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Foul Smell in Cabin From Vents / AC

andybanker

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andybanker

I just bought a 2013 Ford Explorer last week and I am having an issue with a strong odor coming through the vents. It happens when the recirculator is off and the vents are open. It almost smells like exhaust. When the recirculator is on the smell is not present. I currently have 600 miles on the car. The dealer checked it out and said it's the stickers burning off of the engine and/or the coating they use underneath the car...which I do not believe. I took it to my local mechanic and he thinks that the A/C discharge tube is clogged because it's not producing any condensation on the ground when turned on and stagnant water is causing the smell. The smell is strongest after the car is warmed up and and not moving, while the vents are open. The smell is overwhelming in the cabin and the dealer/Ford Motor Company is unwilling to help, which is very frustrating, since I just bought the car. They keep telling me that the smell should go away after the car is broken in. I'm not real excited about breathing this in for another couple months. Has anyone else encountered this?

I have the exact same problem since the day I bought my '13 Explorer in May only my wife and I both think it is more of a raw gasoline smell than exhaust fumes. No smell when vehicle is fully rested. Always present when getting back in vehicle after short stops like driving between stores while shopping. Maybe my imagination but seems like the shorter the time between stops the stronger the gas odor. I complained to the Ford dealer everytime I take it in for servicing and they act like its all in my head. In today's paper I read "government is reviewing reports that exhaust gases....may enter the passenger compartment of some Ford Explorers......" so I must not be crazy after all!
 



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FordService

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Hi Crystal... could you please tell me/us in what your position is at Ford?

I believe all the Ford reps on here are strictly Customer Service reps. They are the go between the customer and the regional customer service managers. They do not interface directly with the dealers nor the Ford technicians.
I'm sure they will correct me in the morning if I'm wrong. :)

Peter

Hi Rickd,

Peter is right on the money. I'm here for the folks in the US, but we also have a rep here for Canada (FordServiceCA) and in-vehicle technology (FordIVTTeam). We're all members of Ford's Social Media team and we also have people on Facebook, Twitter, and other forums like this one.

Crystal
 






Rickd

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Stinky A/C

As expected, Ford gave the orders to coat the system with a deodorizer (mask the smell) I sent in an online customer service complaint, but they have a no grantee of response disclaimer so we'll see. This is my 5th new Ford and may be the last.
 






Rickd

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As expected, Ford gave the orders to coat the system with a deodorizer (mask the smell) I sent in an online customer service complaint, but they have a no grantee of response disclaimer so we'll see. This is my 5th new Ford and may be the last.

[edit]

To add, I really don't blame the dealer, I know these guys are just following orders and deal with plenty BS from frantic customers, but they are the first line of defense and should be more accountable also one of those five was a truck I didn't need at the time, but it was 07 and the company needed buyers to stay afloat... hindsight says I should of bought the stock instead.
 






Rickd

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2014 Ford Explorer is back in the shop for the 6th time, second trip in a week for the stinky A/C. They have changed cabin filters, flushed vents with deodorant, etc., it helped for a day, then the smell was back. Now they are going to take the A/C apart piece by piece until they find the problem and replace the parts. At least they finally admitted they could smell the stench. One of the service managers said it made him feel ill. Keep your fingers crossed that they figure this mystery out!

K-Dub #14 ?... Naaah!

Anyways, if you dont mind keeping me in the loop on what the result of the inspection turned out to be causing the lack of drainage or anything please. I would like to have the name and number for the dealer you are with so they may share there experience with mine.

Thanks,
RD
 






BillyBoB4869

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I to am having the "rotten egg" smell when coming to a stop in my 2013 Explorer Limited. I bought mine used, so it has 40k on it.

I took mine in my local dealer, which was able to reproduce the smell but, was unable to fix it. They are currently awaiting a response from Ford on actions to take next.

I brought the "TSB 12-8-8" to them printed out (to possibly help with the troubleshooting). My local dealer thinks the two are not related, and it is exhaust gases getting into the cabin of the vehicle.

Hopefully Ford gets back to my dealer soon, my family is disgusted by the smell and hates riding in my car now. Nothing like a $30k rotten egg rolling down the road.
 






peterk9

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The 'rotten egg' smell or suphur smell is usually attributed to the catalytic converter and is not quite the same as what the others are experiencing. Sometimes it is due to the gas you use. The amount of sulphur in gas is unregulated so some brands may have higher levels of it than others.

Peter
 






Rickd

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Still no reply from web CSA 800# next.
 






peterk9

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I don't believe they work weekends.

Peter
 






ttrippc750

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I bought a used 2013 Ford Explorer Limited four months ago with 19k miles and have only put 4300 miles on it since. I had planned on buying new, but since Ford had added pre-certified warranty to it thought it was a better deal. Added 2years and 40k miles to warranty bringing it to 7 yrs and 100k. My only issue so far is the AC, stinking during the first start after sitting for days or even only a few hours. I have had it back to the dealer three times. I tell them I don't think it is draining probably on grd. They say if it was stopped up it would leak to the inside on right floor board. My Ford F150 Lariat would piss a river on the grd. I use normal ac settings(auto) never recert, The smell is that of an old sour stinky sock. Anybody have the same and what was the fix??
 






