Notices
E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

A/C smells like feet

 
Old 07-14-2012, 11:58 AM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 21
Likes: 0
Recieved 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2011 E350 4matic, 2010 Ram 2500 4x4
A/C smells like feet

How do you clean the A/C evaporator box & what cleaner should be used to get rid of the foot smell from the A/C vents. The dealership has some top secret stuff that only they can do for $250.00.
mauiTom is offline  
Old 07-14-2012, 12:39 PM
  #2  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
listerone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,107
Likes: 0
Recieved 4 Likes on 4 Posts
2018 BMW 540d
I always thought that a smelly A/C was suffering from some kind of mold buildup.Although it might be impractical to do using bleach is what occurs to me.I'm not expert here (never had the problem myself) so I could be way out in left field on this one.
listerone is offline  
Old 07-14-2012, 03:08 PM
  #3  
Super Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 767
Recieved 4 Likes on 4 Posts
2010 E350, 2015 S550
Mine started doing this about 10 months into ownership in August '11. Dealer replaced the cabin air filter and I don't think anything else under warranty. Smell has not come back but it hasn't been a year yet since replacement. I do try to run with the AC compressor off every so often when i can to dry the whole system out. Dealer says that where we live, Southeast NC, the evap coils in the car, the part that cools, stays wet all the time, mildew grows and along with that the stink.

Dealer did say he inspected for clogged drains and obstructions of other kinds but no issues there. Like I said, so far problem solved. I am anxious to see how it is after the summer.

I have heared of others spraying disinfectants and other things in the ventilation intake, beneath the battery cover I believe, in an effort to relieve the stink. Don't know how those remedies worked. I'm sure someone will respond with their results.

There have been many posts on this topic so you should be able to learn lots about this topic. Hope this helps.
mnje350 is offline  
Old 07-14-2012, 03:30 PM
  #4  
Super Member
 
BenzMan369's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Suburban Phila., PA
Posts: 639
Recieved 13 Likes on 10 Posts
2012 E350 Coupe
A simple, quick forum Search produced this from only a couple weeks ago:

https://mbworld.org/forums/e-class-w...p-correct.html

There are probably such posts all over mbworld and elsewhere.

Hope you get it sorted.

BenzMan369 is offline  
Old 07-14-2012, 10:24 PM
  #5  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Recieved 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2011 E350
Years ago my SA told me to turn the heat on all the way and let it blow for 5 minutes and it will get rid of the smell. This will get rid of the smell for a couple weeks depending on where you live, humidity and all plays a factor in your region. The only hard part is to withstand the heat, haha.

SA explained it's condensation build up inside the vents from constant use, hence it keeps returning. The hot air will get rid of it. This method worked for me at no cost.
Decboy is offline  
Old 07-15-2012, 08:04 AM
  #6  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,747
Likes: 0
Recieved 2 Likes on 2 Posts
2012 S350 Bluetec 4Matic, Diamond White, P2
The smell could be coming from the cabin filters in the system as well.
ImInPA is offline  
Old 10-28-2013, 06:32 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 365
Recieved 2 Likes on 2 Posts
E550C
I recently had a dealer claim this isn't a warranty covered issue. This is pretty disturbing to hear as it appears to be a pretty common problem. I had hoped they'd do the right thing and fix my issue.

Has anyone had this issue and complained of it within warranty? If so, please PM me. We need to look into our alternatives here. Thanks
nauticalx is offline  
Old 10-28-2013, 07:59 PM
  #8  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 135
Likes: 0
Recieved 1 Like on 1 Post
2010 E350 Luxury 4Matic
Originally Posted by mauiTom View Post
How do you clean the A/C evaporator box & what cleaner should be used to get rid of the foot smell from the A/C vents. The dealership has some top secret stuff that only they can do for $250.00.
Top secret, I doubt it . BG makes product called Frigi-Clean and Frigi-Fresh. Einzsett also has a product Klima-Clean.
mbuster25 is offline  
Old 10-28-2013, 08:06 PM
  #9  
Super Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 767
Recieved 4 Likes on 4 Posts
2010 E350, 2015 S550
NAUTICALx,

