DIY: A/C Odor Cleaning - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums


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7th Generation (1993-1997) Specific discussion of the 7th generation

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Old 04-01-2010, 11:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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DIY: A/C Odor Cleaning

ok guys here's a simple DIY u can do to get rid of that nasty smell when u flip the a/c on. it took me 1 hour to do with taking pics, but u can do this in under 30 minutes. the dealer sells this service in a combo pack along with replacing new model cars' cabin air filter totaling $100 with tax u can do better things with your money than that. here's what u will need:

jack stands or wheel ramps
A/C odor kit
drain pan
safety goggles
rags

i bought this kit from the dealer for $23. LARGE PICS AHEAD!!!!

sorry i couldnt seem to flip it around i'm still trying to fidget with the photobucket features so bare with me here guys.notice how the tip at the end has a cone shape. this end u wedge into the evaporator drain tube. see below



this is the tip here. other kits just have just a long hose without this cone wedge at the end, whatever kit u buy be sure it comes WITH a hose bcuz u cant do this procedure without it.

next put the car on jackstands or use ramps like me



slide under the front end towards the passenger side and look around under the power steering pump. u should see a small black hose sticking out from the firewall, this is the evaporator drain tube.all cars have one. if u cant find it turn the a/c on and look for drops of water coming under the car and you'll see it. here i have the hose cone adapter stuffed into the drain tube. if u went in head 1st under passenger side this is what you'll see.


that boot is the steering rack boot, u may need to actually use jack stands to lift the car high enough to reach the tube. i'm not a big guy so it wasnt an issue for me. the evaporator core is subject to growth of fungus, mold, etc. this can produce a foul smell when u flip a/c on. if your drain tube is clogged then this problem can get worse. its also bad in hot and humid areas. the cleaner is basically a foam which expands to fill the evap core and washes out all the nasty shit growing in there or stuck up there. i strongly suggest u hold the hose with 1 hand and use other hand to hold the cleaner can. the hose can fly off the can with pressure and spray everywhere, this is why u NEED GOGGLES!!! CAUTION: once u empty the entire can into the tube and remove the hose, the foam will begin to liquify very fast, wear goggles and put a drain pan underneath to collect runoff. this takes about 10 min to fully drain evap core.



Use a drain pan and wear goggles!!!!
once all the liquid drains out, turn the a/c on to max cool and get the other cleaner out and spray the a/c vents on the front of the car where the wipers are. u should have 3 vents.



this is where u spray the cleaner.


u need to set the a/c to max cool and set it to pull in OUTSIDE AIR, NOT recirculating air. it has to suck in the cleaner from outside to work right. spray each of the vents liberally then switch the controls to heat and spray again all vents. this 2 step kit works really good, others just sell the a/c vent cleaner or the evap cleaner by themselves, but u should do both to get the best results. this can help u if have allergies too. Now u can enjoy clean smelling a/c Cheers!!!!!
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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great write up. My only questions are:

1) did you purchase the kit from a Toyota dealer?

2) did you spray the evaporator with the engine running or off?

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Old 04-01-2010, 03:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thanks for the props bro. i got the kit at my toyota dealer parts department. they don't advertise the kit as a "sellable" item but if u ask for it, they can sell it to u, its just alot of people dont know u can buy it from there. u can also try this website to buy:
www.ackits.com
and to answer your question, u spray the evaporator with the engine OFF, let the cleaner drain out completely (it may take more than 10 min for the evap core to drain depending on how much cleaner u inject, i sprayed 12oz which was the entire can). once it drains out, then turn the engine ON and turn the a/c up to max cool and spray the vents with the vent cleaner.
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Great, thanks!
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sometimes those bad odors arent just from molds/mildews in the AC components. I recommend removing the fan and checking for debris of any sort that may have found its way into the system.

I also have a commercial deodorizer that I use in my carpet cleaning business that works exceptionally well on a number of odors.. Beware of deodorizers that just contain fragrance like many of them do.

-SP
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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the problem i am facing even with only the fan on is tht
like i always turn the knob to the circulating one
so tht no smell can be sucked from outside the car
but still if i am passing a Semi or smthing i can smell this bad odor from outside
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Old 12-15-2010, 10:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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i agree, its not always molds. When I pulled my fan motor out, there was a HUGE mouse nest up there.
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Word of caution: If you do use one of these cleaning kits that have you direct the cleaner through the center console, make absolutely sure that you have your fan setting to blow through the center ONLY, and keep it that way until you're absolutely sure all the cleaner has evaporated.

Why? Because if it's in another setting, the vent that open/closes the center console might be stuck in a close setting due to the cleaner sticking to the foam seal, and making it adhesive! I found out myself when the shifter knob to shift between blower settings never wanted to move all the way to the left, and subsequently I noticed there no longer was any air coming out of the center console vents.

I had to remove the center console, stick my arm down the duct, and pry the vent open with an oil seal removal tool(!) that worked perfectly to snag the end of the metal vent down there and pull it open. Once I did that everything worked fine.

As for a cleaner I can recommend the Einszett Klima Cleaner professional: http://amzn.com/B0002Z2MKO

You can spray it down the center console vents (if you do what I described above) or you can use it as directed in this DIY through the evaporator drain tube, or a combination thereof.
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