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Old 05-31-11, 05:41 AM   #1
Nelsen
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Angry Air conditionerbad smell

I notice a bad smell when I start my 2011 ES350for a short period of time. After that it is fine. Auto has just over
10,000 miles on it. E mail from dealer tells me filter needs changing. Somehow I believe there is more to it.
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Old 05-31-11, 06:56 AM   #2
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Smells like old dirty socks I'm sure.

What you are experiencing is kind of typical with these cars.
You of course get condensation when you run the a/c in humid climates.
What happens is the moisture combined with the darkness leads to bacteria/mold build up in the a/c system which tends to create unpleasant odors.

The filter can help slightly...but does not get rid of the problem at hand.
What you can do in order to help minimize the problem is "a few minutes before stopping the car....turn off the a/c on button, but leave the fan on a HIGHER fan setting to keep the air circulating throught the system. This will help evaporate the excess moisture in the system which will help cut down on the potential for odors.

If it gets really bad however, they can inject a spray/foam into the system (i believe up through the condensation drain tube under the car) into the system to help clean the system.
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Old 06-01-11, 02:16 PM   #3
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If the filter got wet it can smell bad, just change it & see if it is better. They aren't very expensive.
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Old 06-02-11, 04:43 AM   #4
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It sounds to me like your a/c condensation drain tube is plugged, leading to water remaining in the airflow passages, which in turn leads to mold. Have it checked out.

Once opened you'll need to spray a mold killer into the cowling with the a/c on to finish the job.
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Old 06-02-11, 04:52 AM   #5
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I would get it clean out like everyone is saying, then follow up with a product like 1Z einszett Klima-Cleaner for your A/C.
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Old 06-02-11, 09:03 AM   #6
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I have the same problem. My car is brand new - < 6K miles on it. I took it back to the dealer 3x for this problem. I was told "you have a rodent problem in your garage and we found pellets in your AC filter" (not true) and charged $220 to "flush the system" and replace the filter. Smell came back 3 days later. They flushed the system again using the spray/foam, and "baked" the car by turning on the heat as high as it would go for 30 minutes. Did not fix the problem. I sent an e-mail to the Director of Service, got my money back, and turned the car over to him. They used an "ionizing machine" which introduced a new, unpleasant odor, baked the car AGAIN, and a week later, the bad odor came back. I'm at my wits end and don't think there's any point in going back to the dealership since they obviously have no idea how to deal with this. They said they knew this was an issue with the IS model, but not the ES...really?! And Lexus is not aware of this??

By the way, a new filter for an ES 350 is $45. This is NOT a filter problem - I have this problem with a brand new, clean filter.
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Old 06-02-11, 02:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citybonn View Post
I have the same problem. My car is brand new - < 6K miles on it. I took it back to the dealer 3x for this problem. I was told "you have a rodent problem in your garage and we found pellets in your AC filter" (not true) and charged $220 to "flush the system" and replace the filter. Smell came back 3 days later. They flushed the system again using the spray/foam, and "baked" the car by turning on the heat as high as it would go for 30 minutes. Did not fix the problem. I sent an e-mail to the Director of Service, got my money back, and turned the car over to him. They used an "ionizing machine" which introduced a new, unpleasant odor, baked the car AGAIN, and a week later, the bad odor came back. I'm at my wits end and don't think there's any point in going back to the dealership since they obviously have no idea how to deal with this. They said they knew this was an issue with the IS model, but not the ES...really?! And Lexus is not aware of this??

By the way, a new filter for an ES 350 is $45. This is NOT a filter problem - I have this problem with a brand new, clean filter.
If it's feasable you might take the car to another dealer and see if they have a fix for the problem. Good luck with finding a solution.

Just FYI to anyone who is in the market for a new cabin filter, you can find them for about half the Lexus dealer retail price at Toyota dealers, auto supply stores, EBay etc.
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Old 06-03-11, 01:36 PM   #8
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Some people say that having the AC on full blast and pouring alcohol, Clorox disinfectant, or Lysol spray down the cowl under the windshield wipers will fix it. I just vacuum and Febreeze the hell out of my cabin filter. Also when I have been running the AC a lot, I will turn the heat on high for a few minutes before I turn the car off. The dealership told me it was because I smoke in the car, which is crap, because I have smoked in all of my previous cars and my parents have smoked in all of there cars and I have never experienced this before. The dealership wanted $350 to spray something through the system. They said it was not covered under warranty because it is considered a "maintenance" item. The car was less than a year old and had about 4K miles when I took it in the first time. From what I have read in other places It seems that the issue is with the way the water drains from the AC, it doesn't allow all of it to escape, so it creates mold and mildew in the system.

Also you can also try this, which I am going to get when I have to buy my next one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Fram-...Q5fAccessories

Hope this helps,
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Old 06-09-11, 07:31 PM   #9
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I've had this problem as well. It was so bad in my SC430 That I had an allergic reaction to the car.

