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Why is there a bad smell coming out of my A/C?

My 2019 C300 has a bad smell coming out of the vents on start up.

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Hi Kirk,

My son had the same problem with his 2003 Cadillac Deville. After some homework I picked up a can of evaporator cleaner. The one I settled on comes with a tube where you insert the tube into the drain hose from the evaporator. You spray the foam and it fills the compartment that houses the evaporator, and once it's cleaned it drains itself back out of the drain hose.

I followed the instructions and one treatment significantly reduced the odor, and a second treatment eliminated it completely. It's been a couple of years now and the smell hasn't come back. Here's what I used.


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you have mold growing within the ac system. try starting the car, turn on the ac so the fan runs at maximum speed and spray Lysol disinfectant spray in the ac intake vent at the base of the wind shield. spray the entire can into vent moving back and forth across the width of the vent and immediately turn off the car and let it sit over night. That usually works. When the car is stopped with the ac running a puddle of water should gather under the car. If it doesn't the drain is plugged and you need to open it up or the bad smell will return.

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A whole can, really?


This was GM's recommended solution for this problem way back when and it works. Your nose is sensitive and there doesn't need to be much mold to make it smell. When you spray the Lysol into the plenum intake it goes everywhere so you need a lot to make sure you get enough where you need it.


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Kirk zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.

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