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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2001 BMW 530i 110k miles on the odom. Stale musty smell coming from the interior vents.
I suspect that the cabin air filters have never been changed. I am the 2nd owner.
Air conditioner is ice cold and works great.

open for suggestions..

Gooddeal
 

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2001 BMW 530i 110k miles on the odom. Stale musty smell coming from the interior vents.
I suspect that the cabin air filters have never been changed. I am the 2nd owner.
Air conditioner is ice cold and works great.

open for suggestions..

Gooddeal
Typing /gym sock f3 in the bestlinks nets this ...
- How to replace the activated charcoal cabin air filter (1) (2) (3) & what cabin filter to buy (1) (2) & cn90's inexpensive cabin filter retrofit (1) (2) (3) & cabin air filter implications for stinky gym sock AC odors (1) (2) (3) (4)
 

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The ducting needs hosing out with an A/C spray elixir intended to neutralize the smell. Remove the filters and spray the stuff into the ducts with the blower on low speed. Let it set overnight.

Get under the car and make sure the drain hoses are free. They are on either side of the trans.
 

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2001 BMW 530i 110k miles on the odom. Stale musty smell coming from the interior vents.
I suspect that the cabin air filters have never been changed. I am the 2nd owner.
Air conditioner is ice cold and works great.

open for suggestions..

Gooddeal
Replacing filters with new ones with activated charcoal will help, but most likely you have mold growing on the condenser...you need to sanitize or clean it...there is an active thread right now on the subject in the E39 section. http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=786527

www.autohausaz.com has a pair of Mann filters for $20...only problem is you need to buy $75 worth of stuff to get free shipping. But even if you pay for shipping that is the best deal going.
 

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Thanks to all, I 'll replace the filters. I work for a BMW dealer so I get parts for 30% off.
However, I have an independent mechanic who will do the air conditioner cleaning..

gooddeal
If you work for a BMW dealership...see if one of the techs/mechs will look up the procedure in the BMW TIS on how to kill bacteria in the ducts & on the condenser. Here's a link to the online BMW workshop manual that explains the cause of the moldy/musty AC smell: http://workshop-manuals.com/bmw/5_s...mouldy_smell_from_air_conditioner_all_series/

I don't remember which model you have...but if you have the high cluster & MID (or nav)...you can use the aux vent feature of the OBC to help prevent the regrowth of bacteria.

If you live in a hot humid environment...running the AC then parking in a dark location (garage at night...or even on the street or driveway)...this is fertile growing conditions for bacteria. If it's too hot to turn off the AC approxamitely a mile before your destination...once you arrive and the ignition is in position 1 (aux vent/vent on will not appear orr is a selection in any other ignition position)...press the MID or NAV button that will bring up VENT ON or AUX VENT. This will run the HVAC blower for 30 minutes (without the key in the ignition) and will help dry the condensor and air ducts which helps prevent the growth of bacteria.
 

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If you work for a BMW dealership...see if one of the techs/mechs will look up the procedure in the BMW TIS on how to kill bacteria in the ducts & on the condenser. Here's a link to the online BMW workshop manual that explains the cause of the moldy/musty AC smell: http://workshop-manuals.com/bmw/5_s...mouldy_smell_from_air_conditioner_all_series/

I don't remember which model you have...but if you have the high cluster & MID (or nav)...you can use the aux vent feature of the OBC to help prevent the regrowth of bacteria.

If you live in a hot humid environment...running the AC then parking in a dark location (garage at night...or even on the street or driveway)...this is fertile growing conditions for bacteria. If it's too hot to turn off the AC approxamitely a mile before your destination...once you arrive and the ignition is in position 1 (aux vent/vent on will not appear orr is a selection in any other ignition position)...press the MID or NAV button that will bring up VENT ON or AUX VENT. This will run the HVAC blower for 30 minutes (without the key in the ignition) and will help dry the condensor and air ducts which helps prevent the growth of bacteria.
Interesting... too bad I don't have the high MID.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Cabin air filter

Here are the results of the "cabin air filter" smell. My mechanic serviced the air conditioning system, and replaced the 2 cabin filters, he also cleaned the ducts, and used a disinfectant.
Problem resolved.
Instead of using OEM filters from the dealer which cost in excess of $100.00, I purchased Purolator filters at a cost of $32.00 for 2.
All in all this was a very inexpensive event.

No more musty or mildew odor.

Thanks to all for the suggestions.

Gooddeal
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I recently replaced the cabin air filters in my 2001 530I with 111K on the odom. I'm the 2nd owner, and I believe the 1st owner may have replaced the filters at 60K. That's how filthy they were.
Prior to and still there is a slight musty smell coming through the vents when the air is 1st turned on. It clears out after about 2-3 minutes. A mechanic friend mentioned a product called OZIUM in a spray form. As directed I sprayed OZIUM into the air ducts leading to the cabin vents. The odor is gone and its been 2 months of air conditioning, and the interior is fresh.
I thought I'd pass this information on to thee who reads this.
This product can be found at Walmart and most auto supply stores. Enjoy !!

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I recently replaced the cabin air filters in my 2001 530I with 111K on the odom. I'm the 2nd owner, and I believe the 1st owner may have replaced the filters at 60K. That's how filthy they were.
Prior to and still there is a slight musty smell coming through the vents when the air is 1st turned on. It clears out after about 2-3 minutes. A mechanic friend mentioned a product called OZIUM in a spray form. As directed I sprayed OZIUM into the air ducts leading to the cabin vents. The odor is gone and its been 2 months of air conditioning, and the interior is fresh.
I thought I'd pass this information on to thee who reads this.
This product can be found at Walmart and most auto supply stores. Enjoy !!

Gooddeal
Nice. I've tried Ozium before, and it's great! I really need to buy a can.
 

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I have tried Ozium as well and with good results. Another tip I have received is to run the car on full heat with the ozium spray for about 10 mins. Also, turn off AC half mile before intended stop since that will evaporate any condensation that is accumulated at the coils and ducts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Here's another piece of information I got pertaining to eliminating a musty odor coming through the cabin air vents,
A mechanic/detailer told me if you take a couple of pieces of charcoal normally used in outdoor grills, crush them up and wrap them in 2 paper towels, remove each cabin air filter and place the charcoal in. drive the car for 2-3 days without the cabin air filters. Any signs of mustiness will be gone. It certainly would be worth a try.
For anyone who would like to try this process, let me/us know how it turns out

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Don't forget as mentioned back in post #6..if you have the HIGH MID & cluster...or NAV...you can turn on the immediate VENT feature if you forget to turn off the AC a few miles before your destination (or if it's TOO hot to turn the AC off) so that you don't create an environment for bacteria to grow. The HVAC blower will run for 30 minutes, then shut off...this will help evaporate condensate and prevent the growth of mold & bacteria...especially if you're parking in a dark hot location (like your garage or at night).

If you have the HIGH MID...press the clock face button on the MID to bring up the TIMER features...when the ignition is in position 1 or 2...you can select the VENT ON feature (it WILL NOT appear if the ignition switch is in any other position that 1 or 2):


If you have nav...select AUX VENTILATION...then when you turn the ignition to position 2 or 1...you can select AUX VENT/DIRECT MODE



 
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