The Problem

When you switch on the air conditioning in your car, instead of getting clean smelling, cool air, there is the smell of dampness and mould.

Things to Check

If you have already made sure that all the mechanical components of the air conditioner are working well, the source of the damp smell could actually come about because the air conditioner is working too efficiently.

In Singapore's humid atmosphere, the cold air conditioned air does tend to cause a lot of condensation, especially within the ducts that channel the air to the face-level air vents on the dashboard. This happens more on rainy days and while driving at night as the sun isn't around to cause this moisture to evaporate. After a while, the moisture will accumulate and sometimes mould will form, causing all the air that is blown across it to carry the smell into the passenger compartment.

What To Do

The idea is to regularly flush all the aircon ducting will clean, fresh and less humid air so that whatever moisture that has condensed within the system will evaporate. Five minutes before approaching home or the carpark at the end of the day, to switch off the aircon's recycle function - this will allow fresh air to enter the system. Switching off the aircon and turning the fan to a higher speed will also allow more air to be blown through the system. If this is done for a few minutes at the end of each journey, the mildew, and its smell should disappear. Also, in order to keep the air in the passenger compartment dry, the same colleague recommends keeping a drying agent, within the passenger compartment. You'll be surprised how much water is absorbed.