I am a new Escalade owner. I purchased a 2000 model on August 6 and when using the air conditioner, there appears to be a slight mildew smell. I read in owner’s manual that air intake vent needs to be kept clean of leaves and dirt, but I have not been able to find any instructions for cleaning the intake vents.
I would appreciate suggestions from someone with experience in this area.
Other than making sure your evaporator drain is not clogged, there's not much you can do. I've heard of guys spraying Lysol into the air inlets but don't know whether it really works. I used to have the problem on a few cars years ago. From what I know, it's just caused by water that lays in the ducting and grows moldy. The angle you park you car at, the exact way the ducting was assembled in your particular vehicle, how much you use the A/C, etc, etc, all can be contributing factors. The dealer has a chemical and procedure that does work for getting rid of the smell if all else fails.
Did you open the hood and check/clean all the vents and duct work at the base of the front windshield? Does your Escalade have in cabin air filtration? I just baught a 2002 and changed out the in cabin air filters (2) under the glove box. They were very very dirty and nasty. It looks like the previous owners just turned them around. They were black on both sides and air flow was very limited. After I put the new filters in and vacuumed out the duct work, the whole vehicle smells nearly new again. Can actually smell the leather now. Hope this helps!