Close
Car Questions
RepairPal is your advocate for car care advice and guidance

AC or FAN smell

(2009 Lincoln Town Car)
in Prospect Heights, IL on November 28, 2010
when I the fan/AC is on inside smells like the car was sitting in an old water tank. After a while the smell is gone...
Any Idea what can cаuse this???
Displaying 1 answers & 3 comments
Popular Answer
on November 28, 2010
Yes. There is basically bacteria growing in your evaporator box that is caused by moisture that never dissipates. There are deodorizers that you can spray in the evaporator box that can kill the bacteria (but then typically overwhelm you with a chemical or cleaner smell...). But to solve the problem long term - do this:

Make sure your evaporator drain is not plugged. A plugged drain will cause the water to stay longer. Water build up is entirely normal, by the way, as your air conditioner runs nearly always with your Town Car ventilation system on to keep dehumidifying your interior. Standing water = bacteria growth = odor.

Secondly - it's a good idea to try and operate your fan from time to time without the AC compressor running, attracting moisture to that evaporator core and box. You can do this by using the floor only setting on your temperature control. Take it off the "AUTO" setting and direct it to the floor. Floor does not use the AC compressor and will not build up moisture in the box. Using the fan like this will help dry out any condensation standing in the box...with the understanding that the drain is working too.

You do have a 2009 vehicle - are you still under 50,000 miles? Your dealership should take care of the cleaning and inspection of your evaporator drain underneath the factory warranty

Good luck!
on November 29, 2010
thank you for your answer Dave

already more miles, drive a lot. I use basically the fan, the A/C is most often off. If I remove the evaporator, clean it up - would that help? Well, the smell is not always in the car, just by starting the AC after long rest time, or sometimes the fan in the morning...

Will try the steps you describe, hope that will help. Thank you again
on November 29, 2010
You cannot really easily remove the evaporator. If you can access the box that would be great.
on December 09, 2010
The smell is gone. Just set the "auto" option and use fan. No smell more. Even when use A/C is no smell there...

Thank you Dave
RepairPal estimates are guaranteed at over 2,000 quality certified locations nationwide. Learn more

Similar Questions

View answers to similar questions from RepairPal's community of auto experts and enthusiasts.
Nothing. Fan control dial has nothing. Replaced everything with new, still nothing. What am I missing
HI All I am in the plan of buying a used car. I had a dealer selling me BMW 2005 745 LI - 108840 Miles - 7000$ T...
Didn't find what you were looking for?