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Discussion Starter #1
Conditions Part 1.
When the A/C was used on the prior trip, the first few minutes of the trip stinks.
When the A/C was not used previously the start of the next trip does not stink.

Conditions Part 2.
When the A/C is currently in use, there is no stink.
During a trip if the A/C is on, turned off, and turned back on, there is no stink.

The stink is hard to describe, unpleasant and also unlike anything I've smelled before.

Any first guesses or follow up questions?
I'm at a loss for where to begin a diagnosis.

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bet you a smelling the condensate thats trapped in your evaporator casing, some times the smell can be described as a urine smell. close all your ac vents run the fan on high,it should blow out the residual water,look under truck for the dripping. most people run there unit on max, after turning off the engine put the a/c controls on vent only this will let the evap case breath and dry out some of the water... :texas:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Dead something would smell during non-A/C usage too.

I think ACAuth1 is on the right path, bacteria in the evap.

I haven't gotten my manual for the car yet, so I'm not sure where the blower resistor is, but a little poking around should reveal the truth. :poke: I know where it is on my other car, can't be too far astray.

Thanks for the feedback!
 

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Underhood next to blower motor.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok, perfect diagram, thanks!! That was where I expected it to be.

Other stuff was scheduled yesterday and maybe today, but I'm going to take a swing at this tomorrow.
Wife's Century is also having the same problem, so for now it'll get the same solution...however...is there a root cause I can eliminate so that I don't have to clean both of 'em out again next month?
Eg: is this a clogged drain or improperly vented system, or ?
I don't recall ever having this problem with prior cars so I'm at a bit of a loss.

Leaving the system set on vent for hers works but when I left the Elky set to vent the next day it had rained inside (a different problem?).
 

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A TIP THAT SOMETIMES HELPS IS TO SPRAY LYSOL IN FRESH AIR INTAKE WHILE USING AC ON NORM & MAX.USUALLY BACTERIA AND MOLD WILL GROW ON EVAP. THIS MAY HELP SO YOU DON,T HAVE TO REMOVE IT TO CLEAN AS OTHERS HAVE SUGGESTED. some dealers actually have a kit to do almost the same thing. goodluck
 

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I've had radiator fluid smell coming from the vents, becaused it was low on coolant, but never a foul odor. Yea, that's how I knew I needed to fill it, turn on A/C and smell ehtylene glycol, yep, she needs some.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Her 2001 Century smells definitely like urine, goes away quickly and is only while the A/C is on, I am going to assume a clean out is absolutely required for her car and hope against hope that the foam will do the trick.

My 87 Elky is a bit less ... unpleasant but still not something I'd volunteer for. Going to try the same thing and let ya'll know how it works out. Tomorrow looks like it will be the magical day.

Re: Lysol. I am one of the few who are severely allergic to many scented chemicals...hopefully a dealer doesn't use something like that on my car without asking nicely first...when we first bought her car I couldn't occupy it for months due to the 'shampoo' they had used.

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The answer i gave you is based on my Many years of working on auto's in the dealers,we had a deodorizer kit that we could use,had to drill a small hole in the bottom of the evap case and spray this stuff inside the case kills all the fungus growing,again if you will do what i said to do in my post,the smell will go away, not my first rodeo !
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wasn't questioning if the problem would go away, I trust that the process described will resolve that!

My concern was the cause of the problem and how do I prevent it from coming back once I have cleaned it out properly the first time.

:beer:
 

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Make sure that nothing is preventing the evaporator box from draining.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Checking now.

I think the understanding I'm getting is that if the evap box doesn't drain right, then the fungus can grow.
Therefore, I'll keep fighting this problem in both cars until the evap can properly drain. The cleanout should help for a while, but if the evap doesn't drain, then long term the smell will come back as the fungus gets a new foothold.

Does the cleaner from O'Reilley clean out problems with the evap drain? I would guess no...

Sound right?
 

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Before I re did my AC, I removed the top (shown in post #6 above) and cleaned out the drain. I had to remove it to remove the evaporator anyway. There was a lot of leaves, dirt, and debris in there but in my case, no fungus/mold likely because the AC had been non functional for quite some time. The way this system is designed, it might be a good idea to open it up and check the drain once a year or so.
 

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The new cars (such as my 2011 Malibu) have an option in the computer control to turn on the A/C fan for 5 minutes 30 minutes after shutdown. This is to dry the evaporator.

There IS an odor killer that's used for cleaning wet suits that I have heard works well on the bacteria on the evaporator. One is called "Sink the Stink."
 
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