My stinky a/c was addressed under warranty by replacing the cabin air filters. This fixed the problem till this summer. Almost two years. Then the stink came back. In an effort to dry the system out, I ran the ventilation with the a/c turned of and the heat set to max for about 20 min. I wasn't in the car while it ran. This did seem to cure the problem for now but I don't know if it is because the humidity is gone for the season where I live or if the air even flows through the part of the system causing the stink when the heat is on. You may want to give it a try before you spend money on something. It's a shame that these cars have this problem.
mnje350 is offline  
Old 10-28-2013, 08:45 PM
  #10  
Super Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Placitas, NM
Posts: 576
Likes: 0
Recieved 4 Likes on 3 Posts
E550
OK. My current experience with a 2011 E550.

The car has an AC drier cycle that is VERY IMPORTANT.

About an hour after the car is shut down, an AC drier fan kicks in and runs for 30 minutes or more --- I'm not sure exactly how long.

The AC evaporator, during its operation, creates water or ice, depending on circumstances. That moisture can breed all kinds of nasty bugs and stuff. If it's not dried, it will smell like hell. The purpose of the AC drier cycle is to dry the evaporator coils so the stuff doesn't breed.

Also, there is a drain hose from the evaporator that lets the water, or ice melt, drain off on your garage floor or parking lot. That, also is vital. If the hose is plugged, you will get "dirty feet" 'cause the evaporator coils can't dry sufficiently.

If the hose is not plugged, you need to ensure that the AC drier cycle is running. You can hear the fan running about an hour after shutting down --- quiet, but audible, especially if you put your ear close to the AC air intake at the rear of the hood.

If that fan does not run, I'll guarantee "dirty feet."

Maybe the fan is dead.

OR maybe in the software that fan is turned off because a tech didn't know what he was doing. That was my case. My battery died at about 20K miles. The tech determined that the cause was a service notice about that fan running when it shouldn't, like forever. So he did what the service notice told him, but decided to do it one better --- in the software, he turned off the AC drier cycle altogether. Later, I got "dirty feet." The next tech turned the drier cycle back on, and things have gone fine since.

Now, if I can get "dirty feet" from that, and I live in the DESERT, then you can, too.
Live Oak is offline  
The following users liked this post:
fganter (03-09-2019)
Old 10-28-2013, 09:04 PM
  #11  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Huntington Beach, Ca.
Posts: 5,431
Recieved 60 Likes on 57 Posts
'17 Jaguar XF
The auto evap drying cycle works great. It uses the HVAC blower fan. I was surprised while installing battery minder leads with the fan powering up with the cover over the battery removed while I was under the hood! No stink from my HVAC system.....unlike my last Benz.
mleskovar is offline  
Old 10-29-2013, 03:57 PM
  #12  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 100
Likes: 0
Recieved 1 Like on 1 Post
2011 E-350 P2 Cuprite Brown/Chestnut
I just did this at the dealer. My car is under warranty so they told me if I buy the filter they will do the chemical stuff for free. I was done within two hours and $54 total. it's smells heavenly.
AnirInTexas is offline  
Old 07-14-2015, 03:23 AM
  #13  
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Recieved 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Mercedes e class, bmw 330i, Audi A6
i know i am pretty much going off the topic. i want to change my front ac grill in my w212 facelift as there are some scratches on it. Can someone please tell me the part number for it and also how to change it.
Sunny18 is offline  
Old 07-14-2015, 11:04 AM
  #14  
Out Of Control!!
 
konigstiger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: North Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 10,145
Recieved 1,072 Likes on 916 Posts
'71 Pinto
konigstiger is offline  
Old 07-14-2015, 08:19 PM
  #15  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 152
Likes: 0
Recieved 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2010 e350
My car smelled like a bag of doritos every time I ran the AC.
I bought a can of something or another on ebay for about $10. DWD2 I think is what it was called. You drill a hole in a duct just past the air filter and you squirt it in. Took me about 30 minutes or so. Everything has been great since for the last 2 months. I left the port in the duct so next time it will be pretty easy.
sghokie is offline  
Old 07-14-2015, 08:22 PM
  #16  
Super Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 767
Recieved 4 Likes on 4 Posts
2010 E350, 2015 S550
Ahhh put the AC on recirc when you take it through the wash. Mine has not stunk for about 3 years now. Never needed to drill holes or use sprays.

Last edited by mnje350; 07-14-2015 at 08:24 PM.
mnje350 is offline  
Old 08-21-2017, 01:30 PM
  #17  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 26
Recieved 1 Like on 1 Post
W221
Can you show exactly where you drilled the hole?
Sumit Bhasin is offline  
Old 08-21-2017, 01:54 PM
  #18  
Member
 
nc211's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 168
Recieved 27 Likes on 23 Posts
2014 E350 4-matic Sport Package / MK7 GTI Autobahn (2015)
Originally Posted by Sumit Bhasin View Post
Can you show exactly where you drilled the hole?
There is a YouTube video of a guy with a W212 who did this fix via the cabin air filter route. Just take out the filter, extend the hose into the channel about 24 inches or so, and empty the little canister. It'll coat the coils, foam up, and then the stink drains out underneath the car via the drain tube. Takes all of 15 minutes to do.

You can also do it via the drain hose underneath the car if you can get under it. Just find the drain tube, then take the little hose that comes with these coil cleaners and run it up the drain tube and then let it rip. It'll fill up the coil housing with the foaming agent, clean the coils, and the nasty crap will drain out. Might take one or two cans.

You can buy coil cleaner at any car parts store. CRC sells a good version.

No need to drill holes and the like for this.

I did this to my car a few weeks ago (the youtube version), and it totally fixed my issue. Also did it to my other two cars via the drain hose underneath the car (13' Highlander / 15' GTI) and again, fixed them too. Highlander took two cans though, and thinking the GTI probably needed 2 as well, but ran out.
nc211 is offline  
The following users liked this post:
Sumit Bhasin (08-21-2017)
Old 08-21-2017, 03:36 PM
  #19  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
belarus27's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Sacramento , CA
Posts: 1,789
Recieved 154 Likes on 145 Posts
2010 e550 p2
Originally Posted by Sumit Bhasin View Post
Can you show exactly where you drilled the hole?
change filter and you should not have any issues.

p.s. if you can also clean it with lysol to kill bacterias (what i did also did)
no bad smell for about a year
belarus27 is offline  
The following users liked this post:
Sumit Bhasin (08-21-2017)
Old 08-21-2017, 05:16 PM
  #20  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
thefisch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: West Central Florida
Posts: 3,074
Recieved 304 Likes on 263 Posts
2011 E550 P2 4M Sedan
Originally Posted by belarus27 View Post
change filter and you should not have any issues.

p.s. if you can also clean it with lysol to kill bacterias (what i did also did)
no bad smell for about a year
Last time I tried to mitigate the smell by lysoling the filter but that only last a month or two before it returned. I agree that changing the filter made the biggest difference. Perhaps this foam cleaner would help the filters last longer than 12 to 18 months for me.
thefisch is offline  
Old 10-16-2017, 02:40 PM
  #21  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 25
Recieved 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2010 Mercedes E350 4matic
Evaporator Fan Battery Drain

Originally Posted by Live Oak View Post
OK. My current experience with a 2011 E550.

The car has an AC drier cycle that is VERY IMPORTANT.

About an hour after the car is shut down, an AC drier fan kicks in and runs for 30 minutes or more --- I'm not sure exactly how long.

