Why does my volovo have an odor when the air conditioning is on?

Asked by Clan4pets Aug 02, 2015 at 10:48 AM about the 2013 Volvo XC60 3.2 Premier Plus

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I purchased my volvo preowned and I noticed it has a sour smell which is stronger when
first comes on and then subsides. I do not know about heat since I have only had it for 3
months. No evidence that it was ever in a flood or other maintenance problems.
Purchased through a reputable online dealer.

6 Answers


Sounds like the A/C condensation line is clogged up. Line is at the bottom of the evaporator case on the fire wall of the vehicle only can get to it from underneath the vehicle. Use air to blow out line.

3 people found this helpful.

Change the cabin air filter if equipped. It possibly has mold on the evaporator and needs to be cleaned. See the Volvo dealer for that.

1 people found this helpful.

Ahhhh my car too!!!! What was the solution!? I changed the cabin filter and still the smell comes out with the ac, only the ac not the heater. The smell is so sour/strong my son has gotten sick from it. I’ve taken it in twice and everyone else seems to say everything’s ok with the car and nothing is wrong...it smells so bad!!!

3 people found this helpful.

My 2016 XC90 was built after a sunroof drain recall, but it did have the same problem, so after 3 visits to the service department, my local dealer did perform the drain modification. Unfortunately, the odor still persists (especially with the windows down), and the car is back at the dealer. There is a mold stain by the driver's side seat that will not go away. I checked with a moisture meter, and it shows dampness. I suspect the carpet and sound proofing never dried out or there is a leak. I am hoping carpet replacement makes the smell disappear. Good luck to you and I hope you have better luck than me.

1 people found this helpful.

Purchase certified 2017 XC60 with 12,000 miles on it. Nasty smell when turn on AC. First attempt to get fixed at the dealership, they said they "work around" it and sprayed something to help kept the condensation from building up. After one week, the smell is back when first turn on the AC. My son is level 4 allergic to Mold. I went back and let them know that. They are now replacing the evaporator in the vehicle. Haven't got the vehicle back yet. But a quick search online this pop up "A Mercedes-Benz mold lawsuit alleges the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems don't properly drain or evaporate condensation that causes moldy odors from the growth of spores and bacteria". I read it and it sounds like the similar problem. Helpfully Volvo will do the right thing. Not happy with the "work around" solution from their first attempt.

2 people found this helpful.

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