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Old 07-23-2015, 10:55 AM
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Question Mild musty smell on first start up? AC?

The past few day I have noticed a musty smell coming from my vents with a/c.
I found this link to try and resolve the issue but does this method apply to our cars as well?
http://www.bmwtips.com/tipsntricks/AC/smell.htm
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Old 07-23-2015, 11:07 AM
Michael Schott Michael Schott is offline
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Musty smells are not normal. Let the dealer deal with this under warranty.
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:14 AM
jlbjr jlbjr is offline
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I'm in SFla, I try not to use my A/C that much. When it sits a while I'll have that smell when I first start it up, but it goes away.
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:13 AM
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The AC should help the issue, not make it worse.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:01 AM
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If you still have the 4 year free maintenance, just tell them to replace the micro filter.

Mine were completely gone after they did it.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:34 AM
John MS John MS is online now
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Does anyone know if BMW cars are programmed to run the blower fan sometime after the car is shut down when the ac has been run? Some other makes do that to remove condensation and reduce the chance of mold building up and creating the musty smell.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hookster57 View Post
The AC should help the issue, not make it worse.
The AC is the cause of the issue. The smell is mold or algae growing in the moist evaporator enclosure or drain pan. In severe cases, the evaporator drain hose can be obstructed, causing water to stand in the pan or even overflow into the passenger footwell.

There are sprays to neutralize the odor, applied with a wand into the dash vents. I used this one with success on one of my cars:
http://www.amazon.com/einszett-96110...itioning+spray

My wife's car developed a smell, and eventually a wet carpet. We had the dealer blow out the evaporator drain hose.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:47 AM
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Sounds like the water in the trunk problem. Another bad design.
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:42 PM
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CALWATERBOY DUE CALWATERBOY DUE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamoka3 View Post
The past few day I have noticed a musty smell coming from my vents with a/c.
I found this link to try and resolve the issue but does this method apply to our cars as well?
http://www.bmwtips.com/tipsntricks/AC/smell.htm

What? Jersey in late July; AC's musty?

Turns out, many many many many many threads on this, and your link's pretty good. Some use a foaming, penetrating treatment designed for just this sorta thing. Useful post from one thread: [click here] - read that, and explore the links.


Last edited by CALWATERBOY DUE; 07-25-2015 at 01:16 AM.
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:35 PM
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I guess the easiest thing would be to start and check the condensation drains. Does anyone have pics / location on where the drain is? Might as well check to see if there blocked or not.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:30 PM
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Very common - I've had this on various makes / models. Running the ac fan on high w/ fresh air setting while spraying Lysol or another specifically designed product in the cabin air intake will work for a while.
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:18 PM
Armand Armand is offline
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Another trick is to run the heater at max temp for a minute or two. Not very convenient in hot weather but it takes care of the problem.
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Old 07-25-2015, 04:15 AM
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Odd. Never had a musty smell in the other 30 cars I've owned.
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Old 07-25-2015, 06:02 AM
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Odd. Never had a musty smell in the other 30 cars I've owned.

And yet many others have - go figure...
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Old 07-25-2015, 06:59 AM
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I'm saying it's a BMW issue.
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamoka3 View Post
I guess the easiest thing would be to start and check the condensation drains. Does anyone have pics / location on where the drain is? Might as well check to see if there blocked or not.
If the evaporator drain was stopped up, the pan would fill with condensate, overflow and wet the carpet. Which you don't report.
More likely there is just some mold on the coils or in the pan that is smelling. This can occur from constant use of AC and not drying the coils before shutting off. Dry the evaporator by changing from AC to outside air Vent a few minutes before turning the car off. And use the spray to get rid of the present odor.
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Old 07-25-2015, 04:52 PM
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Maybe if the system didn't default to AC on it would help.
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:03 AM
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This just started happening to me too. Over the last week (and specifically when I park my car outside), when I first get in the car and run the air, it smells like something died for about a minute or two.

So if I go to the dealer, they'll take care of whatever the issue may be under warranty? Has anyone done this with their F30?
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:35 AM
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I tried the heat trick. I ran the car with the heat on, and all the way up for about 10-15 minutes. Seemed to help a little...
well see.
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamoka3 View Post
I tried the heat trick. I ran the car with the heat on, and all the way up for about 10-15 minutes. Seemed to help a little...
well see.
I may try that too, but if it's covered under warranty, I'd rather just take it to the dealer. However, if it isn't, then I don't want to waste my time driving down to one. I'm hoping someone can confirm this would be covered.
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hookster57 View Post
I'm saying it's a BMW issue.
You are wrong. Its not a BMW issue. Its an Air conditioning / Ventilation issue. It is common to any car make/model. It has to do with the way the dehumidifying process works. And all cars default to AC on when turning on the HVAC unit. But you can keep believing that its just a BMW issue so you can use that as another reason not to buy a BMW when you go get another car.

Last edited by strongheart; 08-29-2015 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:12 AM
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Mild musty smell on first start up? AC?

Say what? Not all cars default to AC on. How old are you for pete's sake?
And I'm picking my 63k 435 up on Thursday so I guess you're wrong about that too.
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Old 08-30-2015, 04:53 AM
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If you always run the AC and just adjust the temperature without turning off the AC from new, you will not get the musty smell. I have also never had it on a car as I always run the AC "on" and turn the temperature up or down as required.
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Old 08-30-2015, 08:39 AM
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It's the condensation from the AC coil that can cause the smell. Running the ventilation without the compressor on dries it out.
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  #25  
Old 08-30-2015, 09:21 AM
The Big O The Big O is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hookster57 View Post
I'm saying it's a BMW issue.
It's not.

I've had this same issue occur occasionally on previously owned:

'01 Hyundai Elantra
'05 Audi A4
'08 Infiniti EX35
'12 Infiniti G37

...and now occasionally on my '11 328i.

One thing I've found makes it "worse" is when I use the parked car vent feature either on a timer or manually. Though the "musty" smell goes away quickly once the A/C is running.

It got pretty bad for a while in the first summer I had my G37. I brought it in to the dealership and had them clean the A/C system which seemed to do the trick. Though I was rear ended and had the car totaled before I was able to take it through another summer.
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