Air-Con Stinks - Vectra-C - wonderwheels
I own a 2004 Vectra Sri.I am the 2nd owner.When I use the air-con and then turn it off,after a while there is a "stale" smell.It smells like sweaty socks (I imagine).The dealer told me they drained and recharged the system, but it's much the same.How do I get rid of this??
Air-Con Stinks - Vectra-C - Dynamic Dave
Air-Con Stinks - Vectra-C - tmech
This is not uncommon with air con systems and is usually due to a build up of bacteria on the evaporator.
There are commercially available treatments that you spray into the intake side of the heater system, these i have found work quite well. The one i have used is supplied by Comma oils, but you will require a small compessor to atomise the cleaner. I have seen some treatments that come in a spray can and do much the same job.
Air-Con Stinks - Vectra-C - Dynamic Dave
The one i have used is supplied by Comma oils,

That's one of the sugggestions in the above link.
Air-Con Stinks - Vectra-C - matstro
I'm reading this thread with much interest. We've recently bought a 1999 Frontera with air con. On collecting the car we quickly found the interior stank - as mentioned much like sweaty socks lol. I scrubbed the car top to bottom with a wet upholstery cleaner hired locally. Mopped up some unmentionables that had dribbled down the back of the rear seat squab but still the smell lingers. I'll now check the air con closely - thanks!
Air-Con Stinks - Vectra-C - Stuartli
Re the link mentioned earlier in which I stated I followed up the Neutradol suggestion.

It works well and I do it about once a month (I also keep the a/c running as much as possible; occasionally I have it on fully cold and then switch it to full heat after about 10 minutes); I've since discovered that Neutradol is only £1.28 at Wilkinsons...:-)

However, I've no doubt that similar products which have come on to the market such as the one from Dettol will be equally as effective.
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What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Air-Con Stinks - Vectra-C - Mike H
Our local Vauxhall dealer is offering a system clean at £29.95 at the moment - seems to be a Vauxhall (rather than just dealer) initiative, might be worth enquiring.
Air-Con Stinks - Vectra-C - tmech
It may also be worth checking the drain tube for the evaporator to ensure that this is not blocked. It is there to drain of any water that drops from the evaporator. If it is blocked then the water left behind will build up and start to smell.
The tube can be anywhere but will at some point appear on the under side of the car or under the bonnet.
Air-Con Stinks - Vectra-C - wonderwheels
Thanks for the advice.Out of curiousity,is the Oust/Neutradol method "long-lasting"?.I am not clued up on the chemistry of these products, but the Comma product in Halford (£11.99) is aimed at total elimination of all traces of the smell and the bacteria that causes it in the first place.Is the cheaper method as good?? £11.99 seems reasonable to me to get of this stench.I initially tried the Warranty route as I had only had the car 1 month when I noticed it and the car was only 11 months old, but that got "knocked on the head" quickly.
Air-Con Stinks - Vectra-C - Dave N
I don't think you'll find any of them work terribly well, or for long. It just isn't possible to clean the evaporator by spraying something in the airstream. A bit like trying to clean your cooker by spraying something at it and letting it dry.

One way to reduce it is to let it dry out by turning the a/c off a couple of miles before you get home and giving the moisture a chance to dry off. Some manufacturers will fit a device that turns the fan on for 30 minutes or so some time after you get out of the car. If it's dry, it won't grow manky and smell.
Air-Con Stinks - Vectra-C - CG
I have always taken the advice HJ gave some time ago - not only turn it off before reaching home but whack the heat and fan up to max to aid the drying process. I know it's a bit unpleasant in these temps, even with the windows open, when that rush of hot air hits you, but it does work. I tend to select 'screen' so as to reduce the effect of hot air coming out of the vents, especially as it replaces that lovely cool air from the aircon. I suppose one day they will overcome the problem, but for now it works for me.

Air-Con Stinks - Vectra-C - Dave N
Turning the heat up to dry it won't make any difference as the heater matrix is after the evaporator. You would have to turn it to recirc to get heat across is, but if it's 30deg outside it will make little difference.
Air-Con Stinks - Vectra-C - MikeF
I had the same problem but some advice in this column a long time ago seems to work. Check the drain pipe, if it's blocked, water tends to drip into the footwells but it's generally noticeable. Every month or so, run the air con as cold as poss for 5 mins and then switch to full heat for 5 mins. Also, use your air con as much a possible. The smell only seems to appear after periods of it not being used. Other than the smell issue, the refridgerant acts as a lubricant and lack of use leads to dried out and ineffective seals which are expensive to replace. The sprays and dealer 'clean outs' are expensive and short lived.

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