The ventilation system in my '95 EX sedan smells terrible. It's not
mainly mold, but a combination of smells accumulated in my garage over
the Winter (I don't drive it in snow, only when the roads are dry), a
burned wiring smell that I suspect is the recirculate flap motor (it
works, but I hear static on the radio when I use it) and just stale air.
I've tried various treatments to little avail, and will probably try
ozone next, if I can find a shop that uses it. But I can't help but
notice that, unlike all the other cars I've owned, the fresh (ha!) air
intake is located *completely* under the hood, in the engine
compartment. Does anyone else with the series Civic (any of the sedans
of that era) have a similar problem? If so, have you found a way to
solve it? The car gets 40mpg and I don't want to sell it.
don't. ozone rots rubber, and thus all your seals.
no it's not. unless you have a seal missing, air gets drawn from the
gap between the windshield and the rear of the hood.
> Does anyone else with the series Civic (any of the sedans
now you know why modern cars with a/c have cabin filters - it prevents
the crud build-up in the evaporator matrix. unless you want to do major
surgery and clean-up, the truly anal solution, you're stuck with trying
to deodorize the matrix from the outside. with the fan on, spray in
isopropyl alcohol from a squeezy bottle. use a whole bottle and just
keep going for as long as it takes.
I didn't mean that it's completely isolated from fresh air, I mean
it's completely out of the outside air stream. The air hitting that
buried air intake has just blown over the engine. All the other cars
I've owned have had the intake either exposed right at the base of the
windshield, or at least with open air directly above them at the base of
I've actually tried my vodka and cider vinegar mixture, but I guess
I didn't use enough. How much labor (actual time and book rate) is
involved in physically cleaning the fresh air path? On recirculate the
smell is still there, but substantially reduced.
That or an exhaust leak was my initial guess, but I keep the car
garaged and there is no oil under it. I replaced a leaking section of
exhaust pipe, and there was no difference. And no, the leaking pipe
wasn't even in or under the engine compartment...
Not exactly, certainly not gasoline, but there is a garage-y
component to the smell.
Aha! I have no idea, and will check that when the rain stops. If
they buried the intake and then used the gasket to make fresh air flow
downwards and backwards into it from above, though, I remain unimpressed
with the design. Thanks a lot for the info, though.
dude, have you ever looked at the air intake on a modern helicopter?
it's convoluted so that ground debris doesn't get in the engines. even
fine dust is separated out. similar logic here - all the driven debris
stays out of the intake.
of course, if you drive detroit crap with a design life of 5 years, this
might not be a problem, but if you have a honda and want to drive it 20+
years without its being clogged with twigs, leaves, mud, insects or any
of that other crap, this is the way to go.
yup, hondas of that era have funny ventilation smells. i own one and
remember a one line review of them in some car mag: Honda: nice car.
smells funny. One thing that helps a lot is to dry out the AC before
turning the car off, by turning the AC off a couple of minutes before
turning the car off. that helps keep the condensate on the evaporator
to a minimum and reducing the fungus growth. but you don't seem to
have mold smells.
i'd guess your diagnosis re the recirculate motor may be correct.
re the location of the air intake, there have been quite a few cars
who do that kind of thing. lots of gm cars with the "hidden wiper
blades", for instance, for sleek look. i don't know why honda does it
though, since the wiper blades aren't hidden.
Just to make me cough, apparently. I always dry the A/C out after
using it. I'll probably bite the bullet and pay to have the system (the
intake, at least) manually cleaned, and the recirculate motor replaced.
Thanks for the response.
It isn't mainly mold, and the disinfectants are as bad as the odor.
I'm sensitive to harsh chemicals. What mold there is is in the carpet,
because of that damned Civic rainwater leak. I got caught with the car
at work in torrential rain, and now I have to have the carpet shampooed,
Look up bacterial bloom it may be on this news group but you will find
it on a search. My wifes 06 pilot has the same thing and the dealer
dumps some stuff down the air intake vent. It cures it for a while but
it always comes back. You can see it on the windshield it starts with
bluish tint in spots then takes over the entire winshield with the
film. I washed it with a mild bleach solution and then vinegar based
The bottom line is there is something living in your in the
ventilation system that need to be eliminated. It does not seem to
affect all vehicles my daughers 05 civic is fine. There is a drain on
the bottom of the system look where the ac drips out see if it is
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