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Registered
2003 Forester 2.5 XS
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78 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I hope it is right theme for this thread;

After switch on air conditioner(mainly in hight temperature) on internal circulation, it is some malodorous smell for first several minutes;
Filter is new;

And I don want to use some doubtful antibacterial sprays;
Also want to avoid about $30 service for ionized elaboration - which may not help :smile2:

Prefer to disassamble and clean manually, all interior parts for conditioning;

Is any tutorial for this process ?

Thank you in advanced.
 

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2017 base model manual 6 speed
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1,259 Posts
When you turn on the AC, recommend to leave the windows down for like a minute or so, for the fumes to dissipate.


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2017 Forester XT Touring CVT
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236 Posts
I think your right, its probably coming from gung and mold in the air box. this could be from a clogged evaporator drain line. if water builds up in the box then mold grows.

steps:

plan 4 hours for this. that means an entire 6 pack.

first thing find the blower box under the passenger dashboard.

#1 drop the fan, three screws hold it in disconnect motor and pull the entire fan assembly out. FYI use a 1/4" drive ratchet with a philps screw driver bit, it very hard to remove the screws because its a very tight space and it hard to get and torque on them to remove them.


#2 remove cabin air filter from behind glove box


#3 find the A/C evap coil drain line under the car, little black hose that has water dripping out of it when the A/C has been running for awhile. gentle blow a little low pressure compressed air in to the line, blow any cloggs back to the heater box.


#4 take your hand put in up the hole where the fan was and to the left towards the center console. there you should find the a/c and heater coils they are both sandwiched in there. your not going to try pulling the entire heater box out that requires more work then you wish and the dashboard has to be removed.

#5 use you hand or your cell phone camera to see how dirty it is in there, clean out all the leafs gunk and insulation that is in there. then use coil clean or A/C coil refresh. these are designed to clean evap coils safely and kill mold and mildew. then blow the coil out with a healthy amount of compressed air using a wand. let air dry.

if your feeling lucky try using a little water to make sure that the drain hose that you blew out earlier is unclogged. use compressed air to blow the coil out again and let air dry

reassemble dont over tighten the three fan screws.

for the next few days you will smell the evap cleaner when you turn on the fan. but it will go away quickly. you could even just leave the fan on for an hour with the windows down and it would blow the smell out.

ive done this my self. good luck
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring CVT
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236 Posts
correction for this year the cabin air filter might be underneath next to the fan motor assembly that you just removed
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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1,896 Posts
Since you live in a humid environment, moisture will accumulate in your vehicle on hot days when you use recirculation mode.
You should turn off recirc for at least several minutes before you plan to stop so that the ventilation system can dry out.

Running recirc when it is cold is always a bad idea, because essentially you are adding moisture to the interior, creating a mold friendly environment which will start growing again right after you correct your current issue.
 

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2003 Forester 2.5 XS
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78 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
SEÑOR SUBARU
DragonSubie7

Well, looks like need some predefined tactics using of A/C in different ebvironments, since each of control on panel is multifunctional, but anyway need delailed understand structure of cabin air chanels;

Irony is that I'm using internal conditioning to protect from external dust and pollutes by cars;

1roamingnome
Thanks for instructions. I quickly reviewed related user manual and hope there are no some danger for health detailes(like box under pressure or smth) at least in cabin part of conditionig system :)
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring CVT
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236 Posts
SEÑOR SUBARU


1roamingnome
Thanks for instructions. I quickly reviewed related user manual and hope there are no some danger for health detailes(like box under pressure or smth) at least in cabin part of conditionig system :)


What? did not understand any of that.
 

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2012 Forester X Auto
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1,896 Posts
Irony is that I'm using internal conditioning to protect from external dust and pollutes by cars;
Actually, that is what your cabin air filter is for - to filter out dust, and if you change it regularly, it works quite well.
I change mine every couple of months because I have to drive on dusty dirt roads.
It really depends on the environment you are in how often it needs changing, but I can tell because the output will be reduced.

As far as car smoke - It won't help there so recirc is the way to go. Just don't have it on all the time and especially don't have it running for a long time nd then park your car. There is a drain, but moisture on the walls of the vents is enough to make mold - Think about bathroom walls...
Good Luck
:nerd:
 

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2003 Forester 2.5 XS
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78 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Actually, that is what your cabin air filter is for - to filter out dust, and if you change it regularly, it works quite well.
I change mine every couple of months because I have to drive on dusty dirt roads.
It really depends on the environment you are in how often it needs changing, but I can tell because the output will be reduced.

As far as car smoke - It won't help there so recirc is the way to go. Just don't have it on all the time and especially don't have it running for a long time nd then park your car. There is a drain, but moisture on the walls of the vents is enough to make mold - Think about bathroom walls...
Good Luck
:nerd:
I dont change cabin filter so frequently as you but I changed about 4 or 5 times(and with high qualities) and not of them can filter smell of cars exhaust;

And yes, seems like internal circulation need use very rarely - today tested in fog weather :)

Anyway starting from Auto mode works fine;
 

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Joined
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277 Posts
Since you live in a humid environment, moisture will accumulate in your vehicle on hot days when you use recirculation mode.
You should turn off recirc for at least several minutes before you plan to stop so that the ventilation system can dry out.

Running recirc when it is cold is always a bad idea, because essentially you are adding moisture to the interior, creating a mold friendly environment which will start growing again right after you correct your current issue.
This. always let it vent after ac. ac condensation builds and gets musty.
 

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2011 Forester 2.5X Automatic
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184 Posts
Hello,

I hope it is right theme for this thread;

After switch on air conditioner(mainly in hight temperature) on internal circulation, it is some malodorous smell for first several minutes;
Filter is new;

And I don want to use some doubtful antibacterial sprays;
Also want to avoid about $30 service for ionized elaboration - which may not help :smile2:

Prefer to disassamble and clean manually, all interior parts for conditioning;

Is any tutorial for this process ?

Thank you in advanced.
It's mildew. It grows in the dark moist area in the evaporator coil. It's worse if you live in areas where the normal humidity is high. I live in the south and the "gym sock" smell is a pretty normal occurrence when you first fire up the AC especially in the summer.

What to do about it?

First, make sure the condensate drain is draining. The hardest thing with this is finding the drain. It should be near the area of the evaporator coil and will typically be at the bottom of the firewall in the engine compartment. Best way to find it is from underneath the car.

The only way, without tearing apart the system ...which is not a good idea because invariably the smell will come back ...is to use an AC coil cleaning product designed specifically for automotive AC systems. You insert the hose that comes with the can of cleaner up into the condensate drain tube a good ways. The idea here is to fill the evaporator coil box with the cleaning foam; follow the directions on the can. The foam will eventually begin to drain out of the condensate tube and what doesn't drain out will come out with the condensate as the system is used. My '11 Foz has yet to develop the AC Funk but my old '98 GMC pickup had it bad. I used the coil cleaner method and it worked well and got rid of the stink ...for about a year.

There are some things you just have to live with and getting a case of AC Funk is one of them. Tearing apart the system and cleaning all the coils and condensate tray is just a lot of work for not much reward; if you live in a hot or warm and humid climate the smell will return ...especially in the summer months. Just use the foam. It works well, is relatively easy and will keep the system fresh for about a year or so.
 
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