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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up a 04 Armada SE and when the ac comes on i.e. crank the car w/ac activated or simply just turning on the ac it smells like wet dog momentarily (5-10 seconds) then it clears up and you dont smell anything again until the car or ac is turned off and turned on again.
I can't show off my beast until I get rid of that!! Help please....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did find it after I posted; however I didn't really find anything useful other than turning off AC prior to shutting the engine down....surely this is not the norm?!
One other thing! The night I drove it home; it was kind of cool outside so while I was driving I simply shut the AC off, but allowed the fan to continue running to bring in the cool air from outside. Huge mistake that was! It went from bad to worse, now it smelled like wet dog, horse and chicken. I swear it was almost as if throw up was in the vents! Switched the AC back on and smell went away!
What gives?!
 

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It sounds like you have a build up of debris in the outside air intake (at the base of the windshield). You could have leaves, bugs, etc in that area. Try using a water hose to wash out the intake.
 
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Also, make sure there's no Mold buildup in the ventallation system. Any kind of Mold can give off all kinds of stinks and give you asthma along with other respitory problems even if you've always been perfectly healthy.
 

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I think this is a common complaint with Nissan a/c systems, it seems that every Nissan forum I'm on talks about this. If I recall correctly, there's two typical methods for attempting to fix this issue - replace the in-cabin filter (apparently there are two types, a paper filter and a carbon-based filter, which is more expensive, but more effective) or to spray some disinfectant into the air intake cowl while the A/C is running.
 

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I'd replace the filters right away! I replaced mine a few months back and it made all the difference in the world (including increased air flow/volume).
 

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I too have a very strong odor from my vents, and changing the cabin filters did nothing. I do like the idea of using a disinfectant, I'll see if that helps.
 

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This is a common problem not only to Nissan's, but all cars. I had the same thing on my BMW M3 and they performed the disinfectant service. I got to talking to the tech and he said I can accomplish almost the same thing by doing the following:

1) Remove the cabin filter
2) Turn the A/C on to 70 degrees (any lower can automatically turn on the recirculation function)
3) Open the vents, and spray Lysol in there so it gets sucked in


(this is modified for what they actually do but he said should keep it smelling fresh by killing the mold on the coils)

My Armada has the same issue but I have not had time to address it as of yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am a auto mechanical NOVICE....where do I spray the Lysol so that it is sucked in through the system? Is this inside the car (wouldn't think so) or in the engine bay?
 

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Turn the A/C fan on the highest speed, push the knob to "Recirculate" and spray into the intake vent on the outside of the truck, at the base of the windshield where the wipers are located.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have had one of the busiest weeks of my life...I have not driven my car 60 miles yet, have not even programmed the homelink stuff for my garage!! I will certainly give that a shot this weekend and will let you all know what happens. I will plan to change out the filters too. Are there any other filters for the cabin other than those located behind the glove box? I thought somebody said there are two different kinds, the ones w/carbon and just regular ones. Is that so?
 

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scr38 said:
Turn the A/C fan on the highest speed, push the knob to "Recirculate" and spray into the intake vent on the outside of the truck, at the base of the windshield where the wipers are located.
SCR - I was told specifically NOT to use the recirculate function. It was explained that the system needs to pull fresh air from the outside in order for your lysol spraying to be pulled across the cooling coils.
 

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I just did this last night and can confirm that you must have the recirc off. Like spta97 said it must draw fresh air in from the outside. I was surprised at just how much air is drawn in through the intake below the windshield. I was worried about overspray, but the draw was so strong it wasn't a problem.

Things are smelling better already, but time will tell. I used a heavy duty disinfectant (the kind we use to clean our medic units and blood soaked gear) and it kills EVERYTHING. It also has a "country fresh" scent too. Seems to have done the trick at least temporarily.
 

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You are correct about the Recirculate needing to be Off,not On. Didn't have my brain in gear when I wrote that!
 
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2011 Infiniti QC56
161000 miles
Funny Story....
For a few weeks we'd been smelling a musty smell from the car that got worse when we turned the AC on. So, like a good DIYer I ordered a cabin air filter off rockauto.com and attempted to install. The intake behind the glove box was pristine. No indication of mold or mildew anywhere. I cleaned and disinfected anyway. Strangely, the axillary power died while I circulated the cleaner through the vents. I was like, DANG, I guess my battery was week. But it just been driven by my wife...middle of September...80+ degrees. Opened the hood and residue from battery acid spray everywhere. No telling how long we'd been inhaling battery acid fumes. Cashed in my warranty that was a month from expiring and would you believe the smell is completely gone. Who knows...I might even keep it, now. Just a post to point out the obvious isn't always obvious.
 
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