Q: I have a terrible smell coming out when I turn on my fan. What could this be?

asked by on

When I turn my fan on, either heat or air, a terrible smell comes out. What could this be?

My car has 139000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi, thanks for writing in. This is often times related to your cabin filter. This is a paper filter that filters the air as it comes into the cabin from the outside of the car when turning on any of the vents whether it be for air conditioning, heat or defrost. This is very similar to the air filter for your car’s engine. This should typically be changed at the same time your engine air filter is changed (about every other oil change or so - depending on how dirty gets). When this filter gets dirty, it can generate an awful smell that will circulate throughout the cabin in the car. If you would like help with this replacement, consider having an expert automotive technician from YourMechanic come to your home or office to perform the replacement for you.

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. I have a terrible smell coming out when I turn on my fan. What could this be?

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: Gears not engaging

A transmission not engaging into gear can be the result of an electrical, hydraulic or mechanical problem. This is likely what you are experiencing with your Monte Carlo. Since there are many possible leads for this issue, I find it...

Q: Would like to replace entire engine block on my car. 2000 Chevrolet Impala

Hi there - the most straightforward way to replace (and even upgrade!) your existing engine, is to simply purchase and install a "crate" engine from GM. These are new motors, with a warranty serviced by any GM dealer, which come...

Q: Clutch pedal going soft after you bleed it. Has s new clutch and a auto shop says it's the master cylinder

Hello. If the clutch pedal is going soft even after it is bled, then that is an indicator that there is either a problem with the master cylinder or the slave cylinder. If the seals inside the master cylinder wear...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.