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Ultimate Driving Machine
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After about 20 months of ownership, my 2005 545i has finally started to get a stinky musty AC odor like some of my previous bimmers. Anyone have a good fix? On my M3 there was a DIY for taking apart part of the system under the dash and spraying some stuff in there. Anyone had this fixed under warranty or have a good DIY solution. I've tried on other cars spraying lysol in the HVAC intake, but that only seems to work for a few days, so I'm not sure its worth trying again. TIA for any info.
 

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sounds like some drain hose somewhere is clogged and causing water to back up an turn to mildew... i'd definatly say warranty work... espically if the dealer can smell what you smell!!... make sure you can reproduce it for them, don't turn on ac for a while and let them get a full blast of mildew air
 

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Travel Fever
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It is not warranty work. If odor is warranty work, what next? Bread crumbs clean up? All you have to do is to crank up the heat to the highest temperature and have the AC off. Then let it blast for few minutes. These lovely bateria will die. Try to avoid chemical, that's how super bug created, becoming increasingly resistant to any forms of chemical, i.e. medicine.
 

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I know exactly what you are talking about, that happened on my 745. It was really bad when the air first came on but then dissipated in a few minutes. Take it to the dealer, they remove the cover and put a 'baking soda' like deodorizer in it, which solves the problem. Due to the high humidity in Atlanta, I would have the dealer do it every time the car was in for service.
 

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It is not warranty work. If odor is warranty work, what next? Bread crumbs clean up? All you have to do is to crank up the heat to the highest temperature and have the AC off. Then let it blast for few minutes. These lovely bateria will die. Try to avoid chemical, that's how super bug created, becoming increasingly resistant to any forms of chemical, i.e. medicine.
This problem appears to be an issue. My dealer took care of it under warraty at the first oil change on my 04 E46.
 

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Travel Fever
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This problem appears to be an issue. My dealer took care of it under warraty at the first oil change on my 04 E46.
I am not saying dealers won't do it for you free of charges. I am only saying it is a typical thing for all vehicles. You don't need to bring to dealers or wait until visiting dealers to address that. My experience on BMW, Honda, Toyota, Lexus......... are the same. I have used the same trick to get rid of the smell. Sometimes it takes a quick as 2 traffic lights.
 

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I am not saying dealers won't do it for you free of charges. I am only saying it is a typical thing for all vehicles. You don't need to bring to dealers or wait until visiting dealers to address that. My experience on BMW, Honda, Toyota, Lexus......... are the same. I have used the same trick to get rid of the smell. Sometimes it takes a quick as 2 traffic lights.
Perhaps I've been lucky with all my cars. Except for my bimmer, the only other car I have experienced this problem with was an '84 Audi 5000, this was in '85. We were on a long trip from TX to Napa Valley and then south across the Mojave desert to the Grand Canyon. Temps were around 115 degrees according to the Audi's outside temp indicator. Suddenly we got this stinky smell, out of nowhere! After our return home, I sprayed inside the air intake with Lysol and tried some other sprays and was never able to get rid of the smell.

I wish I would've known about your remedy then, maybe I would've kept the car longer.
 

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Travel Fever
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Smelly AC in any new car is not normal something is wrong... for the price you pay you shouldn't have to "deal with it".

Take it back to dealer ship.. tell them it smells bad something is wrong with AC..
You are getting either too fancy or too complicated here. It is well known. You can probably find this on common auto mechanic webpage. :google:

The smell is typically mildew due to condensation from the AC system.

Of course, if the system smells like something is buring or a dead rat. Yes, bring it to dealership.

Yes, BMW is an highend vehicle but let's not make yourself like a fool because there is mildew smell from the AC.
 

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You are getting either too fancy or too complicated here. It is well known. You can probably find this on common auto mechanic webpage. :google:

The smell is typically mildew due to condensation from the AC system.

Of course, if the system smells like something is buring or a dead rat. Yes, bring it to dealership.

