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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had a mildewy smell in my ac a while back and the dealer did a spray or foam treatment (unsure), since then there is a persistent smell when I run the AC which gets on my clothes and makes me feel nauseous. Does anyone know what this could be? The dealer claims it is adhesive that hasn't cured yet from the factory. I don't believe that though as I bought my car back in October. Any help is appreciated!

Also does anyone know where the drain tube is on this model?


Hyundai Sonata '17 Limited
 

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mildew? check the air filters (cabin and engine, but particularly the cabin) and have the dealership check the HVAC vents. next time you run AC, run it with the air recirculation off so you get fresh air in the system to dry out any moisture that might be hanging around in there

not sure where the drain tube is but in every car I've owned with a sunroof, they pass through to the front wheel wells on each side and there are two entry points at the front corners of the sunroof frame
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So the mildew hasn't been noticeable lately, its more of a chemical scent now. I had the dealer look at the vents but they said there was nothing they could do which is a little frustrating.
 

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Change the cabin filter as it may have absorbed a lot of the chemical they sprayed to combat the mildew.
To help prevent the mildew from coming back, turn off the AC a few minutes before you are going to park for awhile to allow the outside air to completely dry the AC coils.
 

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2017 Sonata 2.4GDI Limited, Tech Package, 32,000 miles
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I doubt mildew on a 2017 from the AC system..

So the mildew hasn't been noticeable lately, its more of a chemical scent now.
Those spray AC odor controls may have a scent and that's what you're smelling. The other possibility is a small AC leak and you're smelling the R-134a.

Has the dealership acknowledged there is a smell from the AC?
 

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A 2017 could be an almost 2 year old car.
Very easy to get mildew growth if you shut off the car with the AC coils still wet every time.
Especially if you live in a warm, moist climate where you use the AC most of the year.
 

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Especially if you live in a warm, moist climate where you use the AC most of the year.
Having lived in the humid south for over 20 years with more than a few AC vehicles I have never had a mildew problem. Not saying it can't happen, but how many others here in the south have had their 2017 get mildew in the vent system?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm not sure what r134a smells like in order to verify, how would I tell if I have an AC leak? Is it cheap to go somewhere and have them look?

DIYR: They seem to acknowledge the smell

If it is a leak how easy/$$$ is it to fix?
 

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how would I tell if I have an AC leak? Is it cheap to go somewhere and have them look?
For a leak to be noticed in the cabin it probably is coming from the evaporator under the dash. Best way to test is with a sniffer put into the condensate drain line which usually exits out the fire wall. The dealer can do that, doesn't take long. If there is a leak it's more than likely to be under warranty.

The smell may be the refrigerant oil.

I'd ask for a leak test. Of course when the leak reduces the refrigerant too much you'll get poor AC.
 

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Having lived in the humid south for over 20 years with more than a few AC vehicles I have never had a mildew problem. Not saying it can't happen, but how many others here in the south have had their 2017 get mildew in the vent system?

When I was looking for a used car a few years back almost every car I test drove had that stale, mildew AC smell.
I live in So Cal.
 

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Mildew Smell in AC

Having lived in the humid south for over 20 years with more than a few AC vehicles I have never had a mildew problem. Not saying it can't happen, but how many others here in the south have had their 2017 get mildew in the vent system?

I haven't had that problem either. And I've been in Atlanta 40 years.
 

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Ive never had any problems with any of the 15 + cars and trucks Ive owned but my daughter in law purchased a used 2015 Chevy Malibu and it had musty odor when using vents or AC/Heat. I used a deodorizer I got at pepboys and we just sprayed it into system as it was running and it took care of the smell. Since our cars also have the cabin filter , Id start with changing that especially if the dealer did not after whatever they did, as previously posted the deodorizer they used could have gotten into the filter.
 

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I had the same problem in my ‘16. I was told that it’s the mildew from the AC vents that stick around after the car is shut off. Apparently that mildew lingers in the HVAC system which eventually builds up over time and causing the smell. The advice given was to leave the heat running for a little before you shut off the car. It sounds really stupid and a little crazy but it worked for me. Of course checking the filters always helps. I know it sucks to run the heat in the summer but it’s a small price to pay. I hope this helps you!
 
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