I now Regulary change the AC/Vent filter annually every spring. Cost $15-$20 depending on the car. I will also quite often but not always spray duct cleaner or lysol into the system to clean out the mold growing in there.
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Old 05-31-14, 01:55 PM   #10
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I have the same problem from my 2013 IS 250C bought last Dec, which is under 3K miles, not used AC often yet (was not hot enough yet). It had 150 miles on it when I bought.

I am 100% sure it is not the smell build up after using AC and not drying enough before turning engine off. I know how that smells. It is different - worse - smelling like a sweat soaked towel left in a shade to dry, and getting humid again to smell. BAD!!!

Dealershop says it is because how the car was engineered. Really? If that is how Lexus engineers their car, and if they do not know how to cure it (if not fixable), they should be ashamed. My cheaper Toyota cars had no such bad odors. I do not smell such bad odor from my friends 15+ year old cars. How can Lexus claim it is how they made their cars? Does Lexus know no shame?

I just called in corporate cust. satisfaction center. Waiting for an update. Hope they can offer anything better than the uncapable dealership service reps.

If they cannot fix the problem, this Lexus is my last Lexus I will ever buy!
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Old 05-31-14, 04:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwisungi View Post
I have the same problem from my 2013 IS 250C bought last Dec, which is under 3K miles, not used AC often yet (was not hot enough yet). It had 150 miles on it when I bought.

I am 100% sure it is not the smell build up after using AC and not drying enough before turning engine off. I know how that smells. It is different - worse - smelling like a sweat soaked towel left in a shade to dry, and getting humid again to smell. BAD!!!

Dealershop says it is because how the car was engineered. Really? If that is how Lexus engineers their car, and if they do not know how to cure it (if not fixable), they should be ashamed. My cheaper Toyota cars had no such bad odors. I do not smell such bad odor from my friends 15+ year old cars. How can Lexus claim it is how they made their cars? Does Lexus know no shame?

I just called in corporate cust. satisfaction center. Waiting for an update. Hope they can offer anything better than the uncapable dealership service reps.

If they cannot fix the problem, this Lexus is my last Lexus I will ever buy!
I simply change the A/C filter once/yr.
This seems to have become an issue since designers started putting the filters in. The problem is no isolated to Lexus
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Old 05-31-14, 07:11 PM   #12
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Lexus recommends a charcoal cabin filter as a tsb for all models. the problem with these cars is AC button is in the nav and always remains on when shutting vehicle off therefore u get all the moisture on startup. shut off ac and try starting it, will be much better. if not u will need a evaporator cleaning.
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Old 06-05-14, 11:04 AM   #13
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Dealer confirmed it is NOT because of the filter. They proudly said that it is how their cars are built - to produce bad odor even if the car is brand new. I have a lot minor odor problem from my other cars, after a couple of years of summer, only when the air conditioner is turned off (but fan is still running) after use.

Corp. cust. sat. called me yesterday, saying the same thing - they built their cars that way. She had no shame saying so. I am so disappointed.

Even if I have to pay more (or less), I will buy cars from other makers in the future. I am telling my story to everyone I know. I will post this story everywhere I can. I am that disappointed and mad!
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Old 06-05-14, 12:57 PM   #14
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You CAN turn the AC compressor off (declutch it) anytime. With the non-Nav cars this is accomplished using the "AC" button (the light will extinquish), and on the cars with Nav, in the lower left corner of the CLIMATE screen is the "AC touch button".......touch to cycle between "on" (yellow) and "off" (no yellow). When you turn the AC "off" before shutting down the engine it will still be "off" after the next engine restart so you will have to select it "on" if you desire the AC again. This does NOT affect the fan operation.
As mentioned above, it is beneficial if you "dry out" the evaporator by turning the AC "off" a few minutes before shutting the engine off. With the cars that I've owned that had/have AC I made it a habit to shut the AC off about 5 minutes or so before shutting off the engine after the last trip of the day. I've never had odor problems.

Last edited by oldgrump; 06-05-14 at 01:01 PM..
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Old 06-05-14, 06:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hwisungi View Post
Dealer confirmed it is NOT because of the filter. They proudly said that it is how their cars are built - to produce bad odor even if the car is brand new. I have a lot minor odor problem from my other cars, after a couple of years of summer, only when the air conditioner is turned off (but fan is still running) after use.

Corp. cust. sat. called me yesterday, saying the same thing - they built their cars that way. She had no shame saying so. I am so disappointed.

Even if I have to pay more (or less), I will buy cars from other makers in the future. I am telling my story to everyone I know. I will post this story everywhere I can. I am that disappointed and mad!
What year and what model?
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Old 06-05-14, 06:49 PM
 
 
 
 
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