Tearin' up my stinky car:

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by edthefox5, May 13, 2008.

  1. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Forget all the extra headache

    we use this on both stinkies ... the 400h Lexus, and our Prius.

    [​IMG]

    don't mean to sound like a commercial but ... We spray the cabin filter once a year, and it works all year. The downside is we've only found it available in the UK, other EU countries and 'down-unda'. Other than that, you're good to go.
     
  2. GatorJZ

    GatorJZ Member

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    Shut the AC system off a few miles before your destination to give the system a chance to dump the condensate. It will really help to control AC odors.
     
  3. sentrasixspeed

    sentrasixspeed New Member

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    So, is the area where the evap cleaner needs to be sprayed approx right in front of where the passenger would sit? I see 2 lines going thru the firewall right there. It looks like if the relay box is loosened that it would not be too digfficult to cut the rubber grommet and get at that area with a long tube. Where does the stuff you spray on the coil drip to? My car stinks like a sewer too and i need to remidy it soon.
     
  4. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    I'm already at my hobby farm and took the FJ. If I recall, the e-coil tubing enters about the centre of the firewall, so not directly in front of the passenger. I think the lines you see are the heater core lines

    After looking it over again, I would no longer recommend drilling into the case. I had some pretty exotic tools - eg fibre optic inspection scope - to see where I was drilling into.

    It's easier to cut the rubber grommet where the A/C lines enter through the firewall, as the e-coil is up against the inside of the firewall. You can then spray the disinfectant directly onto the e-coil

    Forum member Hobbit has posted many detailed instructions and photos of how to easily remove the cowl to clean out the cowl area, also a potential source of smell. With the cowl off, it's *very* easy to access the A/C lines and the grommet on the firewall

    The EvapFresh will both disinfect and clean the e-coil. The excess will drain the same way the condensation does, out the drip tube. NuCalgon does not recommend rinsing the coil after applying EvapFresh

    I'm going to attach the diagram again. The orientation is from the passenger seat, looking towards the front of the car
     

    Attached Files:

  5. sentrasixspeed

    sentrasixspeed New Member

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  6. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Today is the day I'm going to give this a shot. Based on Jaymans attachment it looks to me like the hi/low lines entering from the passenger side might be a better shot to hose down the e-coil. Plus I don't have to remove the cowl to get to them. These are the pipes directly in line to the oil fill removable cap on the valve cover. If you just bend down and look back there you can see them. Have to rig up a bug sprayer (great idea Jayman). All I have is previously used sprayers so going to buy a new one right now. Wish me luck and we can thank Jayman for his excellent as usual idea's and the time he takes to post them.


    Ooops...sorry SentraSix..looks like you already had discussed the pass side pipes. I re-read your post again and noticed that.
     
  7. sentrasixspeed

    sentrasixspeed New Member

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    keep us posted as to your success.
     
  8. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Gotcha, correct. The metal tubing is the A/C piping, it will also have foam pipewrap insulation applied to it. The rubber hoses to the firewall is the heater core hose
     
  9. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    I'm wishing you luck. I never again want to go through the hassle of drilling a tiny hole into the case, snooping around with a fibre optic inspection scope, and drilling a 1/2 inch hole to insert the spray tube.

    In hindsight I should have just gone through the firewall where the tubing enters.
     
  10. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Unable to try this weekend Jayman...rained all day Saturday and all day Sunday. Thank god.
    My garage is so tight I can't maneuver without scratching the car. Bought a new bug sprayer though.
     
  11. jtl

    jtl Junior Member

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    Which way does the air flow through the air filter? Does it flow from the cabin side into the evaperator coil area or does it flow from the evaperator coil area into the cabin? I don't see why if the air flowed from the cabin into the evaperator coil area, spraying something like your Total Hygiene wouldn't work. I looked up the product using a Google search and it says that it kills mold and bacteria. Isn't that what needs to be done to get rid of the smell? However if the air flows into the cabin from the air filter, I don't see why the product would work because there would be no kill-off of mold and bacteria on the coil.
     
  12. Walk_the_walk

    Walk_the_walk Junior Member

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    Dear Ed:

    You are a brave one. Be careful not to scrape against the fins on the evap coil - they bend easily and will reduce your airflow if you bend them closed by accident. I am not even really sure how this will work for you, but admire your courage to try.

    Jayman- thanks much for the HVAC layout graphic. I can see from it that running the heater coil is NOT going to be a very effective method of mold control. based on the illustration, the heater coil is in FRONT of the EVAP coil at a slight angle and is much smaller, so that even when fully heated, it may not be effective at killing any mold unless it only resided near the bottom front portion of the evap coil, if that makes sense. you can get a feel for the airflow from the graphic by noticing where the temp sensor is located, which is downstream of the air flow and above the heater coil.

    Mold is killed by UV light, ammonium chlorides (such as in the EvapFresh spray that Jay recommended, but also found in Scrubbing Bubbles foam cleanser found at any grocery store), by washing soda (sodium carbonate) and by chlorine dioxide, and by 145 deg F temperatures. Getting rid of the moisture will keep the mold away, and eventually kill it off. Vinegar works somewhat, but would stink up the car and might tarnish the coil. Bleach, as someone stated quite well, is a real no-no.

