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Foul Smell in Cabin From Vents / AC

Bobmbx

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First, don't tell them why you're there. Just make up a story that requires the service advisor to ride with you for a minute. Then turn on the ac. When the smell appears, ask him if he stepped in poo or something. The idea is to get him to acknowledge the smell. Once he does that, tell him you want it fixed.

Otherwise, you'll get your car back with "can't reproduce problem" written on the work order.

This is one of a few tricks I've played at dealerships. The best one is take your problem car to the new car sales department, tell'em you're looking for a new car, and you have a trade.

Within minutes, your car will be inspected top to bottom so they can lowball your trade value. Then walk away with a handy list of everything thats wrong with your car for free.
 



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HamHands

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Hello all...

2013 Explorer Base edition.

I really really like my Explorer that I bought in January 2015 here in Wisconsin but now that it's (finally) warmed up and we're using the AC my Explorer stinks....literally.

The AC smells like cat piss when we get in the car and start it up...also smells like that if we're just running fresh air through the dash without the AC on. Not so bad if it's not hot/warm outside. Going to take it in this week. Anything specific I should mention to the service writer?

Thanks,
Barry

You wouldn't by chance be parking your Explorer outside at night or in a closed garage where a cat has free roaming access to it would you??? A cat or rodent just may be using your engine bay or hood cowl as a Port-O-Potty... Because that is exactly what was going on in my Jeep. I lifted the hood and found rat dropping on the valve covers. I started parking her inside with the door shut and the problem went away in a day and a half... I hope this helps!!!
 






blwnsmoke

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Pull out the cabin air folter and see if it smells. If so, replace it.
 






blwnsmoke

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First, don't tell them why you're there. Just make up a story that requires the service advisor to ride with you for a minute. Then turn on the ac. When the smell appears, ask him if he stepped in poo or something. The idea is to get him to acknowledge the smell. Once he does that, tell him you want it fixed.

Otherwise, you'll get your car back with "can't reproduce problem" written on the work order.

This is one of a few tricks I've played at dealerships. The best one is take your problem car to the new car sales department, tell'em you're looking for a new car, and you have a trade.

Within minutes, your car will be inspected top to bottom so they can lowball your trade value. Then walk away with a handy list of everything thats wrong with your car for free.

Yes, great advice. Make sure you start off by lieing to the service advisor and waste their time.

There is nothing that would be a manufacturer's defect that would cause a cat piss smell. The dealer will most likely charge for whatever the cause is...
 






jmr061

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Hello all...

2013 Explorer Base edition.

I really really like my Explorer that I bought in January 2015 here in Wisconsin but now that it's (finally) warmed up and we're using the AC my Explorer stinks....literally.

The AC smells like cat piss when we get in the car and start it up...also smells like that if we're just running fresh air through the dash without the AC on. Not so bad if it's not hot/warm outside. Going to take it in this week. Anything specific I should mention to the service writer?

Thanks,
Barry

Would this possibly be the odor: Check your build date.

FORD: 2012-2013 Explorer


TSB 13-9-18

The article supersedes TSB 12-8-8 to update Service Procedure and Part List.

ISSUE:
Some 2012-2013 Explorer vehicles equipped with a 3.5L Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT) engine and built on or before 7/9/2012 may exhibit a foul, rotten-egg type odor coming from the cooling system or components, typically after coming to a stop with the climate control recirculation door in the fresh air mode.
 






eglirlw24

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stinky smell from AC with ticking noise

I have a 2011 Explorer XLT that I have the same issue with. I had this corrected when it was still under warranty and guess what...1 year later and warranty expired the funky odor is back. Along with a nice ticking noise in the dash. There are TSB's for both. Evidently the ticking is a blender door or something. These are common issues for this year model. Why hasn't a recall been listed? I don't think it's fair that I have to pay the dealership to correct a known defect/problem. And 1 other thing...it smells EXACTLY like a male cat sprayed. Disgusting
 






peterk9

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Tav

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I have a new 2015 Ford Explorer and every time people get in it they tell me it smells musty… I originally thought it was just a new car smell from the leather seats but apparently it is not.... I have less than 1000 miles on the vehicle smelling it since day one. I guess I'm gonna have to call the dealer!!
 






peterk9

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I have a new 2015 Ford Explorer and every time people get in it they tell me it smells musty… I originally thought it was just a new car smell from the leather seats but apparently it is not.... I have less than 1000 miles on the vehicle smelling it since day one. I guess I'm gonna have to call the dealer!!
Welcome to the Forum Tav. :wavey:
Did you buy it off a dealer lot? If so, I wonder if is because it sat there for a while. In any case, it should not be that way and I hope the dealer can rectify the problem. It would also be helpful if you added the model of your Explorer to your profile so that it appears in the margin when you post.

