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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

Love my TCH but have noticed that once in a while there's now a strange musty smell coming from the climate control system shortly after the car has been running. It happens with any combination of air settings; with A/C on, with recycle setting on, with both on, or with both of these settings off. I have also tried turning off and on the ECO button. It does seem to go away after about 20 minutes of driving.

The smell just started about a week ago and the car has never done this before. I'm just over 10,000 miles now and I'm wondering if there is some sort of filter that has to be changed. I know about the one that's located behind the glove box but the car manual doesn't indicate that this would need to be changed for this reason. It also seems that it's too early to be changing this since I've only had the car since August.

Has anyone else had this smell in their TCH? Any thoughts?

Thanks!
 

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TN Member
Prius
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5,460 Posts
Yep. There's a cabin air filter. Do change it often. You'll be amazed how grey (or god help us, dark grey/black) it is along with other stuff like bits of leaves, flowers, insects. Also, it could be mildew (I've had musty smell occur on all 4 of our Toyotas). Just get the dealer to spray something in the intake and it'll go away. Another option that you can do on the fly is to open the windows, turn to "Fresh Air" and turn the fan up on "HI". Oh and point the vents out the window. Leave it on HI for a min and then resume your regular settings. The smell should go.
 

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2007 THC
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94 Posts
acouse said:
Hey everyone,

Love my TCH but have noticed that once in a while there's now a strange musty smell coming from the climate control system shortly after the car has been running. It happens with any combination of air settings; with A/C on, with recycle setting on, with both on, or with both of these settings off. I have also tried turning off and on the ECO button. It does seem to go away after about 20 minutes of driving.

The smell just started about a week ago and the car has never done this before. I'm just over 10,000 miles now and I'm wondering if there is some sort of filter that has to be changed. I know about the one that's located behind the glove box but the car manual doesn't indicate that this would need to be changed for this reason. It also seems that it's too early to be changing this since I've only had the car since August.

Has anyone else had this smell in their TCH? Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Put a little Beeno in the beans, does wonders lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Tideland

Thanks Tideland. I appreciate your input. I'll go ahead and replace the cabin filter and if that doesn't get all the smell out, I'll move to the simple remedy of opening the windows! :thumbup:
 

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TN Member
Prius
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5,460 Posts
acouse said:
Thanks Tideland. I appreciate your input. I'll go ahead and replace the cabin filter and if that doesn't get all the smell out, I'll move to the simple remedy of opening the windows! :thumbup:
np. Just note that there may be other places that sell cabin air filters (up here, it's Canadian Tire) that's waay cheaper than what the dealer charges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yep, Can Tire's the Place

Tideland,

I have to admit, I really miss Candian Tire... I grew up in London, Ontario so I know what you mean! Nothing down here compares to Can Tire I'm afraid.
 

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Toyota Collector
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12,162 Posts
acouse said:
Nothing down here compares to Can Tire I'm afraid.
This is SO very true! I lived in the States for over 10 years until recently returning to Canada. I really missed Canadian Tire. There is literally nothing in the U.S. like it.

BTW can these filters be cleaned? Or are they strictly a throw away item?
 

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ASE Master Technician
2006 Lexus GS430
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2,396 Posts
Throw away and replace.
 

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Camry Hybrid
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Can't seem to get the glovebox to get out of the way to remove the filter. The right side dampner loop is off, and I don't want to crack the plastic off the retainers. :dunno:

TIA
 

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Mine is still on the original after 2 years. I just vacuum it off and put it back.

Not sure about the pre 2012 models, but my recollection is that on the 2012 there is a door at the back of the glove box that you easily open to change the filter. All you have to do is empty the glove box to do it. On my Mazda 3 I'm sure that filter was the first item they put in and then they build the car around it. Half day job to replace the filter!
 

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2008 TCH
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712 Posts
Can't seem to get the glovebox to get out of the way to remove the filter. The right side dampner loop is off, and I don't want to crack the plastic off the retainers. :dunno:

TIA
Open the glove box door, support the front of the glove box door with one hand and with your other hand pull the back of glove box towards you. This will bend the back of the glove box and allow the little plastic tabs to "pull inwards".

Be sure you take everything out first, or it will be all over the floor.

Removing the filter door and replacing the filter is obvious and pretty straight forward once the door is out of the way. I replace our filter a couple times a year. It gets pretty stinky with all the humidity down here.

I actually cut out the back of the glove box, so I can remove the filter without lowering the door. Horrible design... Also, over time you will eventually "wear out" the little shock mount tab and have to "wire tie" it to hold the little shock on there. Some people put a screw in there. A wire tie worked for me.
 

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TCH Lover, Not Obsessed
2012 Camry Hybrid XL
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194 Posts
Replacing the cabin filter

I replaced the cabin filter with a Fram filter that contained the activated charcoal layer. The A/C still smells. The way I have gotten rid of it is to 1.) Turn off the air about a block from my destination and turn the fan on high. This seems to dry out things. 2.) Turn off the recirculation option. Result: No more smell.
 
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