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Hi,

I went to the dealer this week with my 2014 Volt and they suggested I should have the heater A/C ducts cleaned and disinfected. I was reluctant, but as why wife is coughing when she gets into the car, I said to myself that it may be a good idea. What a mistake! First, they don't clean the ducts: they simply shoot a disinfecting spray in the ducts to kill bacteria. The service salesman told me afterwards that there should be a smell for 3-4 days. Horrible smell and even after 4 days, the smell is still there and my eyes are itching. I understand that this seems to be a suggestion from GM to have the ducts disinfected, in case they get sued for mildew. When I get in the car, I have the impression that I am in a freshly disinfected public bathroom.

My nose is not very sensitive (my wife keeps asking me to smell flowers, and I usually get only the strong scent), but this one is horrible for me.

I hope this smell disappears soon, because I will have only 2 options: first: use my RV to go around and spend 11 MPG or second: change the car. Because I won't endure this for more than a month. And dismantling the dash, ducts, heater core and A/C core is not an option.

I used to love my Volt, but I'm starting to hate it, at least the smell...
 

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If you have a secure place you can run it without theft risk, I would let the AC run with the windows down which will accelerate flushing out the disinfectant smell. Also make sure you have an air cabin filter installed with carbon. A car has a small airspace, so I would definitely want to flush it out quickly.
 

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Car dealerships sometimes use commercial ozone generators to clear out terrible smelling used cars.

Try all the above suggestions first. If those techniques don't work, then ask your dealership to run an ozone generator. Ozone generators can neutralize smells embedded in upholstery.
 

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Have you installed a cabin air filter in your Volt? If not, that would be a much better use of your cash.
 

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Just for reference there was some good conversation in this thread - "Avoiding the HVAC funk"

As for getting rid of the smell currently in your vehicle, you've already been given some of the better suggestions that I know of such as
running the fan with air being drawn from the outside and your windows down. My experience with other cars is that alternating A/C and Heat seems to clear that sort of thing out faster.

If you decided to put in a cabin air filter (which is very easy to do) make sure you put in one with activated charcoal and that should also help.

This article on deodorizing your car might have something helpful as well.
 
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