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Why Does My Car A/C Smell Bad?

Typically, when you notice a bad smell from inside your vehicle, it can be traced back to the vehicle’s A/c system. However, it can also be the engine or another component under the hood that can cause the smell to escape into the cabin. Plus, you don’t want cool air mixed together with something smelly.

Common Reasons for Air Conditioning Smells

  • Gas Leak – If the odor coming from your A/C smells like gasoline, you might have a leak.  A gas leak can happen in various places, so it is best that you have a professional look for it.
  • Antifreeze Leak – If you catch a sweet smell, it is not a good sign. A sweet smell is coming from your cooling system, and if left unnoticed it can be very harmful. We recommend that you have your cooling system checked out to find and repair the damage or leak.
  • Bacteria or Mold – Over time, bacteria and mold can grow inside your air vents. As the nasty stuff spreads, it can produce a foul smell whenever you turn on the A/C. Sometimes, you can inject an anti-bacterial solution into the AC component and air out the smell with the windows. Please feel free to come by our shop for help.
  • Clogged Air Filters – One of the most popular causes of nasty-smelling air is filthy filters. If your filters have not been replaced in a while, a stinky smell can spread from the lingering pollutants and dust. Please remember to keep up with your maintenance to ensure you breathe clean air. 


Summer is right around the corner, and you don’t want to be greeted with a stinky A/C every time you turn on your car. If your car air conditioning is experiencing any problems, please bring your vehicle to the A/C experts at Robbie’s At Your Service. Feel free to set up an appointment online or give us a call today. We’ll have your car blowing clean, cool, and fresh air all summer.