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Whenever I start my car in the morning or when leaving from work, my A/C has a strong musty, moldy odor. It slowly dissipates as I drive (and switch to non recirculate). Anyone else have this issue? I haven't had the car but 4 months, but the odor is getting worse and worse....

I live in South Florida where the humidity is high, but never expected this!
I solved the AC musty odor problem on my 2004 Camry by spraying approximately half a can of plain Lysol spray into the air intake in front of the windshield. I removed the cabin filter, set the AC to Outside Air and set the fan to low speed. I shut the AC off and let the car set overnight. The next morning the odor from the AC was gone and it left the inside of the car smelling fresh and clean. You may have to repeat the procedure to completely eliminate the odor. I do this procedure at least once a year. Don't forget to replace the cabin filter. Bill
 

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I've got a 15 month old 2012 XLE with about 8,000 miles on it and have just started with "the smell"....filter was changed a few months ago to an aftermarket one...checked it and it looks fine. I will say, it is lovely
 

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Its been about 4-5 months since this problem started for me. I tried most of the "remedies" and still the smell will return. It's not as strong as it once was but the smell was enough for me and my friends to cancel a dinner outing due to nausea and headaches (we all rode in my car). I apologized so much that night and have now grown to dislike my car. I can only imagine what it's doing to my body health wise.

I spoke with Toyota again and it seems they are now acknowledging the issue and said they are waiting for a fix to come from corporate. I asked how long they think it will take, they said 2 months. This is obviously not true but I wanted to see what BS they would try to sell me since last time they said it was "normal".

Anyone have any updates? Anyone try that arbitration service? I've never been one to sue or take things to court but I might make an exception for this.
 

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Its been about 4-5 months since this problem started for me. I tried most of the "remedies" and still the smell will return. It's not as strong as it once was but the smell was enough for me and my friends to cancel a dinner outing due to nausea and headaches (we all rode in my car). I apologized so much that night and have now grown to dislike my car. I can only imagine what it's doing to my body health wise.

I spoke with Toyota again and it seems they are now acknowledging the issue and said they are waiting for a fix to come from corporate. I asked how long they think it will take, they said 2 months. This is obviously not true but I wanted to see what BS they would try to sell me since last time they said it was "normal".

Anyone have any updates? Anyone try that arbitration service? I've never been one to sue or take things to court but I might make an exception for this.
UPDATE: Heard from some people that Toyota will charge you upwards of about 70 dollars to change the cabin filter. I went to AutoZone myself and bought it for 15 bucks and changed it out in under 2 minutes after locating it. The smell has gone down significantly although now it just smells like moisture instead of dead animals. It amazes me that Toyota never changed it themselves since the last numerous times I've taken my car in for regular maintenance. Maybe its not part of it? Anywho, I'm a LOT happier with my car now. I imagine that this fix might not work for people who have had this smell for a lot longer.
 

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BeerSteakTxas
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cleaned my evaporator with "Kool-it" foam cleaner. it smells like mint tooth paste :).
I got it from O'reilly auto parts.
not sure how long the effect gonna last but so far for 3 days no mildew smell.
 

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cleaned my evaporator with "Kool-it" foam cleaner. smells like mint tooth paste :).
get it from O'reilly auto parts.
not sure how long effect gonna last but so far for 3 days no mildew smell.
Looks similar to the stuff I spray my apartment window AC unit with. When it foams up it pushes out the dirt and mold from between the fins. Then it drips down and drains off. How did you get it in there? drain hose, or something else?
 

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BeerSteakTxas
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Looks similar to the stuff I spray my apartment window AC unit with. When it foams up it pushes out the dirt and mold from between the fins. Then it drips down and drains off. How did you get it in there? drain hose, or something else?
yep.
it comes with pretty long tube. stick it into the drainage and squeeze the "trigger". it gonna drain 10-15 later. turn ac fan for 5 min or so and you done.
 

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i use the always dependable my shaldan apple air freshener. i get a lot of compliments on the smell of my car :D
 

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A/C Mildew Odor solution

Hey Folks! My 2012 Camry that I purchased brand new now has 3,500 miles on it. At bout 2500 I started to smell the odor we all speak of. I am very PO'd about this and went straight to the net for a solution. This is BS and will probably never be fixed by Toyota. I just sold my 2007 with 180K and it still ran like new, no odors. Great cars no doubt!!

I am no mechanic, but I called my dad venting to him about this and thought about trading it in on a new Altima!!!! I would have taken a bath on the deal, but was upset about the smell and have asthma pretty bad!!

