2001 Buick Park Avanue - HVAC intake

Asked by markolinux Dec 22, 2019 at 03:14 PM about the 2001 Buick Park Avenue

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I'm wanting to fog the HVAC system (without taking it apart), so as to get rid of any mold/mildew that may be inside.

This might not be a good idea because fogging will put water vapor into the system and may short something out, but I'm willing to take that chance. So it blows a fuse - replace it, wait until it dries, and all will be good (?). Anyway....

First though, I fogged the interior carpets and the trunk, and I"m letting them dry.

Here's the problem: When I first start up the car in the morning, there's a pretty strong mold/mildew smell, and because I'm allergic to them, I need to find out where it's coming from and then eliminate it.

If it comes down to fogging the HVAC system (as a last resort), where are the intake vents for the system? I think they are under the windshield on the engine side of the firewall for normal operation. But what if I put it on "Recirc"? Where does it pull the cabin air from in that case?

And where in the air-flow circuit is the cabin filter? (Whoever designed the cabin filter was insane.... it's under the dash and behind the gas pedal in an almost inaccessible place, and the way it's designed, and how it's replaced is the craziest piece of engineering I've ever seen.) I'm wondering if the cabin filter may be mildewy or moldy. I replaced it not long ago, and it seemed to help for a little while, but not permanently.

3 Answers


To do this you must remove the cabin filter, buy one that has activated charcoal in it, then(if you don't already have it) buy the mold and mildew killer from most any parts store for the AC system, start the engine, turn on the AC with the fan on high and start spraying the mold killer directly where the cabin filter was located, make sure you are wearing a mask, keep spraying until the mist is coming out of the AC vents fully then shut it off and close the doors and let it set for overnight. The next day install the charcoal filter, open up the windows and fire it up and turning on the HVAC system on automatic and let it runs to operational temp, again you don't want to be inside the vehicle until it gets aired out, usually 20 to 30 minutes of run time. After that is finished you should be in the clear. If you have reactions to mold and mildew I recommend staying with activated charcoal cabin filters and change them every season change, so 4 times a year at a minimum. A lot of work I know. Good luck

1 people found this helpful.

Thanks GA. Yeah, lots of work, but you do what you have to. Someone suggested removing the cabin filter and just leaving it out. Is that a bad idea?

Well I removed the cabin filter altogether to see how that goes. Actually, I removed 2/3rds of it... the top piece didn't come down with the other two, which makes me think the mechanic who installed it didn't do it properly, because they are all supposed to be joined together with a locking groove upon installation. So now it's inaccessible. I tried using a long screwdriver to somehow knock it loose, but no luck.

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