Van Nuys Auto Repair & Service Center

Why Does My Car’s A/C Vents Smell Bad?

When air conditioning systems are well taken care of, they should let out clean or neutral-smelling air from their vents. If the air circulating throughout your car smells foul, it could signal problems with the ventilation system or other surrounding parts. For the safety of yourself and other passengers, please bring your car to AutoAid for an inspection at your earliest convenience if you notice a strange smell when your A/C is on.


Leaking fluid or gasses are a prevalent cause of strange or bad smells from the A/C. Some of the air gets picked up from the engine bay. Sometimes, your nose might catch the smell of motor oil leaking from hoses, gaskets, or the oil filter. And if you smell a sweeter scent, it could very well be coolant or antifreeze. If you smell anything suspicious coming from your car, our technicians will indeed check for leaks.


For vehicles that operate in hot and humid areas, bacteria is a common problem that lingers inside the A/C system. If moisture collects in a component like the evaporator, it can produce a moldy and musty odor. Fortunately, we can fix this problem by going in with a vent cleaner and airing out your car.

Electronic Failure

If you're getting a burning smell from inside your vehicle, it might be from an electrical fault. After all, your vehicle has many sensors, wires, etc. running throughout your car, especially from under the hood. A burning smell is serious enough to make you want to investigate further.

If you need help diagnosing the weird smell coming from your car vents, please give AutoAid a call (818) 305-6632 or visit our shop in Van Nuys, CA today. Feel free to schedule an appointment using our online form for convenience.

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