It was covered. My 2017 Alltrack had an air conditioning smelly socks, vinegary smell since I bought it in April 2017, or to be very specific, it had had the smell since I started using the Alltrack’s air conditioning, which was in June. The AC smell was pretty bad, and noticeable only when the AC was switched off.
The smell came after the AC was shut off, and was probably a result of mildew in the climate control system, the Emich VW tech told me.
They vacuumed out the system and added a deodorizer, which smelled like cinnamon Lysol, if there is such a thing. They replaced the cabin air filter (pollen filter). The tech said there was some moisture on the filter. That alone could have been the cause.
Volkswagen covers one of these AC services in the first year of new VW ownership. After that, it’s $220. The service took about 1.5 hours, and my tech was very pleasant and informative. I drank coffee in the VW dealer lounge while I waited.
This was my Alltrack’s first time back to the dealer after buying it new. All in all, 5/5 stars… a pain-free (and free free) experience.
If You Want to Avoid AC Odor
My tech gave me tips on how to avoid the smelly socks odor in my VW’s air conditioning. The goal here is to cut down on moisture entering and staying in the AC system.
- Less Recirculation button, or none at all (it frustratingly defaults to Recirc on)
- Turn off AC before arriving at destination to allow it to dry out
About the AC Service at Your VW Dealer
- 20k maintenance pollen filter part of maintenance schedule
- AC service — vacuum, clean, deodorize — is covered under 12 months/12k miles, otherwise $220