SaturnFans.com
what's new (beta) - classifieds - forums - photos


Go Back   SaturnFans.com Forums > Models > Saturn Vue > 2008 Vue
Register FAQ Members List Groups Calendar Chat Room Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-08-2017, 02:01 PM   #1
KyleVue
Junior Member
KyleVue is on a distinguished road
 
KyleVue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Austin TX
Posts: 40

2008 VUE 3.6L
2008 VUE 2.4L
Default Cabin air filter question re: musty smell

As thread title indicates, I've been battling a very musty smell coming out of my AC vents for a long while. I assumed leaf & environmental rot down in the external vents were the issue. I know how to access & change it, but has anyone ever replaced the cabin air filter to address the issue & had substantial, successful improvement w the musty odor problem? Thx for any feedback

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to KyleVue's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help KyleVue reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
KyleVue is offline   Reply With Quote
SaturnFans.com Sponsored Links
Old 09-08-2017, 04:15 PM   #2
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 39,185
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Cabin air filter question re: musty smell

I have only one long term cheap solution to the nasty ac odors created in almost every car, baking soda. After trying different remedies without paying GM to spray and coat the evaporator coils in a disinfectant and semi permanent coating of something to combat odors from coming back, I tried baking soda. It's been two ac seasons without foul odors. After removing the cabin filter for replacement, I vacuumed any debris in the HVAC well, liberally sprinkled baking soda all over the HVAC well and turn on the blower to help it suck powder into the blower and distribute it to the ducts. Well, for about a few weeks, a fine mist of powder would blow out and coat the interior with baking soda. A little too much is my guess but what remains still deodorizes my AC system without the yearly stink. It works, period. The combination of coating the HVAC well area and blower distributing baking soda simply allows it to absorb odors. I could care less about powder sticking in the well area. I can aways use some water to wash it off but that must defeats the purpose of it, deodorizing the yearly stink from bacteria growing in dark and dank places - every ac system.

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to fdryer's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help fdryer reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2017, 04:46 PM   #3
KyleVue
Junior Member
KyleVue is on a distinguished road
 
KyleVue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Austin TX
Posts: 40

2008 VUE 3.6L
2008 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: Cabin air filter question re: musty smell

Thx fdryer; where is the HVAC well? It it accessible once cabin filter is removed? Also did just replacing cabin filter ever help/work at all?

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to KyleVue's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help KyleVue reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
KyleVue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2017, 07:54 PM   #4
fdryer
Super Member
fdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond reputefdryer has a reputation beyond repute
 
fdryer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 39,185
 

2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Cabin air filter question re: musty smell

Replacing the cabin air filter with either the plain or carbon impregnated ones never removed the mold and mildew reappearing every year. The reason? Condensation collects on the buried evaporator coils inside the hvac box enclosure where no matter how well condensation drains out, residual moisture and airflow simply provides the perfect breeding ground, aka Petri dish, to create mold and mildew along with any regional stink from whatever minute particles gets past the air filter and deposits on wet coils. The magic bacteria growth returns like the annual migration of snow geese. I'm using the term hvac well as the area exposed when accessing the cabin air filter - the entire area around the air filter that you can see and behind the air filter when its removed for replacement. I believe we share the same or similar hvac boxed enclosure so the ducting behind the filter is where its extremely difficult to clean. This area is where some visit GM due to an overwhelming foul odor and GM will drill a hole or two to insert a small spray nozzle with a powerful disinfectant no one can buy to treat the evaporator coils by disinfecting it and coating it with something that's supposed to resist re-growing bacteria, mold and mildew. I have no idea of costs but it won't be cheap and without any warranty beyond one summer season. As engineering progresses, people in GM and all other car manufacturers face the same complaints about foul odors in ac systems so someone came up with manufacturing permanent coatings(?) to the bare aluminum coils and fins to delay as long as possible growth of bacteria in every Petri dish we all call our ac systems. I found out about baking soda after trying almost every remedy short of buying the can of coil cleaner that must be sprayed into the coils, requiring drilling holes in precise areas otherwise drilling into a coil can end up as an expensive repair costing several hundred dollars to rip apart the interior to remove the hvac box for evaporator coil or heater core replacement.

Below is a reprint for '05 Vues. I don't know if your cabin air filter is located in the same area but the well I describe is in front and behind the filter. My L300; I had to to enable recirculate for a panel to open to sprinkle baking soda into the interior of the hvac ducting with blower running at medium speed to suck in and distribute powder everywhere, allowing it to work as it coated wherever it disbursed and absorbed odors. I cannot vouch for anyone trying this but it worked in my car to 100% satisfaction.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Untitled.jpg (182.2 KB, 7 views)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Odor Correction.pdf (98.7 KB, 2 views)

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to fdryer's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help fdryer reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
fdryer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2017, 09:06 PM   #5
KyleVue
Junior Member
KyleVue is on a distinguished road
 
KyleVue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Austin TX
Posts: 40

2008 VUE 3.6L
2008 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: Cabin air filter question re: musty smell

Thx again for more very useful info. My 08 cabin filter is behind glovebox, & my assumption was that filter change would not eliminate musk odor, so thx for confirmation. Will def chase down some of these approaches!

