Smelly A/C

I have a 2007 Honda Pilot. Too new to smell like a stale, urine-soaked subway when I turn on the A/C. Took it to the dealership to have A/C and engine filters changed out this weekend. Didn’t fix my problem. What’s the deal? Someone suggested it may be something the car wash people put in my A/C vents to give it the “new car” smell a few months ago. Now, the nice smell ran out and should be time to take back to the car wash. Hmmm. Anyone ever have this problem?

remove the cabin filter, spray Lysol into the cabin filter opening with the a/c on and the blower on high. Use the entire can. replace the cabin filter with a new one. now you are fresh as a daisy.

The Forum’s search feature will give you lots of reading on this issue. There are volumes of info stored about smelly AC and more than one way to deal with it.

There are a variety of types of mold that can grow in AC evaporators that can cause assorted smells. There are different types of organic material that can get in the air intake at the base of the windshield and rot, causing an array of odors.

However, the only thing I know of that that smells like urine is - you guessed it.

That implies either a rodent nest somewhere, or someone doesn’t like you.

Can you smell it if you put your nose over the air intake at the base of the windshield when the car is not running?

If it is mildew, Lysol is good (I prefer the baby powder scent for this job) or you can get a spray from Wurth that is made for this job. The dealers kill mildew with hydrogen peroxide, but it is corrosive and a bleach, so you have to know exactly what you are doing to use that.

Lots of stuff, bacteria or molds,… can make an ammonia smell. Try the simple things first. Make sure the air intake is clear. You usually find this right between the windshield and the edge of the hood on the passenger side. Make sure you follow the owner manual advice on what position to leave the HVAC set to when you park, usually anything but “off” or “recirculate”/“max”. Make sure the drain for the condensate is clear.

If this does not help, post back.