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Ammonia smell coming from car vents

FAQ on Coronavirus and Mefi : check before posting, cite sources; how to block content by tags. Why does my central heater smell of urine? Why would that be? Our house is a 's one-story ranch build on a concrete slab. We've owned it since August. The home inspector didn't see any signs of rodent activity, neither did the pest inspector, and we've had an exterminator out since then to spray for bugs and inspect once more.

We don't run the heater as often, this being New Mexico, but yeah, when we do, it reeks! We've changed the filter, and that didn't help. We've looked for pet accidents with a blue light around the air intake and found nothing. We've checked the carpeting all over the house and found no pet mistakes anywhere. My guy says that he smells "a little bit of something" but to me it stinks to high heaven. The only difference between the summer and now is that the ceiling fans have been turned off because they need cleaning.

Also, we had to replace the condensation pump this was after the smell started because the old one blew up all over the utility closet -- water everywhere! This could be unrelated, but since late fall, but I've developed a dry cough, ended up in the ER with said cough, and am now on an inhaled steroid I have asthma.

Are they fiberglas ducts? Some types of fiberglas and the resin used for glue will emit this kind of odor. Ammonia is one of the off-gassing ingredients, which is probably what you are smelling. It would be more evident with hot air than cold air. Possibly a duct-cleaning contractor can go through with a sealant spray.

Some possibly relevant info. Is there a possibility that you have rodents in the ductwork itself? The bedding and urine of the rodents remain long after the rodents are gone. If the air conditioner uses the same ductwork as the heater, try turning on the air conditioner to see if the common ductwork is providing the odor.

If the air conditioner in the winter does not produce the same odor as the heater in the winter, then the problem might be with the heater the odor of rodent will be less pronounced with cold air, of course. I know that odor. One time an empire of mice thrived under the upper intake manifold of the van. On a roadtrip, the odor of vaporizing mouse sewage and baking mice grew stronger and stronger and then weaker and weaker, disappearing entirely by evening.

We found the hellish remains of their happy civilization on the post-trip investigation. If you saw the same modulation in urine odor while you were operating your heater full blast for a number of hoursyou might check your ductwork. My guess would be that it's related to the condensation pump, possibly something didn't get cleaned up after that mess, and you've got a mold issue, or there's still condensation pooling somewhere.I used to have a Nissan truck and it wall turning into a regular bucket piece of s.

So we have had temps outside between and I notice my temp gage going a little over the C line then drops a little and goes back up.

I have already replaced my water pump, thermostat and radiator. I'm thinking the ammonia smell might be coming from the cooling system is this at all possible.

ammonia smell coming from car vents

Please only real answers of people who know what they are talking about. I really appreciate the help. I've never heard of an ammonia smell coming from a car, simply because I don't think there are any components or lubricants that should smell that way, even when they're going south. The cooling system I can help you troubleshoot. What kind of antifreeze did you put in your car?

If it doesn't, odds are you've added pure, undiluted antifreeze to your cooling system. Undiluted antifreeze is too thick to circulate through the lines and engine properly. Therefore, it doesn't warm the engine at the correct rate and it stays cold for a longer than usual time, which is I think the symptom you're describing.

The temperature gauge should be reading somewhere in the middle, and it should do so about minutes after you've started the car. This should solve your problem You're all wrong. My Nissan Frontier in excellent condition often puts out exhaust that smells strongly and unmistakably of ammonia.

I'm a chemist, so I know the smell. It's nothing like actual cat piss which also stinks of urea and other aminesor coolant or anything else mentioned in this thread.

The smell is coming directly out of the exhaust pipe. According to many discussion on the web, this is very common with all kinds of vehicles, but I have yet to hear a scientifically plausible theory about why.FAQ on Coronavirus and Mefi : check before posting, cite sources; how to block content by tags.

My car vents stink. How can I get rid of the smell? It does not smell like chemicals or anything burning, more like some sweat socks have been cooking on the radiator. I've cleaned and febrezed the car so the interior smells fine, except when I turn on the vents. Is there an easy way to de-stink them without taking it to a mechanic? Peroxide based cleaners? I'm hoping there are no dead squirrels hiding out in my engine. I was just reading about this today This woman is a guru in Australia, and it's her that I read it from.