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to KyleVue's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help KyleVue reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
KyleVue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2017, 06:03 PM   #6
LaboysToy
Member
LaboysToy is just really niceLaboysToy is just really niceLaboysToy is just really niceLaboysToy is just really nice
 
LaboysToy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 137
 

2008 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: Cabin air filter question re: musty smell

I've had the same problem, I took my Vue to the dealer to do the cleaning service in July, also my AC compressor failed and had to have it replaced so i figured I might as well have it done, no odors since.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KyleVue View Post
Thx again for more very useful info. My 08 cabin filter is behind glovebox, & my assumption was that filter change would not eliminate musk odor, so thx for confirmation. Will def chase down some of these approaches!

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to LaboysToy's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help LaboysToy reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
LaboysToy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2017, 12:15 PM   #7
KyleVue
Junior Member
KyleVue is on a distinguished road
 
KyleVue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Austin TX
Posts: 40

2008 VUE 3.6L
2008 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: Cabin air filter question re: musty smell

I pulled out cabin filter today, & tho' it was filthy, it did not have moldy odor. Have sprayed Lysol back there behind it now, & in fresh & recirc vents, but improvement is minimal, i suspect from not being able to get a very direct hit on the coil. Called dealer & the treatment is $220 (yeow!) but i may take the hit bc odor is such a bummer & really detracts from the drive. Wish i knew where to drill small holes re: @fdryer's post, but nor do i know where to get quality/effective spray treatment. I really love the driving dynamics of my XR so i guess it'd be worth the dealer treatment. Any other suggestions welcome, thx for feedback meanwhile!

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to KyleVue's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help KyleVue reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
KyleVue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2017, 01:15 PM   #8
Claybury
Member
Claybury will become famous soon enough
 
Claybury's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Mille Lacs
Posts: 172
Default Re: Cabin air filter question re: musty smell

Try removing the cabin filter and spraying Ozium where the filter goes. Replace filter and run the blower on low for a few minutes with the A/C on and windows closed. Then turn the blower to high, and the vent to recirculate. Let it run for a while.
This is what I have done to get cigarette and hempy odors out of cars.

...
2002 SC2 1.9L
2007 Vue 3.5L
1985 Fiero SE 3.1L
1974 Triumph Spitfire 3.1L V6
2002 Ram duelly diesel 5.9L
1975 Honda PA50 0.05L (Swarm and destroy)

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Claybury's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Claybury reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Claybury is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2017, 01:21 PM   #9
KyleVue
Junior Member
KyleVue is on a distinguished road
 
KyleVue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Austin TX
Posts: 40

2008 VUE 3.6L
2008 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: Cabin air filter question re: musty smell

Thx Claybury.. is Ozium @ auto stores? Also it sounds like u r specifically referring to residual cabin odors; what i'm describing is odor specifically blowing from the the bowels of the AC vents when AC is on. Maybe 2 different issues..

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to KyleVue's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help KyleVue reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
KyleVue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2017, 03:37 PM   #10
Claybury
Member
Claybury will become famous soon enough
 
Claybury's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Mille Lacs
Posts: 172
Default Re: Cabin air filter question re: musty smell

Ozium from auto or big box stores.
The cabin air filter is at the entrance to the HVAC system, so spraying the deodorizer there will get to the back side of evaporator coils and then be pulled throughout the system. Spraying in the vents will, at best, only get to the front side of the Evaporator.
You should also check to see if the drain for the A/C is clogged. If it is then standing water can accumulate and lead to leaks and musty odors.
The dealer cleaning usually consists of drilling a small hole in the HVAC box and spraying deodorizing disinfectant right on evaporator coils, and taping up the hole.

...
2002 SC2 1.9L
2007 Vue 3.5L
1985 Fiero SE 3.1L
1974 Triumph Spitfire 3.1L V6
2002 Ram duelly diesel 5.9L
1975 Honda PA50 0.05L (Swarm and destroy)

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to Claybury's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help Claybury reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
Claybury is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2017, 08:28 PM   #11
KyleVue
Junior Member
KyleVue is on a distinguished road
 
KyleVue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Austin TX
Posts: 40

2008 VUE 3.6L
2008 VUE 2.4L
Default Re: Cabin air filter question re: musty smell

Well guys, here’s what did the trick (vs dealer doing virtually same thing for $200+): bought some foaming evaporator coil cleaner (see attached pic for brand) which comes w small strip of tubing, and which you insert up drain hole near bottom of firewall under the hood. A tough reach, but could be done by pulling off engine shroud and laying across driver side front fender to get down there. Worked very well in eliminating odor; meanwhile thx for feedback & suggestions!
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg 328E9BFC-B8AB-40E6-8374-F151C6183B14.jpeg (40.9 KB, 7 views)

REWARD EXCELLENCE!

Add to KyleVue's Reputation
Rate the quality of this post and help KyleVue reputation points. Click the reputation button near the bottom left corner of this message box. Thank you!
KyleVue is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Musty smell ??? ucantcme57 S-Series Tech 19 07-11-2009 03:45 PM
Musty Smell in my A/C? tehSaturn S-Series Tech 10 11-20-2008 03:12 PM
Musty smell after running A/C YouDriveAWhat S-Series Tech 13 05-27-2007 10:50 PM
Musty smell when AC is turned on DJboozeAlot S-Series Tech 2 05-09-2007 11:13 AM
musty smell with a/c on walt S-Series Tech 6 07-10-2005 03:41 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:59 PM.

Advanced Forum Search | Advanced Photo Search


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SaturnFans.com. The Saturn Enthusiasts Site.