Temperatures are rising, so it’s time to turn on the AC again. If you notice odd smells coming from the air vent, it’s time to have your car’s air conditioning system checked as part of your maintenance routine.
Foul Odors and Their Meanings
The smell of summer is in the air, but that doesn’t mean things are necessarily fragrant inside your car. Dirty filters, bacteria, and debris can all cause foul odors in the air conditioning system. Changing filters when you organize and tidy up your car is a good habit to get into.
A sour smell can mean it is time to change the cabin air filter. The filter’s job is to trap dirt and debris and keep them from getting into the cabin, but they need to be changed periodically.
A strong smell of mildew when you turn on the AC can mean that it is time to change the other air filter. The engine air filter also traps dust and debris and needs to be changed a couple of times a year, depending upon where you live and how much you drive.
If your AC is exuding a chemical smell, that can be a sign of a more serious problem, such as leaking refrigerant. Take your vehicle in for service if you smell something toxic.
Maple Syrup Smell
Maple syrup smells good on pancakes but it doesn’t belong in your car’s air conditioning. If you detect a sweet smell, it could be a sign of a leaky heater core, so get your vehicle into the dealership for a check-up.