BMW M3 Forum (E90 E92)

BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Go Back   M3Post - BMW M3 Forum > M3 (E90 / E92 / E93) > General M3 Forum (E90 + E92 + E93)
 
Lux Angel Eyes
Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      02-24-2011, 04:33 PM   #1
WangTa
3
First Lieutenant
 
WangTa's Avatar
 
Drives: '08 SSII E90 M3
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Maryland

Posts: 308
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to WangTa Send a message via MSN to WangTa
Smell When Turning on Air

Ok guys...this is a random post, but I need help because I'm absolutely BAFFLED.

My M has 9,000 miles on it. Looks pretty darn new. However, whenever I turn on the air vents, the smell coming from the vents smells really really strange. Like old pee, animal-nest like. Is it possible a mouse nest is behind the vents? When running AC through front vents, it smells ok...but when I turn on the front defroster - man, it straight up stinks. I have no idea WTH it is.

I've cleaned the inside of the car thoroughly - vacuumed, applied Zano cleaner and leather conditioner (Smelled good until I ran the AC!).

I have no idea what to do or even how to check this. Have any of you guys had this problem? Again, the car looks new inside and out...
WangTa is offline   United_States
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-24-2011, 05:29 PM   #2
ajvee
14
Major
 
Drives: None
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: None

Posts: 1,442
iTrader: (13)

I've heard of this exact issue and there was some speculation that the cabin air filter was the cause and needed to be replaced. I would probably check into this first.
ajvee is offline  
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-24-2011, 05:37 PM   #3
Youngbp04
1
Private First Class
 
Drives: 2010 Space Gray 335i M-Package
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Virginia

Posts: 145
iTrader: (0)

My 335 does the exact same thing! I have 14k miles on it. Smells ok with AC and terrible with heat, it is bad enough where even my GF is complaining about it.

Dealer told me when I first picked up my car that it was the rust protectant and sealant burning off. But still smells funky!
Youngbp04 is offline   United_States
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-24-2011, 05:40 PM   #4
WangTa
3
First Lieutenant
 
WangTa's Avatar
 
Drives: '08 SSII E90 M3
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Maryland

Posts: 308
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to WangTa Send a message via MSN to WangTa
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajvee View Post
I've heard of this exact issue and there was some speculation that the cabin air filter was the cause and needed to be replaced. I would probably check into this first.
Really. Where is this cabin air filter? I don't have the manual on me right now. Is this covered by warranty (half joking)
WangTa is offline   United_States
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-24-2011, 05:41 PM   #5
WangTa
3
First Lieutenant
 
WangTa's Avatar
 
Drives: '08 SSII E90 M3
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Maryland

Posts: 308
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to WangTa Send a message via MSN to WangTa
Quote:
Originally Posted by Youngbp04 View Post
My 335 does the exact same thing! I have 14k miles on it. Smells ok with AC and terrible with heat, it is bad enough where even my GF is complaining about it.
Yes - exactly. I was actually semi-ok with it, but my gf noticed and was like "what the fuuunk is that?"
WangTa is offline   United_States
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-24-2011, 05:46 PM   #6
WangTa
3
First Lieutenant
 
WangTa's Avatar
 
Drives: '08 SSII E90 M3
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Maryland

Posts: 308
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to WangTa Send a message via MSN to WangTa
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajvee View Post
I've heard of this exact issue and there was some speculation that the cabin air filter was the cause and needed to be replaced. I would probably check into this first.
Hmmm, you may be right. I just found this video - check at 2:13, that looks like crap where mold, nastiness could live...