Peter
 






cwescapexlt4x4

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So mine does this occasionally but what I try to do (especially since it normally pretty dry here is when I am coming home and will be parked overnight or longer ... at minimum I turn off the recirc or the AC off entirely with the fan running at high to bring drier air across and this reduces the smell the next morning/day when started back up.
 






wisconsinF

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Update

Dealer admitted that there was a smell of musty/urine coming from the vents after the AC was used...shut off...used again. I did put in a new cabin air filter this weekend as the old one was really dirty. Used the X all weekend...no smell yet.

Dealer said if the smell returns they will pull the cabin air filter and flood the AC box with disinfectant/detergent and a deodorant.

For what it is worth. In 2000 we bought a 1998 Windstar from some friends that were going to turn it in at the end of their lease. We noticed about a week later that the interior fan would cycle on and off just while the car was sitting in the garage. We asked our friend if they had something done to the van...they said they took it in once and the dealer service department rigged it to run automatically to dry off the AC evaporator. Is this something that could be done to our Explorers?
 






croll326

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2013 explorer sport. I have this smell too after vehicle sits overnight.
 






SJCharney

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I too have this musty odor in my AC on my wife's 2011 Ford Explorer Limited. I have changed the air cabin filter with no results and have spoken with the dealership about their solution.....deodorize it. For years I have worked on cars and restored cars as a hobby and such. I work on all my vehicles except for the Ford. The dealership have not been able to give me an answer on the issue and this forum has not as well. If there is moisture building up in the system, where are the drains to release the moisture/water build up. If there is not a drain, where can I install/create one? My truck is now in the extended warrantee and it cost me $100 a pop initially to bring the truck into the dealership. With the issues I have had with this truck in the past, it takes the dealership at least 2 to 3 times to fix it correctly. So bottom line, how do I fix this vehicle correctly?!?!? FYI....my GMC(s) I have never given me so many issues!!!!
 






JDF123

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I have had my wife's 14 explorer in to dealership for a total of five full days for this musty vent smell issue, & the only thing they can come up with is replace cabin filter and they left me a can of nasty bathroom air freshener in my cup holder & told me to spray it in my vents. They said maybe the smell I was smelling was the leather seats?! I even took in a document from Fords website and info from this forum...& they refused to read it. Called Ford...& they recommended I try another dealership. Sad day for Ford...but these are reasons I & wife are thinking we don't want another Ford...& I just purchase a brand new 15 f-150 lariat 2 months ago!
 






peterk9

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Welcome to the Forum JDF123.:wavey:
Sorry you are having this issue. Not sure if previous members with the issue still are experiencing it or not.
It would also be very helpful if you updated your profile to show 'year & model' of your Explorer. That way it will always show in the margin when you post.:thumbsup:

Peter
 






JDF123

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Done. Specs updated.
 






cwescapexlt4x4

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i replaced my cabin filter and the smell is gone from mine (wasn't really bad, but not humid here either). I replace my cabin filter on my vehicles at least once a year if not more frequently.
 






scarpi

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So far on my 2015 XLT no smell but I only have about 450 miles on it. Could it be that Ford addressed the problem? Or does the smell start after more miles? My vehicle was built in March of 2015. Maybe they fixed the problem (hopefully)?
 






peterk9

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So far on my 2015 XLT no smell but I only have about 450 miles on it. Could it be that Ford addressed the problem? Or does the smell start after more miles? My vehicle was built in March of 2015. Maybe they fixed the problem (hopefully)?
Not everyone had this issue.

Peter
 



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JDF123

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Mine started smelling around 12k miles. The dealership did replace my cabin filter...and that helped for a couple days at most...but once the smell permeated the filter...it was back. I did order a new cabin filter yesterday online...that is suppose to be a carbon filter, to help with smell. But isn't that just hiding the problem? It's just quite embarrassing when people get in your nice new car...and you start it up and they get a whiff!
 






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