Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-28-2007, 08:58 AM
tom318is tom318is is offline
Registered User
Location: suffolk
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: e36 318is
weird air-con odour

i have a 98 318is coupe with climate control. shortly after turning the air-con off a strange fishy smell comes out of the vents. i have tryed using an aerosol freshener but this didnt work. still not sure what the problem is or how to fix it. any suggestions would be appreciated.
Reply With Quote
Ads by Google
  #2  
Old 04-28-2007, 09:01 AM
Pirate_copy's Avatar
Pirate_copy Pirate_copy is offline
Still here
Location: Devon, UK
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 12,180
Send a message via MSN to Pirate_copy
Mein Auto: M3
Welcome to the fest matey

All the aircon system i have had, have made an odd smell before they are ready to be re-filled

I think it is the smell of the refrigerant buddy
__________________
330i M-Sport in Topaz Blue

Edirty6 for life
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-28-2007, 09:02 AM
Jalli's Avatar
Jalli Jalli is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Evans, GA/Cornell University
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 712
Mein Auto: 11 X5 35i
Probably some mold build up in the ducts. The first thing I would do is change the filters and see if this helps, if it doesn't you will probably have to dismantle the ducts and give them a thorough scrubbing...

Not sure about the odd smell being related with refrigerant.. I have never experienced this.. I do know that mold build up was a problem on the e46..
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-28-2007, 09:12 AM
tom318is tom318is is offline
Registered User
Location: suffolk
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: e36 318is
do u know where the filters are located?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-28-2007, 09:13 AM
tom318is tom318is is offline
Registered User
Location: suffolk
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: e36 318is
it could be but i had the refrigerant filled last year
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-28-2007, 11:30 AM
CJH CJH is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Philadelphia, PA
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 239
Mein Auto: 96 328is, 04 Audi Allroad
Microfilter is to be changed periodically (2 year interval). They will get very dirty & allow mold growth if neglected. Wash all ducts with dilute bleach when you take the filter out. Make sure evaporator drains are open, water condensing on evaporator collects, drains to the ground. If it collects, another place for mold to grow.

http://users.ids.net/~thompson/bmw/microfilter.html
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-28-2007, 01:22 PM
Bimmer_Angel's Avatar
Bimmer_Angel Bimmer_Angel is offline
Vert Owners Do It Topless
Location: Devon, UK
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,207
Mein Auto: 1995 320i Convertible
Know what you mean Buddy - when we turn on the air-con on our E39 after a prolonged period of time the smell is awful! Apparently, you should periodically turn them on even in the winter to prevent this happening.
__________________
E36 320i Convertible - Superchipped - K&N Apollo CAI - Green Stuff Pads - NGK Iridium IX plugs - Pioneer MP3 Headunit - JL Audio Kick Panel Speaker Pods - Wind Deflector - M3 Style Spoiler. 18" Bridgestone 225/40/R18. M Sport type Alloys as fitted on new E90. Alloy Billet Strut Brace, M3 type front bumper, M3 type rear Diffuser. Royal Purple. Hard Top.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-28-2007, 03:43 PM
v33_n0d3's Avatar
v33_n0d3 v33_n0d3 is offline
Black Mage
Location: Burbank
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,338
Mein Auto: 2001 325i Sedan
lol first of all it's called freon, and not refrigerant. From my experience, it could either be a) the cabin filter, which I recommend you change right away, or b) bacetrial growth in the evaporator. That evaporator is moist and gets kind of warm, which provides a perfect ground for bacterial growth, and over time, stink. Kind of like your ass, you see? When you turn that air-con on after the bacterial growth has taken place, your car is basically breaking wind in your face. If the cabin filter doesn't make the odor go away, then clean your evaporator out with anti-bacterial.

Last edited by v33_n0d3; 04-28-2007 at 03:47 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-28-2007, 04:28 PM
Pirate_copy's Avatar
Pirate_copy Pirate_copy is offline
Still here
Location: Devon, UK
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 12,180
Send a message via MSN to Pirate_copy
Mein Auto: M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by v33_n0d3 View Post
lol first of all it's called freon, and not refrigerant..
WOW....SORRY!

