Vinegar-like smell

Mike Colon

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I had the same thing happening in my Expedition. I realized it started when I started keeping a large bottle of hand sanitizer in the vehicle. After I removed that, the smell went away after a couple days.
 

aggiegrad05

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I had the same thing happening in my Expedition. I realized it started when I started keeping a large bottle of hand sanitizer in the vehicle. After I removed that, the smell went away after a couple days.
Interesting. I do have a spray hand sanitizer in mine and I hose my hands down with it every time I get in. I wonder if some is getting sucked up into the system and that’s causing the problem. It did start around “lock down” time but I figured it was related to more sitting (although the vehicle never sat for more than a day or two).

thanks!!
 

Aspen03

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Mine will do this every once in awhile but then it's just gone, for weeks/months and will randomly resurface. It did it a few days ago and is now gone. I keep the vehicle extremely clean, dont eat in/smoke/etc. It got an ozone treatment back in the spring and vents/ducts I could get to were steam sanitized at the same time. I have AC running for a good 30min each way to work/home in the summer. Usaully in recirc mode.
 

ETC13

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I had this problem when I leave anything in the truck that can give off a smell. I mean anything...

I changed the filter and sprayed ozium like mad with recirculate on and no more smell.

Above plus leave NOTHING in this truck overnight.

Sent from my moto g(7) using Tapatalk
 

techdude99

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I'm getting the vinegar smell in my 2019 when I first start the truck. It's garaged and the AC is usually set to Auto and Recirculation.

Tomorrow I'm going to check the cabin filter and look for moisture. I do keep hand sanitizer in the truck but it's always sealed. The nuclear option is my Ozone generator, which will destroy anything organic, including rubber.

If anyone found a long term solution, please post it. Thanks!
 

Jettix2

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Our 18 Expy Platinum (just purchased used) also smells in the morning for a few mins. Some sort of funky odor from the vents. Changing cabin filter didn’t help.

I’ve resorted to spraying a shot of “leather smell” spray into the vents once a week, which covers up the smell for about a week.

If anyone figures this out, I’d love to hear the actual solution.
 

Soliyou

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This happens to me when something with a strong smell stays in the car for some time (pizza boxes, some air fresheners, smelly socks, etc.) or when the recirculate mode is used for a long period of time.

My cure is to turn the AC on lowest temperature cooling setting, recirculate mode off (bring fresh air from outside), blower fan on maximum speed, turn AC compressor off, crack some windows open, go for a long drive. This clears up the evaporator core and air ducts from this smell.
 

techdude99

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My cure is to turn the AC on lowest temperature cooling setting, recirculate mode off (bring fresh air from outside), blower fan on maximum speed, turn AC compressor off, crack some windows open, go for a long drive.
I'm thinking of trying this. Is your truck garaged and how often do you need to do this procedure? Thanks

Most of my vehicles have K&N engine filters so I decided to add cabin and engine filters to the Expedition today. I'm not expecting a change but I'll report back in a few days.
 

jaynhl

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I have this exact problem vinegar smell from the vents. Any hard fast fixes here as my wife cant take it anymore and we just bought this 17 platinum el.
 

Soliyou

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I'm thinking of trying this. Is your truck garaged and how often do you need to do this procedure? Thanks

Most of my vehicles have K&N engine filters so I decided to add cabin and engine filters to the Expedition today. I'm not expecting a change but I'll report back in a few days.

Mine is garaged too. I don’t get to do it frequently. May be once per year. I actually had to do it last week. I picked up some pizza on my way home on Friday. Saturday the smell was still lingering around and I had to use recirculate mode for extended periods. Sunday the vinegar smell was crazy.

I did this procedure while running my errands on Sunday and it has been clear for the past two days.

Also, make it a habit to turn off the compressor and bring fresh air through the vents for a minute before you turn the car off.

Forgot to add that I replaced my cabin filter a month ago! So a new filter may not necessarily help.
 
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