Getting rid of vent smells?

Any ideas on how to get rid of foul smelling air when using the vent setting in my 97 taurus? Smells like I'm drawing in air from a garbage dump, but
when using AC, I don't notice anything nasty smelling. On pure vent, it stinks. I've changed the cabin air filter (and change it every year like clockwork), but that didn't alter anything.
Are there any sprays etc that I can use in the vent outlets, or should I be doing something more drastic?
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It would be helpful to know what the smell is... a bit more specific than "garbage dump".
There are some sprays, but they're not apt to last long before the smell returns. Better to try to track down a cause and correct it, instead of having it keep coming back.
Things like this are common in places where things like rodents get into places like air filters, vents etc, and die. But the vehicle generally has set unused for a while.
Have you ticked anyone off lately? Things like limburger cheeses, or fish on the engine block can get pretty foul.
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It's a tough call, but I think ya gotta find the source for a couple of reasons... First to get rid of it. Second so you know you aren't doing damage to something which is gonna lead to a super bill for repairs. Good luck. Hopefully it's something simple...
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Check under the car, in the wheel wells, in front of the radiator and under the hood for the smell when the engine is running.
Eric
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And you are also missing your cat for a couple of days ?????????

setting
be
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Teknical wrote:

Ford had a problem in the 90's with a "musty" odor in the MVAC system. It's not exactly what you describe, but it was mildew in the MVAC system. They had a DISodorizer (not DEodorizer) that was sprayed into the intake ducts in and out. It smelled pretty funky itself but it seemed to work. The mildew smell was funky, like wet used socks. Not rotting garbage though. It's possible you have had a rodent take up residence and then pass away. Your car has a cabin filter, though, so how could Mickey get in? I'm puzzled. The Vent setting (and plain AC setting) lets in fresh air. The only setting that turns off outside air is MAX AC and OFF? Can you smell anything undr the hood?
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Teknical wrote:

Pull your fan blower motor out. Little critters have been known to get in there and kick the bucket. If the smell is that bad, I would expect something along those lines.
On vent setting, if the smell comes from all vent openings, its likely in the air intake / fan blower motor area. So if you find a clean blower motor, carefully check the air intake.
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says...

I heard that if you run the heater full blast for a while, it might get rid of nasty smells. Try driving around with the heat blasting through the vents and your windows open, if you can bear it.
Good luck.
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