cat pee smell coming thru vents
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    1. #1
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      cat pee smell coming thru vents

      I know there ain't been no beasts in the car cause whenever it's parked, the windows and moon roof are always rolled up, even if only a minute.
      But there is the smell of cat pee in the car that comes and goes.
      Is it possible that it's a build up of pine needles over the intake vents at the windshield?
      I clean off tons every day this time of year.

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    3. #2
      Member skywolf's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by metropical View Post
      I know there ain't been no beasts in the car cause whenever it's parked, the windows and moon roof are always rolled up, even if only a minute.
      But there is the smell of cat pee in the car that comes and goes.
      Is it possible that it's a build up of pine needles over the intake vents at the windshield?
      I clean off tons every day this time of year.
      Actually it could be a cat really did pee on your car. Have you smelled in front of the windshield?

      Perhaps a good rinse with a heavy detergent down the drains and vents there could remedy it.

      Pine needles wonít cause that odor themselves.
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    4. #3
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      Guess I'll have a whiff. I was thinking maybe the pine needles baking, but it hasn't been that hot.

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    6. #4
      Junior Member mattlach's Avatar
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      Have you followed the recommended service intervals for replacing the cabin air filter?

      Unpleasant odors from the air vents are a common complaint from all brands, but not usually when the cars are this young...


      The pine needles could be the cause, if they are getting inside the system and blocking the condensation from the AC system from draining out of the car. When that drain gets blocked, moisture can build up inside, and if it sits there long enough a very unpleasant odor can start emanating from the system.

      I don't know how common this is with S/V90's yet, but this happened with my S80. That said, not until it was like 8 years old and had 120k miles on it though.
      Last edited by mattlach; 10-13-2019 at 08:53 PM.

    7. #5
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      going for service in 2 weeks. I'll add it to the list. Though I'd hope at 9000 miles the cabin filter wouldn't need replacement, but this is not the Volvo of old.

    8. #6
      Member skywolf's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by metropical View Post
      going for service in 2 weeks. I'll add it to the list. Though I'd hope at 9000 miles the cabin filter wouldn't need replacement, but this is not the Volvo of old.
      If cat piss got in there youíll want to replace it
      2006 XC70 75k - Ruby Red/Graphite - "Wichita" | 2011 Tacoma 14k - Green/Sand - "Timber"
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      Previous: 1997 Dodge Intrepid | 2002 Saturn | 2009 Jetta | 2011 Mazda3 | 2011 Outback | 1993 Miata | 2013 XC70 | 2005 XC70 | 2005 V70 | 2007 XC70 | 2010 Odyssey | 2006 V70R | 1990 740 | 2019 XC90 | 2019 BMW 440i

    9. #7
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      I live in the land of pine trees and piles of pine needles. I can assure it's not that.

    10. #8
      Member skywolf's Avatar
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      Do some deduction here.

      Turn on the climate system but turn the a/c off. Does the air coming out of the vent smell like cat piss?
      2006 XC70 75k - Ruby Red/Graphite - "Wichita" | 2011 Tacoma 14k - Green/Sand - "Timber"
      2007 XC70 64k - Black Stone/Graphite - "Springfield" | 2017 Miata RF GT 5k - Grey/Black - "Egg"
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    11. #9
      You didn't say specifically, but does the vehicle sit out at night? My truck fell victim to a combination of leaf decay (when I didn't get them off in a reasonable time) and temporary mouse housing in some areas near the fresh air intake. The odors were not pleasant and perhaps could be similar to cat pee.
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    12. #10
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      Don’t forget to smell your mats. Both my BMW and this V90 has issues when moist gets around the rubber mats without properly drying. It often smells like it’s coming from the AC/vents but it’s not. Lift the mats and smell on the fabric underneath.

    13. #11
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      took a whiff of the matts and carpet. not there. it is an outdoor car.

    14. #12
      Junior Member XDS2SW's Avatar
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      Had the same issue on another vehicle. During the colder months cats would lay on the cowl at the base of the windshield to say warm and I guess for whole territorial thing kicked in and one pissed there. I used a combination of urine gone and detergent and it final cleared up after the third round of disassembly, clean, and reassembly. Also put some of the charcoal odor absorption bags on the car to absorb the odor.


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    15. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by XDS2SW View Post
      Also put some of the charcoal odor absorption bags on the car to absorb the odor.
      Did that last night. See what today brings.

