Stinky Air - 2013 Cadillac ATS Long-Term Road Test

2013 Cadillac ATS Long-Term Road Test

2013 Cadillac ATS: Stinky Air

October 18, 2013

2013 Cadillac ATS

"What an incredible smell you've discovered." Ah, yes, I never pass up an opportunity to work in a Star Wars quote.

But seriously, when you start up our 2013 Cadillac ATS, the first few seconds of air that comes blasting out of the vents is pretty stinky. Like, "shut down all the garbage mashers on the detention level" stinky.

It clears up in about 10 seconds. After a summer of blasting the A/C, some condensation could have built up in the system and now we have some mold or bacteria. Or maybe because our mornings are chilly and we're running the heat, and then the afternoons are hot and we run the air. Dan Edmunds says it usually comes from using recirc too much.

Whatever the cause, we'll have it checked out. Stinkiness can also be a sign of something more serious.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor


  • nukedetroit nukedetroit Posts:

    No argument from me about how much anything from Gov't Motors reeks of dank and dismal failure... but in this case you probably only need to change out the cabin air filter.

  • kirkhilles_ kirkhilles_ Posts:

    "Stinkiness can also be a sign of something more serious." Certainly someone can come up with a funny response to this.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    Have you tried closing the blast doors?

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    "Stinkiness can also be a sign of something more serious." "Okay, people. Listen up. The people upstairs handed us this one and we gotta come through. We gotta find a way to make this...[Holds up Ford cabin air filter] fit into the hole for this...[Holds up GM cabin air filter] using nothing but that.[Shows conference table covered in odds and ends gathered from around the office]" Points to whoever guesses the movie.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    @hybris: "I am sick and tired of the entire western world knowing how my kidneys are functioning!" C'mon man, not even a challenge if it has Tom Hanks in it...

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    This is often the result of turning the car off while the A/C is running in recirc. When I pull into my street I actually kill the A/C and make sure the recirc is off so some fresh air gets flushed through the system before the car is shutdown.

  • cx7lover cx7lover Posts:

    We haven't solved this yet? I haven't noticed any weirdness with my MZ6 yet but it's still fairly new. I run recirc most of the time but occasionally I'll turn it off.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    Typically recommended to run the system at lowest circulation settings with fresh air all the time, especially after running recirc with AC.

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    @quadricycle I did the best I could off the top of my head that didn't sound completely unintelligible.

  • dino128 dino128 Posts:

    To eliminate a/c odor, GM has a service bulletin. 1) clean a/c evaporator and treat a/c evaporator with an anti-fungal coating. This kills the fungus that is growing on the a/c evaporator fins. 2) program HVAC system to cycle the fan at full speed after car is turned off or install GM's EED (electronic evaporator dryer) module to the HVAC fan circuit. This uses to HVAC fan to dry the a/c evaporator fins after the car is turned off to create a dry condition that is less hospitable for fungus to grow.

  • jlh3 jlh3 Posts:

    I think you can also spray Lysol in the intake of the system to kill the fungus.

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