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Cadillac ATS Technical Discussion Forum Discussion, Moldy AC - opinions please in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; So I replaced the cabin air filter, and it definitely got better. Not completely fixed, but maybe it just needs ...
  1. #16
    NoVA_ATS is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Moldy AC - opinions please

    So I replaced the cabin air filter, and it definitely got better. Not completely fixed, but maybe it just needs to run a few times.

    The part number for the air filter is CF185. I bought mine from Rock Auto for approx. $13. I think you can get the filter replaced by Cadillac for free, but I live too far away for take it there for a small thing like this, and it is pretty simple, once you figure it out...below I have put directions so you don't have to waste too much time.

    To replace the cabin air filter, remote the screw in the middle of the CD player. It is a phillips (in all reality it is just a pin). Once you get that pin out, you will notice that there is a washer looking piece of plastic still there, it is the remainder of the clip assembly. That needs to be removed carefully. If you are not able to get it out without tearing it up, take off your trim (the replaceable silver/plum/woodgrain) by taking off two 7mm bolts on the right side, behind the right compartment, and push straight down on the clip to ensure no damage is done to it. Once you have the pin out, the entire CD player/shelf assembly will come straight out towards you. Once you have that out, you will see a black compartments that says DOWN on it. That is the cabin air filter door. Remove it by depressing the clips, and take the airfilter out. Make sure to note which way the airflow is going. Pop the new one in, and put the car back together in the exact reverse.

    Good luck!
    GJB and Erich_33406 like this.

  2. #17
    unclemoose is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    I have the same issue. It's only on start up, but is most definitely a moldy/musty ac smell that goes away after a few seconds. Did anyone else get this issue resolved? Did it come back?

  3. #18
    GL13ATS is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Update: took my car into the dealer in FWB Florida and asked them to change out the cabin air filter. They kept it for a day, but when I picked it up the only thing they did was reprogrammed the HVAC system to “enable after blow feature.” Tech said they called corporate and this was the only fix. They did not change out the filter.
    Waiting to see what affect if any this fix has. Basically, seems they realize there is a problem and came up with the after blow feature to dry out the system after turning the car off. (even though they’re saying there is no problem).
    If this doesn’t work, I will change out the cabin air filter myself (thanks for the directions NoVA_ATS posted). I may do it anyway just to see what it looks/smells like.
    Erich_33406 likes this.

  4. #19
    BriansZ is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    We have this same problem. The cadillac dealer set the fan to turn on after the car is off and sprayed something in the system. It was fine for a couple weeks but has returned. We like the car, but this is unacceptable. And it does go away after startup, but we shouldn't have to deal with this on a new $40k+ car. My wife recently made another appointment to get this looked at but judging from this thread I see others have the same problem.
    Erich_33406 likes this.

  5. #20
    JavaGirl is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Moldy AC - opinions please

    This is what I do to take care of it: when I get within a minute of my destination, I turn off the AC button in the middle of CUE, but leave the fan on at least 1/2 blast for the last minute to blow out the vents without any chilled air being used. Then when I use the car the next time, all is okay.

    This is not nice for a luxury automobile, but it does give a work-around...

  6. #21
    Illini333 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Moldy AC - opinions please

    I have the same issue as well for the first 5 seconds when I start the car. I have never had this issue with a car before and am surprised a luxury car would have it. I have noticed if I shut off the a/c a minute before my destination and put the fan on full blast it seems to help when I start my car. The issue is I live in Austin where the temp is always around or above 100 so it gets a little warm in the car. Frustrating.......

  7. #22
    flycaster's Avatar
    flycaster is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Moldy AC - opinions please

    Got the same problem here in SoFL - smell on start up, but disappears after a few seconds. Will bring it up to the dealer tomorrow.

  8. #23
    NVHGuru is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Moldy AC - opinions please

    I'm not sure if this is the same issue, but I have a moldy smell which seems worst when I get in the car. I thought it may be just the "new car smell", but I have had my ATS for 3 months and it is not getting any better. It may seem strange, but I think it is coming from the leather steering wheel cover as I can smell it on my hands after driving for a while. I will investigate closely for a few more days then talk to my dealer. Has anyone else noticed the same thing?

  9. #24
    briterco is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Moldy AC - opinions please

    We purchased the ATS Nov 2012. Started noticing the same musty smell this summer. Took it in to the dealer (we've bought 10 Caddies from them). First attempt they tried to clean out the HVAC and the deodorizer they sprayed made it smell worse. The musty smell never went away. Took it back last week. They have had to take out the WHOLE dash, center console and passenger seat out. (that is our car in the pic!) They are replacing something plus all the insulation because some condensation has soaked in. The service mechanic we spoke with said it looks like a design flaw where a line can get pushed into a condensation pan internally so it isn't draining properly and water sits there, getting moldy. He also said it can't be seen when it is reassembled so he can't be sure it the line sits correctly or not. Sounds like it might come back again.