    16. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by metropical View Post
      I know there ain't been no beasts in the car cause whenever it's parked, the windows and moon roof are always rolled up, even if only a minute.
      But there is the smell of cat pee in the car that comes and goes.
      Is it possible that it's a build up of pine needles over the intake vents at the windshield?
      I clean off tons every day this time of year.
      I also have/had an intermittent ammonia smell through the vents at startup. I've only noticed it during the hottest months. I use auto climate exclusively and this car also sits out overnight. No feral cats which I've seen, but I suppose they could be around. No paw prints on the car which should be pretty easy to spot thru the dust.

      Never brought it up at service since it's rare and seemingly random. Not much help, I know.

    17. #15
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      ran the fan max'd w/o AC. No smell. Seems to have dissipated somewhat, but I don't think it was the charcoal.
      The intake at the vent doesn't smell like anything in particular.
      I think it's something organic rotting or heating up after humidity.

      Tonite when I came home, the car was completely fogged up. None of the other cars in the lot were.
      I wonder if there is a leak somewhere in the system, as it took like 10 minutes for the fog to dissipate. The rear window took even longer.
      Something weird.

    18. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by metropical View Post
      ran the fan max'd w/o AC. No smell. Seems to have dissipated somewhat, but I don't think it was the charcoal.
      The intake at the vent doesn't smell like anything in particular.
      I think it's something organic rotting or heating up after humidity.

      Tonite when I came home, the car was completely fogged up. None of the other cars in the lot were.
      I wonder if there is a leak somewhere in the system, as it took like 10 minutes for the fog to dissipate. The rear window took even longer.
      Something weird.
      Probably from all that cat pee.....

    19. #17
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      We just tripped to Maine and beyond in early Sept.
      Youngs lobster in Belfast and more at a friends in Wells.

      But now I'm wondering if I may be sleepwalking and peeing on the car .......
      nah.

    20. #18
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      dunno what this is, smells like pee, but the windshield vent doesn't smell like that, nor the carpets or vents without AC.

    21. #19
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      Check coolant level, had slight heater core leak on old S80 that really smelled inside car and caused windows to fog badly when car was turned off.
      Other thought is mold in ducting which is common and can get really smelly in AC mode ; this however does not lead to fogging.
      Good spray products are available to spray into intake to clean out mold.

    22. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by fredi View Post
      Good spray products are available to spray into intake to clean out mold.
      all I found wax a Turtle Wax product. Any other suggestions?

    23. #21
      Junior Member Volvolic's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by metropical View Post
      all I found wax a Turtle Wax product. Any other suggestions?
      I remember reading my 40k service job sheet and the Dealership used "Frigi Fresh" along with replacing my cabin air filter.

      Here, https://www.bgprod.com/catalog/clima...g-frigi-fresh/
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    24. #22
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      In general, condensation (moisture) often gets trapped in the ducts of the ventilation system. Mold and mildew then grow when the environment alternates between wet and dry. The mold and mildew start to smell. Even worse, occupants are breathing in mold or mildew. This has an acrid odor much like urine.

      Do change the cabin filter at regular intervals. You can use a spray foam cleaner in the cabin filter compartment if mold is visible. But usually, you need to disinfect the ventilation ducts themselves. There are commercial spray products available like A/C Pro Vent and Duct Cleaner. I have found Lysol works just as effectively. I now use Seventh Generation Spray Disinfectant because it smells less like a hospital.

      On a dry day, first open your windows. Start the engine and run the AC on high for 5 minutes while spraying into both air intakes, usually located under the hood and cowl below the windshield. Do this for both hot and cold temperature settings. Then switch the AC to recirculating air. Locate the interior air intakes, usually under the glove box above the foot well. Again spray the disinfectant into them on both hot and cold temperature settings. Shut the engine off and let your interior air out for a couple of hours. You should be able to breathe deeply now without the acrid odor.

      Granted, I donít have a SPA vehicle, but this has worked on two P3 models and many other cars. Iíve read dealers will charge up to $2000 to clean and replace the ventilation ducts, so my method seems like a no brainer and actually works.
      Last edited by blindkarma; 10-16-2019 at 03:02 PM.
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    25. #23
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      tonites nor'easter tells the tale.
      leaky windshield or metalwork.
      Attached Images Attached Images

    26. #24
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      as it turns out, it was a kinked sunroof drain hose and flooding/running down the A pillar.
      They replaced it and the windshield which cracked while putting back the A pillar.
      Took out the mats, carpet, and sub floor to dry and "treat".

      Other main was squeaking brakes. Replaced both front and rear pads and rotors. 9500 miles.
      Front brakes previously done at 5300.
      As stated here elsewhere, ACC may not be so good fro brake parts.
      Even though I have only used it on long trips, perhaps 3000 miles in total.

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