    So, using a foam cleanser would work, using a UV light would work (if it will shine on the entire coil), or heating the air up to 145 deg F somehow. The heater that is downstream will not be that much of a help, regrettably.

    I wonder if there is a way to send heated air at, say 150 deg F, through the fresh air duct? Would one of those rental unit forced air heaters work for this?

    I am suggesting this to keep Ed from ruining his car... but also in the interest of Prius mold abatement science.

    See also my new post about reporting this to Toyota Corporate. "I am mad as h#&LL and I am not going to take it anymore!"
     
  13. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Thank you walk the walk,

    No I won't ruin my car. But I don't have half the guts that Jayman does.His is the only true fix though I'm afraid.
    I'm opting for the shoot it in through the fire wall grommets tomorrow actually. Got rained out last weekend. Got the juice and the bug sprayer.Not going to put it in very far....but I am desperate.
    I tried calling the number you listed but just got a busy signal. Only tried once. Will hit it hard Monday.Work has been ridiculously busy this week as our building got hit by lightning twice this week and just about everything in it blew up.Guess who has to fix everything?
    I am proud to say that I am one of the first to complain of the stinky 07's here last summer. There was alot more people making fun of it then there there is now.Everyone who doesn't have the problem thinks its a big yuk. Maybe when they post there problems we can make fun of them.
    I too went to the dealer and got the same spiel you did although they were going to do it for free.After they explained what they were going to do I didn't waste my time. They wanted to "fog the cabin". Fog this. If you can't soak the e-coil in coil cleaner your wasting your time. Even then its going to be a regular maint. issue which is OK if I can get to the e-coil.But I can't. Unless I'm Jayman. The problem with Toy issuing a TSB is its going to be really big $$$ to fix this problem for them. A replacement e-coil will be really expensive not to mention how much damage the dealer would do to your dash. Hell, I won't even let the dealer change my oil. But a TSB ain't gonna happen as no life will be threatened... the car won't die on you..etc.Its really to damn bad as other than this problem man oh man I love this car.
     
  14. BobS

    BobS Junior Member

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    For almost 2 years we suffered with a nauseating mold/mildew odor coming from the air vents which occurred whenever the AC was off, and sometimes even when the AC was on, presumably as the compressor cycled on and off. At each 5000 mile service, our complaints prompted the dealer to check the drain tube from the evaporator to no avail, and then to spray the system with Ozium. This only masked the mildew odor with the unpleasant odor of Ozium for about a week, after which the original mildew odor would return. Finally, the dealer told us that this was a “normal†condition for the car and there was nothing else that could be done. In desperation, I also tried spraying several cans of Ozium into the ventilation intake vents and ventilation fan (after removing the interior air filter) which worked no better than when the dealer did it. I also repeated this using another product whose name I don’t recall, with similar results.

    Finally, I tried Quest AC & Heater Duct Cleaner (4 oz) which I purchased for about $9 at Napa Auto Parts. As with the Ozium, I sprayed it directly into fan after removing the filter, with the system set to hi-fan, fresh air mode. The odor of the product was mild and dissipated quickly. There was an immediate improvement in the mold/mildew odor. Subsequently, on rare occasions, we have briefly detected a barely noticeable mildew odor, but it is an amazing improvement over the original problem. 6 weeks have now passed, and in spite of our using the AC frequently during the San Diego summer, the odor problem has not recurred. I strongly recommend this product to anyone suffering from stinky-Prius syndrome.
     
  15. heero99

    heero99 Junior Member

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    I bought my 07 repo'ed through a dealer. The second day I had it a nasty smell of (I thought) old tobacco smoke started to assert itself through whatever chemical the jobber had used to mask it, I pulled out all the mats and replaced them. I ground a cup of french roast coffee(TJ's) and knotted it into a clean sock and put it under the driver's seat. I also bought a (plastic) bottle of strong peppermint soap and left it in the door pocket with the cap open.It HAS worked. You have to like the smell of coffee, which is pretty strong to start with.
     
  16. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Thank you but spraying stuff into the intake will only mask the scent. In fact the odor comes back stronger than ever.Only real fix is to spray e-coil cleaner directly onto the e-coil. Either through a hole in the firewall or as the dealer recommends using there cleaning foam injected into the drip hose.Even then its a temp fix. It will be a regular maint. issue. Please see
    my post Stinky AC Dealer Fix.
     
  17. cmar

    cmar Junior Member

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    Has anybody tried this (or a similar) product. I guess it is similar to the foam injected through the drain, except it says to inject into the vent, so it can run down and expand in the core.

    will this work on the Prius, or will it just clean the heater core?

    1Z Einszett Klima-Cleaner Air Conditioner Treatment
     
  18. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    This is one schematic of the HVAC system

    [​IMG]

    This is an exploded view

    [​IMG]

    It's a good question. Going through the center vents, you may just soak the heater core, as it's downstream of the evaporator coil
     
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