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Discussion Starter #1
So. I went to get my oil changed for the first time after buying the truck. When I bought it, I noticed that every time I turned on the air, there was a smell. Like.. Just a weird smell.

So, I had the guys check my cabin air filter and boom - Cabin filters were disgusting. The guy was pretty shocked, considering the dealer was supposed to have done all of this three months ago and cabin air filter should be changed around three years. Also my regular air filter was really dirty. Dirtier than it should have been. I turned lib my air after the filter replacement and it didn't have a smell.... Until a little later, I turned it back on and there was the smell again... Ugh.

Two questions -

What in the hell could this smell be?

Do truck air intake filters get dirtier than regular cars faster?

I know these seem like stupid questions, but I've never experienced anything like this. All of my fluids were fine.. Nothing leaking. It's a 2015, so it better not be leaking anything.

Thoughts?

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Do you use the HVAC recirculate function very often?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah. I use it all the time. Should I not be doing that?

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Can certainly contribute/cause stagnation. Running w/ full heat in vent mode for just a few minutes can help dry out the system. Try this from time to time as a remedy.

Not sure about frequency of changing out cabin filters, but I'm doing mine every 15k-20k. It is a simple procedure requiring removal of the lower glovebox. Below I've copied&pasted a lil CF trick to avoid breaking the tabs that seem to be easily broken by many:

"The trick to not breaking the tab is pushing down REALLY hard on the top of the little cover the tab is holding in place. The tab from what I saw is only able to travel so far, so by pushing down on the top of the cover you shorten the distance the tab has to be pressed to expose the filters."

Paying the dealer nearly $50 in labor to do this procedure is a joke.
 

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Recirculate should only be used to get cabin quickly to temperature and then off if used at all.
Ever notice people with the windows fogged up? That’s from the humidity of their breath, set to flow through ventilation, there is no fogging.
Look in the owners manual it states how and when to use the setting. I change all those filters yearly.

Clint
 
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Do you live where you get alot of leaves on your car. If you open up the hood you will notice vented panels below your windsheild cowl. This is where the cabin air enters. Leaves and such accumulate, break down, and enter the HVAC system here. You can have a mass of rotting debris in your HVAC system. Member Raine has a write up about remove these panels and pulling out all kinds of nastiness from below.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all so much for the advice. I'd never heard half of this!! I'm going to check on this and investigate. :)

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You can buy the filters at Auto Zone for $15 or on eBay for $7.
 
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I usually get mine from Rockauto when I place an order for other parts that have the same shipping location as the filters. I generally keep two sets in stock and replace them every 30,000 miles, which is twice longer than what Nissan recommends but most of my driving is paved roads and highways, so they're still looking pretty good at 15,000 miles. You just have to be careful not to break the plastic clip on the case that holds the filter door shut. However, if you do break it, it can easily be fixed by using a 6Mx1.0 fender nut (or spring nut) and bolt.
 

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The odor, if its not just dead/composting leaves, is likely mildew built up either in the condenser or just below that where the moisture (that is chilled out of the air from the AC) collects. There is a product I see from time to time at autoparts stores for killing the mildew odor. It has a long hose/straw to be inserted into the fresh-air vent. You can also try the car deodorizer bombs... they actually work ok... but be sure you air the truck out after its had a chance to work.
And if you have been visited by the furry friends (I HATE SQUIRRELS & CHIPMUNKS!!!!!) and especially if they've left behind food & presents ( @&#$% ACORNS IN MY HEADLINER) nothing that I've found short of bleach will remove that odor...
Here's hoping its just mildew (most likely)
 

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Here is what I do. I have an ozone generator like this https://smile.amazon.com/Fresh-Air-Commercial-Generator-Deodorizer/dp/B01BKW300I/ref=sr_1_14?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1508436177&sr=1-14&keywords=ozone+generator

Its really for deodorizing rooms in the house but how I use it in the truck is as follows.

1. Hook up my battery charger
2. put the key in the ignition, turn it to accessory and crank the blower up to maximum and recirculate.
4. Put the ozone generator in the truck and run an extension cord in there.
5. Turn on the ozone generator and close the door over the extension.
6. let it go this way for a half hour or so. the battery charger keeps the battery from draining. .

After its done, put all the windows down and let it sit for an hour or two to get all the ozone out.
 

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I usually get mine from Rockauto when I place an order for other parts that have the same shipping location as the filters. I generally keep two sets in stock and replace them every 30,000 miles, which is twice longer than what Nissan recommends but most of my driving is paved roads and highways, so they're still looking pretty good at 15,000 miles. You just have to be careful not to break the plastic clip on the case that holds the filter door shut. However, if you do break it, it can easily be fixed by using a 6Mx1.0 fender nut (or spring nut) and bolt.
Good tip. The last time I installed my door (with a broken clip) I used a nut and bolt. I have no idea how I held the nut as it was a bear to remove. When installing it after the filter change I simply used a zip tie. Cut it off the next time I need to change out the cabin filter.
 

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All good tips. Be sure to pull your filter before adding any antibacterial spray in your HVAC ducts(Lysol is cheap).

I replace my filters (FRAM CF10553) twice a year due to the humidity here in FL along with seasonal pollen......and yes I did break my clip tab the 1st time I changed it out; just use a zip tie to tidy up.

Plenty of tube vids on getting rid of the funk and yes don't use recirculate the A/C that often.

https://diy-auto-repair.wonderhowto.com/how-to/use-lysol-clean-bacteria-out-your-cars-air-conditioning-system-401378/
 

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The odor, if its not just dead/composting leaves, is likely mildew built up either in the condenser or just below that where the moisture (that is chilled out of the air from the AC) collects. There is a product I see from time to time at autoparts stores for killing the mildew odor. It has a long hose/straw to be inserted into the fresh-air vent. You can also try the car deodorizer bombs... they actually work ok... but be sure you air the truck out after its had a chance to work.
And if you have been visited by the furry friends (I HATE SQUIRRELS & CHIPMUNKS!!!!!) and especially if they've left behind food & presents ( @&#$% ACORNS IN MY HEADLINER) nothing that I've found short of bleach will remove that odor...
Here's hoping its just mildew (most likely)
I think you mean "evaporator case" and not "condenser." The condenser is the part in front of the radiator; the evaporator case is the part that is under the dash.

Good tip. The last time I installed my door (with a broken clip) I used a nut and bolt. I have no idea how I held the nut as it was a bear to remove. When installing it after the filter change I simply used a zip tie. Cut it off the next time I need to change out the cabin filter.
The case was actually designed to use the fender nut, or "U" nut, and bolt from the factory, but they must have did away with it at the last minute figuring the plastic tab on the case would be sufficient. Sometimes you will get instructions with replacement cabin filters that show the bolt in the picture.
 

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So, here in Georgia we get alot of humidity too...


Ive taken to putting a dryer sheet on top of the filters when I change them every oil change...(keeps the cabin air smelling better and I usually dig out half a pound of pine straw and other miscellaneous debris from the vent system)


The dryer sheet smells pleasant and draws very fine dust. Just make sure you have it soundly on top of the filter cause sucking one into the fan aint pretty.
 
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