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Hello,

When I start my '11 Treg I smell what seems like a paint smell coming from the A/C. If you don't start the A/C, I don't smell it, so I know it's coming from the A/C vents.

Anyone else notice this? If so, what did you do?

Maybe change the cabin air filter?

The best way I could describe it is wet latex paint.

Thanks!
 

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All the air coming into the car will arrive through the same vents won't it, regardless of whether the aircon is working or not?
Not necessarily. On many cars - when the A/C is off - outside air goes straight to the vents. With the A/C on, outside air is routed through the evaporator component of the A/C system - before proceeding to the vents. The smell could be caused by a combination of fungus as well as small microbes and bacterial growths in/around the evap core. The constantly wet (and very dark) evaporator core in the air conditioning system is an almost perfect environment to support these organisms' rapid growth. When the weather is transitioning from winter to spring and again from summer to fall, air temp and humidity often present the right conditions to jump start this stuff.

This hasn't happened to my Touareg yet, but it did on my last Mercedes. That means I still have some of this stuff left. If you know the evap location, you stick the little hose through the closest vent and release the contents until foam starts coming back out the vents. It kills the stuff that's generating the smell, and deodorized the car at the same time. The foam simply disperses and drips out the A/C drain, carrying the crud with it. If you don't know the evap location, use the shotgun approach; flood all the vents.

//greg//
 

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In that case, is it correct to say that on recirculation with the aircon on, the air will go over the evaporator?
 

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In that case, is it correct to say that on recirculation with the aircon on, the air will go over the evaporator?
I'm no VW tech, but that seems logical. My take is
(a) recirc on + AC on = stink
(b) recirc on + AC off = no stink
(c) recirc off + AC on = stink
(d) recirc off + AC off = no stink

So from my perspective, you're missing is the "A/C OFF" part.

//greg//
 

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In that case, buy a "bomb", select (a) as per its instructions, and then let said "bomb" off which should result in

(a) recirc on + AC on = no stink
(b) recirc on + AC off = no stink
(c) recirc off + AC on = no stink
(d) recirc off + AC off = no stink
 

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Hi, what you can try as well on a hot sunny day is to burn out the fungus. First remove all heat sensitive stuff from your vehicle, because the interior will reach just over 90 degrees celsius. Start vehicle in the open sun, recirculation on, heater to max, aircon on, fan at max, leave
vehicle to stand for an hour. Afterwards open all doors to allow the interior to cool off before using it .
 

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I've heard of this, never tried it - we don't get enough sun!!
 

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Not only that, it's also a waste of fuel. First of all, this stuff resides in/around the evap core - not the heater core. Second, all that would do is to cause it to dormant. Next time conditions are right, it pops right back to life. Ya gotta kill this crap and flush the residuals out the A/C drain.

//greg//
 

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Hey, the fuel you will use is probably cheaper than the chemicals and you won't sound like the Marlboro man coughing when you open the car. If you look at a schematic diagram of the airflow through the aircon, you will see that the air always flow through the evaperator core, after the blower fan, before it's diverted past or through the heater core with flaps. The sun only help to speed up the heat build up in the vehicle.
 

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Forgive me for being skeptical, but please upload your diagram. Remember, we're talking North American spec 2011 Touareg 2-zone automatic climate control here. And the foam biocide that I use also contains a pleasant smelling deodorant coming from the vents. Or did you bother to even look at the link I posted earlier?

//greg//
 
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