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2013 ATS 3.6 Premium AWD, 2016 Escalade Premium 4WD
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30 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
Just today I started having the dreaded smelly air conditioning problem in my ats. I know there have been posts about this in the past, so I was just wondering if anyone knew of a good fix or if GM would do anything. Honestly, the air smells like rotting garbage, it's disgusting. Thanks for the help!!
 

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2013 ATS 3.6 Premium AWD, 2016 Escalade Premium 4WD
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30 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
And just to note I do not have the AC compressor on, so it's just the air system itself
 

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2013 ATS 2.0T RWD, DP, Intake, HPT, CC
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2,404 Posts
There are several moldy a/c threads. search moldy and you'll get the history of what GM does.
 

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2014 2.0t AWD
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276 Posts
Since it's a '13, I'd start by replacing the cabin air filter with one of those with activated charcoal. If it's mold and whatnot on the evaporator then this won't fix anything, but it can't hurt.
 

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Since it's a '13, I'd start by replacing the cabin air filter with one of those with activated charcoal. If it's mold and whatnot on the evaporator then this won't fix anything, but it can't hurt.
A new filter would be less than a bandaid fix. His car needs all the fixes and a new evaporator coil.
 

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Charger Scat Pack- Auto/Corvette LS3-Auto
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Had mine in twice for this... Cadillac solution is change the cabin air filter, make sure "after blow" is programmed and squirt some deodorant on the evap coils.
 

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2019 CTS
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2,898 Posts
A first option repair did nothing that lasted beyond 2 weeks. The full second option was needed and the car has been clean for six months. If I was out of warranty I think I would be forced to trade it in.
 

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2013 ATS 3.6 Premium AWD, 2016 Escalade Premium 4WD
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Discussion Starter #13
Had mine in twice for this... Cadillac solution is change the cabin air filter, make sure "after blow" is programmed and squirt some deodorant on the evap coils.
How would one program the after blow?
 

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2015 ATS LUXURY 4 Turbo AWD
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51 Posts
Mold and mildew. Needs to be sanitized.
pohara8

I had the same issue with a pick up truck. Humidity in the air causes water to condense in the air ducts. Eventually mold grows and smells. There is a product called fidgy-fresh that you can spay in the duct work. It works to kill the mold but I found out Fidgy fresh is Lysol. Fridgy fresh is a small 4oz can that cost 5 times the amount of Lysol.

Turn on blower to the highest setting. Open all windows. Spay Lysol in the intake vent outside and in the recirculate intake under the dash.

I used Fridgy Fresh and the truck was great for a week. I used Lysol and the the truck hasn't smelled since and its been two years.

IMO spaying the filter masked the smell and doesn't solve the problem.
 

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'13 ATS4 2.0T, Gone but will be missed, '13 SRX4 Performance
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473 Posts
Frigi-Fresh gets rid of odors but Frigi-Clean kills mold spores and mildew. I used Frigi-Clean in my truck about 15 years ago. I still have the truck and the smell never came back.
 

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Guys you are not spraying anything on the evaporator core to get rid of the mold. The car needs to be taken apart and it needs to be physically removed. The evap cores are covered in mold and there are too many nooks and crannies to get rid of it all. You are spending money for a premium product, you should not live with mold being in your hvac system. If your ac smells pressure your dealer into doing the fix the right way. Mold needs to be removed to be completely eradicated.
 

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2015 ATS LUXURY 4 Turbo AWD
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Guys you are not spraying anything on the evaporator core to get rid of the mold. The car needs to be taken apart and it needs to be physically removed. The evap cores are covered in mold and there are too many nooks and crannies to get rid of it all. You are spending money for a premium product, you should not live with mold being in your hvac system. If your ac smells pressure your dealer into doing the fix the right way. Mold needs to be removed to be completely eradicated.
If under factory warranty I 100% agree with you Billm0066. Let the dealer take it all apart but first they will do what we are talking about. You probably have to take the car in a second time to the dealer to do it right the second time. As long as its on their dime take it back a third time so that they fix what they broke while they are in there.

Not under warranty: Ill spend the $5 on Lysol or Frigi-Clean as noted by mozark and not take my dash apart.

Just my opinion and what worked great for me. premium product lol
 

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2015 ATS Coupe 2.0T Premium
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As long as its on their dime take it back a third time so that they fix what they broke while they are in there.
Dropped mine off yesterday, second time in. The first repair (deionizer, cabin air filter, and after blow programming) lasted about two weeks. Spoke to my service advisor in the evening and they are going to replace the evaporator core. I'm really not excited about what condition it might come back in, I'm picky about my cars and wonder if it will ever be the same.

Tim
 

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2015 ATS Coupe 2.0T Premium
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I'm happy to report that I got a call at the end of the day that my car was ready. Took them two full days as I dropped it off first thing yesterday. New evap kit was installed, along with a couple of seals according to the work order.

The smell is completely gone, and I don't have that disgusting medicine smell I was left with after the previous repair attempt. The dash looks pristine, not a mark on it. Drove down some bumpy roads and no rattles or creaks. The only real evidence I found after a careful inspection was one misaligned piece of trim (popped back into place myself) and a few fingerprint smudges on the bottom most part of the windshield.

I had a lot of apprehension about them gutting the car and almost didn't do it. In the end I'm happy did, and hope that's the end of the moldy smell as others have reported. Big props to my dealer (Sewell) for an excellent job with lots of attention to detail.

Tim
 

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I have to imagine the HVAC team that designed the ATS has to have been fired. This is a 12 hour fix per vehicle, which is costing Cadillac a lot of money. CTS is also experiencing the issue too, but I've been told it's not as frequent.
 
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