Servicing for farm vehicles

Why Does Your Car Smell Mouldy?

Have you ever jumped into a car or truck when it has been sitting idle for some time during the summer? If so, you may have noticed a disturbing mouldy smell and wondered where that was coming from. In this case, you may have an issue with a part of your vehicle's air conditioning system known as a receiver-dryer. What's going on, and how can you get rid of that unfortunate aroma?

How Things Work

The A/C system fitted to your vehicle is made up of many different components, one of which is responsible for removing moisture (and some debris) from the system. This particular component also acts as a temporary reservoir for refrigerant when it is not circulating, and more often than not, it functions particularly well.

Leaking Refrigerant

Still, it's a mechanical component, which means that it is vulnerable, so if it starts to malfunction, your system will not work as it should. The outside of the storage canister may start to degrade, and as it will be full of refrigerant when not in use, leaks can occur. Clearly, if you lose refrigerant, the entire A/C system will be unable to do its job, and core components could also be damaged.

Strange Noise

Inside the receiver-dryer are a number of different chambers, separated by channels and filters. If the component is faulty, these pieces may work loose, and when you turn the A/C on, they may begin to move. When they do so, they will knock against the inside of the casing, causing an unusual noise.

Back to the Smell

Still, the most common sign of a problem is that nasty, mouldy smell. The dryer will be unable to remove the moisture from the system as it should, and in typical humid conditions, this will lead to the growth of mildew or mould. In the worst case, the desiccant fitted within the system to absorb unwanted moisture may fail completely.

Time for Action

While you may certainly find that nasty smell disturbing, remember that a faulty receiver-dryer could cause some bigger issues elsewhere. It may not cost too much to replace the receiver-dryer itself before things get worse, but the bills could be substantially higher if you also need a new compressor, condenser, accumulator or other parts. With this in mind, get on the phone with your trusty mechanic. They'll know where to look and what to do in short order.

Contact a mechanic if you think you need an auto air conditioning repair