If you have a musty smell in your car or stinky car vents, find out how this happens and what you can do to prevent and fix this problem in this article and video.
Fix a Musty, Stinky Mildew Smell from Your Car AC Vents
There is a better way to fix a musty smelly mildew odor from your car AC vents than spraying stuff for mildew mold in the vents or installing an air freshener. Those are just temporary fixes.
Prevention: Remove Debris and Leaves from the Car’s Exterior
Prevent a musty or stink smell from your AC vents by removing debris and leaves from the car’s exterior. Areas like the cowl panel and near the vents. Clean these spots regularly, like once a month.
Inspect and Replace the Evaporator
Leaves and debris can get inside vents and fall into the heater box, where you’ll find the evaporator. The evaporator is a big aluminum core that refrigerant travels through and blows the cool air onto you inside.
Debris can settle inside heater the box and form into a mulch-like composite. This and moisture can emit a musty, stinky mildew smell from the car vents. You may notice the smell might think you need to change the cabin air filter.
To fix a stinky or musty smell, you might have to replace the evaporator. As debris collects in the inlet box, the evaporator’s fins can collect dirt and emit a stinky smell.