Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: When I switch on the vents the cabin starts smelling

asked by on

See above please

My car has 40000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: This is a common issue when the cabin filte...

This is a common issue when the cabin filter needs to be replaced. Your vehicle has an air filter that filters the outside air as it is circulated into the vehicle when using the heater or air conditioning system. As the outside air is passes through your car’s system, it collects dirt, dust and other impurities much like your engine air filter does for the engine. When this gets dirty and collects dirt and debris from outside, this will tend to emit an odor like smell when the vents are opened as you have experienced. This is easily remedied by having this filter replaced with a fresh clean filter. I would recommend having an expert from YourMechanic come to your location to replace your cabin air filter.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: First the service traction control message came up and after it was the service stabilitrak. Two days later the reduced engine power light came on.

Hi there. There is an issue with the traction control system and it may be active with the loss of power happens. Check the brake system for any loose or damaged wheel speed sensors. The traction control system works when...

Q: Car won't start - 2006 BMW 325i

Hi there. If the engine is not cranking, then the issue can be a number of things. I usually start by checking for power at the starter when trying to crank it over. If there is no power there, then...

Q: My engine light came on code shoed P0037 its a Lexus is300 is it just changing the o2 sensor?

P0037 is an oxygen sensor code referring to bank 1 sensor 2. This is the right hand side of the engine and the second sensor on that side. The code may be caused by the catalyst on that side or...

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...
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...