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In the last few weeks, as AC season started, I notice a very bad smell, urine like :frown: It comes out of the vents for the first few minutes of running and than its gone. Every time I start the car. Any guesses?
 

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Yes this happens with a lot of cars due to water trapped in the system. If the AC is still draining properly and the cabin filter is clean the best way to get rid of the smell is to run warm air through the system. You can crank up the vent on a hot day for 5-10 minutes and run it for a minute or two each day with hot air blowing thru.
 

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1 - cabin filter full of composte... open hood and clean out extra misc debris that get drawn in and caught by filter to sit and rot.
 

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@ salle2061

Yeah, the smell of bad air filter is one of the most disgusting smells in the world for me. If you problem is just the clogged stock air filter, then you can solve it in a several minutes:
1. remove the old filter;
2. clean the area;
3. put the new one;
4. enjoy your ride;

If you are interested, we have a really good premium line in-cabin air filter, here it is: http://www.carid.com/2011-hyundai-sonata-air-conditioning-heating-parts/atp-cabin-air-filter-23403508.html

The good cleaning also could solve this bad smelling problem. Hope that gets resolved quickly.
 

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Probably some mold growing on the evaporator, when you first turn it on it gets wet and "reactivates" creating the smell. Before I park my car I always turn the compressor off and turn the fan to high so the evaporator will dry out. Mold loves dampness.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all. Ill try your suggestions. Never had a similar issue before with any car. Thanks Again
 

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Thank you all. Ill try your suggestions. Never had a similar issue before with any car. Thanks Again
very common problem depending on climate and usage. Toyota Camry class action lawsuit over same issue. they recommend a product called "kool it " which cleans out the mold from the evaporator but you have to do it from the bottom drain hose. Basically you spray this goo up the drain hose and into the evap:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bi22mdXj3wM
 

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The answer was said above already if done to start with from day 1. When I'm about a mile or two from home. I turn off the AC compressor. I direct all air flow out the front vents & turn fan on high. This will push out any water inside the evaporators coil & force water out of the undercarriage drain hose onto the ground unless its clogged up? It will dry the evaporator out & aviod mold from forming. I've done this for 5 years & have no odor out my 2011 Sonata AC vents period even in the high humidity of Florida summers. I generally turn AC compressor off 1-2 miles before home & then let blow on high another couple minutes once I have parked. If you drive around with AC on recirculate & never perform this step your car might smell like a dirty sock after a while. Keeping the cabin air filter clean because its another source for odors.
 

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The answer was said above already if done to start with from day 1. When I'm about a mile or two from home. I turn off the AC compressor. I direct all air flow out the front vents & turn fan on high. This will push out any water inside the evaporators coil & force water out of the undercarriage drain hose onto the ground unless its clogged up? It will dry the evaporator out & aviod mold from forming. I've done this for 5 years & have no odor out my 2011 Sonata AC vents period even in the high humidity of Florida summers. I generally turn AC compressor off 1-2 miles before home & then let blow on high another couple minutes once I have parked. If you drive around with AC on recirculate & never perform this step your car might smell like a dirty sock after a while. Keeping the cabin air filter clean because its another source for odors.
Seems to me like 'recirculate' would be better, since it's drier air. I always keep it on recirculate those last few minutes after the compressor is turned off, I figure it's better than bringing in really humid outside air. If you live somewhere like Arizona I can see where you wouldn't want to use it, since it would make the air too dry and uncomfortable, but we don't have that problem in the southeast.
 

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Another solution after other attempts have failed is a service performed at Pep Boys. Its called "Mist" vent cleaning. It uses a machine that uses your A/C to recirculate a solution thru the vent system for approx 25 minutes. Kills all smells and leaves very little smell afterward. Worked great for me Approx price $ 55.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ill try the self cleaning canned stuff first. If that does not fix it ill look for a service like mentioned by jetdoc.

Anyone can tell me where the drain hose is?
 

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You can easily get to it from the passenger side floor board area. It sits at the lowest point of the assembly, pointing out towards the firewall. Here's a view, it's item 6.
 

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You can easily get to it from the passenger side floor board area. It sits at the lowest point of the assembly, pointing out towards the firewall. Here's a view, it's item 6.
You access it from the engine compartment - down low on the firewall. It's where the dripping water comes from when AC is running. Put your car up on ramps or jack stands.
 

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Seems to me like 'recirculate' would be better, since it's drier air. I always keep it on recirculate those last few minutes after the compressor is turned off, I figure it's better than bringing in really humid outside air. If you live somewhere like Arizona I can see where you wouldn't want to use it, since it would make the air too dry and uncomfortable, but we don't have that problem in the southeast.
I don't think I can even force the Auto-Control System in the LTD ('13) to allow recirculate while also having the windscreen vents open (defrost). Is there Easter egg sequence for this? Seems like there ought to be.
 

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You'll need more than that.

I used this but there are many similar products:

Amazon.com: einszett 961105 Klima-Cleaner Professional Air Conditioner Cleaner - 8.5 oz: Automotive



You need to get right into the evaporator core in the dash with a long tube. Just spraying Lysol into the cowl won't work. I actually put half thru the dash vents and half thru the drain tube low on the firewall. The more humid the climate and the older the car, the worse it is............... mold, mildew, etc.
very common problem depending on climate and usage. Toyota Camry class action lawsuit over same issue. they recommend a product called "kool it " which cleans out the mold from the evaporator but you have to do it from the bottom drain hose. Basically you spray this goo up the drain hose and into the evap:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bi22mdXj3wM
Thanks guys I never knew these products existed. So far the Sonata does not smell but my 4Runner kind of does and I had a Grand Cherokee that smelled like a cow used it as their daily 'dumping' grounds. The AC always smelled.
 

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I use Lysol a couple times per year to neutralize the mildew on the evap.

Simple process on my Elantra...
1. Lower glove box out of way & remove cabin air filter(prepare new filter if old one is visibly dirty. The smell is NOT likely originating from the cabin filter)
2. Turn MAX AC to highest setting and coldest (this also recirculates)
3. Spray short bursts of Lysol into the cabin filter slot (now vacant) in left to right motions
4. Switch to normal AC and fresh/non-recirc. mode and spray in cowl vents at base of windshield(outside car)

Repeat #3 &4 with fan direction to feet then defrost then dash vents to distribute evenly through system.

5. Replace cabin filter.
DONE.

Moving forward, as mentioned by others, being the habit of turning the AC off but fan on high a couple blocks prior to your destination to dry out the evap and prevent additional mildew build-up.
 

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I use Lysol a couple times per year to neutralize the mildew on the evap.
Moving forward, as mentioned by others, being the habit of turning the AC off but fan on high a couple blocks prior to your destination to dry out the evap and prevent additional mildew build-up.

Would it be even better to turn on the heat a couple blocks prior to destination (assuming that outside temperature isn't too oppressive and that you open up the windows)?
 

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Would it be even better to turn on the heat a couple blocks prior to destination (assuming that outside temperature isn't too oppressive and that you open up the windows)?
No need to turn on heat just turn off AC and recirc button and let wam outside air blow thru system. I usually do this when I get into my neighborhood on the way home from work a few blocks from the house. Our Nissan has this problem worse than Hyundai and this fix is free and easy.
 
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