Why Does My Car AC Smell Like Vinegar?
Why Does My Car AC Smell Like Vinegar?

Why Does My Car AC Smell Like Vinegar? If you’ve ever turned on your car’s AC and been hit with a smell that was less than pleasant, you’re not alone. Many drivers have experienced this strange odour when using their AC, and it can be difficult to determine where it’s coming from. So what’s the cause of the vinegar smell in car ACs? And more importantly, how can you get rid of it? Keep reading to find out Why Does My Car AC Smell Like Vinegar?

Why Does My Car AC Smell Like Vinegar?

Why Does My Car AC Smell Like Vinegar?

Car AC’s have been known to smell like vinegar from time to time. The good news is that this is a common problem and it’s usually easy to fix. The reason why your AC smells like vinegar might have something to do with the refrigerant, the air filters or the cabin air filter. See if you can locate the source of the smell and take care of it as soon as possible!

If your car AC has been smelling like vinegar lately, there’s a good chance that the refrigerant is to blame. The refrigerant is what helps to keep the air cool and dry inside of the car, so if it’s not working properly, the AC won’t work properly either. Another possibility is that the air filters are dirty and need to be replaced. The cabin air filter might also be to blame. If you’re not sure what’s causing the problem, take your car to a mechanic and have them take a look.

What’s Causing the Smell?

Drivers often attribute the odour to vinegar. It is typically caused by mould that has formed in the cabin’s vents. Mildew or mould can be caused by a variety of factors. Most often, it is caused by dust or leaves that accumulate in the air vents throughout the year. Your car’s air filter can be replaced immediately to fix the problem.

How To Get Rid Of The Odour

How To Get Rid Of The Odour

Mould or mildew can cause vinegar smells, but you can get rid of them with simple DIY methods. You can resolve the issue immediately by replacing your car’s air filter. 

Another option is to use a cleaning product designed for air conditioners, which contains enzymes that can eliminate the odor almost immediately, and possibly prevent it from returning in the future.

Take your car to a mechanic if the vinegar smell is caused by a problem with your air conditioner. If you are unsure of how to fix the problem or if you don’t feel confident doing it yourself, the mechanic can help you pinpoint the cause of the odor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Que 1: What Can I Do To Get The Vinegar Smell Out Of My Car’s Air Conditioning?

Ans 1: You can solve the problem instantly by changing the air filter in your car. Another option is to use a cleaning solution designed for air conditioners, which contains enzymes that can almost immediately eliminate the smell.

Que 2: How Can I Get The Sour Smell Out Of My Car’s Air Conditioner?

Ans 2: Outside vents (where the air is pulled in from the outside) should be treated with an antiseptic. To ensure that the spray enters the ventilation system and can effectively destroy mould and germs, make sure your air conditioner is set to the setting that draws air from the outside in.

Also Read: Why Is My Car Accident Settlement Taking So Long?


The most likely explanation for the smell is that a sealant or lubricant has leaked and mixed with the AC refrigerant. This can cause an odour similar to vinegar. If you’re experiencing this smell, take your car in for service as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

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I'm David, and I love cars - especially writing about them! I'm the owner of Carwalls.org, where I write car reviews and offer advice on car technical issues. My passion for cars started at a young age, when I would help my dad work on our family's vehicles. These days, I spend most of my time test-driving new models and researching the latest automotive technology. I'm always looking for a new challenge, so be sure to check out my website for the latest in car reviews and news. Thanks for reading!


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