Fixed stinky AC for zero $ and no disasembly

Fixed stinky AC for zero $ and no disasembly

The cabin overheat protection is unique to Tesla and in the summer this results in the AC running all day. This means that the evaporator never drys out and stuff starts growing on it.

I changed the setting to fan only. Now when it is parked, the fan drys the evaporator out.

It went from *I can't stand the stink* to no smell in one day.

Ten minutes before I am going to drive the car I turn on the AC from the app.

Problem solved.

andy.connor.e | September 19, 2019

I can see that its probably very likely that people dont even realize this setting is on, let alone that this would cause the AC stink.

vmulla | September 19, 2019

I'm glad you found a solution that works for you.

About Tesla service folks' feedback on the issue, and their way of addressing the concern - that's just not consistent with what you're sharing. As far as I can remember, this wasn't mentioned as a preventative or mitigation measure by any service center feedback given on this forum.

It's worth a shot, a whole lot other things were done. This is too easy to not try.

Thank you.

andy.connor.e | September 19, 2019

Im sure they havent yet figured this kind of stuff out yet. Customers are probably going to be better at finding a solution than service people.

bpatter123 | September 19, 2019

excellent. needs confirmation by other testers, but if so- just excellent.

Passion2Fly | September 19, 2019

I can confirm, this method works for me too. No more smell. However, I live in a very dry climate and my car never smelled too bad... probably, it might be too late or not sufficient for other owners.

mem10123 | September 19, 2019

I think it has less to do with the Cabin Overheat, and more to do with you turning on the AC for 10 minutes before you get in. I had the smell issue, but it only appeared in the first 30 seconds of the fan running. If I turned the AC on even a minute early, I didn't smell it.
Likely I suspect my issue was "light" since it went away so quickly after running the AC for a minute. So this may prevent "bad" occurrences of the problem, but I don't think it really solves it. More a way to mask it. Note: I had the Mobile Tech come out, and they sprayed that lemon scented foam in the coils. That definitely stopped the smell, even with no pre-conditioning. Hoping it won't come back, but I am not holding my breath it'll be "solved forever".

gmr6415 | September 19, 2019

@donharvey2323, that's how mine has been set all along here in Central Florida, one of the most consistently hot and humid areas in the country, and I've never gotten the smell.

I've mentioned it on several stinky AC posts and have pretty much been ignored.

rxlawdude | September 19, 2019

Sorry, that doesn't work. I had COP set to "fan only" for a couple of weeks, but still had the smell upon A/C startup.

Joshan | September 19, 2019

gmr6415 | September 19, 2019
I've mentioned it on several stinky AC posts and have pretty much been ignored.

They want blood, not answers.

erickboldt | September 19, 2019

New Tesla Model 3 owner here!

How do you turn off the Cabin Overheat Protection in the settings? Is it normally set to 'off'?

M3NOICE | September 19, 2019

Same here. I have two M3 for more than 1 year and never had a smell. COP is always on "No A/C".

Controls > Safety & Security > Cabin Overheat
Protection and choose:
• OFF: Disable Cabin Overheat Protection.
• NO A/C: Only the fan operates when the cabin temperature exceeds 105° F (40° C).
This option consumes less energy but the cabin temperature may exceed 105° F (40° C).
• ON: The air conditioning operates when the cabin temperature exceeds 105° F (40° C).

vmulla | September 19, 2019

If you've had COP/no-ac all along I can see that working. If you've had some smell and stored COP/No-ac I can see this addressing some of the problem. But here we have a case of full on stink and switching to cop/No-ac, and the report is it doesn't work :(

marlon | September 19, 2019

I can definitely see the COP as being the culprit. It's one feature that most other cars don't have and my problem started up soon after I started using the COP. I've currently turned my back to the No AC setting, but it's only been about a week so far. I have a feeling that once it starts, it's a bit hard to get rid of and that's why the Mediclean disinfectant will be here tomorrow!

amceachin | September 19, 2019

@vmulla I respectfully disagree. I had a full on stink problem, and turned cabin over heat protection to no AC. And the problem has completely gone away. I live in Southern California where it is fairly hot but not as humid as the south.

slingshot18 | September 19, 2019

Fan only doesn’t keep the cabin cool enough by me. Need the A/C to keep it below 105.

jamilworm | September 19, 2019

I live in SoCal and I had a mild stink, and turning COP to fan only made the smell go away for me.

vmulla | September 20, 2019

It's not about agreeing/disagreeing at all. We just want a solution to the problem. Just a few messages before yours another forum member shared that this solution did not work for him, and he's a long-time, regular, well-meaning forum member.

In any case, I have the setting changed for me. I'll share my own observations to the list.

michiels.evan | September 20, 2019

I made a video on how to fix this... I had the same problem. No more smell now!

stormy19 | September 20, 2019

Mine was mild. I followed procedure from SC. run AC while driving with fan all the way up with recirculate off for about 10 minutes. no smell since

Zeus140 | September 20, 2019

Mildew odor is caused by ... mildew. Mildew breeds in damp dark environments. In humid locations the best defense is to dry off the cooling coils by using the fan only COP. If the smell persists, kill the mildew. Once the mildew is gone, the smell will also be gone.

ramoska | September 20, 2019

I've never used the COP... I had the stink, vinegar / Smelly Feet. I stopped using Recirculate....and use only fresh air...and the problem has not returned.... I am in Atlanta...this summer was unusually long and stayed in the 90s until today....but yeah...we dont have climate change....sheeeesh.... oh and by the's back to 97 tomorrow...grrrrrrr