Rickd

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I bought a used 2013 Ford Explorer Limited four months ago with 19k miles and have only put 4300 miles on it since. I had planned on buying new, but since Ford had added pre-certified warranty to it thought it was a better deal. Added 2years and 40k miles to warranty bringing it to 7 yrs and 100k. My only issue so far is the AC, stinking during the first start after sitting for days or even only a few hours. I have had it back to the dealer three times. I tell them I don't think it is draining probably on grd. They say if it was stopped up it would leak to the inside on right floor board. My Ford F150 Lariat would piss a river on the grd. I use normal ac settings(auto) never recert, The smell is that of an old sour stinky sock. Anybody have the same and what was the fix??

Good Luck getting Ford to listen, this is my second new car in as many years with this issue. You are correct in that it is not draining properly and also the condenser may have condensation after shut down that never dries in humid conditions causing bacteria to grow on all of the internal surfaces of the ac ducts, fan, condenser all internal parts. mine a 2014 Explorer with under 10K is on round two at the dealers. All I want is the thing fixed, but three strikes and your out as the lemon law provides, I intend to peruse that rout at all cost if this is not fixed. Ford should look back at my purchase record, I bought six new cars and trucks from them over the years and just yesterday traded my pickup for my very first GMC Sierra.
 






croll326

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I have a smell too. Seems more like cat food or something. Only happens when I get in the vehicle and turn the a/c on after it's been sitting. It eventually goes away. Recently it was humid out and I had condensation on the dash around the a/c vents too. Never saw this on any previous cars. Is this a health hazard?
 






Friko

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I have a smell too. Seems more like cat food or something. Only happens when I get in the vehicle and turn the a/c on after it's been sitting. It eventually goes away. Recently it was humid out and I had condensation on the dash around the a/c vents too. Never saw this on any previous cars. Is this a health hazard?

Exact same issue. I thought it was the cabin filter so I ordered a brand new one.
The smell goes after 30 seconds or so. It doesn't bother me much but I'd rather it not be there.
My warranty is over, what are my options other than hoping for a recall?
 






Rickd

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED AT ARMS LENGHT 2014 FORD EXPLORER XLT WITH ALLEGED MOLD IN A/C SYSTEM

Well hate to tell you, but i have had mine back again and AUTONATION FORD WOLFCHASE MEMPHIS, TN is giving me the run around, typical comments, "this is normal happens to them all, i cant smell it after 5 seconds, ford has no fix for it", service manager "Doug" (who never returns calls) says he passed it off to sales to see about a different Explorer... yup sure did and the top Sales Manager says, I cant smell it after a few seconds... "I can find you a new one that you can TRADE yours in for"... So these guys are actually trying to take advantage my situation and sell another one to me. I got my keys back and asked the very nice service attendant to come with me while I start the car and sure enough... nothing but a faint reminder of the smell. I pulled it around front and let it run for a while and left to get the loaner from my wife so we could exchange cars, as soon as I started it again... there it was, nasty gym sock after two a days left in a duffel bag smell... so bad it makes you want to vomit. Heres the really big kick in the a**... ***AUTONATION IS NOT A FACTORY DEALERSHIP*** none of the AUTONATION dealerships are, they buy wholesale vehicles and re-sell them.

I will take the car to a REAL Ford dealer on Monday to see if they can fix the car, this will be my final attempt and then I will file a lemon law complaint with the Tennessee court system.
 






Mikie1

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Well, almost 1 year later since we had ours fixed and the "mildew" smell is back.

Really FORD, you have no idea WTF is wrong???
 






R56 Ed

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Temporary Fixes

I've had similar problems with my current Ex and 2 Ford Rangers. The problem was mold growing in the condensation drip tray and in the ductwork. This isn't a permanent solution, but setting the a/c to recirculate and spraying Lysol into the under-dash air intake will kill the current crop of bacteria and fix the smell in a minute or so. Of course, the Lysol stinks, too, and is probably a health hazard if you breathe it, but it will kill the bacteria and temporarily cure the odor problem.

I have also had good success by running an Edenpure ozone generator in the cabin overnight with the windows closed. Run the a/c on recirculate first thing the next morning while trying to keep all the accumulated ozone in the cabin. There are also ozone enhanced aerosol sprays that can be used instead of Lysol to achieve the same results.

It's a PITA to have to do all this, and we shouldn't have to. After all, most other cars don't seem to have this problem. But until Ford finds a fix, these are two ways that help.
 






Rickd

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Third attempt... FAIL, no resolve GM could not help, the broken light is even still broke. They didn't even have the courtesy to meet with me and my wife to explain. Stay Away From Auto Nation, they just want your money... no customer appreciation after the new car survey is submitted with the begged for perfect score.
 






Rickd

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2014 Explorer XLT Mold/Mildew in A/C

Please post details on your dealer experiences in rectifying this issue.

I have been back to my dealer in Memphis TN three times and still have rotten foot smell for the first 10 seconds from start and now a constant odor permeating the interior.

This is not just an annoying issue, we buy new for the new car experience and this has been taken away from US.
 






croll326

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This really makes me want to cart my family around in my $50,000 mold farm. Wtf?! Should have bought a Honda I guess. Unreal ford. Thanks.
 



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Rickd

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This really makes me want to cart my family around in my $50,000 mold farm. Wtf?! Should have bought a Honda I guess. Unreal ford. Thanks.

Can you tell us if you live in an area with above average humidity, I am trying to see if this is a regional issue or if the problem persists nationally.

Thanks!
 






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