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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-26-2011, 05:44 AM
gurudog's Avatar  
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 43
Default AC Vinegar Smell


I enquired about this before and tried some things that were suggested to clean out/get rid of a vinegar-y smell after using the ac and sometimes during...I have cleaned the under-dash filter; sprayed disinfectant (and Febreeze) into the near windshield intakes; and run the 'recirculated air for a time afer shutting the ac off...but as I begin to use ac this spring, same problem...btw...Where are the intake vents for 'recycled interior air'? Ideas...?

*****
UPDATE...5/27/11...THX FOR RESPONSES...A 'Search' on CFforum for 'vinegar smell' reveals LOTS of entries here besides mine with this odorus situation. I now regret going to all the trouble to remove/vacuum/clean my filter rather than just replacing...I do religiously turn on the recirc. air after each use of the a/c but now will also REPLACE filter (under glove box) with the charcoal one suggested although hope I can find one on my own rather than at a dealer...

Problem solved with a 'Bosch Cabin Filter' (28.00 at Autozone) that is exact match to original 'Mercedes MicronAir filter' and available at stores other than at dealers. Also have now cleaned with a can of "duct/ac spray cleaner' from auto store...Two different mechanics have now told me also that a few drops of 'baby oil' will help remove smells.

Happy driving and be safe this long weekend...Jeff in New Mexico (GURUDOG).
*****

Last edited by gurudog; 05-27-2011 at 06:20 PM.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-26-2011, 09:48 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 568
Default Re: AC Vinegar Smell


Don't clean the filter. Replace it.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05-26-2011, 10:05 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Flagstaff Arizona
Posts: 541
Default Re: AC Vinegar Smell


Suggest you pay a little more for a carbon/charcoal filter.

PS thanks 180 I edited the post.

Last edited by Hawk Monster; 05-26-2011 at 10:35 AM.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05-26-2011, 10:31 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 13,914
Default Re: AC Vinegar Smell


Quote:
Originally Posted by gurudog
I enquired about this before and tried some things that were suggested to clean out/get rid of a vinegar-y smell after using the ac and sometimes during...I have cleaned the under-dash filter; sprayed disinfectant (and Febreeze) into the near windshield intakes; and run the 'recirculated air for a time afer shutting the ac off...but as I begin to use ac this spring, same problem...btw...Where are the intake vents for 'recycled interior air'? Ideas...?
Your problem lies in the moulds and bacteria growing on the evaporator. The bacteria relies on the moist environment to prosper. Running the fan after using the air conditioner to dry it off would help, but who wants to sit in their car for half an hour.
The evaporator and the surrounding area needs to be cleaned with a bleach solution to destroy the bacteria, and thats not easy.
Replace the filter with the charcoal variety.
Legionnaire's disease is the worst case scenario with evaporators, but very highly unlikely.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 05-26-2011, 11:22 AM
winstonscifi's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Plymouth MN
Age: 60
Posts: 354
Default Re: AC Vinegar Smell


There is a no cost solution to this problem. Every time you turn off the engine after using the air conditioner, push the REST button on the center stack. It's the lowest button between the two round dials. This will turn the fan on for 10 minutes to clear out the system. It will automatically turn off after 10 minutes. I've used this, and never had a problem. I have a base black coupe that doesn't have the cabin filters, so I don't know if a dirty filter is the problem in your case. Try this method, it may help.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 05-26-2011, 08:56 PM
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 13
Default Re: AC Vinegar Smell


Wow never knew about the rest feature pretty cool. Learn somin new everyday huh.
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Old 05-27-2011, 06:40 PM
Wedge's Avatar
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Location: Santa Rosa California
Posts: 559
Default Re: AC Vinegar Smell


I also had the vinegar smell. Replaced the filter, used the recirc button after each outing with the AC. Smell eventually went away but wasn't overnight.


2004 SSB and a 2005 SRT Graphite #56800
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:07 PM
xfirepop's Avatar  
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Sacramento, California
Age: 65
Posts: 102
Default Re: AC Vinegar Smell


The secret to remove the smell is the vent spray available at most parts houses. It's in the air conditioning aisle. I've used it on dozens of cars with great success. One spray can will go a long ways. Sell the service to your friends! You'll be a hero. Everyone has this problem. Once that clears the smell be sure to use the RST switch when exiting the 'Lil rocket'. The smell will never come back if you use the RST religiously. The prior posts are all correct about using the switch and the bacteria build up. Nothing gets by you guys !

xfirepop


2004 Black N/A Limited Coupe - #19838
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 06-01-2011, 10:58 AM
andysdorm's Avatar  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Grafton, Ma
Age: 30
Posts: 100
Default Re: AC Vinegar Smell


I'm not sure my AC has a vinegar smell but I think I have the same occurance in my car.

Oddly enough this is another reason why I love the Crossfire. Confused?

The closest I can describe the smell of the AC in my car is that similar to an art museum of which I used to go. It was across the street from my college so I went frequently. The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston had a large collection of Rennaisance art. And in that gallery it had the same faint 'egg' smell. I asked my architecture proffessor about the aroma and he mentioned the museum had some of the strictest HVAC systems and that smell was comming from types of HEPA filters.

So years later in the summer when I'm enjoying the AC I can only attribute the smell to good engineering from the Germans and a good filter.

Now what I've noticed as well is during the colder seasons when I put the heater on the smell has a faint wood smell to it. Like a fireplace. No burning plastic or battery smell only a pleasant wood burning smell. I always wondered how they achived that. Cause I love it!


93-Miata 95-Riviera 05-Crossfire
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:58 AM
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