My father worked at a chemical plant his whole life and is a car nut. Owned 100's of cars. He happened to be in town and could not resist fixing this issue.

Here is my solution. Mix a light bleach water combination in a new spray bottle. Open the hood and spray in the A/C Intake lightly at first and let the car run. Repeat this step a couple minutes later. Change the car from fresh air to recirculate a couple times also! Do it in the evening and let it marinate overnight... This worked on my car, no more odors! I guess I will repeat these steps as I am sure the odor will come back!!!! Easy on the bleach, use as little as possible, while still getting the job done.

This has worked for me and hopefully will help a lot of you out with this issue! It would be nice if Toyota had a solution, but at this time they do not! I love my car other than that! My dad days he will be happy to collect any royalties for this solution! Ha

By the way, can I add Sirius/XM to my car if it did not come with it from the factory???? I am pissed I didn't catch this when I bought it!!
 

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Hi,
I just bought a 2010 Venza and the Guy I bought it from had air fresheners on every vent. I thought it was weird til I took them off and discovered the smell. Also, the fan was making a funny noise but he said that the car was covered under the 3 year 36,000km comprehensive, so not to worry. So I took it to the dealer, they found a animal nest(but no animal) in by the climate control fan, it had become moldy from moisture and was pushing gently on the fan motor causing it to make the noise. They cleaned it out, charged me 1/2 labour and all is good!

This is my first post:) Have pulled lots of good advise off here and wanted to give back!!
 

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Musty odor from vents

I have a 2012 Camry SE. I bought it new at the end of Oct. 2012. It has 16k on the odometer and I started noticing this odor in June of this year. It definitely smells moldy. I've checked to make sure that condensate is draining and can detect no problem with the a/c itself. I've read the ideas for drying the evaporator prior to turning it off and will try that. Something is obviously wrong with the design though and needs a fix from Toyota!
 

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I took mine to the dealer and they clean the a/c drain, evaporator and sprayed something on the vents and the smell is gone and they did it for free.
 

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I live in Florida and this happens to all of my cars eventually, more so in the Toyota 4Runner and the Camry though. I also have a 2012 BMW 335is that gets this smell when I start it in the morning but goes away after about 30 seconds. (happened in my 2010 as well) I take it to the dealer every 6 months and complain and they replace the cabin filter, sometimes it fixes it for a while but it always comes back. My 2013 X5 is starting to do it now as well. I chalk it up to living in a humid climate and just hold my breath for 30 seconds :(
 

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me too !!

Whenever I start my car in the morning or when leaving from work, my A/C has a strong musty, moldy odor. It slowly dissipates as I drive (and switch to non recirculate). Anyone else have this issue? I haven't had the car but 4 months, but the odor is getting worse and worse....

I live in South Florida where the humidity is high, but never expected this!
My 2013 camry LE is 3 months old with 3500 miles. the smell is so bad in the morning and the dealer said no one else has had this issue. I knew I cant be the only one. another tech said my cabin filter is dirty. I called him a dumb ass - the car is new. I live in florida as well. they said try and take it off recirc before parking it. I tried it but the dumb car automatically goes on to recirc when you restart it and put the air on. I may have to sell the car because the damp moldy smell annoys me that much.
 

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My 2013 camry LE is 3 months old with 3500 miles. the smell is so bad in the morning and the dealer said no one else has had this issue. I knew I cant be the only one. another tech said my cabin filter is dirty. I called him a dumb ass - the car is new. I live in florida as well. they said try and take it off recirc before parking it. I tried it but the dumb car automatically goes on to recirc when you restart it and put the air on. I may have to sell the car because the damp moldy smell annoys me that much.
Do you have automatic climate control? If not, your car won't go recirc UNLESS either the button is pressed OR you have the Temp Dial all the way to MAX.
 

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I have the same exact problem on my Camry
2012 SE. I have gone to service in Toyota 4 times but all they do is mask the odor for a week with deodorant. Everyone who has the same problem please keep reporting this to Toyota so that they will take action with this problem! Thanks
 

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I have a terrible oder in my camry coming from the air conditioner and the vents. It is definitely mold smelling. I live in San Diego and have brought it into the dealer 3 times without them resolving the issue, Two of the times the dealership employees smelled it clearly. They changed the filter and the 2nd time sprayed something. The smell came back. Who else is going through this? Debbie
You need to report it to Toyota and if the car is only a year old then your state might have the lemon law.
 
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