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Vinegar smell coming from AC Vents

17883 Views 23 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Lou O.
Hi All,

I have a KIA Sorento 2.4L Petrol 2014 FWD model (I purchased it in 2015 and its in Kuwait) .
The car has done 98000 KM and I changed the AC (Compressor and Evaporator both under warranty) at around 85000KM . Now when I switch on the blower a smell like vinegar is coming on and when the AC is turned on, the smell goes off. When I switch off the AC and if the blower is running the smell is back.

I took it to the service center and the cant find it out. Can anyone show some light into this issue? Is this a bacterial issue or something with the blower? Am sure that nothing has spilt on the dash from my side. No idea whether anything happened while the guys changed the AC.

Kind Regards

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Did it start immediately after the new AC compressor and evaporator was installed, or some time later?

If immediately after it could be that they used some kind of silicone sealant during the assembly, and would fade away soon.

If you use it constantly in re-circulation mode it's prone to grow fungus/algae.
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With the engine running and your HVAC fan running at MAX speed open your hood and spray Lysol spray (blue can prefered) into the air intake below the wiper blade on the passenger side (Called the Cowl). You will see the Lysol being sucked into the A/C Vent system. Do this on and off for several minutes. The Lysol should clean out any nasties growing in your vent system. You may need to repeat every day for a week or two if nasties are severe enough.
Wouldn't that wet the cabin air filter and choke it while its wet?
No, It didn't start soon immediately after changing the Evaporator and Compressor. Started after around 3 months ..
Do you use it constantly in re-circulation mode?
Yes I Do. very rarely I switch it off..
That usually leads to mildew build-up on the evaporator, so good practice to turn it off for some times.

It could also be that the condensate drain is blocked.

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