Q: AC is not blowing cold and a plastic-like smell when AC is on.

asked by on

Drove truck on Wednesday and AC was blowing cold. Thursday morning there was an odor it wasn't a mildew odor it was more like a plastic smell. Can still smell it when turn AC on.
My car has an automatic transmission.

There are different possibilities that could contribute to the plastic smell. The smell could be caused by a coolant leak, an electrical issue, the A/C compressor overheating, or simply an outside smell.

Sometimes, plastic bags tend to get stuck to the exhaust system and melt. If you had the vent on for outside air, you probably smelt a bag burning, or some ambient smell. If you had the recirculate button on when you experience this smell, then it is time to change your cabin filter. The dust on the cabin filter will make a burning smell as air is passed through it. Plus, if the filter is dirty, then the evaporator will not function correctly and also causes the a/c to not blow as cold as usual. If the filter is good and clean, then it is possible that the a/c system has sprung a leak and you are smelling the refrigerant.

If you need further assistance, then seek out a professional, such as one from YourMechanic, to help you diagnose the cause of the warm a/c and plastic smell from the vents and replace the air filter, if needed.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. AC is not blowing cold and a plastic-like smell when AC is on.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Oil pressure switch was replaced but the Check Engine Light is still on.

Hello there, a few different things will cause your 2011 Honda Pilot to still have the Check Engine Light on after the oil pressure switch was replaced. The most common cause would be the code not being cleared after the...

Q: Reduced engine light 2008 Ford F250

Hi there - unfortunately, this warning can be caused by countless engine or transmission problems. Check for problems codes which cause this indication. Quite often, this message is a protection for the transmission in particular to prevent damage. I would...

Q: 2013 Ford Fiesta overheating when ac is on? The air coolant has a peanut butter consistency & color?

Hi There, Overheating with the AC on is generally caused by a couple of possibilities. When the AC compressor is beginning to fail, this may incur an increased load on the motor as it works harder than usual to turn...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.