Best of luck possum. See if your car has a "cabin air filter" - if so, it needs to be changed. Also, the chances are far greater than you think that something has died in your engine.

It's more likely a mouse than a squirrel, though. You may have mold growing on your cabin air filter. Take care of it, especially if you've been having more respiratory problems coughs, sniffles, etc than normal lately. What kind of car is it? Usually, this is due to water in the condenser. Run your heat for 30 min every few days, long enough to dry up the moisture and kill the bacteria.

I found this online. Basically, you spray bathroom cleaner into the air intake vents in the engine: 1 Flashlight. Procedure: 1 Open the hood and locate the cover that conceals the air intake filter.

There's a damper on each side about size of the palm of your hand that rotates 90 degrees to open or close, and you'll be able to see it if you look carefully.

Chances are you'll start to see the cleaner running out onto the pavement within a minute or so. Use caution, as there's a squirrel cage blower behind the dampers, and it will be spinning as you're spraying the foam.

Let the car sit for several hours or overnight. Car e ful! If it is a mouse you will shortly know all about it.

The stink will get worse until you cannot actually get in the car because of the stench of rotting corpse. You will then take it to a mechanic who will have to take puke breaks while cleaning putrefied mouse parts out the blower unit.

Just sayin'. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. The car is a Honda Civic - the stink has been constant for a few months, so I doubt it's a "fresh kill". The cabin air filter seems like a likely culprit or the easiest to change, at least - here's a video of how to change it.

ammonia smell coming from car vents

If that fails I'll check out the Scrubbing Bubbles solution. Heat is usually on for 30 minutes or greater during nighttime drives, so I doubt it is water in the condenser. Thanks everyone! I had a somewhat similar problem with a nasty, strong, organic, somehowWHEN: After the engine has warmed or possibly even after it's shut off for a few minutes. It could be coming from a radiator or heater hose, a failed intake manifold gasket or cylinder head. It might be coming from a leaky radiator cap or the radiator itself, especially if you smell it outside the car.

A strong odor inside the passenger compartment probably means a bad heater core. And no, drizzling Listerine down the vents won't fix it, in spite of what your brother-in-law read on the Internet.

Check popularmechanics. WHEN: All the time, especially after the vehicle has been sitting after a long drive. This means gear lube is leaking from the manual transmission, transfer case or differential housing. Sulfur compounds in this oil serve as extreme-pressure lubricants for the gears, and can get pretty funky after a few years in service. Look for sulfury-smelling dribbles of viscous, oily stuff under the car.

Unfortunately, leaks here typically mean a trip to the shop. On older cars--pre or so--some odor after a hot shutoff is normal from fuel afterboil in the carburetor float bowl. Modern cars have an evaporative-emissions system that's tighter than our managing editor's deadline schedule, so any fuel smell means something is wrong.

There may be a leak from a fuel-injection line or a fuel-tank vent hose. It's supposed to be converted to sulfur dioxide in your catalytic converter. This may be indicative of a fuel-injection problem, and can be cured by a sharp mechanic. But often it means a failed catalytic converter. The bad news: A new cat is expensive. The good news is it's probably covered under warranty. Check with your dealer.

WHEN: At all speeds, particularly when you're working your way through the gears. The odor is reminiscent of smoldering newsprint: like trying to burn the Sunday newspaper all at once in the fireplace, especially if it's been used to wrap sardines. The friction material is actually a paper composition, which explains the papery part of the smell. Either replace the clutch, or learn to stop riding the clutch pedal.

This is an acrid, burning smell. It's earthier and more nose-wrinkling than the odor of cooking oil used for french fries.

ammonia smell coming from car vents

If it's from a leaky crankshaft seal that's spraying oil all over, some of it will find the red-hot manifold--but most will be on the pavement.

