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Smell when starting AC

 
Old 06-27-2012, 06:41 PM
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Smell when starting AC

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 06-27-2012, 09:34 PM
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Had the same problem on a c230. Turned out to be a bad cabin filter....
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:34 AM
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Did the problem started so early? I mean I barely have 3000 miles on it....
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:58 AM
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There may be some mold growing in the humid environment of the A/C chamber--this was quite common in European cars in past years. Auto parts stores carry aerosol cans of a disinfectant that you spray into the A/C intake. Your dealer would probably do the same thing, at least for the first try at fixing the problem.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:01 PM
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All cars do this to varying degrees. Its mold od sort. Have to open windows once in a while and drive with recirc off. That usually helps. Older cars cabin filter most likely. But its the venting that is most often the problem.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:35 PM
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My GLK has this problem and I was worried that the New ML has it considering that I am considering to trade for it. I have replaced the Cabin filter several times to know that the mold is in the actual AC ducts not only the filter. Spraying disinfectant into the A/C intake will temporary fix the issue. I am yet to find a permanent fix.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:57 PM
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Could it have anything to do with where the air conditioning condensation goes? I ask because I looked under the car the other day and there was no condensation dripping down. I asked this same question at another forum where other ML owners noticed the same thing but no one has come up with an answer. If the condensation is not dripping out of the car where does it go? And if it indeed "goes" somewhere, maybe that tank or whatever it is might be starting to smell. I've only had my ML350 a month but it has been hot here in Texas and the air has been on every time I've driven it since the day I brought it home. It does a great job of cooling but I still can't figure out where the condensation is going.
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:23 PM
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It's a great point as I have not seen the condensation going out anywhere . It well may be the tank that gets mold and smells bad ... I sure will get to service soon
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:27 PM
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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

That's the MB signature smell. All MB's have it, even my 300D has it! ML with 5k miles has it... Even my neighbor's AMG S63 has it. Certain people notice it differently. I find it some-what comforting.
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:36 PM
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My wife just came back from the dealer & asked about the exact same question. They said all European/German cars have the same problem & that's it's "normal".

Guess it's the Euro stink...
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by GA350 View Post
It's a great point as I have not seen the condensation going out anywhere . It well may be the tank that gets mold and smells bad ... I sure will get to service soon
Yes, please let us know what the M-B service department tells you as to where that condensation is going. As I said a couple posts ago, I do not notice it dripping down out of the car at stand still but I have not yet notice the smell you are talking about. My fear is that I will - eventually.
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:06 PM
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There are several TSB's on bad smell on the "older" ML's and several other MB models. I am thinking that these new ones are following the same path? Usually fixed by taking apart some part of the dash near the AC system and cleaning and spraying the area with their special MB spray.
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:57 PM
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"special MB spray" to get rid of the "special MB smell"

smoke and mirrors
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:09 PM
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Of the 5 MB's I've owned only 2 of them did it. I too have heard the old "they all do it" reply but when I dug deeper the bottom line was (on my 06 ML) there was some kind of cleaning that they did in the air conditioner innards, sorry I can't be more specific, and then I was told another fix was replacing either the condenser or the evaporator, again this was last summer and I don't remember which. The latter was a all day big buck job and I was told the extended warranty would not cover it. I have an old 89 Chevy P/U with air and it has never stinked. One would think that this would not be a problem with a quality vehicle like a M-B.
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Old 06-29-2012, 04:26 PM
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MB standard answer = its normal.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:25 PM
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Just curious, do any of you have or know someone who has an S-Class and if so does the A/C smell?
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by frtdog View Post
Just curious, do any of you have or know someone who has an S-Class and if so does the A/C smell?
Originally Posted by 300DTurbo View Post
That's the MB signature smell. All MB's have it, even my 300D has it! ML with 5k miles has it... Even my neighbor's AMG S63 has it. Certain people notice it differently. I find it some-what comforting.
the MB smell is analogous to cigar smoke, some people hate it; other's find it comforting.
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by shortspark View Post
Could it have anything to do with where the air conditioning condensation goes? I ask because I looked under the car the other day and there was no condensation dripping down. I asked this same question at another forum where other ML owners noticed the same thing but no one has come up with an answer. If the condensation is not dripping out of the car where does it go? And if it indeed "goes" somewhere, maybe that tank or whatever it is might be starting to smell. I've only had my ML350 a month but it has been hot here in Texas and the air has been on every time I've driven it since the day I brought it home. It does a great job of cooling but I still can't figure out where the condensation is going.
I've seen condensation leak on our driveway
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:09 AM
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Try to run the system with a/c off for a few minutes each time before shutting down for extended periods.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jtorrebl View Post
I've seen condensation leak on our driveway
Is it on a 2012 ML 350?
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:33 PM
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Here is what some one recently posted at another site:

"I contacted M-B customer care to see what kind of an answer I'd get. Here it is...

Thank you for contacting Mercedes-Benz, USA LLC.

This is normal on your 2012 ML 350.

Sincerely,

Francine AC.
Case Manager
Mercedes-Benz, USA LLC."
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:52 AM
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So what do they tell the other 2012 ML owners who do see the condensation dripping?
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by dgiturbo View Post
So what do they tell the other 2012 ML owners who do see the condensation dripping?
Good question. I will have to call service myself because I want to know where the condensation is going. Do they have some kind of super compressor on these cars that vaporizes the liquid? Every car in the fifty years I've been driving has to cool by compressor, which by its nature must leave a liquid by-product. I want to know where that by-product goes.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:39 AM
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I got the same question...where is the water going???
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:41 PM
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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
That smell is NOT "normal" for such a new car. There's definitely something wrong with it. Go to a dealer and force them to check your AC system - the cabin air filter might be damaged or improperly installed, the condensate drain might also be clogged or improperly installed at factory or damaged by something else, etc.
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