Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:49 pm
Delivery Date: 03 May 2017

A/C smells bad

Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:54 pm

I bought my leaf about a month ago and it only has 8000 miles on it. I have the SV 2013 model and I noticed that whenever I turn on the air conditioner the initial air that comes out of it smells really bad. It doesn't seem to have this problem with the vent and heater but only the air conditioner. Do you know anything that could cause the air conditioner to smell bad when first turned on? I don't know if an animal possibly got in there or not

Posts: 976
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:25 pm
Delivery Date: 18 Jan 2017
Location: Vancouver, BC
Contact: Website

Re: A/C smells bad

Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:33 pm

I would take a look at the cabin air filter:

Vancouver, CA owner of a 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
Zencar 12/20/24/30A L1/L2 portable EVSE
1-1/4" Curt #11396 hitch
After market, DIY LED DRLs
LeafSpy Pro + Konnwei KW902 ELM327 BT OBDII dongle
Loving my first BEV :D

Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:49 pm
Delivery Date: 03 May 2017

Re: A/C smells bad

Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:51 pm

Thank you. Will do

Posts: 2397
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:28 am
Delivery Date: 13 Feb 2017
Location: Colorado

Re: A/C smells bad

Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:09 pm

Freon has an ether like odor
The newer refrigerants are odorless

Can you better define the smell ?
2013 Model 'S' with QC & rear-view camera
Bought off-lease Jan 2017 from N. California
Car is now enjoying an easy life in Colorado
3/2018: 58 Ahr, 28k miles

Posts: 544
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:31 pm
Delivery Date: 04 Feb 2013
Location: Wilmette, IL

Re: A/C smells bad

Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:54 pm

If it smells like "bad feet," it is because bacteria/mold has grown on the evaporator collector plates.

Try spraying 409 or a disinfectant into the air intake with the fan on high. You may need to do that several times. Once it has stopped smelling..assuming you have now killed the mold.. be sure to turn off the AC and just leave the blower on high for 2-3 minutes before you completely shut the system down.

If you can't de-smell it yourself, there are professionals who will do this..using more powerful disinfectants...and by all means, change the air filter.

There is also an attachment that will automatically keep the fan motor running after you shut the system down. I installed one on my '04 VW Jetta TDI for this very reason.

Good luck!!

Posts: 8780
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: A/C smells bad

Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:36 pm

IF you use Recirculate a lot, make sure that the air intake is set to Fresh and the A/C is off for the last minute of drives in Summer. Also use a higher fan speed for that minute. If you want a less toxic mold inhibitor, I've used vodka mixed with apple cider vinegar. Just avoid getting that on plastic trim, rubber pieces, and exterior paint, as it's acidic.
Scarlet Ember 2018 Leaf SL W/ Pro Pilot
2009 Vectrix VX-1 W/18 Leaf modules, & 3 EZIP E-bicycles.
PLEASE don't PM me with Leaf questions. Just post in the topic that seems most appropriate.

Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:49 pm
Delivery Date: 03 May 2017

Re: A/C smells bad

Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:12 pm

I would probably Define the smell as a dead animal or Roadkill

Posts: 619
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:23 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Mar 2015
Leaf Number: 402162
Location: North Las Vegas, NV

Re: A/C smells bad

Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:13 pm

WigWoo1 wrote:I would probably Define the smell as a dead animal or Roadkill

Start with replacing the filter. When you pull out the old one, you may find some unwanted debris comes out with it.
2013 Leaf SV - Cayenne Red - QC Port - LED Headlights

Gold Member
Posts: 1697
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:47 pm
Delivery Date: 12 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: A/C smells bad

Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:00 pm

I suggest you spray some cleaner/disinfectant into the housing with the fan on high while you have the filter out.
Silver LEAF 2011 SL rear ended (totaled) by in-attentive driver 1/4/2015 at 50,422 miles
Silver LEAF 2015 SL purchased 2/7/2015

Posts: 12965
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:43 pm
Delivery Date: 16 Feb 2018
Leaf Number: 314199
Location: Olympia, WA
Contact: Website

Re: A/C smells bad

Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:59 am

Is the smell mildewy or rotten animal?

Mildew is an issue where I live and the habit (started in my Prius days) was to blast the fan on high with AC off for last minute or so to prevent the condenser from being too cold in still air where condensation can collect.

Not sure how effective this is other than to say, I have not had an issue with mustiness in any car over the last 13 years.

Ok, saw your post. Sounds like you got mice. Changing filter can't hurt but you really need to do some body hunting. Its possible the animal degraded and dropped off which means this could be a pretty difficult task. The air filter I change every 6 months or so. they are durable so I just bought a spare and swap them back and forth. I just wash the dirty one and dry it really good so its ready the next time.
2011 SL; 44,598 miles. 2013 S; 44,840 miles.2016 S30 deceased. 29,413 miles. 2018 S40; 5775 miles, 488 GIDs, 38 kwh 113.37 Ahr available, SOH 98.21, Hx 115.75
My Blog; http://daveinolywa.blogspot.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Return to “Problems / Troubleshooting”