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  View original topic: 2002 Eurovan Humid/Icky smell from vents when ac / heat on
bigwhitedog Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:12 pm

the air from my vents recently started smelling really humid and bad when i turn on the ac or the heat or even the re-circ air. is this the cabin filter or something else?

bucko Fri Jul 20, 2007 2:51 pm

If you have a filter, replace it. I don't think you will have a seperate AC filter though.

Take it to an AC shop; they have a spray they can use to deodorize and remove the possible mold that could be responsible for the odor.

bigwhitedog Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:26 pm

hey, thanks a lot, bucko.

ChesterKV Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:32 pm

There's a trick that helps relieve the problem but it's not a for sure thing. You need to turn on the heaters to full HOT and maximum air-speed. Just drive around for at least twenty to thirty minutes with the windows rolled down, at night I guess, and it will kill off anything in the ducting. It's a "free" remedy so if it doesn't work then nothing is lost. Sometimes the spill tube below the evaporator clogs up requiring a manual cleaning. Check under your van where the a/c normally leaves that little puddle of water after running the a/c for a while. Maybe you can see the tube and try to see if it's clogged. I have no idea how hard that might be on a Eurovan.

Good luck and let us know what happens....

DAVEURO Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:12 pm

Wow my old buddy freakness is a good guy to the Euro folk:wink: I would follow his advice and look for the drain on the bottom of the passenger side towards the front of the toe board near the firewall. If the water can't drain it will pool and stink you out. take a clothes hanger and poke it up through the hole. Don't force it. If it is clogged, it won't take much force and you don't want to damage anything. Mine looks like a one inch long rubber hose that is flattened on the end. (To keep things from entering backwards like bugs and mud)

ChesterKV Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:16 pm

DAVEURO wrote: Wow my old buddy freakness is a good guy to the Euro folk


:wink:

bigwhitedog Fri Jul 20, 2007 5:55 pm

thanks so much you guys. i know you don't usually like to acknowledge us euro-vanners :lol: i'll give those things a shot and letcha know what happens.

tds3pete Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:17 pm

Feel free to write in for help bigwhitedog.

Some of us "Eurovanners" have other rides in our driveway, so we swing both ways:
http://autos.ph.groups.yahoo.com/group/ev_update/photos/view/5a7d?b=4

Oh, and hey Freakness thanks for crossing over...!

bigwhitedog Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:59 pm

my eurovan is a 2002. it's black. it's a weekender. i drove it up to alaska from so. california with my dog last summer. i love love love it. my other car is a '57 t-bird. looking around for an old bug up here in anchorage.

IdeaNerd Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:37 am

We are having a similar not-pleasant-smell issue w/our AC, but it's very dry where we live, so humidity is not likely the issue, and it doesn't have that "foul water" smell that plugged AC drains typically cause.

I've changed the cabin filter that's under the hood in the engine compartment (2002 Weekender). Is there another AC-related filter inside anywhere (for recirculating air, etc.)?

Jonwid Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:50 pm

IdeaNerd wrote: We are having a similar not-pleasant-smell issue w/our AC, but it's very dry where we live, so humidity is not likely the issue, and it doesn't have that "foul water" smell that plugged AC drains typically cause.

I've changed the cabin filter that's under the hood in the engine compartment (2002 Weekender). Is there another AC-related filter inside anywhere (for recirculating air, etc.)?

Just out of curiosity, is your coolant level looking ok or is it disappearing? Does that odor have sort of a sweet, slightly acrid, smell that's kind of like hot car radiator? Ever notice any steam coming out the front A/C vents? If so, it could be that you have a heater core leak. That's a fun job, or expensive if you want to have a shop replace it.

tds3pete Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:01 am

VW put our a service bulletin on heater evaporator mold in Eurovans. As others have said, it involves turning the heater to high, running the car hot for 30 minutes with the windows open. I saw the bulletin when I had the problem, tried the fix and it made it better, but the smell returned.

I bought a product called Interdynamics A/C System Deodorizer from my local flaps which solved the problem of mold in the evaporator for me. It was $10 for a can and was sprayed into the evaporator from both above (through the vents) and below (from the drain hole).

The original bad smell was like a pile of old grass clippings. Kind of sweet and pungent. The fix has been permanent.

DenverB Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:15 pm

fresh air vent filter is probably toast. people don't realize you need to change those out, thankfully it's pretty prominent in a VW eurovan --- not so good? most oil change places don't carry that filter, so unless you are taking it to VW for changes or doing the changes yourself, that filter is old and needs changing. I pulled my wife's honda pilot filter a few months ago after realizing nobody had ever done it in the five years we've owned the car. it was brown and the AC instantly smelled fresher.

Second thing: do the heater trick, though I would also go rent an ozone machine and let it run in the van with the heat on for a good 15 minutes after you've blasted it all out with heat as mentioned above. you can rent one from home depot for like 15$ for a day.

IdeaNerd Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:56 am

Thanks for the ideas and feedback, guys.

I've changed the "cabin filter" which is under the hood. Is there another filter for the inside, i.e. when the AC is set to recirculate?

The smell in ours isn't terrible, but it's not great. Definitely not "radiator-like" in terms of what it smells like.

The previous owner had a dog in the van pretty often, and it's kind of that smell -- dog hair that's been sitting a while, and maybe sometimes damp.

@DenverB, thanks for the ozone machine rental tip. I'd looked at even maybe buying one of those for this and a couple other things, so that's cool to know they can be rented. May try that, if there isn't some second inside filter I'm missing.

KDogg Fri Dec 11, 2020 9:50 am

Jonwid wrote: IdeaNerd wrote: We are having a similar not-pleasant-smell issue w/our AC, but it's very dry where we live, so humidity is not likely the issue, and it doesn't have that "foul water" smell that plugged AC drains typically cause.

I've changed the cabin filter that's under the hood in the engine compartment (2002 Weekender). Is there another AC-related filter inside anywhere (for recirculating air, etc.)?

Just out of curiosity, is your coolant level looking ok or is it disappearing? Does that odor have sort of a sweet, slightly acrid, smell that's kind of like hot car radiator? Ever notice any steam coming out the front A/C vents? If so, it could be that you have a heater core leak. That's a fun job, or expensive if you want to have a shop replace it.

I had disappearing coolant prblem for awhile but it seemed to self resolve itself but I am noticing now my front driver and passenger foot wells are wet. Is this a heater core issue?



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