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Premium Member
2020 Ttanium Hybrid/2009 Limited Hybrid/1978 F-250 Custom
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436 Posts
Hi,
I'm new to this group but I just recently purchased a 2012 Ford Escape Limited with 157,000kms on it that seems to be fully loaded. Never knew this car can parallel park it self. Its a neat little SUV. I bought it as a daily driver to protect my 1997 Mercury Cougar.

I noticed that lately when I turn on the vents or front defogger they smell REALLY bad. Almost like a burning/musty/zoo type of smell. I've read that it could be a dirty Evaporator Core? Has anyone here replaced that part or know of any solutions on how to get rid of this smell. I can't stand it anymore! It's worth noting that it looks like there was never a cabin air filter on this car. I looked more into it and found out that when they were being built it was skipped, not sure how true this is though.
Welcome to the City, Shadow.
My 2009 has a cabin air filter… I've never heard that before, that they skipped some years. What is more likely, someone tore it out trying to figure out where The stench was coming from, and just never replaced it.

I have heard of this issue when a car has survived a flood, or a fire.(which legally must be disclosed)
I have seen one time where a rodent got down inside of the heater core box… died and stank bad

One odd thing, with the vehicle on recirculate cabin air, I have seen children stuffed things inside the reciculation intake… Like an old sandwich, I found one stuffed with Legos one time…

last thing I would try, switch your system to Dash vent only, close all the vents but one, then you could reverse shop vac- blow air through the system backwards… watching the cabin air intake area to see if anything flies out.

likely going to require tearing apart your dash. I would try cramming a bunch of air freshener trees inside the filter box to see if it helps at all, at least make it tolerable until you figure it out
 

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Premium Member
2020 Ttanium Hybrid/2009 Limited Hybrid/1978 F-250 Custom
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436 Posts
There are evaporator sprays with long soft plastic tubes you feed through the vents and spray and can clean them.
That's cool.
I guess shadow maybe should turn on his AC first, and make sure that water is dripping out the drain hole before fluid goes in ( :
If the drain is not functional, that could be 100% of the problem

Shoot, maybe stick a catch pan underneath there when you do your cleaning, just so you can see what drains out, and if that is the source of your odor.
 

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Premium Member
2020 Ttanium Hybrid/2009 Limited Hybrid/1978 F-250 Custom
Joined
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436 Posts

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Premium Member
2020 Ttanium Hybrid/2009 Limited Hybrid/1978 F-250 Custom
Joined
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436 Posts
We use an O3 oxygen generator to get the stink out
I work for a limo company, these units will allow commercial use after someone wretches, in like 2-3 days.

they are funky on their own, they smell up the whole garage ( :
 

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Premium Member
2020 Ttanium Hybrid/2009 Limited Hybrid/1978 F-250 Custom
Joined
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436 Posts
The O3 generator is a good idea! I have one as well. Any tips on how long I should have it running in the car for or what settings to have the car on while i'm doing it?
We run it for minimum two days with the car closed up, then starts and runs the HVAC system on defrost/recirculate for about an hour

depending on how bad the stench
 

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Premium Member
2020 Ttanium Hybrid/2009 Limited Hybrid/1978 F-250 Custom
Joined
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436 Posts
Wicked,

Just the first 5 mins of the vents being on I can't stand it. Scents really bother me a lot so it might not be as bad as others may think.

Does anyone know where I can locate the evap drain? I cant find it, i ran the AC for 5 mins on full blast but didn't see any water come out of the underside of the car. Could it be clogged or is it because i am parked on an incline? The outside temp is 11 degrees celsius.
I think you have located your problem! It is usually near the firewall, Passenger side. You might be able to dig up a schematic… you may see the rubber hose coming out of the firewall, and going down into your mess of under coating.
I will suggest calling a dedicated AC/radiator place if you can't find it, I don't know if the previous owner undercoated the firewall.

when you find the outlet, be prepared for it to leak out some nasty stuff(wear eye pro if nothing else)… You might even have to push a coat hanger up in there, till you get fluid movement, or cut the end of the hose off…

Don't jam it all the way up in there, and hit something that is not broke yet ( :
Push until you get the smallest fluid movement, then work it a little bit without going deeper
 
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