A car’s interior can be really horrible to stay in when a foul smell emanates from the air conditioning system. One of such common occurrence is a fishy smell. Are you wondering, “Why does my car AC smell like fish?” Find out the reason in this post.
Several other findings, such as how to prevent car AC from smelling like fish and how to fix the bad smell, have also been unveiled. You may want to take a moment to go through the subsequent sections of this article to find out.
Why Does My Car AC Smell Like Fish?
Why does my AC smell like fish? Your car’s AC smells like fish because of a gas leak, the growth of mold and bacteria in the air conditioning system. Usually, as car ages, microorganisms, bacteria, mold, and fungi may start to grow in hidden locations.
Typically, odor-causing molds stay within the air conditioner’s unit because the area is usually moist and always dark. However, if you fail to use your car’s air conditioning system regularly or stop using it for a long time, it will permit the fast growth of these microbes that can later cause an unpleasant odor when you start to use the AC.
Does Freon Smell Like Fish?
Freon does not smell like fish. However, when molds, bacteria, fungi, and other microbes grow in your car’s AC unit, the cold air from the release of freon may result in a situation whereby your car AC smells like fish. The original smell of the freon is like acetone (a nail polish remover substance).
However, excess freon can also produce a sweet smell or chloroform when the fluid leaks onto the engine’s hot parts. Irrespective of whether it is a fishy, rotten egg, sweet, or burning smell, an unpleasant odor can be detrimental to your health.
Therefore, if you’re currently experiencing this situation in your car, ensure to figure out the actual cause of the problem and fix it as soon as possible.
How to Fix Bad Smell in Car AC?
Eradicating bad smell in your car’s AC is quite straightforward. Ensure to start by identifying the cause of the scent and tackle it appropriately. However, the following are some steps to eliminate the foul smell if your car air conditioner smells like fish.
Clean/replace the old cabin air filter
Checking the cabin air filter should be your first step in removing the foul odor coming from your car’s air conditioner. If the air filter is the source why your car aircon smells like fish, you can get rid of it by cleaning or changing the AC cabin air filter.
You should also advance to the subsequent steps below if your car’s air conditioner still stinks after changing the cabin air filter.
Since mold and bacteria are the main causes of the awful stench coming from a car’s air conditioning system, let’s see how to eliminate this problem in the subsequent steps below.
Turn off your car’s engine and locate the AC vents
After turning off the ignition, look for your vehicle’s ducts and AC vents. Go ahead and treat the vents with clean air duct treatment. Check ac pipe fittings to avoid leaking.
Make sure the spray container has a straw attached before applying the substance. Remember to use the treatment to the passenger side as well.
Start your engine
At this point, start your engine and set your AC system to the maximum fan setting. Next, reduce the temperature, turn on the air conditioner, and select the highest recycling settings. The recycling intake duct should be found on the passenger side, close to the floor.
Since the intake duct is so low, it is typically hidden. So, kindly spray half of the substance in the can into the intake duct; then, you can watch it sucked right into the system.
Turn your AC’s setting to fresh air
Alternately, turn your AC’s settings to fresh air and lower the temperature from its highest setting. Now, you want outside air to enter the system to provide fresh air.
Go outside, shut the doors, and look for the fresh air grill on your car. It is near the hood and directly beneath the windscreen.
Put the straw inside those drills and fire a few times. To quickly access the grills, you might need to lift the hood on some vehicles.
How to Preventive Car AC Smells Like Fish?
There are a couple of strategies to help you prevent your car’s AC smell. Firstly, always turn off the AC 2 to 5 minutes before you turn off your car, but keep the fan running. Every time you run the AC unit, this will enable a much more thorough drying process.
Also, clean or change your AC cabin filters if they are dirty or defective. Your AC will operate less efficiently and retain moisture if your air filters are dirty. Make careful to change the AC filters as often as your vehicle’s manufacturer advises.
Lastly, vents on the outside should be treated with an antiseptic. For the spray to enter the ventilation system and effectively destroy mold and germs, ensure that your air conditioner is set to the setting that draws air from the outside in.
Can I Spray Lysol in My Car Vents?
Of course, you can spray Lysol in your car’s vents. If your car AC smells bad, it is most likely due to bacteria in the vents. However, you can do it yourself with just a can of Lysol disinfectant spray instead of shelling out a lot of cash to have your air conditioning system cleansed.
If you’re experiencing a foul odor from your car vents, check out the nearest auto parts shop near you to get a can of Lysol disinfectant ASAP.
Can I Spray Air Freshener in My Car Vents?
Sure, you can spray air freshener in your car’s air conditioner’s vents. Spraying the fragrance doesn’t necessarily have a negative effect on your car’s air conditioning system.
However, if your car AC smells like fish, spraying an air freshener alone may not eliminate the smell.
You may have to find out the exact cause of the smell and tackle it appropriately. If it requires cleaning your cabin air filter or replacing the component, ensure to do as the occasion demands.
How Much Does It Cost To Have Car AC Cleaned?
The cost of cleaning a car’s air conditioning system is estimated at around $100 – $400 for cleaning AC coils. Meanwhile, duct cleaning is about $250 – $500.
However, in any case, you may be spending anywhere from $100 to over $1,000 to get the air conditioning system properly cleaned to ensure that all the components are running perfectly. Nevertheless, the cost will depend on the vehicle’s make and model.
Driving a car with the air conditioning system emitting an offensive odor can be very discomforting. Whether in a car or anywhere else, foul odor hinders proper breathing. Therefore, if you were asking, “Why does my car AC smell like fish?” The issue has been addressed above.
Kindly implement the corrective measures on how to get rid of AC smell in a car recommended above to help you eliminate the fishy smell from your car’s AC as soon as possible. Meanwhile, it is always better to prevent some things from occurring in the first place.
Therefore, you may want also to try out the foul odor preventive measures to ensure that you never experience that kind of situation in your car.