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Old 07-09-2017, 02:23 PM   #1
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Vinegar ?!?

OK, here's a weird one. I am getting the smell of vinegar coming from my dash vents. It's not the smell of mold or mildew, it really smells like a nice balsamic vinaigrette! I can smell it even with the top down. Is this oddity in anyone's experience? What could it be?

I squirted some "Odoban" (like Febreeze, but stronger) down the vents, and leaving the car top down in the garage overnite. Hafta see if it makes a difference in the morning. Cabin/pollen filter only a year old. Could it be battery acid I'm smelling??

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Old 07-09-2017, 02:39 PM   #2
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Not the battery

OK, I checked out the battery. It seems fine, not leaking, and doesn't smell at all. No smell in the battery compartment at all.

What could be the source of a vinegar smell??
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Old 07-09-2017, 02:44 PM   #3
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Vinegar, wow never heard of that one.


I've heard of some Fiats smelling like olive oil tho 😉
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Old 07-09-2017, 02:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auf los! View Post
OK, I checked out the battery. It seems fine, not leaking, and doesn't smell at all. No smell in the battery compartment at all.

What could be the source of a vinegar smell??
My .02 but I wouldn't be so quick to discount the battery. Sulphuric acid fumes smell somewhat like vinegar. Did you check the battery with the car running? I would hazard a guess that your alternator could be overcharging the battery while running at RPM, failing regulator? this can be tested. There is a small vent tube have you made sure it is installed correctly?

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Old 07-09-2017, 03:46 PM   #5
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I don't have any first hand experience but a Google search says that its common and they blame it on mold/bacteria in the A/C system...
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Old 07-09-2017, 04:23 PM   #6
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Spray some Lysol Neutra Air in the cabin air intake (where your cabin air filter is located) and cycle your AC from hot to cold a few times.

http://www.lysol.com/products/see-all-products/lysol-neutra-air-sanitizing-spray-fresh/
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Old 07-09-2017, 04:48 PM   #7
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Whaddya know

So if it is not the battery, it's mold/bacteria after all. I'm going to try the following:

Run heater, not a/c, to dry out the system;

Spray Lysol into the intake with the pollen filter removed, with the a/c NOT on recirculate;

Avoid using recirculate with the a/c on for awhile;

Spray Lysol into the recirculate intake under the dash when the a/c is ON recirculate.

Thanks for all the tips and suggestions, guys, this Forum is terrific!
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Old 07-09-2017, 05:19 PM   #8
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Check the drain from the evaporator. Bacteria and mold need moisture and a blocked evaporator drain is the most probable cause.

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