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Aircon Smell

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Hi,

I recently booked a 30k service for my car with a Lexus dealer and mentioned to the service guy that I was getting a musty smell inside the car when the the aircon was operating. He recommended a de-gas/re-gas of the system (I think that's what he said) which will cost around £99. I asked if that would cure the smell and he said it would.

Now, not being an aircon expert I agreed but thinking about it afterwards couldn't see how that would cure the smell. Do you think they are trying to con me (no pun intended!). Perhaps someone can confirm that this would sort out the problem smell and if so whether £99 is a fair price for this.

Thanks

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That would regas the system, from what I remember they also run a tin of stuff through the system which kills the bacteria...

If you just want rid of the smell, then a simple way that was posted on here a while back, I can't remember by who, but basically fill a kettle up, then boil it in the car, make sure that with the extension lead that the door closes, and put the car onto recirculate with the AC on - you may need to run a few kettles worth through the system, but it will completely kill all the bacteria that are in there!!!

Here we go:

http://www.lexusownersclub.co.uk/forum/ind...ettle&st=25

The original post was made by 'Large Fat Lexus' :lol::lol:

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Thanks Aido, I remember that post but have always thought water and electrics just don't mix! Might give it a go just the same.

Still can't really see why Lexus need to regas the system which is working fine.... why not just put the bacteria killer stuff through, mind you that would no doubt cost a lot less (or am i just being cynical??) :whistling:

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Change the pollen filter. That cured it for me.

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I would've thought just using an aircon cleaner would remove the smell - which dealer told you that? :blink:

When I had the same problem, I switched it onto the coldest setting, put the fan on max, and let it just run like that for about 10 mins - seemed to cure the problem and it hasn't come back. Might be worth a try to start with :)

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should be no reason to degas or regas the system , the gas is within a sealed system and would not create a smell,

you can buy a cleaner from Halfords which is placed inside the car

just like an aerosol, takes ten minutes to do

and basically kills of the bacteria that loves to grow on the air con matrix

to prevent smelly air con just run it occaisonly in all weathers

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I would've thought just using an aircon cleaner would remove the smell - which dealer told you that?

I won't name them but they are highly rated in the dealer reviews and are not a million miles off the A1(M) in Hertfordshire

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or bung a load of Febreze through the airvents with AC set to full and non-recirculate. 5 or 6 squirts gets rid of smell.

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Thanks for all the advice guys, much appreciated....

I've just bought some CARPLAN aircon cleaner off ebay for £7.99 so will give it a go before the service. If it works I'll have saved myself over £90!!

Cheers :D

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glad you bought the correct one - the one with the long hose does not work on the IS.

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The following advice re air-conditioning is posted on the Honest John website (www.honestjohn.co.uk). May be of interest.

Jim

You should leave the a/c on all the time, even if not using it to cool the car. You should also turn the system to full cold for ten minutes once a week - even through the winter if you can - in order to circulate refrigerant which contains lubricants for the system and its seals. Then switch to full heat through the same pipes to thoroughly dry them out. This also blows out any moisture in the ventilation passages where mould and bacteria might be accumulating.

Opinions are divided on servicing. Aircon specialists looking for business will tell you it needs servicing, preferably by a visit to an air-conditioning system specialist, every year. That way they can keep a record of how much gas is being lost from the system. But the only way to test the gas is to draw some off and lab-test it.

Re-gassing a typical air-conditioning system costs around £80 + VAT. A service and a new accumulator/dryer costs around £150 + VAT. Some a/c specialists argue that this needs to be done otherwise the silica gel desiccant in the dryer could break up and circulate through the system, severely damaging it. Refrigeration engineer Keith Wood believes that replacing the accumulator is not necessary and could be responsible for introducing harmful dirt or dust to the system. It should only be replaced if the system has lost gas and needs to be re-gassed. In his opinion the only regular checks should be for leaks. A pool of water under the car is, of course, not the result of a leak but of condensation dripping off the condenser and is entirely normal.

The two main causes of failure are lack of gas and component breakdown. Low refrigerant means low lubricant, which is contained in the refrigerant, and this can lead to seals drying out, thus losing even more refrigerant and leading to failure of the compressor. Properly repairing a failed system is a four-figure job.

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or bung a load of Febreze through the airvents with AC set to full and non-recirculate. 5 or 6 squirts gets rid of smell.

...and if that don't work switch engine on, set temperature to manual/hot, run AC on and leave windows closed for 30 minutes after the engine is fully warm...on medium fan with all vents open (similar to HJ above)

The hot air in the car, coupled with the fact it will be "dry" should kill the bacteria on the sysem, the filters, ducts, seats, carpets etc :duh:

Same problem was resolved on my old Peugeot 406 using that heater method...

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Guys,

I have used the aircon cleaner and the car does now smell nice with the aircon working. However, the musty smell I had originally is still there! When I select warm air, and the aircon is off, I get the smell but it only lasts a couple of minutes then seems to disappear.

I don't know the IS heating/ventilation system but I assume that the heater matrix didn't benefit from the aircon cleaner as I set it for aircon only when I used it; could the smell be coming from there? Perhaps others have had this same problem and could help me please.

Thanks

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I keep meaning to get my air con serviced. Not that I ever use mine, im to tight! :lol:

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Does the aircon system need regular servicing? If so then is it in the Lexus maintenance schedule and if so how often?

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I had the same problem when I had my IS, changed the pollen filter and tried the kettle fix but neither sorted the problem. I think it's down to a learning curve - always leave your aircon on !

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Does the aircon system need regular servicing? If so then is it in the Lexus maintenance schedule and if so how often?

only if it is not working anymore or u notice it does not cool properly. use it each month as a minimum also use it in winter as it will demist the glass in the car.

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