runs from the plenum usually thru the firewall into the engine compartment directly in front of the passenger.

It would be a rubber hose type thingy and sometimes the end is a self closing slit that either gets plugged or not open to begin with.... This is why you see water underneath a car when parked after running the AC.

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Last edited by hypurone; 12-11-2009 at 11:16 AM.
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-11-2009, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classicrockr View Post
Question for anybody who may know:

What would make the air coming from the dashboard vents have any type of odor to it? Lately, my car has this odd smell coming from the vents, almost like dirty water or dead fish. It's not overpowering, but definitely noticeable. I can't figure out what it's from.

Thanks....
I have an odor coming from mine when the heat is on sometimes. It smells a little like aged hickory burning in a stone-built fireplace, like those ones they have in cabins in the mountains.

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post #6 of 8 Old 12-11-2009, 05:19 PM
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In my opinion, I believe you are suffering from a clogged air box/ plenum drain tube. The source of your odor is probably due to the "crud" that has accumulated in the air box because of the subsequently clogged drain tube. That crud has probably allowed mold and mildew to start cultivating in that dark, damp space.

I would say try NAPA, Carquest, local dealer or one of the major auto parts chain stores to get a "foam-type" evaporator/heater core cleaner you can spray into the air box. Follow the directions, but I would definitely unclog the drain tube first. Hope this helps!
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-11-2009, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
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I have an odor coming from mine when the heat is on sometimes. It smells a little like aged hickory burning in a stone-built fireplace, like those ones they have in cabins in the mountains.
My G5 has that when the heater is first turned on. My guess it's just burning the crud off of itself.



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post #8 of 8 Old 12-11-2009, 08:04 PM
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Prolly just wife/girlfriend farting in vent.
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