Car Park in Open

Is your car interior smelling bad when parked out in the sun? This could happen when you don’t use the car for a long time or keep it closed and park in the sun. Although heating up of the car cabin is common, foul odour in the car cabin is a matter of concern. A pungent and foul smell in the vehicle indicates something could be wrong inside. Using a freshener could be a temporary solution. So, you must take corrective measures when the car cabin smells bad

There are times in your vehicle’s life when it could get smelly. The first time could be several years after your purchase which you may overcome using a car perfume spray. The second time could be when you purchase a used vehicle. 

In this case, the air from the car’s A/C system will smell bad. So, knowing the causes and preventive measures might be beneficial. Here, you’ll know why your car cabin smells bad and how to prevent it using car accessories

Why Does the Car Cabin Smell Bad When Parked in The Sun?

The warm air starts to cool rapidly when the car AC runs for a while during the summer. Therefore, it results in condensation on its evaporator. Then, you might notice water getting collected under the car. This condensation will result in the formation of mould, bacteria and spores on its evaporator. Slowly, it will start to give out a musty smell from the AC vents when you switch on the AC. 

When the cabin air filter gets dirty, it will start giving out foul odours by trapping contaminants and moisture. It will also begin the formation of bacterial growth. Musty odours from the AC’s evaporator are common in hot climates. So, you might have to spray an air freshener or biocide in the HVAC. This will help to get rid of the bad smell. But this won’t stop the car cabin smell bad from a soiled and filthy cabin air filter. 

Reasons That Cause Foul Odours in The Car Cabin

Musty, Mildew or Vinegar Smell

This type of smell may originate from the cabin air filter, the system ducts, the evaporator coil, the climate control system etc. The combined charging system helps to remove moisture from the air. This moisture encourages the growth of mildew or mould. This, in turn, can make the car cabin smell bad. This is more common in older cars.

The car’s carpet, floor mats, and upholstery may also start to smell. This may happen in any automobile due to excess moisture, especially in wet or chilly locations.

Oil or Antifreeze Smell

Under the car’s hood, oil or antifreeze leaks are possible. When this occurs, the air inlets of the windscreen might pick up the smell and spread it.

A considerable antifreeze stench may also enter the cabin if there is an antifreeze or oil leak in the heating coil. Antifreeze may leak into the front footwell when a heater coil leak is present.

Rotten Egg Smell or Engine Exhaust

When starting your automobile, engine exhaust may enter the cabin via the CCS air intake. If the catalytic converter isn’t working correctly, the car’s exhaust might have a rotten eggs smell (hydrogen sulphide). The system’s air intake can detect this odour, just like it can detect engine exhaust.

Steps to Reduce Bad Odours in The Car

Reduce the danger that these undesirable scents will come from before you fight and eliminate them. Following these instructions may prolong the freshness of your car’s scent for several years.

Tip #1 – Let the CCS Function

While driving, the air conditioning should always be on. Many owners turn off that system to save electricity.

Saving money may be possible. But keeping your car’s interior dry and ventilated as you drive is possible. And doing so will lessen the chance of mould and mildew growing inside the car and in the CCS.

Tip #2 – Park the Car in Sunny Areas

Pick a space in the sun, not the shadow, during rainy seasons when car cabin smells bad. The growth of mould and mildew is sunlight. Avoiding parking in shaded regions helps limit the development of these odour-causing organisms inside your automobile.

Tip #3 – Reduce the Use of the Recirculation Feature

This feature is convenient when you’re travelling through a rural region or you need to chill or warm your cabin. However, it restricts the passage of outside air into your automobile, which can encourage mould growth and mildew.

Tip #4 – Dry Out the Floor Mats

If the car carpets are wet on a rainy or snowy day, take them off and let them dry overnight. The wet carpets left in the footwells of the cabin can support the growth of offensive mould and mildew. The dry mats won’t be as likely to accomplish this.

So, these tips can help you if the car cabin smells bad when parked in the sun for a long time. You can resolve this issue by purchasing quality air fresheners from They are among the leading car parts and accessories sellers. You can choose products the best from the renowned brands in their store.

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