Is Your Car Making You Sick? It Could Be This!

Mother Nature has turned up the heat once again for summer in the Okanagan. The plus 30-degree weather gets the A/C revved up in most cars. However, lately, when you get in the car, you’ve noticed a smell.

The teenage son must’ve left his gym socks in the back.

As days go by, it intensifies. He didn’t remove his socks like I asked. Teenagers.

Geez! There it is again. Did food fall under the seat?

Day 14 into the situation. Is it getting worse? Maybe the dog has gas again.

Day 22. That’s it! Where the HELL is this smell coming from?!!

Blame the A/C! And it isn’t going away anytime soon.  You could have millions or even billions of hitchhikers hiding in your air conditioning system. These unwelcomed guests, mold and mildew, cause not only the bad smell but also respiratory problems, sneezing, coughing, tightening of the chest, allergies, drowsiness, headaches, and more.

There is actually a name for this: Toxic Car Syndrome or Sick Car Syndrome.

Mold and mildew love the dark, wet environment of your A/C system. Because this area doesn’t often get disturbed, these single-cell organisms can hang out, have a party and invite several of their “fungi” friends to join in.

They start to grow on a part called the evaporator. It’s hidden deep inside your dashboard and looks like a tiny radiator, circulating cold Freon from the compressor under the hood.

Humidity condenses on the evaporator’s core surface, trapping the moisture in this warm environment. The perfect breeding ground; especially when you add its favourite snacks to feast on like pollen, dead insects, and dirt/leaves that have blown in through the outside vents.

The evaporator can also become the perfect home for your hitchhikers due to a leak somewhere in the air conditioning system. It may be too small to detect with the naked eye, but water can get through anything and will. Again, because the moisture has nowhere to go, it sits and promotes the growth of unhealthy mold and mildew.

We know that mold and mildew are scary words, especially if you already have respiratory problems. However, it can be fixed.

In the past, it was quite challenging to remove the mold/mildew, and the treatments only lasted a few weeks. Even Lysol works, but again…the problem quickly reappears and brings the smell with it.

Here at Motor Werke, we use only the best tools, so of course, we’ve got mold and mildew handled. Using a powerful A/C Recharge Machine gives us the ability to safely extract old refrigerant and load fresh refrigerant into the vehicle system while protecting the environment from the harmful gas.

Once the A/C system is safely recharged, we disinfect all areas and put the system back together again. The A/C Recharge Machine also detects leaks using a built-in vacuum pump. This helps guarantee that as little moisture as possible is produced and trapped around your air conditioning system.

Our Kelowna European auto experts perform regular maintenance on the machine to ensure it does its job efficiently and cleanly whereas most other shops do not.

Apart from adequately treating the problem with help from Motor Werke’s team, motorists can help prevent the situation by:

  • Removing dead leaves near the air intakes around the windshield.
  • Thoroughly cleaning and drying all liquid spills inside the car, especially dairy products.
  • Removing stale food from the car.
  • Periodically running the blower without the A/C on for 10 minutes to dry off the evaporator core.

Some car manufacturers have incorporated ionized air purification systems into newer vehicles to fight the mold and mildew war. When shopping for a new vehicle, ask if this option is available.

Do you suspect you’ve got a mold and mildew problem growing deep inside your A/C? Contact us today for an inspection and/or service.