With summer almost upon us (only a month to go), the air conditioning system in your Mercedes is about to receive a real workout.
It’s a hot day. You’ve only been outside for a minute, and you’re already starting to sweat. Luckily, the air conditioning system in your Mercedes is there to save the day.
Or at least, that’s what you think – the moment you turn your vehicle’s A/C on, you’re blasted with a wall of foul, musty air.
Most of us don’t put much thought into our air conditioners over the winter. When many hop into their car and turn on the A/C for the first time in months, they’re greeted by a musty, rotten smell instead of fresh, clean air.
In most cases, the problem is caused an issue with bacteria and grime buildup in the heating and cooling unit.
Luckily, this is a solvable problem. Even better news, it can be completely prevented, provided you take the proper precautionary measures.
Did you know? Ammstar doesn’t just look after engines and transmissions – our Mercedes-Benz specialists in Melbourne can also look after the air conditioning system in your Mercedes as well.
And as qualified car air conditioning specialists, we also know a couple of ways you can keep the air conditioning system in your Mercedes-Benz fresh all year-round.
Tip 1: use your air conditioning throughout the year
Yes, even during winter!
In our experience, the evaporator core is one of the most likely culprits when it comes to unexpected smells in your Mercedes air conditioning system. Over time, dust, bacteria and other pollutants can build up in the evaporator core, which can result in unpleasant smells if ignored.
The reason we suggest running your A/C all year-round is because running the air conditioning system in your Mercedes-Benz keeps the evaporator core clean by preventing debris from settling.
You needn’t run your air conditioner for long periods – 10 minutes every two weeks can be enough to stop unwanted smells from developing in your evaporator coil (and therefore, affecting your Mercedes-Benz).
Advanced Mercedes-Benz systems like THERMATIC and THERMOTRONIC will regulate temperature, ensuring you don’t get too chilly.
You don’t need to worry about your air conditioner using up more petrol, either – the amount of extra fuel your air conditioner uses is marginal.
What’s more, the air conditioning compressor in most Mercedes-Benz vehicles operates with a variable stroke, so in colder weather with very little demand, it doesn’t have to work very hard or use much additional petrol.
Not just nasty smells…
Unpleasant smells aren’t the only problem using your A/C in winter can prevent – it can also help keep lubricant and coolant circulating throughout your Mercedes’ air conditioning system.
This reduces the risk of cooling-related problems when summer returns, and help you avoid the issues associated with a dry start.
Tip 2: replace your air cabin filters regularly
Air can contain many particles and pollutants – to protect you from breathing these in, modern cars (including Mercedes-Benz vehicles) place cabin air filters behind the dashboard, or under the bonnet.
All air that enters the cabin from outdoors and from your Mercedes-Benz’ air conditioning system is filtered, preventing pollutants such as dust, smog, pollen and spores from entering the cabin.
When it comes to smelly air conditioning units, clogged air conditioning filters are one of the most common culprits.
Specifically, a dirty or blocked filter mayl trap smells in. Not to mention, bacteria and dust can also get trapped in your filter, which can lead to unpleasant smells every time you turn on the A/C in an attempt to cool down.
Not only that, but it will also reduce the effectiveness of your cooling system, as the fan will now have to overcome all the debris that’s blocking airflow!
If you live or drive in a particularly dusty environment, these filters may need to be changed more frequently.
By simply replacing blocked filters, you can stop your air conditioning system from smelling.
Each Mercedes-Benz service the specialist mechanics at Ammstar perform includes a free air conditioning check. We’ll check your entire air conditioning system for function and efficiency, including air cabin filters.
Could the issue lie with your plenum chamber?
The gap between the bottom of your windscreen and the bonnet serves a practical purpose: this area is known as the plenum chamber, and serves to drain water away from the windshield.
Their secondary purpose is to allow fresh air into the car.
As you’ve probably guessed, it can sometimes be the main culprit behind a smelly air conditioner.
In most cars, the plenum chamber attracts much more than just water and air. Leaves, twigs and other debris often find their way into the plenum chamber.
Over time, this buildup can result in the drains in your plenum chamber becoming blocked, trapping water in the plenum chamber.
When you turn your air conditioner off, the plenum chamber warms. The combination of a forgiving temperature, moisture and darkness stimulates and accelerates bacterial growth – you may even experience mould and fungi growth in your plenum chamber!
Once bacteria and mould has a foothold, your air conditioning may sporadically or regularly emit unpleasant smells.
Why you need a Mercedes-Benz specialist
Of course, most mechanics will be able to replace an air conditioning filter.
But what if the smell isn’t coming from your A/C filters?
In these cases, the issue likely lies in a different part of your Mercedes’ air conditioning system. To remedy these problems, you’ll have to look beyond generalist mechanics, and seek out a specialist mechanic.
We perform deeper air conditioning repairs
The air conditioner in your Mercedes-Benz is just like the engine – over time, constant use takes its toll.
As a result, essential parts and components can wear out, necessitating repairs. Otherwise, you’ll have to put up with:
- An A/C system isn’t working
- Air that is not cold, or not as cold as it should be
- Squealing or grinding noise from engine bay
The air conditioning systems in Mercedes-Benz vehicles use proprietary parts. Additionally, the climate control systems employed in Mercedes-Benz vehicles are electronically controlled, and need more than just gas to operate.
Most generalist mechanics will not stock these parts, or have experience with these sophisticated systems. Therefore, they won’t be able to offer air conditioning repairs for your Mercedes.
Using high-quality parts sourced from original manufacturers, we’re able to offer air conditioning repair as part of your Mercedes-Benz service.
In addition to checking filters, we’ll also take a look at what condition your A/C is in and provide our suggestions.
Unlike other mechanics, our Mercedes-Benz specialists in Melbourne won’t mindlessly follow the service guide.
If it says that your air conditioner is due for a service, but we determine that it’s in good enough condition to go another year, we’ll exclude it from your service (and reducing your Mercedes-Benz service cost too!)
Do all mechanics offer air conditioning service?
In our experience, the vast majority of mechanics are only able to replace air conditioning filters, and not much more.
That’s because air conditioning refrigerant can be toxic, resulting in several health consequences such as:
- Breathing problems
- Buildup in the lungs
- Chemical burns on skin
As a result, a special license is needed to perform any refrigerant system maintenance and repairs on your Mercedes-Benz.
Most generalist mechanics don’t offer this type of service – there just isn’t the demand for it.
Our Mercedes-Benz specialists in Melbourne are licensed automotive air conditioning technicians (ARC License AU10163), and can solve all kinds of heating, cooling and ventilation issues!
Here at Ammstar, our Mercedes-Benz mechanics are committed to providing you with the most comprehensive service for your Mercedes.
And that includes looking after your air conditioning system, keeping your air fresh and clean.
Need a Mercedes-Benz mechanic in Melbourne?
We aren’t the dealership… and that’s a good thing!
At Ammstar, we’re driven to provide superior value compared to the dealership thanks to our lower prices, and compared to generalist mechanics thanks to our specialised services.
Air conditioning repairs and service are just one of the services we offer – our Mercedes-Benz specialists in Melbourne can look after all parts of your Mercedes, regardless of what model you drive.
Take the drive towards better Mercedes-Benz service. Call our team of experts today – we promise you won’t regret it.
Alternatively, click here to book online or ask us your questions!