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So on my way home I decided to roll down the windows as the weather was nice. Kept the air running but turned off the AC. All of a sudden I noticed a foul smell in the cabin. Almost like a dead fish kind of smell. When I got home I check the front end and engine bay to make sure I did not pick up any road kill. Everything seemed normal.

So I opened the Carbon Filter compartments, dusted the filters and sprayed some Lysol into the vents whole blowing the AC at full speed. The cabin was smelling like Lysol but this morning the smell is still there. Faint but still present. Any ideas on what could be causing this smell???
 

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This has happened on every car I have owned with a/c. I am not sure how bad your smell is but if you turn it off after it has been on then you get a odor in the cabin. I have no idea why this happens.
 

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I think this is more prevalent on the E39, its a design flaw in the A/C. If you search on here i'm sure you'll find plenty of threads on this.
 

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I seem to recall reading about this... there is a drain somewhere that gets clogged after a while. A major PITA to clean out too... but running the HVAC with the compressor OFF may help to dry out the ducts.

That's all my poor brain can remember... HTH. :dunno:

Michael
 

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I think it is a mildew issue and there is info involving a fix for this if you search. As Michael said, I usually try to turn off the AC a few minutes before pulling into the driveway but leave the HVAC system running to let things dry out.
 

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I recall this happening on my brand new vaxhall astra in england and my friends e46 M3 with 1500 miles on the clock.
 

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I think it is a mildew issue and there is info involving a fix for this if you search. As Michael said, I usually try to turn off the AC a few minutes before pulling into the driveway but leave the HVAC system running to let things dry out.
Very likely, and it is NOT unique the the M5, or E39 ... all BMWs are subject to a build up of mildew (other cars may be as well, but all of mine ... with A/C ... are BMWs). It is NOT a design issue!

It is worse in humid climates. There are steps you can take to reduce the smell (do a search), but it may still be there at times.

What I have found works best (26 years of experience on this issue), is EXACTLY what ECB suggests. Shutting off the A/C, 2 minutes before shutting off the engine (anywhere you stop) seems to help a lot.

You can still check the drains ... just look under the car with the A/C still running and see if water drips from either side of the bell housing. Rarely do they get plugged.
 
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We just experienced something similar to this last week. We rented a car and took it to Florida, on the way home the AC smelled horrible and actually gave me a sore throat. We are pretty sure it was mold or mildew. NASTY stuff.
 

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smelly

the beast also has that nice timer function for the fan. To cool off the car on hot days before you get in. This seems to keep the smell to a minimum (when I remember to use it).

ssomed
 
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