That told me huh

Course freon is a...ummm....REFRIGERANT!!!!
__________________
330i M-Sport in Topaz Blue

Edirty6 for life

Last edited by Pirate_copy; 04-28-2007 at 04:30 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-28-2007, 06:56 PM
v33_n0d3's Avatar
v33_n0d3 v33_n0d3 is offline
Black Mage
Location: Burbank
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,338
Mein Auto: 2001 325i Sedan
Oh yea? Well refrigerant is a NOOOOOB term!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-28-2007, 09:30 PM
CJH CJH is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Philadelphia, PA
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 239
Mein Auto: 96 328is, 04 Audi Allroad
Wrong. Freon is a trade name for a family of chlroflurocarbon refrigerants, r12 commonly used in automobiles prior to the switch to hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants r-134a. Refrigerant is actually the correct term, freon is incorrect unless referring to the CFC refrigerants.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-29-2007, 02:58 AM
Pirate_copy's Avatar
Pirate_copy Pirate_copy is offline
Still here
Location: Devon, UK
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 12,180
Send a message via MSN to Pirate_copy
Mein Auto: M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by v33_n0d3 View Post
Oh yea? Well refrigerant is a NOOOOOB term!


Well there we go guys, i am a 'noob'

I always thought that word was used by 14 years olds was used to describe 'a new person' but apparently it means someone who does research before posting a reply.....

My mistake
__________________
330i M-Sport in Topaz Blue

Edirty6 for life

Last edited by Pirate_copy; 04-29-2007 at 03:03 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-29-2007, 03:53 AM
jason_recliner's Avatar
jason_recliner jason_recliner is offline
Don't ask me, I'm a sofa.
Location: Lovely Tropical Melbourne
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,181
Mein Auto: Bostongrün 1995 320i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate_copy View Post


Well there we go guys, i am a 'noob'

I always thought that word was used by 14 years olds was used to describe 'a new person' but apparently it means someone who does research before posting a reply.....

My mistake
LMAO. Nice one!
Oh, and shame on you for being technically correct, while we're at it. (wink)

Tom, it's normal to have a 'funny smell' after the air-con is turned off. It's not actually the (dare I utter the word) refrigerant itself though, cos the R134a is tucked away all nicely under pressure in your lines. Therefore if you could smell it (does it even have a smell??), it is leaking and wouldn't keep cooling the car. So as long as your cooler works, you can be assured against being gassed out by "free"-on .

If I understand you correctly, the smell starts say 30 seconds or so after switch off until the evaporator warms back up again, usually 1-2 minutes. Sometimes, if you turn the aircon back on as it starts, you will see visible fog comig form the vents.

Air con of course dries the air and I BELIEVE the smell is something to do with re-humidification of the air. I can't tell you exactly what causes it, but it has happened to some extent on every aircon I've ever seen/smelled.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-29-2007, 04:22 AM
DominguesE30's Avatar
DominguesE30 DominguesE30 is offline
BMW FETISH!!!
Location: Melbourne, Australia
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 5,406
Send a message via MSN to DominguesE30
Mein Auto: `97 BMW 318is
LOL, u wish pete is a nooob!
Your just ashamed that he rolled yaaa with the terms freon and refrigerant
__________________
MADEINDEUTSCHLAND
`00 BMW e46 330i
`97 BMW e36 318is




Beeeeeeeee Eeeeem Double-YOU!!!!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-29-2007, 04:32 AM
Pirate_copy's Avatar
Pirate_copy Pirate_copy is offline
Still here
Location: Devon, UK
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 12,180
Send a message via MSN to Pirate_copy
Mein Auto: M3
I am really sorry guys

Will use the wrong terms from now on....i promise!!!
__________________
330i M-Sport in Topaz Blue

Edirty6 for life
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-29-2007, 04:42 AM
DominguesE30's Avatar
DominguesE30 DominguesE30 is offline
BMW FETISH!!!
Location: Melbourne, Australia
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 5,406
Send a message via MSN to DominguesE30
Mein Auto: `97 BMW 318is
lol pete, relax we are not a+ chemestry students
Refrigerant is refrigerant.
Just like e36's. ITS AN E36 but there are alot of different types (318i, 320 ect ect)
__________________
MADEINDEUTSCHLAND
`00 BMW e46 330i
`97 BMW e36 318is




