Stinky heater and A/C smell - Dodge Caliber Forums
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#1 Old 03-27-2009, 05:49 PM
jtminton
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Stinky heater and A/C smell

Hey everybody, I'm new. Anyway, my wife got an 08 Caliber that she loves, but. . . .

Whenever you turn on the A/C or the heater, it smells. Bad. Like satan's socks. I know it's probably mold and mildew from the condenser.

I have searched through the forum, and saw where to find the cabin filter, etc, but what I want to know is about the condenser box drain. More specifically where it is, and if it's something that can be unclogged by me in my driveway in a matter of moments.

Thanks in advance for any help.

P.S. Are the window switches supposed to light up? They LOOK like they should, but don't. I find it hard to believe that ALL the little bulbs are burned out.
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#2 Old 03-27-2009, 06:58 PM
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Re: Stinky heater and A/C smell

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtminton View Post
Hey everybody, I'm new. Anyway, my wife got an 08 Caliber that she loves, but. . . .

Whenever you turn on the A/C or the heater, it smells. Bad. Like satan's socks. I know it's probably mold and mildew from the condenser.

I have searched through the forum, and saw where to find the cabin filter, etc, but what I want to know is about the condenser box drain. More specifically where it is, and if it's something that can be unclogged by me in my driveway in a matter of moments.

Thanks in advance for any help.

P.S. Are the window switches supposed to light up? They LOOK like they should, but don't. I find it hard to believe that ALL the little bulbs are burned out.
welcome.

idk what you have tried as far as resolving this, but try just running the system with the windows down to try and clean the system out. Mine does this too in teh spring, when i first use the cool air section, after not being used all winter, but after some use its fine again

only the driver's door has the drivers window switch lit...dumb, but thats how it is. You can check out this thread if you want to change that however: http://www.caliberforums.com/forums/...ad.php?t=11869

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#3 Old 03-27-2009, 07:17 PM
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Re: Stinky heater and A/C smell

Well, I took out the cabin filter and turned the fan on and sprayed Lysol in. Then I let it sit for a few minutes and then ran the fan with the windows down. We'll see how it smells tomorrow.
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#4 Old 03-27-2009, 07:30 PM
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Re: Stinky heater and A/C smell

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Originally Posted by jtminton View Post
Well, I took out the cabin filter and turned the fan on and sprayed Lysol in. Then I let it sit for a few minutes and then ran the fan with the windows down. We'll see how it smells tomorrow.
how new is the caliber? those filters are only really good for a year or less, just so you know. Friends of mine have an Altima with a cabin air filter, and after a while their Altima stunk, they changed the filter and the smell started to disappear.

so...keep the filter out, and see if thats making it worse
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#5 Old 03-27-2009, 07:41 PM
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Re: Stinky heater and A/C smell

The evap/condenser drain is located under the carpeting
midway between gas pedal and hump it exits thru firewall
just behind engine.Drop a FEW drops of your favorite car
deodrizer fluid on the cabin filter as it helps mask the smell.
Here's pic of exit..........
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#6 Old 03-27-2009, 09:16 PM
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Re: Stinky heater and A/C smell

Neons had this problem BAD... To fix the problem, it was febreeze sprayed into the vents where air is DRAWN IN not the exit vents in the car. Once the problem is solved, it takes some personal training to not let it repeat again.

All you do is after you run your A/C next time, shut the a/c off like 2 min before your destination, and just leave it on vent. It will still blow cool air but it's gonna keep getting warmer. This dries out the vents and prevents the mildew forming.. This became 2nd nature for me in the neon, and never had that issue again. Even if you forget and you're near your destination, just turn it up to full blast and turn the temp knob to hot as well, and viola!


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#7 Old 03-27-2009, 10:18 PM
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Re: Stinky heater and A/C smell

One product I like is Odoban. A tip for after you deodorize the evap coil/housing is to use baking soda. Place the boxes under the front seats and at the rear if necessary. I'd use the ones designed for the refrigerators which you just peel off the sides to use. Of course this won't prevent mold but will help reduce foul odors.

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#8 Old 04-01-2009, 06:56 PM
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Re: Stinky heater and A/C smell

Would parking in our driveway, which has about a 20 degree upward angle effect the draining of the condenser box?
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#9 Old 04-01-2009, 08:07 PM
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Re: Stinky heater and A/C smell

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Originally Posted by jtminton View Post
Would parking in our driveway, which has about a 20 degree upward angle effect the draining of the condenser box?
I wouldn't think it would make too much of a difference. One way to test it is to run the a/c while parked at this particular spot and see if the water's draining. Also if you're having these odor issues you could turn the a/c off but leave the fan running minutes before you reach your destination. But that I think is extreme matters and even I don't do that.
BTW, the draining is from the evaporator box. The condensor is a coil located at the front of the car by the radiator.
Hope this helps.

Last edited by HICal; 04-01-2009 at 09:44 PM.
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#10 Old 04-01-2009, 09:36 PM
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Re: Stinky heater and A/C smell

The easier and quicker way is the following... put your A/C on hot @ full fan speed for about 5 mins. and try to cycle every position on the vents (floor, windshield, floor & windshield, etc.) This will eliminate the "fungi" that creates the bad small, caused by the humidity created when the cool A/C is used.
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