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2008-2013 Cadillac CTS General Discussion Discussion, DIY Moldy A/C smell removal + Cabin Air Filter change. in Cadillac CTS Second Generation Forum - 2008-2013; OMG, I wondering which "Dirty Jobs" cleaner you used as I've found there are pump spray version or the "Foaming" ...
  1. #16
    rbikerider is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: DIY Moldy A/C smell removal + Cabin Air Filter change.

    OMG, I wondering which "Dirty Jobs" cleaner you used as I've found there are pump spray version or the "Foaming" version...I've read all the info on all products and I'm guessing you used the "Foaming" version... My Missus is telling me her cah stinks when A/C is on so already got the cabin filter now just want to pick up duct cleaner and do the "One Stop" cleaning detail...
    Thanks.

  2. #17
    OMG's Avatar
    OMG
    OMG is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: DIY Moldy A/C smell removal + Cabin Air Filter change.

    I used the non-foaming disinfecting spray.


  3. #18
    djbdb is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: DIY Moldy A/C smell removal + Cabin Air Filter change.

    Yes please! I was gonna ask where the pictures went!
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  4. #19
    Douglas Rome is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: DIY Moldy A/C smell removal + Cabin Air Filter change.

    yes, the photos please; they must still be in your photobucket account?
    thanks, douglas
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  5. #20
    OMG's Avatar
    OMG
    OMG is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: DIY Moldy A/C smell removal + Cabin Air Filter change.

    REPOST WITH UPDATE PICTURES

    Before I start I would like give thanks for the many threads in the past that have shared their info along with a video in one of them even showing how to change the cabin filter. Kudos to everyone.

    The reason I am posting this is since my CTS is higher mileage (just broke 78k mi) and is officially past 5 years old now the moldy A/C smell has been noticeable in the car since I purchasd it in march. But now that it's summer I was using it constantly, even on nice days, I don't like my interior getting dirty. Top it off the Cabin filter was just sitting there for 2 months.

    Notes:
    I have also waited 3 weeks after doing this to see if the smell would come back and it still has not!
    My car was not reeking bad mildew but it definitely had that musty smell when you turn on the A/C. If your car smells like a flooded basement...this probably won't help you.
    Finally do at your own risk! I am not a professional mechanic or anything of the sort.

    Let's get started!

    Things you'll need:


    Now I for the mildew killer, I got this idea from the old can of lysol trick, but reading about it from others people say it didn't work and when I was at the store I check out the cans none of the lysol products actually kill mildew. And a quick search on the interwebs I find that that the Lysol mildew killer is bleach based. I did not want bleach flying around my interior. So after searching around I found this dirty jobs which kills and prevents growth of mildew. So for the $6.98 it was worth a try.

    As for the Fram filter. It had a rebate on rockauto and was nice and cheap. My take on it was that it is indeed high quality. Another forum member noted that it had less pleats then the OEM one. Which it did however the material was completely different. Whereas the OEM was paper based which made it thin allowing them to make more folds than the Fram is a really THICK foam/cotton fiber so it would not be able to able to fold as much anyways. It has considerable heft. With that said, I will not be buying again for this car. The heft and the material makes it very hard to work with in our car something I cover later.

    Step 1: Remove the 3 bolts and pull back the side weather stripping. It is not necessary to completly remove it.


    Step 2: Pull back the weather-stripping about halfway across the hood. If you have larger hands and arms or do not have access to a more petite set (wife/gf/mistress) then pull it all the way off to the other side or at least 3/4's of the way off.


    Step 3: Now simply remove the debris shield.


    OPTIONAL STEPS: If you have large hands and arms this may or may not be hard for you depending on the filter you get. I am not by any means large but I had a very hard time getting the filter IN. Mainly because of the filter I chose. The materials it was made of it made it "floppy" instead of rigid and if you're not careful it will not properly slide into the two "notches" at the bottom of the air box that guide the filter in.





    As you can see if one goes in one side the other one doesn't and as you play around with it the filter gets softer and even hard to work with and since you can't actually get your hands past the opening you can't guide the filter down yourself.

    So I took a few extra steps to make the opening larger so I could get my hands down there to get fix the problem. If you have regular hands and have an OEM filter this shouldn't be a problem then skip these steps.

    Optional 1: Remove these two bolts.



    Optional 2: Remove these two bolts you will need a deep socket. They are attached to the firewall to the left of the air filter (your left)


    Optional 3: Finally you will need to remove these two bolts they are attached to the passenger side fender it is the bracket assembly for the heated washer fluid I believe. Apologies for the bad picture was kind of last minute.


    Optional 4: After you remove the two bolts there is a notch/piece that holds it preventing you from taking it out easily. But wiggle it out.


    This will open up the gap between the the airbox and the shroud you can remove it completely too but I think that would take too much time and be unnecessary.

    Ok back on course:

    Now with your Air filter removed you can inspect it!




    New filter:



    Make note of the air flow:


    But first to kill the mildew!

    Step 4: Turn on the car (you don't have to turn the engine on set it to on so the fans will blow) and set the A/C and fans to MAX. Open all your windows and sunroof if available. You should feel a pretty good suction force coming from the airbox.



    Step 5: Now I procceeded to spray the crap out of the box probably didn't matter but I did a side to side motion. I did 30 second bursts waited 2 minutes inbetween to let the can cool down and the stuff to spread out a little bit. I felt I put A LOT into the system. But the can would never seem to get light. So not sure how much I used. The I could smell it pretty well sticking my head into the cabin. It actually kinda smelled kinda pleasent.



    I did about 10-15 bursts. On the last burst I unloaded a ton of the stuff and immediately turned off the car to let the stuff sit overnight. Hopes that it would kill the built up stuff on the A/C coil itself.

    I have to say the results have made me very happy. The A/C had the smell of the stuff for about 3 days and finally went away and hasn't come back since for 3 weeks now and the air coming in always smells fresh. Pretty awesome and totally worth the time invested.

    Sorry if this seems long and drawn out guys but it honestly wouldn't have taken so long if I didn't have problems putting it back in, the whole process probably wouldn't take more then 30 mins if I didn't run into the snag of putting the filter back in. I had to remove some pictures because of the 15 pics limit. Also if I did anything wrong or if you know of an easier way to do something please point it out! I'm all for constructive criticism! Have a good one!

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