I eventually tracked the unpleasant cabin smell in my Elantra to window
washer fluid that had started growing mold (or whatever). I flushed the
reservoir which has helped a lot. I'd like to be able to unplug it at the
bottom to make sure it's clean, but I'm not sure how to access it ( ? )
Also, is there something that can be mixed in with the washer fluid on a
regular basis to prevent the growth of nasty stuff that won't hurt the
tubing, etc? TIA
I thought the blue stuff used alcohol to prevent freezing, which ought to be
a great disinfectant too. Were you using something other than the blue
stuff? I've also seen a TV short advertising a news show that caught a
major oil change place giving their customers free windshield wiper fluid
that was colored blue but turned out to be almost 100% water.
Never heard of windshield fluid going moldy. What brand? Most are loaded
iwth alcohol so there should be no hint of mold surviving in there. Try
Check you AC also, that is a popular place for odors to start. Be sure it
is drainin properly.
Thanks for the replies. Yes, you would think that blue windshield cleaning
fluid would already resist any kind of growth, but I've seen the problem
before. I was using some $1 a gallon generic fluid from Kmart or Wal-Mart
so maybe that's the problem? I'm guessing there are better quality brands I
can look for - any recommendations?
Regarding the AC, I thought it was the problem at first, but then I started
noticing that the odor always started coming through the vents right after I
used the washer.
I've not used that stuff for years. It is OK when the temperature is above
freezing, but for really cold weather it causes as many problems as it is
supposed to stop. I've been using the Prestone or RainX brands of the
yellow colored stuff. Works much better in the AM when there is a little
frost on the glass or when driving in very low temperatures. It works out
to less than $5 extra a year to use the premium quality.
If you saw mold in the tank, I'd have to say that was the problem, but it
can also be a reaction between the fluid and other growth in the air intake.
This has been discussed in the past and some feel spraying a bleach solution
in the inlet is a big help.
Actually, most are NOT loaded with alcohol during the summer. Look on the
label of one of the jugs that you were putting in there - it might have
changed because we are going into winter. I've noticed most of them have
little alcohol during the summer - label either says "protects to 20 degrees
F" or lists a real low VOC content. The high alcohol stuff says it's good
down to -20 to -30 degrees F. California apparently doesn't allow alcohol in
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