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Guest vicenza77

Smell

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Guest vicenza77

I just bought a 98 Corolla LE that appeared to be in perfect condition and clean. WIthin the last couple weeks a horrible smell comes out of the vents when I have the AC and heat turned on. It is so bad now that I have to either not turn it on (difficult since the temps have been in the 50s lately) or have it on and roll down the windows (defeats the purpose of heating the car). I have ruled out that it is a AC leak. Does anyone have any idea what is causing the smell and how to get rid of it? Have other Corollas experieinced this as well?

Thanks

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Guest raycastro

I have a similar problem with my 98LE. I found that when leaving the AC on for a while, the smell goes away. My guess is that there is some mold, mildew, or some type of residue in the system. In cool dry weather, when I didn’t need to use AC, I think whatever was in there would dry out because the vent/AC would work fine with no smell. If the previous owner of your car was a smoker, then it would smell regardless. What I’ve found that works for me, when it’s intolerable, is spraying an air disinfectant/deodorizer into the intake of the AC while it is on full blast.

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Guest 90geoprizm

Yep thats pretty much all it is. When a car sits for a while it will build up mildew in the AC system and give an awful smell at the vents.

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Guest raycastro

This is from Toyota's Owners FAQ:

Air Conditioning Odor

 

Question

What causes air conditioner odor? How can I prevent the odor from occurring?

 

Answer

During air conditioner operation, cold refrigerant is pumped through the evaporator core by an engine-driven compressor. A fan then blows air through “fins” in the evaporator to cool the air. These fins also act as an air filter, trapping bacteria, spores, and dirt. These airborne particles are normally washed out a drain hole with condensation, but if they remain on a moist evaporator, they may collect and cause an unpleasant odor. This effect is more frequently found in humid climates where more condensate accumulates. This situation is not unique to Toyota; it is an industry-wide condition.

To prevent the odor, Toyota recommends the following:

 

* Avoid parking under trees to reduce the possibility of leaves entering the air intake

 

* Use the fresh air setting on your climate control rather than the recirculated air setting whenever possible to allow the evaporator to dry out

 

* Drive on paved roads whenever feasible as dusty conditions may accelerate the condition

 

If the condition already exists, spraying a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and water (1 to 5 ratio/mixture) or a disinfectant in the outside air intake may help reduce the smell. If these steps do not alleviate the odor, we encourage you to contact your local Toyota dealership for a thorough evaluation of the condition.

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