Why does the air conditioner smell like mildew? - The Truth About Cars - Navara

Why does the air conditioner smell like mildew?

What is the reason why does the air conditioner smell like mildew? The air conditioner has mildew odor when the car ac operates. One of the key components of the car air conditioning system is the evaporator. This component gets very cold when the car air conditioning is operated thus when air is blown through the evaporator fins this can cause the air that comes out the vent to become cold. 

If the surrounding is hot and humid, a condensation occurs on the evaporator the condensation creates moisture which then drops into the drain pan of the air con unit and goes down onto the street through a drain hose.

Now, if this drain hose is clogged or somewhere in the drain hose is clogged the drain pan will not be draining, the moisture will get trapped. The trapped moisture can cause a growth of algae –like organism on the system, the accumulated algae like organism creates the mildew smell that goes with the air that enters the passenger cabin. this air from the air conditioner smell bad.

Possible cause why air conditioner smell like mildew

The drain pan is not draining

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What to do?
First thing to do is to crawl under your car and locate the drain hose that leads up to the evaporator drain pan, once the hose is located, clean the end for debris or mud, if the end of the hose is free of mud or debris the possibility of clogging is somewhere else on the hose up to the base of the drain pan. If you cannot find the clogged portion, bring the car to a reputable auto repair shop and ask the mechanic to check the drain pan for clogging. It will take a couple of days before the mildew smell car air conditioner will going back to normal after the drain pan is fixed.

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