Beeeeeeeee Eeeeem Double-YOU!!!!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-29-2007, 04:49 AM
Pirate_copy's Avatar
Pirate_copy Pirate_copy is offline
Still here
Location: Devon, UK
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 12,180
Send a message via MSN to Pirate_copy
Mein Auto: M3
It would be like scalding someone for saying "Do do not have a CAR, you have a bmw/honda/Holden etc"

Anyway, i have made my point, think i will move on
__________________
330i M-Sport in Topaz Blue

Edirty6 for life
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 04-29-2007, 04:51 AM
DominguesE30's Avatar
DominguesE30 DominguesE30 is offline
BMW FETISH!!!
Location: Melbourne, Australia
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 5,406
Send a message via MSN to DominguesE30
Mein Auto: `97 BMW 318is
best to move on.
+1 with pete
__________________
MADEINDEUTSCHLAND
`00 BMW e46 330i
`97 BMW e36 318is




Beeeeeeeee Eeeeem Double-YOU!!!!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 04-29-2007, 02:07 PM
v33_n0d3's Avatar
v33_n0d3 v33_n0d3 is offline
Black Mage
Location: Burbank
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,338
Mein Auto: 2001 325i Sedan
Sheesh... people don't know how to take jokes around here? Or maybe we're not allowed to make any jokes until our 1000th post.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 04-29-2007, 02:11 PM
mvallido's Avatar
mvallido mvallido is online now
2B1ASK1[GLOP]-RSL151
Location: World wide - US NAVY
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,228
Mein Auto: M235i EBII
Used to have that smell plus the old car smell on my E36. Change the micro filter and now it smells good inside.
__________________
2B1ASK1 BMWCCA #421240
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 04-29-2007, 02:14 PM
Pirate_copy's Avatar
Pirate_copy Pirate_copy is offline
Still here
Location: Devon, UK
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 12,180
Send a message via MSN to Pirate_copy
Mein Auto: M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by v33_n0d3 View Post
Sheesh... people don't know how to take jokes around here? Or maybe we're not allowed to make any jokes until our 1000th post.
You must understand that text posts have no tone and so we have no idea if you are joking or not.

We ALL joke around all the time, so dont pull the '1000 posts' rubbish

Anyway, lets move on shall we and do what we are supposed to on here....Help people!!!
__________________
330i M-Sport in Topaz Blue

Edirty6 for life
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 04-29-2007, 03:09 PM
v33_n0d3's Avatar
v33_n0d3 v33_n0d3 is offline
Black Mage
Location: Burbank
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,338
Mein Auto: 2001 325i Sedan
Quote:
Oh yea? Well refrigerant is a NOOOOOB term!
lol does that really need a tone? I cant believe you took it seriously. Ah... whatever. What does it matter.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 04-29-2007, 03:09 PM
Pirate_copy's Avatar
Pirate_copy Pirate_copy is offline
Still here
Location: Devon, UK
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 12,180
Send a message via MSN to Pirate_copy
Mein Auto: M3
too true mate
__________________
330i M-Sport in Topaz Blue

Edirty6 for life
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 04-30-2007, 02:40 AM
jason_recliner's Avatar
jason_recliner jason_recliner is offline
Don't ask me, I'm a sofa.
Location: Lovely Tropical Melbourne
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,181
Mein Auto: Bostongrün 1995 320i
Did some research today.

Apparently the smell IS bacterial. Normally the evaporator is dry. When you cool it, it gets wet and drips water, hopefully out the bottom of the car.
A cold bacterium (roughly 2°C??) is pretty much dormant. I know I would be.
When the cooler is turned off, and it warms up again, the still wet but now warming bacteria go nuts and multiply like crazy and stink. Shortly afterwards, it dries out and stops smelling.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 04-30-2007, 03:38 AM
DominguesE30's Avatar
DominguesE30 DominguesE30 is offline
BMW FETISH!!!
Location: Melbourne, Australia
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 5,406
Send a message via MSN to DominguesE30
Mein Auto: `97 BMW 318is
yeah bacteria is usually the culprit in awfull smells
__________________
MADEINDEUTSCHLAND
`00 BMW e46 330i
`97 BMW e36 318is




Beeeeeeeee Eeeeem Double-YOU!!!!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms