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Smell when starting AC

 
Old 04-09-2014, 04:58 PM
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Same problem here. It's irritating for me and embarrassing when I have someone in my car and turn on AC.
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:46 PM
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I trick I sometimes use in all of my cars is to:
Turn A/C off
Temperature set to the highest setting
Fan set so high
leave on for a few minutes

This helps to dry out any moisture or bacteria in the system which can cause odors.
It is also a good idea to always turn off the A/C a minute or two before shutting the vehicle down.
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Old 04-09-2014, 06:55 PM
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Are we driving Yugos? I've never had this problem with any car. My first MB though.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 27T View Post
Are we driving Yugos? I've never had this problem with any car. My first MB though.
Yugos stunk all by themselves. They didn't need any standing moisture in the evaporator.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:39 PM
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I love how we have to crack a safe combination to keep the AC from not smelling. I've attempted the codes listed here and they don't work. At least I don't have to safe crack my brakes.
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:15 AM
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This can happen to any vehicle under the right circumstances. I have not had the problem but I understand that a dose is antiseptic in the air intake will do wonders to prevent this from happening or help to cure it after is does.
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:36 AM
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c-300
Foul A/C Oder

I have this smell also, I just got it back from Service they said they replaced the cabin A/C filter and did an evaporator core cleaner, so far smell gone, we will see how long it last...
Originally Posted by GA350 View Post
I have noticed a very bad or mushy smell when I start my car with A/C off( after I have shut the car for sometime and the AC was running when i shut the car).
This gets better in 10-15 seconds after I turn the AC on. The smell is a very strong smell of moisture with stangnant air....
Does anyone have the same experience?
I am worried as it might be a problem with my cabin air filter.
My car is only 3000miles on it.
Thanks
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:02 AM
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musty or mildew smell

Originally Posted by GA350 View Post
I have noticed a very bad or mushy smell when I start my car with A/C off( after I have shut the car for sometime and the AC was running when i shut the car).
This gets better in 10-15 seconds after I turn the AC on. The smell is a very strong smell of moisture with stangnant air....
Does anyone have the same experience? Ha
I am worried as it might be a problem with my cabin air filter.
My car is only 3000miles on it.
Thanks
.......I have a 2007 ML 350 I tried this air vent spray called..Clean Air..from Amazon CA-300...directions are on u tube and on the can...I tried it seems to work really well...
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Old 07-28-2014, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by BigLin View Post
.......I have a 2007 ML 350 I tried this air vent spray called..Clean Air..from Amazon CA-300...directions are on u tube and on the can...I tried it seems to work really well...
Lysol works really well too.
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Old 07-28-2014, 05:05 AM
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I have had the dealer at Lexus spray a liquid into the intake vent in front of the windshield to cure the odor in the ac blower box. It is quite common and can happen to even near new vehicles.
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Old 07-28-2014, 11:20 AM
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I have the issue on my 13' ML550, first time I brought it in they sprayed something into the system, it just made for a slightly perfumy dirty sneaker smell. I'm bringing it in again soon for another try. I've never experienced this on any other vehicle.
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:40 PM
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I have encountered this from my side in two ways - one is where the Climate temp control is set on full low - and left on full low for more than 10 minutes often for the full drive - which in turn does not allow the climate control system to breath or drain properly - I have also encountered this when cabin filters get "clogged" especially in area of high pollen - where the cabin filter is doing what it should do but gets over whelmed.

For DIY'rs - the "spray" of my choice is Einzsett Clima about $22 from Amazon:

Amazon.com: einszett 961105 Klima Cleaner Professional - 8.5 oz: Automotive Amazon.com: einszett 961105 Klima Cleaner Professional - 8.5 oz: Automotive
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:16 AM
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2013 ML Smelly Socks Smell

Dealer swapped out cabin air filters to "fix" the same smelly socks problem I've been having since car was new. Mercedes indicates this is the fix, and is no longer covered under warranty (maintenance issue?). However, as we all know, the filter is BEFORE the evaporator box which is creating the smell, so swapping out the filter has no effect. Dealer has indicated that they have had this same complaint from a number of customers, so it is indeed a real issue, but Mercedes was just denying it. One temporary fix they have is to spray a foaming agent into the box to clean and kill everything in there, which they have done in the past with other clients. Problem with this technique, it doesn't solve the inherent design problem, and it dissolves the Antimicrobial lining that MB put on these newer evaporator boxes to apparently address the known problem...so that isn't a good option. However, last time I was in there a few weeks ago, the Service Manager indicated that MB had recommended a new fix to them for recurring complaints...something about taking out sound deadening, and certain body plugs to allow more airflow? This is my first MB, and I have NEVER experienced this issue with any of my previous autos over the last 3 decades (Honda, Ford, Mazda, Porsche). I'm embarrassed to take people in my car in the summertime as they have to deal with the foul odor for the first couple of minutes. Kinda sad I dropped $80k on this luxury auto and have to deal with this. MB better figure this out quick and rectify or repeat buying will be hindered. Anyone who rides in the car won't be buying a MB anytime soon either as I apologize for the "Mercedes Funk".

Suggestion folks...KEEP COMPLAINING to your dealer about this, and ensure they log the complaint in the MB Service System. MB will only know of this widespread problem if their service systems show it. EACH time I'm in there for anything, I have them log it so I have a record of the complaint in the event MB figures out the solution so I can have it covered under warranty, and it flags the issue in their system. Dealer indicated they like this method of constant complaining as it helps them push MB for a solution as well. Happy clients = happy profitable dealer. SO KEEP LOGGING THE COMPLAINT EVEN IF NOTHING IS DONE TO FIX IT!
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Old 12-14-2014, 03:33 AM
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I have seen this problem - where the driver sets temp on max-low - leaves it there - then during the drive the evaprator coil "frosts up" - and then at the end of the drive - driver exits and the evap frost melts - leaving a damp and dark wet/damp chamber - and that's when the "moldy sock smell" develops.. Einszett Klima will solve the immediate problem and modify driver temp protocol... last 4-6 instances I ran into over the past few months - every one was solved with the "fix"... when you run the temp control too low, and evap frosts up, the longer the drive the more inefficient the air con system becomes to boot.. self-fulfilling .. set too cold, frosts up, less efficient, set colder, finish the drive, frost melts, moldy sock... over and over again..
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:30 AM
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Had this problem before on my c-class and what fixed it is cranking the heat to hi 5 minutes before my destination and push the auto AC button. When the AC blows out hot hair for 1 minute then I shut-off everything. Never I had anymore smell afterwards. Did this on my RIP GLK since delivery and never had a bad smell even once.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:22 AM
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2015 ML 350 Gas(Polar White). 2015 ML 350 gas(Lunar Blue). 68 mustang
The cavities of the body of the car are sprayed with a wax to aid in corrosion resistance. It is normal for this to leak out when the ambient temperatures increase. You may notice a waxy residue on some of the body panels under the hood, lift gate and rocker panels. This has been known to be a contributor to the odor inside the cabin. Have your dealer to look into this issue and verify.
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Old 12-14-2014, 02:07 PM
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Not my problem. We run in Auto Mode, whole cabin, zones off, temp at 72F, very dry climate. AC doesnt run very hard. Sounds like the fix is actually a workaround to turn off compressor a few minutes before shutting off car to dry out coils. Too bad MB cant fix this.


Originally Posted by fabbrisd1 View Post
I have seen this problem - where the driver sets temp on max-low - leaves it there - then during the drive the evaprator coil "frosts up" - and then at the end of the drive - driver exits and the evap frost melts - leaving a damp and dark wet/damp chamber - and that's when the "moldy sock smell" develops.. Einszett Klima will solve the immediate problem and modify driver temp protocol... last 4-6 instances I ran into over the past few months - every one was solved with the "fix"... when you run the temp control too low, and evap frosts up, the longer the drive the more inefficient the air con system becomes to boot.. self-fulfilling .. set too cold, frosts up, less efficient, set colder, finish the drive, frost melts, moldy sock... over and over again..
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:02 PM
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A/C Smell

I have the smell since new in 2013 this is the third time I have complained about this Mb now they have ml350 for four(4) days now, they tell me they had to order a body panel inside the dash and it is quite extensive labor to fix it, I will update this post when I get the TSB and part #s
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:17 AM
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c-300
AC SMELL\

TSB
LI83.30-P-059119
JUST GOT MINE BACK FRIDAY FROM DEALER SMELL GONE, WE WILL SEE FOR HOW LONG
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:39 PM
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SOLD my ML350 after 2 years

Originally Posted by bobhbenz View Post
TSB
LI83.30-P-059119
JUST GOT MINE BACK FRIDAY FROM DEALER SMELL GONE, WE WILL SEE FOR HOW LONG
I finally had enough of this problem with Mercedes and sold My ML350. I cant believe such an annoying problem can persist for this long. I had a severe throat infection late last summer, which I believe originated from the smelly, rotten A/C air. I traded the ML for a brand new Lexus, which does not have an issue with the A/C.
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Old 06-11-2015, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mbden View Post
I finally had enough of this problem with Mercedes and sold My ML350. I cant believe such an annoying problem can persist for this long. I had a severe throat infection late last summer, which I believe originated from the smelly, rotten A/C air. I traded the ML for a brand new Lexus, which does not have an issue with the A/C.
You don't have an issue for now...I had a Lexus RX 400h before the ML350 and it had the same problem...not to mention the quality, Lexus can't (by far) be compared with the Mercedes quality...
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Old 06-12-2015, 12:16 PM
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I do not have the statistics handy for the Lexus vs Mercedes reliability but I am pretty sure Lexus has a better track record than most European car manufacturers when it comes to reliability.
I have had more gripes with the ML350 in 2 years than my previous RX in 15 years. Bottom line; Merc is not worth the extra $.
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Old 06-12-2015, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mbden View Post
I do not have the statistics handy for the Lexus vs Mercedes reliability but I am pretty sure Lexus has a better track record than most European car manufacturers when it comes to reliability.
I am sure they do, but if anyone buys the Mercedes for top reliability they have not been doing their homework.
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Old 06-12-2015, 03:03 PM
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Many car manufacturers have been known for reliability over the years, such as Toyota, Honda, Lexus, and now even Kia and Hyundai are doing pretty well in that area. Other brands have been known for being more hit or miss on this point of reliability such as Jeep, Jag, Land Rover and even MB. If you get a bad one woe is you but if you get a good one you will enjoy the ride thoroughly.

Basically, it is a crap shoot with most European makers and has been the nature of the beast for many years now. Why is this so? Well, maybe they are over engineered. Maybe they have too many bells and whistles that could go wrong. Maybe their quest for coming up with the latest technologies are always a bit premature and not thoroughly tested. And just maybe their quality control is not what it use to be. Maybe this, maybe that but everyone knows it is hit or miss going in.

I doubt very seriously that most MB buyers look closely at the CR or Edmunds reliability reports. They know those MB reports can't match some of the others, such as Lexus, but they think it is worth taking the chance. I know it was for me. My test drives convinced me the ML was a better vehicle in most of the important ways that mattered to me than the RX350, and by a considerable margin. I knew it was a better car assuming I lucked out and did not get a lemon ML.

I was lucky and got a good one but I'm certainly not the only one. For every complaint we hear at this forum or at other internet places there are probably ten other owners whose cars have performed as expected, such as my car has. There are three 2012 ML 350 gas version SUVs here in the small community I live in and one 2011 and all have been virtually perfect from day one. I've heard enough horror stories at this forum since to seriously look at other makers in the future of course but I know MB still offers an outstanding product - IF you are willing to play the odds (which are overwhelmingly in your favor) that you will get a good one.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:26 AM
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2013 Mercedes Benz ML 350
Bad odor from a/c

Originally Posted by GA350 View Post
I have noticed a very bad or mushy smell when I start my car with A/C off( after I have shut the car for sometime and the AC was running when i shut the car).
This gets better in 10-15 seconds after I turn the AC on. The smell is a very strong smell of moisture with stangnant air....
Does anyone have the same experience?
I am worried as it might be a problem with my cabin air filter.
My car is only 3000miles on it.
Thanks
*** YES, I have a 2013 Mercedes Benz ML 350 and I get the same bad odor when I use the A/C , I have taken it in to service and they said it's a known issue , they clean it and it stopped the door temporary but the door is back again. I need to take it in to be fixed again.
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