WangTa is offline   United_States
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-24-2011, 05:59 PM   #7
quiksi
7
Captain
 
quiksi's Avatar
 
Drives: E90
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Houston, TX

Posts: 762
iTrader: (1)

Garage List
Send a message via AIM to quiksi
one way to avoid that is before you turn the car off after running a/c, turn the a/c off and crank the fan up for a while to help blow out any moisture that might have accumulated in the system
__________________

2011 E90 M3 6mt AW/Speed Cloth - ZCP, Moonroof, non-iDrive - PCD 12/9/10
Painted reflectors, matte black grills/gills, RemoteKey+, Homelink retrofit, V1 Hardwire, GP Thunder 8500K, modmy3 LED interior, VRS Replica CF Front Lip, Dinan Mufflers, HRE P40 19" Satin Charcoal, Bridgestone S04
quiksi is offline   Taiwan
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-24-2011, 06:00 PM   #8
JIO
6
Captain
 
Drives: '09 Space Gray E92 M3 w/DCT
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Eugene, Oregon

Posts: 627
iTrader: (0)

The M3 has two cabin filters under the hood...one on each side. You have to remove a few screws like in the video. The charcoal filters are not cheap to replace but under scheduled maintenance, they are replaced free.

Usually the smell comes not the filters but from inside the A/C unit under the dash. The moisture formed causes bacteria and mold to form which causes the smell. About the only way to rid of the smell is shut off your A/C a few miles from home so the moisture is evaporated. Of course, if it's 100 outside, you don't want to turn off the A/C so soon.
JIO is offline  
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-24-2011, 06:32 PM   #9
Mineral M3
0
Enlisted Member
 
Mineral M3's Avatar
 
Drives: M3 E92 M-DCT
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Tring

Posts: 33
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via Skype™ to Mineral M3
.
__________________
Mineral White, black leather, Carbon trim, M-DCT, 19" M alloys, iDrive, BMW Business.. plus lots more.
Mineral M3 is offline   United Kingdom
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-24-2011, 06:38 PM   #10
Mineral M3
0
Enlisted Member
 
Mineral M3's Avatar
 
Drives: M3 E92 M-DCT
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Tring

Posts: 33
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via Skype™ to Mineral M3
It's bacteria in the pipes. If you go to a dealer they should be able to clean your system if not you need to find an air con company. They normally spray a chemical into it. It happens because you probably haven't used the air con enough and it's got damp. The air con will dry out the system so try and use it in the winter too. Hope this helps.

Ps you could leave the air con running for about 30 mins on medium temp and all the windows open this should dry it out. I did this when I worked in the motor trade.
__________________
Mineral White, black leather, Carbon trim, M-DCT, 19" M alloys, iDrive, BMW Business.. plus lots more.
Mineral M3 is offline   United Kingdom
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-24-2011, 06:44 PM   #11
Sean@PYSpeed.com
89
 
Sean@PYSpeed.com's Avatar
 
Drives: 2009 AW E92 M3
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bay Area

Posts: 8,956
iTrader: (22)

Send a message via AIM to Sean@PYSpeed.com
I used to get this too. But my 15k mile oil change took care of everything!
Sean@PYSpeed.com is offline   United_States
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-24-2011, 08:05 PM   #12
DBH
3
First Lieutenant
 
Drives: 2011 M3 E92
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: SE PA

Posts: 347
iTrader: (0)

It's bacteria build up in the ducts. This is not uncommon in most newer cars (not just BMW's). Take the car to a dealer or auto a/c place. They will spray chemicals into the ducts that will kill the bacteria and eliminate the smell. However, to keep it smelling nice your will need to turn the a/c off a few minutes before arriving at your destination to dry out the moisture from the ducts.
DBH is offline  
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-24-2011, 08:25 PM   #13
piloto
8
Captain
 
Drives: 2011 E90 M3 - AW/FR
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Orange County, CA

Posts: 835
iTrader: (0)

Try this stuff. You spray it down the vent and it helps kill the bacteria.

piloto is offline  
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-24-2011, 08:29 PM   #14
WangTa
3
First Lieutenant
 
WangTa's Avatar
 
Drives: '08 SSII E90 M3
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Maryland

Posts: 308
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to WangTa Send a message via MSN to WangTa
Quote:
Originally Posted by DBH View Post
It's bacteria build up in the ducts. This is not uncommon in most newer cars (not just BMW's). Take the car to a dealer or auto a/c place. They will spray chemicals into the ducts that will kill the bacteria and eliminate the smell. However, to keep it smelling nice your will need to turn the a/c off a few minutes before arriving at your destination to dry out the moisture from the ducts.
If I bring it to a BMW dealer, will they have the spray stuff and do this for me?
WangTa is offline   United_States
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-24-2011, 11:07 PM   #15
cwidjojo
3
First Lieutenant
 
cwidjojo's Avatar
 
Drives: Sparkling Graphite E92 M3
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Indonesia/San Francisco

