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      08-12-2019, 11:21 PM   #1
Fraspas
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Drives: BMW X1
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Santa Monica

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Musty sour smell coming from air vents - remedy?

Hi all, new here and hopefully could find some answers. Long story short, my 2016 X1 was purchased used, previously a lease vehicle. Since the weather's been hot lately, I've been using the A/C more and I noticed when I first fired it up, it had this awful musty, moldy, sour smell - kind of like dried pee or a gross public bathroom or something. It would last a few minutes but eventually dissipate. The smell actually goes away quicker when I turn on the A/C but it would always be there when the fan is first on. I haven't been recirculating my air so the vents are open to the outside air intake. Also have been making sure the A/C is off and fan running before I get to my destination.

Now I've been perusing the interwebs for DIY but it doesn't seem to take care of the smell. So far, I've swapped the cabin air filters to new ones. It was a bit annoying to change as its placed in a very inconvenient spot. I've also used Klima's foam cleaner twice on the evaporator unit as its there in the opening where you swap out the cabin filter. The evaporator looks clean so I'm assuming the smell is not originating from there. Yet, this stinky sour smell still exists when I turn on the fan.

What else could I do to remedy and eradicate this smell? Is there a way to clean the area where the air is going in from? I've read that its under the hood behind the engine compartment. Is this area easily accessible and reach? Should I bring it in to someone to take apart and flush/clean the entire system? I've already mentioned this smell numerous times to BMW service but they don't seem to want to anything about it...

Any insights would help! Thanks