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Mildew/Mould smell from air ducts when using ECON?

_G_ Jul 11, 2012

  1. _G_

    _G_ Active Member

    ECON stinks to high heaven. I used two cans of air con fresh made by carplan... and it got rid of the smell for about a month..
    AIRCON mode is fine though..
    Changed the cabin filter and it was full of all sorts of crud... the smell is still there... so I am guessing that there is mildew in the duct work...

    Q. Is there a cabin air intake on the underside of the windscreen or something? may be on the bulk head? im planning on spraying fabreze or something into it with the ECON on max. mode.

  2. Ashley M

    Ashley M New Member

    Hi bud I own a valeting company mate and your problem is because it needs sanitizing, you can get air-con cleaners from halfords simple and easy to use simply put it in the car most of them lock down once you press the top in, air con on coldest setting with recirculate on and pumping through the vents should sort the smell ;)
  3. _G_

    _G_ Active Member

    any particular sanitizer?

    i dont think the air-con fresh i brought has done any long term favours.. i popped two cans and left them as per instructions..
    a few months later the smell has returned..

    there are a few recommended on the US forums but not so easy to get hold of in the UK.
  4. VWAddict

    VWAddict Member VCDS Map User

    Make sure that your condensate drain isn't blocked.

    There's no one 'it's always this' fix; this problem could be a number of related reasons, but they're all based around the growth of moldy bacteria on or around the chiller coil behind the dash.

    One cause: -If your drain blocks up, the water collects and backs up, forming a nice damp environment for mold and bacteria to thrive.

    Another cause: if you are in the habit of always running the A/C on and not switching to ECON for a minute or so before turning the car off, the water tends to stay around the coil area. -Best way to prevent this is to ALWAYS switch off the A/C a minute or so before switching off the car... and when I say switch off the A/C, be sure NOT to switch off the ventilation FAN... you want that last minute to have air blowing over the coil to warm it up (it's been super-cold, which is why the condesnsation forms on it) before it just sits there. -Get the condenstion off the surface by warming it up with air blowing over it BEFORE you turn off the key. -Takes 1-2 minutes, is all.

    A third problem (and this is more likely in your case) is that once the metal surface of the chiller coil has been left damp -whether through blocked drains or just shutting the key off with the chiller running, allowing condensate to sit "un-blown" and "un-warmed", the surface of the metal goes from a smooth shiny silver to a dull, rough, white-oxidised surface. -Here's the bad news... this roughness harbors moisture, and it takes longer to dry off. -This means... -guess what- it stays damp MUCH longer, and mold grows.

    It's not just VW/s and Audis, it happens in ALL cars. -Some cars might be more prone to drain blockages, or may have more 'pooling' area where condensate runoff can gather, but it ALL cars you can prevent this from happening by running the ventilatoin fan for a minute or two after shutting off the A/C chiller, but BEFORE switching off the engine at the end of a drive.

    Airsept and other products such as the one you've tried can kill off mold and bacteria, but if you have a slow drain (part-blockage) or don't help by shutting down the chiller for the last couple of minutes of your daily commute, this will just come back... and once you've had it, the oxidised surface just means it comes back sooner and more readily, since an oxidized surface is more hydrophilic than a clean one.

    Hope this helps... Round here we use the A/C for most of the year, and drivers of ALL cars who are too lazy to 'dry' the vents at the end of each drive (or who bought their car used from a lazy driver who couldn't be bothered to do this) ALL have cars which suffer this smelly affliction. -Rental cars are some of the WORST for this.

    dirtychinchilla likes this.
  5. tcardio

    tcardio Well-Known Member

    ^^^this is a walk off home run!

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