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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone else have this problem.

After turning off the A/C but leaving the fan on, after the cool residual air stops, a very sour smell starts coming from the vents. Leaving the fan on max for 10-15 minutes and the smell does eventually go away until I use the A/C again.

I've replaced the air cabin filter every 6K miles or so and it's still pretty bad. I've also tried spraying half a can of air sanitizer into the vents below the windshield by the wipers with the fan on max and it helped only for a couple of weeks but the smell comes back.

Dealers doesn't know what's causing the sour smell either. Their only solution to me is changing the air cabin filter.

Any input is greatly appreciated.
 

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I've had that same problem! I don't know what kind of air sanitizer you used but Febreeze won't work.

The smell is a result of moisture buildup. The first time I encountered it I went to the local autoparts store and they told me to spray lysol in the vents to kill the mold or mildew responsible for the stench. You leave the fan running and spray it through the exterior vent by your wipers. I also sprayed it in the interior vents. Let the fan run for a few minutes longer and you should be fine. DONT SIT IN THE CAR WITH THE LYSOL FLOWING THROUGH THE VENTS!!!

It worked real well for me, but in case it doesnt solve your problem you can find bottle of vent cleaner for $10 or so but he told me the lysol will do the same thing.
 

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I have the exact same problem you described...since I have read about this exact same complaint before on this forum, I am guessing it is prevalent amoung our vehicles...I have never seen an absolute solution to it...I have never encountered this on other vehicles before either...
 

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I've been experiencing a similar problem. I found a TSB for an 03 accord, do you think it would apply to our models?

TSB 03-091
 

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Accord_Li
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I use a carbon odor absorber it's more safe than spray stuff, but it still does not stop the bad smell when ac stops. but that smell only lasts couple min max then it would smell just normal
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've had that same problem! I don't know what kind of air sanitizer you used but Febreeze won't work.

The smell is a result of moisture buildup. The first time I encountered it I went to the local autoparts store and they told me to spray lysol in the vents to kill the mold or mildew responsible for the stench. You leave the fan running and spray it through the exterior vent by your wipers. I also sprayed it in the interior vents. Let the fan run for a few minutes longer and you should be fine. DONT SIT IN THE CAR WITH THE LYSOL FLOWING THROUGH THE VENTS!!!

It worked real well for me, but in case it doesnt solve your problem you can find bottle of vent cleaner for $10 or so but he told me the lysol will do the same thing.
I've also tried Lysol, Oust!, and others... but I've never tried spraying it in the interior vents. I'll give that a try. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've been experiencing a similar problem. I found a TSB for an 03 accord, do you think it would apply to our models?

TSB 03-091
It doesn't seem like TSB 03-091 addresses our problem here. The smell is there only after I turn the A/C off and the fan is kept running. When the fan's off, then the sour smell is not there.

See this thread for more info on TSB 03-091
http://www.driveaccord.net/forums/showthread.php?t=825
 

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Gone but not forgotten
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Make sure that there is not a dead critter that has made its way in the ductwork. Mice love car interiors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Most likely not because after turning the A/C off and leaving the fan on max for 10-15 minutes, the sour smell goes away.
 

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2003 Accord EX 2.4L/5AT
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Ok, Honda's are quite air tight when all doors and windows are closed as the pressure releasing vents (that are typically found under the back bumper fascia) for door slamming etc. are a bit too efficient at sealing when not in use. This results in the smell that is normally caused by mildew(mold), and always turning off your a/c before you arrive somewhere (3-5 mins if possible) will help dry out the exchanger and avoid the problem.

Once you have the mold, Lysol does kill it. It's also much safer than spraying in a mixture of bleach and water (bleach kills mold as well, but also can take out dye in carpet/upholstery).

The one thing newer Honda's have that older models don't is the fresh air filter. I'd suggest:

1. Removing the fresh air filter and replacing the holder (so it seals).
2. Open the hood and secure with it's holder.
3. Let the car idle with the a/c on and full fan. Be sure you are NOT on recirculate.
4. Open all doors and windows and do not let anyone sit in the car.
5. Spray 1/3 to 1/2 of a can of Lysol into the incoming air ducts at the base of the windshield.
6. Turn off a/c, fan and shut off the car while letting it air out.
7. Replace the fresh air filter.

That should do the trick, just remember that the first usage of your HVAC system after this will be VERY strong smelling of Lysol, so the use of a scented type (fresh linen is not bad) is warranted. May want to crack the windows for a bit :).

Hope that helps someone out.
 
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