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Non Scented A/C cleaning method?

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Volvo Repair Database Non Scented A/C cleaning method?

Post by aewoodhouse » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:23 am

Cranked up the A/C for the first time on my recently purchased V70XC and, although it works well, the smell coming from it nearly defies description. Its something along the lines of rancid lollipop crossed with mold. Of course there are several AC cleaning products at the Auto Zone but I have found that they all have utterly obnoxious - and for me intolerable - "fresh" scents.

Can anyone recommend an unscented way to tackle this? I have found unscented foaming AC coil cleaners for home AC's but they require rinsing. Can't find anything for the car so far. I've seen many recommend spraying Lysol directly into the air intake but that has too much fragrance. Unfortunately I'm one of those people - most fragrances make me climb the walls.

Thanks...
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Re: Non Scented A/C cleaning method?

Post by abscate » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:23 am

Check the cabin air filter First, and while you have that out, SNake either an inspection mirror or a borescope camera down into the AC to have a look at the evaporator core. On your 2000 you can also have a peak by removing the fan blower ( pictures in my fan blower thread and the VRD)

Dilute undcented bleach is probably the best way to clean, with about one week to let the bleach turn into unscemted dioxin...

Picture here

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Re: Non Scented A/C cleaning method?

Post by oragex » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:55 am

This is what I did, don't forget to remove any cabin air filter and place back the cover (without the filter inside) before doing this

I used maybe 1/10 bleach/water mixture. The cabin vapors may get on the seats, better have them covered. You can also spray into the cabin air intake with the recirculating button ON.

Main thing, you don't want to use A/C at all during the cold season, that's when the mold grows on the evaporator.

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Re: Non Scented A/C cleaning method?

Post by aewoodhouse » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:12 pm

Thanks abscate and oragex ! Very helpful. I should have added that I have already replaced the cabin air filter and cleaned the vents as far into the dash as I could get without totally dismantling.
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Re: Non Scented A/C cleaning method?

Post by readallthebooks » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:33 pm

so long as you have some access to the evaporator and the drain isn't clogged, you should be able to spray some of the non-scented stuff in there and then wash it off after a few minutes. maybe even go at it with a very light brush. i've done this on other cars but admittedly not on a P80. i used a garden sprayer filled with distilled water, or you could just use a garden hose

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Re: Non Scented A/C cleaning method?

Post by JRL » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:43 pm

Everything has some scent
Clean the entire fresh intake air system with bleach then spray with Fridgee Fresh
If you don't want a smell, after it's all cleaned properly let it run for an hour so so with the blower on high. 90-95% of any bleach and product smells will be gone and in a day or so ALL will be gone

You need to remove the cowl and then it all will be exposed. Take some bleach mixed with some water, soak then wring ouot a rag/small towel, and clean as far in as you can.
Let dry and do this a couple of times, if necessary.After that, remove and clean underneath the glovebox. Remove the filter and housing and clean those thoroughly too.
If the housing smell is "burned" into the plastic, buy another filter housing, they're very cheap
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Re: Non Scented A/C cleaning method?

Post by sleddriver » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:50 pm

abscate wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:23 am
Dilute undcented bleach is probably the best way to clean
I wouldn't use any bleach on an evaporator coil made of aluminum. Sodium hypochlorite is a powerful oxidizer and will corrode aluminum.

To OP: I used a can of TuffStuff cleaner, on my evap coil. Pull the blower, aim for the coil and foam it up. Let it work for 15min., then spray with distilled water (preferable) to rinse. Repeat if necessary. TS has a mild odor...a bit like lemon.
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Re: Non Scented A/C cleaning method?

Post by aewoodhouse » Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:56 pm

The 10:1 water bleach mix sprayed down into the fresh air intake worked perfectly for the moldy lollipop smell - thanks for the pointer. It did take a bit longer than an hour of running the air to get rid of all bleach smells (mostly in the first minute of running the air) but after two weeks its pretty much resolved. Now if I could just do something about the aging euro car smell... two shampooings and a leather treatment hasn't yet done the job but progress is better than nothing. My 98' S70 never had this smell so I can't imagine what it is...
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Re: Non Scented A/C cleaning method?

Post by bmdubya1198 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:03 pm

aewoodhouse wrote:
Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:56 pm
The 10:1 water bleach mix sprayed down into the fresh air intake worked perfectly for the moldy lollipop smell - thanks for the pointer. It did take a bit longer than an hour of running the air to get rid of all bleach smells (mostly in the first minute of running the air) but after two weeks its pretty much resolved. Now if I could just do something about the aging euro car smell... two shampooings and a leather treatment hasn't yet done the job but progress is better than nothing. My 98' S70 never had this smell so I can't imagine what it is...
Wish I could get rid of my aging Euro car smell. Just a weird musty smell. It's not bad, it's just annoying.
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Re: Non Scented A/C cleaning method?

Post by sleddriver » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:13 pm

aewoodhouse wrote:
Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:56 pm
.....Now if I could just do something about the aging euro car smell... two shampooings and a leather treatment hasn't yet done the job but progress is better than nothing. My 98' S70 never had this smell so I can't imagine what it is...
Shampooings as in the carpets? Or the leather seats? Or both?

BG makes a product called Frigi-Fresh. Might help with this.
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