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Smelly air conditioning

I have recently purchased a 1998 Ford Econoline Conversion van.

The air conditioning smells really bad when it comes on, but either I get used to it or the smell lessens as the air is on longer. The vent air isn’t as smelly.

The former owner had it recharged shortly before we bought it.

Can this be fixed??

Likely it is a blocked drain. You may be talking about one of two. The first on is the one that drains the area under those vents in front of the windscreen. The other one is the one that drains the condensation from the A/C evaporator. If you know the drains are clear, then get a can of spray Lysol or a like product and turn the fan on high, leave a window open and spray that can of Lysol into that vent area. If your car has a cabin filter, make sure it is clean.

Do as Joseph says. In addition, make sure you are leaving the AC controls in an “open” position when you park. Your owner manual probably tells you to do this. That means any position except OFF and MAX are acceptable.

You might also consider pulling out the blower motor or the speed control resistor from the plenum to make sure the system is not full of rotting leaves or other goop. You can so some cleaning of the evaporator coil when you get in that way. Post back if these things don’t work. There are some other solutions.