Car Air Conditioning Odours

Complaints about odour have been around as long as air conditioners themselves. The good news though is that you can do something about vehicle odours.

Air conditioners odour causes

Air conditioning system odours can be caused by a number of factors that may include:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Traveling with dogs
  • Fungus, bacteria and other microbes

With microbes present, allergies such as hay fever and eczema can be triggered. And, microbes are associated with 70-80% of asthma cases here in New Zealand.

Keeping your vehicle’s air conditioning system clean, and regularly serviced prevents the build up of irritants. Some vehicles manufactured after 2000 have pollen filters fitted, however they still need checking and servicing annually to maintain efficiency.

Dealing with odours and how to minimise them

We want to provide the best assessment we can. Before you bring your vehicle in for an evaluation, we recommend you clean it thoroughly. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Remove every piece of rubbish
  • Air out the vehicle
  • Wipe down all surfaces with cleaning products
  • Vacuum the carpet and upholstery
  • Steam clean the upholstery

Another helpful method that will absorb cigarette smoke is to “Soak the Smoke”.

How to Soak the Smoke

Step One – Place a towel in a plastic bowl and pour in enough distilled white vinegar to soak the towel. Placing a number of bowls in your car may be necessary if the odours are strong and in different areas of the vehicle.

Step Two – Place the bowls near ashtrays, carpet and upholstery to maximise odour absorption. Leave overnight.

Step Three – Remove the bowls and towels the next day. The smell of vinegar will be gone within a day.

Alternatively, you can use 10 drops of peppermint essential oil per 10 litres of warm water.

Beyond the home remedy – What we can do for you.

Odours can persist. If you’re still experiencing an irritated throat, sneezing or watery eyes, after using the home remedy tips outlined, we recommend a more intensive clean.

When the smell and allergens are deeply buried within the air conditioning and heating system, the air conditioner will need to be removed, stripped down and cleaned thoroughly. We offer an anti-bacterial treatment an ozone treatment or we can replace the filter if your vehicle has one. Our specialist staff members are fully trained to apply these techniques.


aircon deodoriserWynn’s Anti-Bacterial Treatment

Wynn’s Anti-Bacterial treatment kills most types of bacteria and fungus.

The result: your air conditioning system has less irritants and allergens, and smells fresh and clean.

Note: This treatment will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.


Ozone Treatment

Creating ozone using an o3 machine, this treatment is an electrical procedure. This is highly effective at removing stubborn odours from the air conditioning system and upholstery, however it does not kill bacteria.

Note: This treatment takes a day so please take advantage of our courtesy car or pick up and drop off service.


Filter Replacement

Most vehicles manufactured after 2000 are fitted with pollen filters. Your filters require checking and replacing at least once a year. Our team will take care of getting the filter needed for your vehicle.

Note: This treatment can usually be installed while you wait. We will advise you at the time of evaluation.


If these treatments do not eliminate the problem, then we recommend further investigation.