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Old 09-09-2023, 05:29 AM   #1
DebNJim B
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Truck smells really bad

I noticed in the last couple of weeks that my truck has acquired an odor very much like ammonia or urine.
I Googled it and it may be mold on the A/C evaporator coil. That makes sense as the truck has not been used much this summer with the price of Diesel an all. Also it's been pretty hot with a lot of rain. Recommended solution is to spray a whole can of Lysol into the intake vents with the A/C running at full blast.
I thought I would check with the expert here to see if any of you have had this happen and if the Lysol is the best option or if there is something else.
 
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Old 09-09-2023, 08:01 AM   #2
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This or one of the other brands will do the job.



https://www.amazon.com/SAFE-Foaming-...4264396&sr=8-5
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Old 09-09-2023, 10:16 AM   #3
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DebNJim (or anyone).

Are the air intake vents the vents at the base of the windshield? I have had a smell also at times, I assumed this was the intake, but wasn't sure.
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Old 09-09-2023, 10:20 AM   #4
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If you haven't changed the cabin filter might be a good time to change it.
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Old 09-09-2023, 11:32 AM   #5
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If you have a cabin air filter, take out the cabin air filter and add the cleaning agent directly into the box. It will then run out the a/c drain. Then put in a new cabin filter. If you donít have a cabin filter,, you may need to get a kit that allows you to add directly into the box. Personally I donít think spraying into the intake is going to allow it to penetrate down to the box where the issue is.
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Old 09-09-2023, 11:37 AM   #6
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Used to have that problem in our Honda and Acura cars.

There is another product call Frigi-Fresh that has the same active ingredient as Lysol but it's way more expensive. However, it does atomize better than Lysol. You'll get some pretty big droplets with Lysol.

We've used both and Lysol will work. On those cars, I found the best intake location was to remove the cabin filter and spray in the opening with the AC on high. Switch between upper and lower vents. In addition, you can also spray into the AC vents with AC off - just cover areas on the dash with rags that you don't want Lyson on.

It may take 2 or 3 times to cure. And it might come back seasonally and need a repeat.

Good luck!
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Old 09-09-2023, 04:28 PM   #7
DebNJim B
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Thanks for the responses, very helpful.
Yes, the intake vent is at the base of the windshield just below the wipers.
I've done one round of Lysol and the Lysol smell came through to the cabin, but an hour later sitting in the sun some smell has returned although I don't think as bad.
I decided to replace the cabin filter and pulled the old one. It was pretty dirty but only had a faint smell. New filter will be here on Monday. I think in the meantime I may give it another dose of Lysol, maybe right into the box where the cabin filter goes.
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Old 09-09-2023, 04:58 PM   #8
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You have to use some kind of cleaner like I posted. Your choice if you want to or not.
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Old 09-10-2023, 07:53 AM   #9
DebNJim B
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Originally Posted by 77cruiser View Post
You have to use some kind of cleaner like I posted. Your choice if you want to or not.
I agree. I have some on order, will be here tomorrow. I live miles and miles from the nearest box store, so I do mostly Amazon. I tried the Lysol first because I had that on hand so nothing to lose. The cabin filter will be here tomorrow also.

BTW, I'm not sure what the u tube link is. It just takes me to and endless music loop.

If all else fails, there is a detailer about 20 miles from me.
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Old 09-10-2023, 12:20 PM   #10
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Pull up carpet on passenger side. We had so much water under there supposedly from air conditioner condensation.
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Old 09-10-2023, 01:00 PM   #11
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Suggestion

If you think about it, the evap coil is a perfect place for nasty things to grow. Dark, damp, stale, etc



3-4 minutes before I shut off the engine I turn off the AC and turn fan up to max. This dries the coils making the environment a little less encouraging. Ive done this for years.

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Old 09-10-2023, 04:28 PM   #12
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As to the filter - my 2004 had a filter but my 2012 Silverado does not!!!! Why!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-13-2023, 02:27 PM   #13
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Are you sure it's not your batteries? We had similar smell this summer in the heat and almost had one of our batteries explode on us.
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Old 09-13-2023, 03:15 PM   #14
DebNJim B
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Originally Posted by sthartle View Post
Are you sure it's not your batteries? We had similar smell this summer in the heat and almost had one of our batteries explode on us.
No, it's definitely in the A/C system. I had a battery go bad (boiling) a few years ago and it is a different smell. Battery-rotten egg smell, A/C-ammonia/urine smell.

I just gave it another treatment with foamy stuff I got from Amazon. This time I removed the cabin filter and shot it right down there. Just filled up the plenum and then watched it get sucked down. Let it run on high for a good half hour. We'll see what that does.
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Old 09-13-2023, 03:18 PM   #15
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One other thing to check. Find and clear the drain. You may be holding water in the evaporator housing. If you use DEF there may be a leak somewhere, I've heard it smells like ammonia but my old truck doesn't use it so I have not actually smelled it.
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Old 09-13-2023, 04:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 77cruiser View Post
You have to use some kind of cleaner like I posted. Your choice if you want to or not.
bad link. it keeps getting hijacked to a 10 hour video.
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Old 09-13-2023, 09:08 PM   #17
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GM makes a foaming mold killer / deodorizer that works fairly well. Use per the instructions. Also a good idea would be to see if the parts store offer a carbon / HEPA filter for your application. Also the idea of turning off the AC a few miles before shutting down and running with just fresh air coming in will help this from occuring, although repeated applications may be needed depending on the severity of the problem and it may return in short order now that it has got a foot hold. Good luck.
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Old 09-13-2023, 09:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DebNJim B View Post
I noticed in the last couple of weeks that my truck has acquired an odor very much like ammonia or urine.
I Googled it and it may be mold on the A/C evaporator coil. That makes sense as the truck has not been used much this summer with the price of Diesel an all. Also it's been pretty hot with a lot of rain. Recommended solution is to spray a whole can of Lysol into the intake vents with the A/C running at full blast.
I thought I would check with the expert here to see if any of you have had this happen and if the Lysol is the best option or if there is something else.
If the sprays donít totally nix the smell you could also try an ozone machine available on Amazon.
Iíd open it all up cabin filter out etc, close it in car and let it run for a bit depending on size of machine you get. Then air the car out. Donít breath the 03 of course, itís toxic to anything living including mold.
Remove any rubber floor mats.
The machine will kill odors exceptionally well.
Best of luck
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Old 09-14-2023, 07:37 AM   #19
Kyle and Lisa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DebNJim B View Post
I noticed in the last couple of weeks that my truck has acquired an odor very much like ammonia or urine.
I Googled it and it may be mold on the A/C evaporator coil. That makes sense as the truck has not been used much this summer with the price of Diesel an all. Also it's been pretty hot with a lot of rain. Recommended solution is to spray a whole can of Lysol into the intake vents with the A/C running at full blast.
I thought I would check with the expert here to see if any of you have had this happen and if the Lysol is the best option or if there is something else.
FYI we had a battery that had became low on water and was emitting a smell like sewer, even after filling with distilled water, still had to replace it. Glad I caught it in time it was extremly hot
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Old 09-14-2023, 07:42 AM   #20
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You may have a DEF leak
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