A leaky valve cover won't necessarily leave a drip on the floor if all the oil drizzles onto the exhaust, vaporizing immediately. Look for smoke and try to stem the leak. This is perfectly normal after riding the brakes coming down a long mountain pass--but you should learn to downshift, you flatlander.

If you smell this under normal driving conditions, you've got a dragging brake caused by a seized-up brake caliper piston. Or maybe you just left the handbrake on. Check the temperature of the brakes by hand--the hot one is probably the smelliest.Recently I've been getting a chemical type of smell in my volt.

Has anyone out there experienced this. Just checking before I give the dealership a call. I have heard stories of teen vandals pouring liquids in the are intake area of parked cars to cause this problem No odd smells yet, but it has not been through a hot summer week yet I searched the forum and most suggested turning the AC off before you get home. Sorry, I don't want to do that and shouldn't have to do that.

Also, when the AC runs for the battery, there's nothing you can do. If others have had this and gotten it fixed, please tell me how! I noticed the same in my volt last summer, it was over 90 degrees the last few days until today in iowa, and I did not notice the smell. I am thinking it is probably something used in the manufacturing process, in my experience - it went away during the first year.

Seems like it involves condensation with the AC. Fixed by turning it off in advance of arriving home, though a nuisance.

Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell Like Chemicals? A Florida Tech Explains.

Same fix worked for me too. About a week ago, I noticed an incredibly appalling chemical smell from my Volt, definitely coming through the AC. It isn't very strong, but just about knocks me out, it is so nauseating. I have no idea what might be causing it, but the specific smell is so bad if they can't fix it I'm going for the lemon law.

Air Conditioning Smell Funky? A/C System Explained & HowTo Fix The Stink

I like my volt, but when I'm driving it like this I want to stop and leave it in a ditch. My girlfriend noticed earlier and suggested I 'trade it in for a new one', I guess she didn't want to admit it was only the smell. I don't find the suggestion of turning off the AC before I get home appealing.

Auto Diagnosis - What's That Smell?

There has to be a bettwr answer. Btw, I think this site has about the shabbiest registration process I ever encountered. Yes this is not the place, where is? The condensate may not draining completely. If condensate water pools it will eventually lead to a moldy odor. Can happen with any air conditioner. Check that the condensate drain isn't clogged. There is a GM service bulletin that outlines a sequence of steps that will likely alleviate various odor conditions from the sourced from inside the evaporator housing.When you turn on your central heating system in your house, you expect a warm blast of air to enter through the vents and bring your home to a comfortable temperature.

If the warm air is accompanied by a foul odor, you'll likely be reluctant to keep it turned on. While shutting it down completely may stop the problem temporarily, you should diagnose the cause of the smell so that it doesn't interfere with the heating of your house again. Turn on your heating system and let it run for a few minutes if the smell is a mild burning smell if this is the first time the heat has been turned on this season.

Over the warmer months when the heat is not in use, the dust from your home can settle in the vents and around the heating elements or combustion chamber in your furnace. When the heat is turned on for the first time since this dust accumulation, it will often result in a burning smell from the burning off of the dust. It will go away momentarily and should not return during regular use.

Change the filter on your furnace's air intake. These filters are inexpensive and you can replace them yourself. A dirty filter can cause a musty smell or lead to overheating and a burning smell as well as a fire hazard. Flip the clip that holds the filter in place and pull the dirty filter out. Place a new one into the slot where the old filter was and replace the clamps.

Be sure you install the filter with the proper side facing outward. There is generally an arrow indicating which way the filter should be installed. Inspect sewer lines for leaks to see if methane gas from the sewer is leaking into the air intake.

If you smell sewer gas when the heat is on, you may have a gas leak near the air intake or near ductwork that is allowing fumes into the ducts, which are then circulated throughout the house. A professional should repair a sewer line leak immediately. Inspect all the ducts connected to your heating system so make sure there are no gaps. Any odor that drifts into the duct system will lead to odor all through the house as the blower pushes the smell out through the vents. Usually this is the result of gaps in the ducts caused by rust or other damage.

