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Who’s experienced this? You crank on the AC in the car, only to be hit by a nasty smell blowing out of your air con. Before you go reaching for the air freshener, it might be worth investigating the cause.

So what could be causing this unpleasant car air conditioning smell, and more importantly, how do you fix it?

What is causing my Air Conditioning to smell?

When dirt and moisture build up in your car’s air conditioning system, it can cause these nasty odours. The evaporator, located inside behind the dash, is responsible for removing heat and moisture from inside the cabin. Even after turning your car off, the evaporator is often still filled with moisture and dust. If left unused for an extended period, the system can develop a build-up of mould or bacteria.

If you have noticed a musty or mouldy smell in your car’s AC it is important to not to ignore it. When bacteria or mould is present in your AC system, micro-particles can be transferred into the cabin of the car. Each time the fan is turned on you will be blowing these into the air in the cabin. Inhaling these micro-particles over extended periods may lead to health problems such as headaches, drowsiness or flu-like symptoms (sometimes known as ‘Sick Car Syndrome’). Anyone with respiratory problems or sensitivity to mould may be at risk of more serious effects with prolonged exposure.

How to fix the problem?

Sorry to say it, but a new air freshener isn’t going to fix it. It might make it smell nice for a while, but it won’t fix the problem. The only way to ensure your system is free of anything nasty is to get it cleaned and serviced by a professional. A full service on your air conditioning is the best way to ensure your system is functioning properly and safe for everyone in the car.

At Accelerate Auto Electrics we also offer an AC bacterial treatment in addition to our Air Conditioning service. During this treatment, a specially formulated solution is sprayed directly into your evaporator. Eliminating bacteria, mould and any nasty odours.

Other reasons why your AC isn’t working properly

If your car air conditioning isn’t pumping out as much air as should or the air doesn’t smell fresh, it could be a blocked cabin filter. The cabin filter is responsible for filtering out pollen, allergens and dust before the air is sent into the car. Over time this can get severely clogged with dirt and debris (see picture).

Getting this replaced in addition to an AC bacterial treatment during your AC Service is a great option for a much fresher AC system.

If your air conditioning is not getting cold, not blowing air at all, only working on select settings or making unusual sounds it could be signs of a bigger issue. Don’t risk more damage, get your Air Conditioning checked out by a professional.

Accelerate Auto Electrics offer a range of Air Conditioning Services and our highly qualified technicians are on call to discuss your needs.

Has it been over 2 years since your last AC Service?