Why is there an odour coming from the air conditioning vents?

In Air Conditioning (A/C) mode, air blown across the evaporator is cooled and moisture in the air condenses on the evaporator.  Dust, pollen and other contaminants can mix with this condensate and support the growth of micro-organisms. Additionally, in warm, damp conditions, bacteria and fungus may build up on the evaporator.  These micro-organisms may cause some odours. If you use your vehicle's A/C system only for short periods, then it may be especially prone to this phenomenon.

To reduce the chance of such a buildup in your vehicle's A/C system, follow the recommendations below:

  • Where feasible, run the A/C system for longer periods.
  • When more condensation collects and drains off the evaporator, it has a cleaning effect on the evaporator. Contaminants wash off the evaporator with condensate and drain out of the HVAC case to the ground below the vehicle.
  • If your vehicle is equipped with a cabin air filter, replace it with a new one when it gets dirty.
  • The service department of your Ford Dealer can apply an aerosol disinfectant that will destroy the source of odour in the HVAC case. For some driving conditions, it may be necessary to repeat this treatment several times during the summer.