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EricFromCT, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Buick
Satisfied Customers: 3858
Experience:  ASE Master certified L1, L2, Diesel Certified 16 years experience
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2012 lacrosse. a building horrid smell thru the vents only

Customer Question

2012 lacrosse. a building horrid smell thru the vents only when it seems to rain when the heat is on. Not every time, but trending frequently now. Also, had gotten the smell only twice when the AC was on and it was faint; can't recall if was raining then too, but think it wasn't. Smell is bad enough to roll windows down. No interior leaks found.
Weekend project was to remove cowl and check side and bottom drains. bottom two were clear as I was able to stick my fingers thru. Side seemed fine, although I didn't run a hose to each one. Reassembled. This week has rain, so will see if it returns. Didn't try the AC drain tube yet.
Seems like the something switches in the airflow and the smell just takes over. I typically use the interior air circulation mode.
The smell seems to happen on defroster, passenger and foot area settings.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Buick
Expert:  EricFromCT replied 1 year ago.

Hi. A horrid smell is usually do to a mouse getting into the heater box. Have you checked around your car and under the hood for signs of mice?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I bought the car used last Oct. Who knows what could have happened then. I had a super faint smell in Nov that my husband didn't smell anything (I have a super tuned nose :) ) So chalked it up to the car needing to be run after being stagnant/unused for a long time (per the dealership). When I put the air on this weekend, after the stinky Friday ride home, it wasn't coming thru until about 8 min of running it on high at 74 degrees a slight lingering scent wafted. This time my husband said he could smell something. But it was barely there. It doesn't come on every time, and most of the time it's fine.
Expert:  EricFromCT replied 1 year ago.

Ok. If you smell a musty type smell that could be from water not draining out of the heater box. But if the smell is like something has died then you probably have a mouse in the box. You can remove the blower motor for a view into the heater box and check for debris.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Does the AC air run thru the heater box too, as I did get it a few times with the AC on back late Oct.
Expert:  EricFromCT replied 1 year ago.

Yes. Air travels the same way except either through the heater core for heat, or evaporator for ac.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Fingers-crossed that this weekend "something" is found to resolve. I'm hoping to NOT have anyone in my car until this is done bec. the smell is so random. This is a really pretty car inside & out and still pretty mint-condition, so hate to have this issue.
Expert:  EricFromCT replied 1 year ago.

I understand. I hope it gets resolved for you as well.

Expert:  EricFromCT replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for viewing my response on 3/14/2016 at 11:47:52 AM 4 day(s) ago. Please let me know if you have any more questions and remember to rate my service. Thank you.