    Talking to the GM of the dealership, he said one of the other employees there also mentioned having the same smell. Sounds like a major design flaw and if the fix is to to the disassembly like they've done to our ATS, that is a BIG problem for GM!

    ATS.JPG

  10. #25
    GJB's Avatar
    GJB
    GJB is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Moldy AC - opinions please

    You are a brave person: I would have used air freshener trees before I let them do that to my car. I'm interested if they get humpty back together right, please let us know.
    ben.gators and Maxplot like this.

  11. #26
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    Re: Moldy AC - opinions please

    Quote Originally Posted by NoVA_ATS View Post
    So I replaced the cabin air filter, and it definitely got better. Not completely fixed, but maybe it just needs to run a few times.

    The part number for the air filter is CF185. I bought mine from Rock Auto for approx. $13. I think you can get the filter replaced by Cadillac for free, but I live too far away for take it there for a small thing like this, and it is pretty simple, once you figure it out...below I have put directions so you don't have to waste too much time.

    To replace the cabin air filter, remote the screw in the middle of the CD player. It is a phillips (in all reality it is just a pin). Once you get that pin out, you will notice that there is a washer looking piece of plastic still there, it is the remainder of the clip assembly. That needs to be removed carefully. If you are not able to get it out without tearing it up, take off your trim (the replaceable silver/plum/woodgrain) by taking off two 7mm bolts on the right side, behind the right compartment, and push straight down on the clip to ensure no damage is done to it. Once you have the pin out, the entire CD player/shelf assembly will come straight out towards you. Once you have that out, you will see a black compartments that says DOWN on it. That is the cabin air filter door. Remove it by depressing the clips, and take the airfilter out. Make sure to note which way the airflow is going. Pop the new one in, and put the car back together in the exact reverse.

    Good luck!
    Thanks NoVa I was finally able to take out the cd player I never use and get some shelf space and not listen to it spin up when I open the door to boot. I just left the Phillips pin out because that shelf is in there pretty snug and this way its now just a quick filter replacement. I was surprised how dirty mine was in less than 4 months.


    UPDATE. Had to put the CD player back in. When I went to drive the car after taking out the player CUE Screen stayed blank, slid the player back in and works great. And that spin sound when you open the door is not the CD player (sounds like its coming from there) so it must be the CUE.

  12. #27
    briterco is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Moldy AC - opinions please

    Quote Originally Posted by GJB View Post
    You are a brave person: I would have used air freshener trees before I let them do that to my car. I'm interested if they get humpty back together right, please let us know.
    We shall see. Didn't actually know the procedure was going to be this extreme. When we went there yesterday, they kept saying "you really don't want to see it".... and they might not have liked that we took a pic. The dealership has been really good so I think they'll get humpty back together. If not, we won a lemon case years ago over an XLR and aren't afraid to go down that path again if we have to.
    GJB likes this.

  13. #28
    Robb63 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Moldy AC - opinions please

    Mine just started having this "smell" issue this week. It was two days after I got the car washed (not that I haven't had it washed before!), but it hasn't rained this week so that would be the last time the car got wet (if that is a cause). Mine is a terrible moldy smell for about ten seconds after starting the car with the A/C on.
    Any updates from folks dealing with the issue?? I'm going to have to take it to the dealer this week.

  14. #29
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    GJB
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    Re: Moldy AC - opinions please

    Quote Originally Posted by briterco View Post
    We shall see. Didn't actually know the procedure was going to be this extreme. When we went there yesterday, they kept saying "you really don't want to see it".... and they might not have liked that we took a pic. The dealership has been really good so I think they'll get humpty back together. If not, we won a lemon case years ago over an XLR and aren't afraid to go down that path again if we have to.
    Briterco, I hear you on the ATS "Extreme Makeover Edition". You have the right attitude, you have been a with them for years and it looks like they are willing to go to "extremes" to fix your issue. You know you have options if things don't go well and that picture can't hurt your case if it went to that (if the dash don't fit you must acquit) makes no sense just had to throw that in. Good on you.

  15. #30
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    Re: Moldy AC - opinions please

    Hello everyone,

    I see a lot of members on this thread are experiencing this issue. I would be more than happy to assist you in working with the dealership in regards to this issue. I have documented your concerns and forwarded it to a group in our organization. Please private message Laura or myself if you have any concerns regarding this issue. The information we would need would be your name, contact info, VIN, mileage, and dealership you are working with. You can also reach out to us via email at socialmedia@gm.com. If you do send an email, please be sure to include “ATTN GREG OR LAURA” in the subject line so that it gets delivered straight to one of us. Thank you very much for your time.

    Gregory W.
    Cadillac Customer Care

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