Posts: 340
iTrader: (1)

This happened to me when I left the car for a month. When I came back, the heater started to smell like horse sh!t (not a hyperbole). Now its fine again.
cwidjojo is offline  
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-24-2011, 11:40 PM   #16
Ctm309
3
First Lieutenant
 
Ctm309's Avatar
 
Drives: '09 M3 AW Carbon roof DCT '11
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Norwalk, Ct./Port Washington, N.Y.

Posts: 359
iTrader: (7)

Quote:
Originally Posted by piloto View Post
Try this stuff. You spray it down the vent and it helps kill the bacteria.

What the dealer uses and charges big $$ for "system clean out"

I have used it and it really works: www.detailersdomain.com
Ctm309 is offline  
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-25-2011, 02:08 AM   #17
kouhii
0
Private
 
Drives: 09 E90M3DCT
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Silicon Valley

Posts: 77
iTrader: (0)

If you have an 09, press the REST button right after you turn off your car after running the AC. This will keep the fans running for around 15 mins and will continue to run even if you get out of your car and lock it.
kouhii is offline  
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-25-2011, 02:31 AM   #18
elp_jc
49
Brigadier General
 
Drives: .
Join Date: May 2008
Location: .

Posts: 4,910
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by JIO View Post
The M3 has two cabin filters under the hood.
There're FOUR , 2 on each side.

On the stink, it's the evaporator unit. My cabin filters look like new, and everything below the filters is clean (just did a brake fluid bleed, so I know ).
As noted, A/C compressor needs to be shut off before you arrive at your destination. This car is THE WORST I've ever owned, so something in the HVAC design is f***ed up. My car has 7K miles, I live in the freaking desert, and still smells a little funky even after always shutting off the compressor before turning system off. At least it's tolerable. Another 'nature of the beast', I guess .
elp_jc is offline   United_States
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-25-2011, 02:52 AM   #19
conradb
4
Lieutenant
 
Drives: 2011 E92 M3 (ZCP/DCT/ZCV)
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: GMT -8

Posts: 435
iTrader: (0)

My 2007 335i used to do that. It's just the smell of plastics and the humidity left over in the vents. There's no way to fix that unless you blast the entire system with air freshener frequently haha
conradb is offline   United_States
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-25-2011, 02:55 AM   #20
WangTa
3
First Lieutenant
 
WangTa's Avatar
 
Drives: '08 SSII E90 M3
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Maryland

Posts: 308
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to WangTa Send a message via MSN to WangTa
Quote:
Originally Posted by conradb View Post
My 2007 335i used to do that. It's just the smell of plastics and the humidity left over in the vents. There's no way to fix that unless you blast the entire system with air freshener frequently haha
No dood, this does NOT smell like plastics, etc. Smells like FUNK. FUUUUNK.
WangTa is offline   United_States
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-25-2011, 03:05 AM   #21
BruinE90
1
Private First Class
 
BruinE90's Avatar
 
Drives: 2009 E90 M3
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: So Cal

Posts: 152
iTrader: (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kouhii View Post
If you have an 09, press the REST button right after you turn off your car after running the AC. This will keep the fans running for around 15 mins and will continue to run even if you get out of your car and lock it.
where is the REST button?
BruinE90 is offline   Taiwan
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
      02-25-2011, 04:12 AM   #22
radiantm3
38
Apex Everything!
 
radiantm3's Avatar
 
Drives: >1000 HP in my garage
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Danville, CA

Posts: 3,849
iTrader: (6)

Garage List
2011 E92 M3  [4.80]
2013 BMW X5M  [4.33]
2014 BMW i3  [0.00]
Am I the only one who never turns off the A/C button when the air vents are on? I don't have any smells ever. During decent/nice weather my windows are down and vents are off, but I never turn off the a/c button.
__________________
2013 X5M for Sale
radiantm3 is offline   United_States
Appreciate 0
Reply With Quote
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:07 PM.




m3post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST