I was told I had a transmission leak by the person who did my last oil
change. Sounded kind of odd on such a new car (06 Sonata, 6k miles) so I
took it in to have it looked at. While I was there I asked for a few
other things to be looked at. One was the automatic door locking at
5mph. The other was a really funky smell coming from my A/C vents. The
odd thing is, this is the exact same smell as in my 03 Elantra.
I just received a call from the fella I dropped the car off with. No
transmission leak, which is good. The other things he said disturbed me
a bit. Firstly, the door locks. He said they "managed to get it to work
the way I wanted." He also said that normally they charge $90.00 for
this service, but he'd kindly waive that fee for me. Additionally, he
told me that the air conditioner smell was a normal problem that exists
on all Hyundais. The only thing they could do would be to do the "fresh
air" service or some such thing. Of course that costs 49.99. This car is
less than six months old, has 6000 miles on it. I'm supposed to just
cope with a god-awful-smelling A/C problem? How can my warranty not
cover that? Is this just a crappy dealership?
Are you sure the smell is not the one typical of Korean plastic? There
has been a long history of a nasty new car smell on the korean cars.
It goes away with time like all new car smell. Detroit uses a
prettier smelling plasticizer. I don't know which one is less toxic.
The issue is one of mold growth in the A/C system. I've heard it can be
remedied by turning the A/C off for a few minutes before exiting the
vehicle, so the system can dry out, but I imagine that's a bit of a
hassle since you're in Arizona and need to use it a lot. I haven't had a
problem with my car yet, but I rarely use the A/C.
I don't know, but they don't cover it in Elantras, which are somewhat
infamous for the problem. I've also heard that freshening treatments are
a temporary solution at best. For fifty bucks, they're probably just
going to spray something akin to Lysol into the intake in the hope it
will kill the mold for a while. One thing you can do is to locate the
drain tube for the A/C system and make sure that it's not crimped or
plugged. If your vehicle drips after you use the A/C for a while, that's
a good indication that the drain is working.
It sounds like that's probably the case too, based on the description
about the lock problem. Whenever you have any questions about service,
contact Hyundai directly before paying for anything. Do not accept any
explanations that don't seem reasonable. A lot of dealerships will try
to scam you if they think they can get away with it.
Neither. Its really very difficult to describe. It is the exact same
smell my Elantra developed after about 5 months. Incidentally, I rented
a brand new Accent while my car was in the shop and it had the very same
1. The dealer is being nice to you by not charging you for setting up the
locks. There are (I believe) a few features on this car that can be
programmed to operate in different ways. What you desired was for the
locks to be programmed to operate in a way different than the factory
setting. This can be done, but it is not Hyundai's responsibility to do
so. Hence, they will not pay the dealer for this work.
2. The reason your a/c odor wouldn't be covered by your warranty would be
that there's no defect. While I haven't looked at your car to determine
there is indeed no defect, I can say that I've never seen a case of such
an odor be caused by anything other than some nasty growth in the
evaporator case. As for the $50, just say no. You can go to the store
yourself and purchase a spray air freshener and spray it in the intake
yourself. The air intake is at the bottom of the windshield on the right
side through the plastic cowl. Simply turn the heat and a/c on full using
fresh air and spray the freshener into the cowl.
It only takes about 5 minutes according to the tech I spoke with. To
charge 90 dollars for something like that would be obnoxious, and would
truthfully be a pretty poor way to do business.
As for your suggestion, thanks :) I will definitely be doing that.
True, but it's not uncommon. My girlfriend recently got royally
ripped-off on some brake work by Tracy VW in Hyannis, MA. Among other
things, she got charged $225 (2.5 hours) in labor for work that any
competent mechanic could have done in under an hour. They're explanation
when confronted with this? "That's what we charge." Real A-holes!
Then they should design them like Chrysler so that the owner can enable
and disable these selectable features. If they make it so the user
can't change it, then they should pay the dealers to do it for free for
don't faint, Matt, but I agree with you. :o)
Another possibility is that Hyundai or their supplier of the ducting used
recycled HDPE, which can come from milk bottles. Those have the nastiest
smell from spoiled milk. We had some plastic pallets molded from them and
you could smell them from one end of the plant to the other. Finally, put
them outside and then shipped them back. One of the downsides of recycling.
Detergent bottles give all sorts of odors to newly molded parts also.
Wow, I'm surprised that any smell would make it through the remolding
process as usually that gets things up to reasonably warm temps. Seems
like it would burn off any milk film that might remain.
I would think so too, but it does. They even use vented extruders that have
a zero pressure section part way down the barrel where they can exhaust out
the gases. It still stinks to high heaven. With the price of resin
skyrocketing just like gasoline, the incentive is back to use recycled
plastics. It also makes people 'feel' good until they smell their cars.
Plastic doesn't need to be heated to a high enough temp to drive off
impurities or odors. Plastics also absorb odors and hold on to them
tenaciously. Once a plastic pitcher is used for Kool Aid, it practically
ruins it as a water pitcher.
Regarding the odor from the a/c ; im an HVAC Tech and run into this
often on residential/commercial applications . After i clean the surface
of the evaporator with special detergent and make sure the pitch is good
on it so all the condensate runs toward the drain opening , I finish
the job by using vinegar on the evaporator coils which nuetralizes the
odor for a pretty long time. If there is any way of getting vinegar on
the evaporator surface in spray form thru the return air intake then it
will make a big difference (im assuming its a draw-thru application on
Hyundais where the blower is downstream of the evaporator/heating coils
; maybe HyundaiTech can confirm this ). Also, if you can get in the
habit of turning off the a/c but allowing the blower to continue to run
a few minutes before youre ready to shut off the engine, this will
re-evaporate whatever condensate is still on the coil surface to the air
, so it doesnt linger ... plus the evaporator housing will rid itself
of any residual condensate that may be puddling from the motion of the
car . Stagnant condensate is the biggest cause of foul odors in a/c
systems of any type.
I'm sure that at least the glove box will need to be pulled to get to the
evaporator coil. Some cars have an access panel on the side, and others
you'd need to pull the whole evaporator housing. Some are made as a one
piece climate control unit, which would require pulling the dash. I
haven't had the occasion to monkey around with the evaporator an an '06
Sonata yet, so I'm not sure which design it uses.
On Wed, 10 May 2006 20:31:09 -0500, email@example.com (dave) wrote:
Gotta watch vinegar around switches, wires, terminals, and unpainted metal.
Vinegar vapors are mildly acid, but can be quite corrosive to nearby metal.
Just as "new car smell" fades away, the odors in plastic ducting itself will
eventually fade after a few months in the hot sun. Odors caused by moisture
will come and go with the seasons.
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