What’s That Smell? Getting Rid of Musty Car Odors

Have you ever noticed musty odors coming from your car’s air vents? It’s a fairly common issue for Seattle drivers. The source of the smell is most likely mold, fungus, or bacteria in your air conditioning/heating ventilation system. These organisms grow in dark, damp environments, and are often found on the evaporator core, which is located inside your dashboard.

The evaporator core is responsible for circulating Freon from the AC compressor under the hood. When the AC is being used, humidity collects on the surface of the evaporator core which makes it the perfect home for odor-causing organisms. Although the smell they create is a nuisance, microorganisms can also cause respiratory problems like sneezing, coughing, chest tightness, and drowsiness.

Disinfecting and Deodorizing Your Car

Although you may be tempted to use air fresheners to get rid of the smell, they’ll only mask the issue. Fortunately, we have several ways to get rid of unwanted odors, but it’s important to understand that disinfecting and deodorizing can be a process.

For mild cases (especially on newer vehicles), we typically use a special deodorizing disinfectant in the ventilation system to kill the offending organisms and deodorize the system. Sometimes older vehicles can have a good deal of mildew or other microorganisms growing on the air conditioning evaporator. In this case, we would fill the blend box with a disinfecting foam to eliminate the stubborn organisms and leave behind a fresh, clean scent.

It’s also a good idea to change out your cabin air filter. A dirty cabin air filter can become a source of unpleasant odors by trapping moisture and outside contaminants that promote mold, fungus, and bacterial growth.

Complete Care for Your European Car

From getting rid of unusual odors to diagnosing and repairing odd sounds and vibrations, EuroCar Service is your local European vehicle specialist! Whether you have an Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mini-Cooper, Fiat, Volkswagen, Volvo, Saab, or Smart Car, we’ll quickly get to the root of the issue. Contact us today at (206) 527-8828 or request an appointment through our online form.