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Old 04-23-2014, 08:40 PM   #1
ToMMyGuN
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AC System Cleanse DIY - Out with the Foot Smell

My AC system smelled slightly like dirty, dank feet/socks. If you google this, you will find this is a common problem with mk6's. There are two things that cause this - a stanky cabin air filter and mold/bacteria accumulating on the AC evaporator. Fixing the first problem is easy (replace your filter for under $10 with this charcoal infused one), but the second problem is a bit trickier to solve. I've tried a couple of methods, and I think the one below actually gets to the root of the problem. So without further adieu, let's make your car smell like lemon goodness, not feet.

Supplies needed:

A can of Klima Cleaner
A light source

As an aside, I've tried several kinds of cleaners for this in the past, and Klima seems to be the most effective (as well as smelling the best)

Step 0.1) Follow the instructions for drying your evaporator coils on the back of the Klima Cleaner can

Step 1) Remove the fiberboard under-cover on the passenger side, underneath the glove box (there are two plastic turn-by-hand fasteners holding it up underneath the glove box).


Step 2) Remove the Cabin Air Filter cover by sliding it towards the passenger side wheel. It will slide with a bit of force and come right off


Here is a pic with the cover removed:


Step 3) Remove the Cabin Air Filter. Discard if you are going to replace it (place it anywhere you want to smell like feet).


4) Take your Klima Cleaner tube and feed it up into the cavity towards the center console. This is where your evaporator coils are located. I removed a trim panel so I could easily get this pics, but you don't need to do so:

You can see in the above pic that there is a pressure fitting in plain sight - this feeds the liquid refrigerant into the evaporator to - you guessed it - be evaporated. When the evaporation happens, the refrigerant takes heat out of the ambient environment to complete its phase transition from liquid to gas. As a consequence, you get a cold thing to shoot air past and keep your hinder from swamping up

Ok, enough about heat transfer, back to the DIY! Feed your Klima Cleaner tube up into the cavity, and make sure you actually get it up into the evaporator cavity. This isn't as easy as it seems, so make sure you get it right the first time (or you will have to buy more Klima Cleaner).


Step 5) Spray the ENTIRE can of Klima Cleaner into the cavity, pushing and pulling the tube back and forth to better displace the foam being created. It will take longer than you think, right around 3 or 4 minutes of spraying.

Step 6) Wait 20 minutes for the Klima Cleaner to work its magic - you will get a nice big puddle on your garage floor under the drain tube for this cavity.


While waiting, put everything back together, but don't turn the fan on yet.

Step 7) Finish by repeating the drying procedure on the Klima Cleaner can.

Donezo!



Your car should now have a pleasant lemony scent for a while, which will wear off in a few days. For a really stinky car, multiple applications may be necessary, but give it a couple days between applications to see if the feet smell fades away.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:16 PM   #2
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Thanks. I'm sure I'll be doing this in a couple of months once the stanky smell comes back.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:33 AM   #3
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This doesn't seem to difficult either; it's pretty straightforward. Thanks!
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:39 AM   #4
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thanks for the write up, will most likelyu having to do this again this summer...this time by myself haha
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:58 AM   #5
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No problemo guys, I think this is the most effective way to get at the source of the smell. Other threads have mentioned just spraying stuff through the blower fan intake (under cowl), but this gets the foam to the actual source of mold, not just in the ducting leading to the coils.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:00 AM   #6
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good DIY. i might make a video on it when my parts arrive, giving you first credit.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by 2013R View Post
good DIY. i might make a video on it when my parts arrive, giving you first credit.
Is yours stanky already? How many miles do you have now?
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:03 AM   #8
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Is yours stanky already? How many miles do you have now?
no, its not. i have 9,800. i like to waste money.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:04 AM   #9
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to add to this, like i said it seems to happen almost every summer, due to running the a/c, arriving at a location and just turning off the car and letting the condesation sit and grow moldy....

A good idea for everyone is to just run the fan, after a/c before arriving or turning your car off for a little, it may help prevent some of the odor...or it may not..
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svickstc View Post
to add to this, like i said it seems to happen almost every summer, due to running the a/c, arriving at a location and just turning off the car and letting the condesation sit and grow moldy....

A good idea for everyone is to just run the fan, after a/c before arriving or turning your car off for a little, it may help prevent some of the odor...or it may not..
Yep, gotta dry dem coils!
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:13 AM   #11
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no, its not. i have 9,800. i like to waste money.
This one might actually pay off for your YouTube channel though, it would need to make like $25 dollars over the life of the video to be even money (as long as you don't put a value on your wrench time)
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svickstc View Post
to add to this, like i said it seems to happen almost every summer, due to running the a/c, arriving at a location and just turning off the car and letting the condesation sit and grow moldy....

A good idea for everyone is to just run the fan, after a/c before arriving or turning your car off for a little, it may help prevent some of the odor...or it may not..
Before arriving, turn off the A/C, recirculation and turn up the heat a bit. If anything, I've found that warming up the coils helps keep the condensation off while the car sits.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:39 AM   #13
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I spoke with Hubert @ Europa auto parts and asked if he had any of this, he said no, but he uses a can of Lysol. He just sprays the entire can inside the cabin area with the fan on high.

He said spray using AC and heat. Let it air out for a while after the can is empty with the fan on and windows down.

This method seems more to the point. Hopefully less harmful.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:27 AM   #14
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I'm curious, does the lemon scent smell like dishwashing soap lemons or like a citronella candle? I bought some of 1Z's wiper fluid concentrate and it smelled like mosquito repelling candles everytime I sprayed the windshield. It gave me headaches.

Also, do you think the lemon smell will dissipate quickly or is it strong enough where you will smell it for the next few months?
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