Schedule a thorough cleaning of your duct system. Sometimes rodents or other vermin can make their way into the ducts and die. The smell of the decaying animals will drift into the home through the vents when the heat is running.

Mold can also grow in vents causing a musty smell to circulate through the home. Professional duct cleaning services can eliminate these smells. Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor.

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. If you smell something foul coming from your heater vents, diagnose the problem. Step 1 Turn on your heating system and let it run for a few minutes if the smell is a mild burning smell if this is the first time the heat has been turned on this season. Step 2 Change the filter on your furnace's air intake. Step 3 Inspect sewer lines for leaks to see if methane gas from the sewer is leaking into the air intake.His extensive hands-on experience and understanding of the industry make him the go-to source for all things having to do with the home — from advice on simple repairs, to complete remodels, to helping homeowners prepare their homes for extreme weather and seasons.

Or the odor resembles ammonia, rotten eggs or something else entirely. Such household odors can serve as clues that there are hidden dangers in the home—problems that could be pricier to repair and potentially hazardous to your health if not found and fixed fast. Some people refer to this as a urine or burning rubber smell. The most likely culprit is an appliance, such as a dishwasher, washing machine or an air conditioner.

Sniff near each of these while they are running to try to identify the source. When you think you have found the source, either call in a repair professional to investigate…or replace the appliance if it is approaching the end of its useful life.

Use your nose to find where the smell is strongest, and search everywhere you can in that area. Consider buying and using a small snaking digital inspection camera to peek into walls, behind cabinets and appliances and into other tight spots. Of course, you could just wait for the smell to go away, which typically takes a few weeks. Meanwhile, inspect the perimeter of your home for gaps where rodents can enter, and seal these to prevent further invasions.

Also, deploy rodent traps—not rodent poison—in the home. If you use poison, additional rodents might die in their hard-to-reach nests inside your home, creating more bad smell.

Damp, musty smell. This usually signals mold or mildew, which could become a big problem for both your home and your health if not quickly remedied. Meanwhile, search these rooms for water leaks. Look behind refrigerators and under sinks for wet spots.

Visit the room during the next hard rain to look for visible leaks. Go down to the basement, crawl space or room directly beneath this musty room to look for evidence of water leaks there, too—those could point to leaks that are hard to spot in the room above. First, make sure that the chimney dampers are closed. Chimney smells can be drawn into the house when these are left open. If the smell persists after the firebox has dried following this cleaning, call in a chimney sweep to clean and inspect your chimney.

Mention that you suspect water might be getting in. The problem might be as simple as a dislodged chimney cap, or there might be cracks in the masonry. You can purchase and use an inflatable damper, sometimes called a fireplace draft stopper. Dusty burning smell when you turn on your heat for the first time in months. Burning smells understandably trigger home owner anxieties, but this one usually is not a problem—the dust that settled on the unit over the summer is simply burning away.

This smell should disappear on its own within a few hours of turning on the heat. Chemical smell from new furniture, carpet or paint. A fresh coat of paint, a new piece of pressed-board furniture or a new carpet can off-gas volatile organic compounds VOCs that are not just unpleasant to smell but also unhealthy to breathe.

When possible, remove new pressed-wood furniture and carpeting from its packaging and let it air out in your garage for at least an hour, and preferably overnight, before bringing it into your home. That method also works when you are painting interior walls. Sewage smell. It probably is coming from a drain.

Use your nose to determine which one—it could be the drain of a toilet, sink, tub or shower.

Why Does the Air Coming Through My A/C Vents Smell Bad?

If this is the case, running the water for a few seconds or flushing the toilet should solve the problem. This is especially likely if the toilet, sink, tub or shower has gone unused for months—the water in the P trap might have evaporated. If that does not solve the problem—or if you see that the water is not draining properly—the odor probably is coming from material clogged in the drain line.

Put on rubber gloves, and use a flexible toinch drain-cleaning brush to clear out any gunk from the drain. Next, let the hot water run for a few minutes or flush the toilet to confirm that it is now draining properly.


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