Problem with smelling air conditioning

My 2003 Elantra GLS recently developed an unpleasant smell in the cabin. I narrowed it down to the air conditioner (didn't seem to have anything to do
with the fresh air vents). I washed out the engine compartment, made sure the drains where the windshield meets the hood were clear and checked to see if there was an air filter behind the glove box (in the fax compartment) that needed replacing (there wasn't a filter installed). The smell has been reduced, but I never found anything so I don't know what caused it and more importantly if there is somewhere else I should be looking - any ideas?
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The AC is not draining properly, or their is just a buildup of gun over the past few years. This is a common occurrence with cars. Be sure the drain is working, then spray a disinfectant into the intake while the fan is running on low.
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Thanks, I'll have to checkout the drain - are there any pictures on the web that show the location?
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Does it smell like fart or rotten eggs? If so, it could be you need your cabin air filter to be replaced. After I replaced mine (looked like the lungs of a person who'd been smoking for 30 years), the smell was gone. Have you had your cabin air filter changed out? If so, then the try out what Edwin said. If not, it's pretty easy to do if you are handy with a screwdriver and can follow directions. I can send you a PDF of how to do it if you'd like.
- Thee Chicago Wolf
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Thanks for the reply. Regarding the cabin filter, is that the one that's supposed to be above the fan, behind the glove box or is it somewhere else? Is there a way I can get the PDF you mentioned from a web site or a forum that allows binaries?
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It is the one behind the glove box and yes, here's a link of a PDF of how to do it: http://www.neiu.edu/~scs/elantra-cabin-air-filter.pdf
Let me know when you have the file or have printed it out. I will delete it in 24 hours otherwise.
I bought a new cabin air filter from Autozone. I think it only cost around $20 with tax and it was a Bosch brand filter. It was brainlessly easy to install with the directions.
- Thee Chicago Wolf
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I got it. Thanks very much!
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Ok, good luck. Let the group know how it went.
- Thee Chicago Wolf
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Hello VicTek,
V> My 2003 Elantra GLS recently developed an unpleasant smell in the V> cabin. I narrowed it down to the air conditioner (didn't seem to V> have anything to do with the fresh air vents). I washed out the V> engine compartment, made sure the drains where the windshield meets V> the hood were clear and checked to see if there was an air filter V> behind the glove box (in the fax compartment) that needed replacing V> (there wasn't a filter installed). The smell has been reduced, but I V> never found anything so I don't know what caused it and more V> importantly if there is somewhere else I should be looking - any V> ideas?
Dead bacteria in pooling condensate in your HVAC systems. I had 5 Hyundais, and all had stinky A/C systems. It is not so bad if the A/C is used daily but if not used for a couple of days and then used, the smell is pretty evident inthe first 20 - 30 seconds or so.
Not a heck of a lot can be done except change the cabin air filter if so equipped, and also spray liberal amounts of A/C bactericidal / fungicidal spray into the vents in the cowl at the fas of the windshield with the blower on high. A/C does not have to be on. Then let it sit, say overnight.
Regards, Wayne Moses Houston, Texas
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