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BMCracer

Why does my a/c smell like a wet dog?

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2007 Legacy wagon NZ new. Every since I've had it, when you turn the a/c off so it's only running the fan, after a minute or so it starts smelling like a wet dog. Turn the a/c back on and it goes away, turn it off again and the smell comes back. Smell lingers for about 5 minutes.

 

I pulled the glove-box out and pulled out the cabin filter, which wasn't excessively bad, but far from new. Put a brand new filter in, but it didn't change the wet dog smell. So not sure what to try next.

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Dirty coil most likely. Some model years in some markets didn't actually come with a filter from factory so would have got pretty bad before one was put in. Worth checking the drain is free-flowing too. The line comes out above the rear bush on the front control arm.

 

We get the same with home/commercial aircons during the seasonal switchover when people run them on auto where they jump between heating and cooling modes. As the coil dries off it can have a musty smell. Once cooling again it's fine.

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You could remove the trim around the bottom of the windscreen under the plastic trim and check you don’t have any crap built up, I’m pretty sure that’s where the air feeds into the filter?

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On 23/08/2019 at 3:08 AM, Omsin said:

You could remove the trim around the bottom of the windscreen under the plastic trim and check you don’t have any crap built up, I’m pretty sure that’s where the air feeds into the filter?

That was out the other month to get a new windscreen and I don't recall seeing a lot of crap in there, but worth a proper check I guess.

On 22/08/2019 at 6:53 PM, Andy_Mac said:

Dirty coil most likely. Some model years in some markets didn't actually come with a filter from factory so would have got pretty bad before one was put in. Worth checking the drain is free-flowing too. The line comes out above the rear bush on the front control arm.

 

We get the same with home/commercial aircons during the seasonal switchover when people run them on auto where they jump between heating and cooling modes. As the coil dries off it can have a musty smell. Once cooling again it's fine.

I'll check that drain, didn't know about that. Failing everything else, is there any way reasonably easy / simple to clean the coil? or is it a massive job?

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Like @Andy_Mac mentioned it could be the coil, they call it 'dirty sock syndrome' ha ha. 

 

A lot of heat pumps in homes do it also 

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I think there is a spray you can get that has a long tube attached to it so you can run through the vents and spray it down. pop into Repco and see if they have it 

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