The AC evaporator, during its operation, creates water or ice, depending on circumstances. That moisture can breed all kinds of nasty bugs and stuff. If it's not dried, it will smell like hell. The purpose of the AC drier cycle is to dry the evaporator coils so the stuff doesn't breed.

Also, there is a drain hose from the evaporator that lets the water, or ice melt, drain off on your garage floor or parking lot. That, also is vital. If the hose is plugged, you will get "dirty feet" 'cause the evaporator coils can't dry sufficiently.

If the hose is not plugged, you need to ensure that the AC drier cycle is running. You can hear the fan running about an hour after shutting down --- quiet, but audible, especially if you put your ear close to the AC air intake at the rear of the hood.

If that fan does not run, I'll guarantee "dirty feet."

Maybe the fan is dead.

OR maybe in the software that fan is turned off because a tech didn't know what he was doing. That was my case. My battery died at about 20K miles. The tech determined that the cause was a service notice about that fan running when it shouldn't, like forever. So he did what the service notice told him, but decided to do it one better --- in the software, he turned off the AC drier cycle altogether. Later, I got "dirty feet." The next tech turned the drier cycle back on, and things have gone fine since.

Now, if I can get "dirty feet" from that, and I live in the DESERT, then you can, too.
Did the shop tell you how they programmed the fan to cut off correctly/in a timely manner without draining your battery vs. the service notice. My battery is having all the same issues, but I have not been able to go to my tech and clearly give him the problem as needed.

Thanks so much!
AndyK150 is offline  
Old 10-16-2017, 02:51 PM
  #22  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
KEY08's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 3,328
Recieved 366 Likes on 343 Posts
2014 E550 4Matic Designo Diamond White and loaded up
There is no special dryer fan. The system uses the one and only blower fan to move air over the evaporator coil. Once you hear the fan start up try opening your driver's door and then closing it to see if the fan stops running. Try locking the door as well to see if that will also put this evaporator drying operation to sleep.
KEY08 is offline  
Old 10-16-2017, 02:54 PM
  #23  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 25
Recieved 0 Likes on 0 Posts
2010 Mercedes E350 4matic
Originally Posted by KEY08 View Post
There is no special dryer fan. The system uses the one and only blower fan to move air over the evaporator coil. Once you hear the fan start up try opening your driver's door and then closing it to see if the fan stops running. Try locking the door as well to see if that will also put this evaporator drying operation to sleep.

I have tried those things. The issue still exists. How is it possible to get the evaporator fan to cut off after a certain amount of time as it is supposed to operate rather than it run nonstop?
AndyK150 is offline  
Old 10-16-2017, 03:09 PM
  #24  
MBWorld Fanatic!
 
KEY08's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 3,328
Recieved 366 Likes on 343 Posts
2014 E550 4Matic Designo Diamond White and loaded up
You need to get to the dealer or an Indy with the proper Star diagnostic equipment to see why it is not shutting down as designed. There may be an issue with the front S.A.M., which I believe controls this function. It's possible the S.A.M. is bad or may need reprogramming.
KEY08 is offline  
Old 10-31-2017, 01:22 PM
  #25  
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Southern
Posts: 206
Recieved 32 Likes on 18 Posts
2014 E-350
FWIW I fixed my smell - posting on a couple of these related threads in case anyone needs help. Used professional equipment (Liqui-Moly A/C stuff). Didn't drill, just removed panel under glovebox, removed cabin filter, used tube and sprayed on evaporator. 15 minutes tops, no smells whatsoever (I had bad smells like others, plus the smell left behind from my melting speakers...guessing that smell was trapped on filter). Anyway, no smells, and the equipment is reusable so I have enough fluid to do it several more times if the smells ever return. Or, if you're in the Houston area, I'll hook you up! PM me if you want more info or help.
fosterelli is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Quick Reply: A/C smells like feet


Contact Us - About Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: