A stinky car is any car owner’s worst nightmare, especially when it does not smell from a spill on the upholstery or a forgotten banana peel under the seat. No, this is coming from your car.
Unfortunately, stinky odors from the Tesla Model 3 seem to be a more common occurrence than we would care to admit. Not to mention the subsequent jokes about your car having a “gas” problem can get a bit old. Have no fear, though, because most of the causes of these strange smells are easy to diagnose and sort out with the help of a qualified electric car mechanic.
So let’s fix that stink! Here are the most common causes of strange smells that are emitted from your Tesla Model 3.
1. A Faulty Air Conditioning System
If the air conditioning system in your Tesla Model 3 is malfunctioning in any way, it could produce a strange, stinky odor. Usually, a leaking refrigerant or antifreeze in your air conditioning system could be the cause of that peculiar smell you notice as soon as you start up your car. Additionally, a growth of mildew in your air vent is bound to produce a bad smell each time you start up your engine.
Usually, this issue can quickly be resolved by a visit to your local Tesla technician for some advice. However, you may find that this issue is not covered under the Tesla warranty. Alternatively, you can opt to clean out the mildew using simple DIY techniques. Don’t go about a DIY if you aren’t confident about what you’re doing, though. You could end up doing more harm than good.
2. Faulty Air Filters or A/C Coils
Faulty air filters or air conditioner coils in your Tesla will usually result in a terrible odor each time you start up your engine. The odor could range from that of smelly feet to a forgotten, musty gym bag. Whatever the case, this is a smell that should not be ignored, and can hardly be ignored either! For both of these issues, the main remedy would be to replace them as soon as you can. It is usually the only sure-fire way of getting rid of this terrible smell.
3. Clogged Cabin Filters
If you detect a strange odor that has a slightly vinegary smell each time you start your Tesla Model 3, you are probably looking at cabin filters that are not doing their job well. Faulty cabin filters can be caused by wear and tear or a case of high humidity where you live. Moreover, clogged cabin filters happen naturally due to a build-up of dirt and debris over time. If you should find that your cabin filters are clogged, replacing them or cleaning them out will help to remedy this problem in your Tesla Model 3. Manufacturers recommend that you change your cabin filters every two to three years, so if you are over this timeline, it’s about time for a change.
4. Clogged Drain
Another culprit that produces strange smells in your Tesla Model 3 is a clogged drain in your air conditioning system. Naturally, a clogged drain will cause a build-up of mildew, which in turn will produce a musty smell in your car. While this problem may be easy to diagnose, it may not be so easy to deal with because of the positioning of the drain in the Tesla Model 3. However, Tesla has since produced some DIY manuals on how to clean your air conditioning system. The manual includes instructions on how to deal with clogged drains and get rid of that smell.
While this list of causes of strange smells in your Tesla Model 3 may not be exhaustive, they should give you a fair picture of what to expect in the event your experience weird odors in your car cabin. Remember not to self-diagnose, especially if none of the remedies listed above work. Join an online Tesla Model 3 forum, and you will be surprised by just how much information you can glean off them. Finally, don’t hesitate to contact your local Tesla dealership for any queries concerning such issues affecting your Tesla Model 3.