Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell In My Car? 5 Shocking Reasons!

Are you in the middle of the ride, and you suddenly ask yourself, “Why does my air conditioner smell in my car?” There are many reasons why my friends. Here’s the thing:

The air conditioner will either condition the air from the outside of the existing air inside your vehicle. If the odor exists within the car, the system may channel the smell through the vents right to your face.

But sometimes, the air conditioner might smell like mildew, mold, gas, vinegar, or even a burning smell. Such odors are an indication of some issues.

With that being said, it is essential to know the causes of why does your car’s AC smell so that you can solve it.

In this post, we will look at the culprit behind various odors from the air conditioning system in your car.

Reasons Why Does Your Air Conditioner Smell In My Car

So, Why does my air conditioner smell in my car?

Now, you are about to know the causes behind the different types of odor that are creeping through your car’s air conditioning system and what they indicate.

#1. Moisture inside the unit

The air conditioner of a car does not make cold air. Instead, it only takes away the moisture and heat from the air there making you feel cooler inside the car. The coils inside the unit are working on condensing the moisture and heat taken from the air. It takes out the humidity, then pushes the chilled air into the car.

Since the coils are much cooler as compared to the air surrounding them, the hot air that flows into them will be creating moisture pockets that will gather around them. This will then create tiny water pools, which will be drained through the drainpipe out of the car.

But for some reason, the moisture may be stuck and won’t find a way out. Due to evaporation or drainage, the water pooled inside the ac unit and around its coils will create moisture inside.

#2. Bacteria and mold

If the unit is frequently used or its drain line has damage, it only means that the air conditioning unit will stay damp. This will cause bacteria and mold to breed on it.

When the air passes through the build-up of mold in the evaporator, it will carry a foul smell to your car.

Mold is among the most common reasons why the air coming from the ac unit in your car carries a raunchy smell from the dash vents.

As the car gets older, the microorganisms such as mold and bacteria also tend to grow. Their growth rate inside the ac and ventilation system of the car will even be increased if you seldom use it or use it much too frequently.

Those molds that cause odor like to stay in the ac unit of your car since it is always dark and moist.

#3. Leaking gas

Even if the air filter is good at filtering out debris and dust, it may not be enough in filtering out the stronger smells such as gas.

If the car is leaking gas, then its smell may be sucked in the cabin passing through the ac unit. This can be dangerous, so as soon as you smell the gas in your air conditioning system, it is ideal to shut your car off immediately.

You should have it inspected and repaired if necessary.

#4. Ozone emissions or battery acid leaks

But what if the car’s aircon smells like vinegar? Then, it would be tricky to know the cause in such a case. Particular mold types may have caused it, but it might also be due to other reasons.

It might even be due to bigger issues like ozone emissions that tend to smell like vinegar.

The leaking of the battery acid can also be the culprit behind this since it has a strong smell like sulfur.

You can eliminate it using a cleaning spray intended for vent and duct. But if it does not work, then have it inspected by a professional.

#5. Antifreeze leak

You might not bother if your car smells sweet. But this sweet smell coming from the air conditioning system of a car may indicate an antifreeze leak in the cooling system.

A component of the antifreeze known as ethylene glycol is responsible for freezing and lowering the temperature. This is the same material that is giving off the strangely sweet odor in the car. If the coolant is leaking, it can be harmful to the car.

With that being said, the moment you smell anything sweet in your car’s air conditioner, it is best to have it inspected.

complete vehicle inspection may even be necessary in such a case.

It’s A Wrap!

Why does my air conditioner smell in my car?

Commonly, it is due to moisture which eventually causes the build-up of mold and bacteria.

But it can also be caused by some other cases. So, for the most part, it can be an indication of some other issues.

So if you don’t know what to do about it, you better have it checked by professionals.

To further help you out, click here.

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