Yes, BMW is an highend vehicle but let's not make yourself like a fool because there is mildew smell from the AC.
I don't think its foolish to complain about a $60k plus car with a smelly A/C. I've owned everything from a Ford to a Lexus in humid Dallas and my 545i was the first to have this problem. Frankly, if Ford can get this right BMW should also.
 

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After about 20 months of ownership, my 2005 545i has finally started to get a stinky musty AC odor like some of my previous bimmers.
Just curious....do you keep your Recirc Control on Recirc, Outside Air, or Automatic??

Seems I have read you can have this problem if you keep this control on Recirc all the time and that you need to bring in some outside air periodically. I have been leaving mine on Automatic and so far, no problems of this sort.
 

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Another method to avoid creating an environment for mold and bacteria to flourish is to shut off the A/C compressor about 1/2 mile away from home/parking spot and just run the fan. This will dehydrate the system and prevent the extreme temperature difference between the HVAC system and the car, thus minimizing the opportunity for condensation to form within the system, thus providing a ripe environment for the bugs to grow.

Lysol is very effective in killing most forms of bacteria/mold and virus, but the key is exposing the entire system to the chemical.:thumbup:
 

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Another method to avoid creating an environment for mold and bacteria to flourish is to shut off the A/C compressor about 1/2 mile away from home/parking spot and just run the fan. This will dehydrate the system and prevent the extreme temperature difference between the HVAC system and the car, thus minimizing the opportunity for condensation to form within the system, thus providing a ripe environment for the bugs to grow.

Lysol is very effective in killing most forms of bacteria/mold and virus, but the key is exposing the entire system to the chemical.:thumbup:
I had seen that method and have tried it without any benefit.

Right now my car is not smelling, but the trunk, oh... the trunk! When the dealer took care of the smell inside the car, the odor in the trunk went away, only to ruturn after a few weeks.
 

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I was getting the smell last summer after I got the car in March. After some experience, I realized that running A/C until we stop and then after a while, restarting causes/throws that bad smell into car. So I stop the A/C a mile before I get to my office and park. Then it is gone!!!
 

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Also this car is not some how designed to keep water drain off properly. When I open the trunc, I see black residue around the drain holes on the trunc bottom when it sits on bumper. Also the car sides, where the doors drain water I guess are not done right. I see black residue line going vertically right at the end of driver/passenger door and bottom body panel. Now and then I need to scrub it little hard to remove it!!!
 

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BMW NA Customer Relations
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I'm with BMW of North America, LLC. I've checked with our experts regarding this issue. This is an industry wide problem caused by humid conditions. Moisture that condenses on the evaporator can provide an environment favorable to microorganisms drawn in either from the outside air, or from inside the passenger compartment (particularly from food or pets). This can cause a musty odor, when the air conditioner is first switched ON.

Using a specially designed tool, your BMW center can chemically clean the evaporator and evaporator box with disinfectant. However, while this can solve the odor problem for an extended period, it is not a permanent fix because the microorganisms can grow again due to the humidity in the air.

BMW recommends that you leave the A/C ON continuously (snowflake button on your A/C panel) to help prevent this situation from happening repeatedly.

Our engineers are still testing further options, but nothing new is anticipated for the immediate future. If you have additional questions or would like our assistance, you can reach us at 800-831-1117 or email us at [email protected].
 

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Hofmeister kink ftw!1!!1!
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It is not warranty work. If odor is warranty work, what next? Bread crumbs clean up? All you have to do is to crank up the heat to the highest temperature and have the AC off. Then let it blast for few minutes. These lovely bateria will die. Try to avoid chemical, that's how super bug created, becoming increasingly resistant to any forms of chemical, i.e. medicine.
The dealer did mine under warranty :dunno:
 

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Oder that came out from my other car was from condensation in the AC vents... order was cause from mildew..

There was spray can that remove that...
You leave the ac running at air from outside...
You spray that into the crawl (air intake for the AC) from out of the car....
Just spray it all over and it remove the oder.....
Make sure don't get into the car for while though..
 
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