Auto Zone customer shows how to fix bad-smelling car vents

@ovet_reynoso/TikTok Helen89/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘You want to spray all up in there’: Auto Zone customer shows how to fix bad-smelling AC vents in your car for cheap

‘It’s not hard.’


Chad Swiatecki


We’ve all been there: Surviving the heat on a sweltering summer day, counting the steps across a blacktop parking lot until we reach our car or truck and can crank the air conditioning on full blast to break the sweat and cool off.

But what if that cool, calm, and tranquility get violated by an aggressive funky smell that’s blasting straight out of the AC vents? Suddenly your car is cool, but it smells like a busted meat locker. Bad times, in every possible way.

To solve this smelly problem, TikTok user Ovet Reynoso (@ovet_reynoso), who appears to be quite an auto enthusiast based on his TikTok and YouTube libraries, advises that a trip straight to AutoZone or some other comparable auto parts outlet will offer a solution.

How to get rid of that bad AC smell

In the clip where he addresses the funky AC vents problem, he heads to the air fresheners section and grabs a $4 spray can of ArmorAll FreshFX spray.

Properly equipped, Ovet then takes us inside an unidentified Honda (which for fun we’re going to assume smells like fish left out all day in the sun at triple-digit temps) and advises turning the AC off and inserting the air freshener tube extension into the vents and giving them a blast. He starts with the forward and side vents in the console, then moves up to the vents immediately underneath the windshield.

Next step: Turn the AC fans on the highest setting, and turn off the air recirculation setting to get fresh air running through the system.

While letting the car and the AC run for a few minutes, Ovet takes us outside and pops the hood to show how to target the AC intake vents near the windshield wipers. He gives those a hefty blast, noting to use the whole can of air freshener to kill every bit of the nasty smell lurking in the system.

After letting the AC run for five to 10 minutes, Ovet says to roll down the windows to let the vehicle ventilate for another 10 minutes. At this point, we hope, everything should smell fresh as a daisy (or whatever fragrance was included in the air freshener you chose).

The clip certainly offers one solution for a funky smell in your AC vents.

Why do AC vents get smelly?

According to most research online, this is the result of trapped moisture that causes mildew buildup in the system’s nooks and crannies. This can happen for a number of reasons, with one commenter pointing to drivers forgetting to turn off their climate control when going through a car wash (or at least using the recirculate option).

Other comments advised turning the recirculator off 10 minutes before the end of your trip, with the air still on high so the fresh air will flush out the lingering moisture.


If you have nasty smelling car vents heres the fix 🥳👍🏼

♬ original sound – Ovet Reynoso

Others advised changing the cabin filter, and using a spray disinfectant like Lysol in the vents to kill off any stinky bacteria hiding in there.

The Daily Dot reached out to Ovet via email for further comment. He wrote back “I was just trying to inspire people that it’s not hard working on your own cars.”

Share this article

*First Published:

The Daily Dot