HVAC Bad smell after using aircon

Discussion in '1st Generation (2004-2011)' started by Princepugh, Tuesday 8th Jul, 2014.

  1. Princepugh Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom David Sheffield
    81
    33
    Over the past few months we’ve noticed a slightly musty smell in the car after using the A/C so at recent service I asked Honda re-gas and disinfect the system. I Don’t know exactly what product they used but when I picked the car up it had a fresh smell of disinfectant and all was well with the world.

    Fast forward a week and we are enjoying hot weather so the A/C is getting plenty of use, the air is nice and cool and the disinfectant smell is steadily going away. After getting a bit too cold on one journey we turned the A/C off and were soon after treated to an unpleasant ammonia cat wee smell, which took a long time to clear.

    This is not a one-off and has recurred every time now after I’ve had the A/C running in the car. If I turn the A/C back on, the smell goes away and only returns when I turn it back off…..

    I’m taking the car back into Honda this Thursday to demonstrate the whiff but wondered if members had any advice/ experience?

    Have searched on here and on the web but not got any hits which point to a specific point of failure/ problem.

    Feedback gratefully received.

    Regards

    David
     
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  2. Racy Jace Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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  3. Princepugh Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom David Sheffield
    81
    33
    OK I’ve had chance to test things a little further this morning on my 100 mile drive down to Warwick. It seems the smell really kicks in about 5 minutes after turning the A/C off, although it is faintly detectable shortly after hitting the button. It is also less detectable if the A/C temperature is set above ambient on the HVAC controls. It does dissipate but does so quite slowly and so is an annoyance to say the least.

    Thanks for the link Racy Jace – I had viewed that thread previously which is partly why I asked Honda to do the disinfecting. Let’s see what feedback I get tomorrow when I take the car in, this ammonia smell is really peeing me off now! *groan*


    PP
     
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  4. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    30,098
    6,366
    516
    I have had no issues after the treatment from tunap it kills all the bacteria once and for all. Try it bud give HH a ring when you guys your service items and get your discount too.
     
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  5. Princepugh Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom David Sheffield
    81
    33
    The car went back into Honda who checked the system over, found no fault and ran the disinfection through again. I also had a bit of a barny with them about the cabin filters, which I suspected they had not changed and resulted in something of a heated debate. Anyways, the smell is now much reduced, although it's a shame I can't trace it to anything in particular. Will update the thread if I ever manage to track this down and/or when I run some tunap through.

    PP
     
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  6. John Dickson Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Hi David,

    One thing I always try to do when I've been using aircon is to run the fan for a couple minutes (with aircon off) at full speed to purge the system. I usually just do this when I park up for the night just as I'm turning into the estate and by the time I'm parking on my drive it's had a couple of minutes run.

    I also nearly always have my climate control set to auto so the aircon gets a good run each time I use the car. Yes there are days when it will not be used but as long as it is used regularly that seems to help as well. The A/C system is self lubricating and needs the compressor running to circulate the oils around the system to keep the seals healthy. It's lack of use that means regular regassing is necessary as the seals dry out and the gas escapes.

    I also try to ensure that the dealer runs the disinfectant through the system once a year or every service depending on use of the car.
     
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    Princepugh likes this.
  7. Princepugh Club Member ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom David Sheffield
    81
    33
    Thanks JD - I agree that good practice pays when it comes to aircon systems and I do make reasonable use it outside of the summer months, although use of the auto setting is certainly something I'll try. My last car (Volvo V70) used to run its own 'drying cycle' after you'd parked up, to help maintain the system - it was quite odd to come back to the car and hear the blower going at it but there was never any bad smell from that system and it ran for a good number of years before I needed to get it attended to after the condenser was holed.

    PP
     
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