Have you noticed a musty smell when you turn on the air conditioning in your car? If so, you might be wondering if this means that you need to service your car's A/C. So, what do you need to know, and what should you do about it?
What Causes the Smell?
Mould or Bacteria
The most common cause of a musty smell coming from your car's A/C system is a build-up of mould and bacteria. This can happen when moisture is allowed to accumulate in the A/C system, providing a perfect breeding ground for these microorganisms. If this is the case, you may need to have your A/C system professionally serviced. A qualified technician will be able to remove any mould or bacteria growth and sanitise your A/C system, eliminating the musty smell.
Clogged Evaporator Drain
Another possible cause of a musty smell in your car's A/C system is a clogged evaporator drain. This drain removes excess condensation from the A/C system but can become clogged with debris over time. When this happens, water can accumulate in the A/C system, leading to mould and bacteria growth and a musty smell. A technician can clean out the evaporator drain, preventing this from happening.
Clogged Cabin Filter
If you have noticed a musty smell when you first turn on your car's A/C, but the smell goes away after a few minutes, the most likely cause is a clogged cabin air filter. This filter traps dust, pollen and other contaminants, preventing them from entering the passenger compartment. Over time, however, the filter can become clogged, leading to a musty smell when you first turn on the A/C. If this is the case, a mechanic can replace the filter during a service visit.
In some cases, a musty smell coming from your car's A/C system may be caused by a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant is a gas that is used to cool the air in your A/C system, and a leak can lead to poor cooling performance and a musty smell. If you suspect that you have a refrigerant leak, you should have your A/C system serviced as soon as possible.
What You Should Do
The musty smell coming from your car's A/C system can be a sign that something is not right. While it might be tempting to ignore the problem and hope that it goes away, it is important to have your A/C system inspected by a qualified technician. Don't ignore the problem unless it causes further damage to your A/C system and poor air quality for you and your passengers. Instead, get in touch with a mechanic for a full service.
For more info about car air con servicing, contact a local company.