Musty Smell - Toyota Tacoma Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 10:16 PM
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Musty Smell

Hey everyone,
Sometimes, especially after it rains or when its very humid, I get a musty smell inside the cab. Once I turn on the AC or drive with the windows open, the smell goes away permanently, and will come back only when its humid again. This happens mostly in the summer. I almost never use the AC, and when I leave the truck, all the windows are closed and the air selector is set to pull in outside air. The ac smells fine by the way so its not the HVAC system Does anyone know what can cause it? Is water getting into the cab somehow? I've never noticed a wet carpet or a puddle or anything. Thanks everyone.
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 10:19 PM
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Re: Musty Smell

sounds like you need some deodorant
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#3 (permalink) Old 01-07-2005, 10:29 PM
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Re: Musty Smell

Usually it's mold / mildew growing on dust / dirt particles in the vent system. It typically gets worse with humidity / rain. Sometimes, though, you can get debris (e.g., leaves, seed pods) and even the occasional small dead critter in there...

There are such things as treatments you can run through your vents. I've been known to spray Lysol through 'em. In really bad moisture situations, silica gel might help.

Usually AC or open-air ventilation will help, because this reduces the humidity / moisture in the vents. I always keep fresh air coming into the system myself... Some folks I know who've griped about this issue (all sorts o' vehicles) in the past are prone to use recirculated air.

Also, check this recent thread on the topic of vent system smells...
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-08-2005, 09:05 AM
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Re: Musty Smell

Thanks. Do you just spray lysol into the intake at the base of the windshield with the AC running?
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-08-2005, 09:11 AM
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Re: Musty Smell

Quote:
Thanks. Do you just spray lysol into the intake at the base of the windshield with the AC running?
Yep - that's the quickest 'n' dirtiest thing I've ever done... Open up the fresh air intake, turn the fan on full tilt, and have at it... I don't think I had the AC cut on, though...

One other time (another vehicle) we popped out the dash vents, took one of those long sponge-cluster-tipped cleaning brush-thingies, and reached inside to clean and swab the accessible ductwork with a household antibacterial cleanser...
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#6 (permalink) Old 01-08-2005, 02:20 PM
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Re: Musty Smell

Quote:
sounds like you need some deodorant
Or maybe a douche?
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-10-2005, 12:00 AM
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Re: Musty Smell

Quote:
Quote:
sounds like you need some deodorant
Or maybe a douche?
Fell out of my chair laughin with that one. Sounds like you have a water leak (that was my problem) of some type or like Enola Gaia said some mold/mildew in your duct.
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#8 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 07:30 PM
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Re: Musty Smell

I had this problem about six months or so after I bought my truck. I never used my a/c in fresh air mode. Which causes (in some cases like mine) mold to grow in the system. If you read your owners manual, it says that the a/c, for best results sould be use in fresh air mode. I thought the dealer was yanking my chain until I read it myself. I got lucky and they cleaned out the system for me as a "customer service warranty". I haven't had any other problems with it for almost two years now. I also tried the Lysol down the intake vent and it works for about a week and then the smell comes right back again. Gook luck with yours.
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#9 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 10:50 PM
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Re: Musty Smell

Quote:
sounds like you need some deodorant
Hey darr, when you get to WA you'll have to make a jaunt over to the We(s)t side. If you're lucky I'll take you up the space needle
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#10 (permalink) Old 01-14-2005, 01:47 PM
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Re: Musty Smell

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I had this problem about six months or so after I bought my truck. I never used my a/c in fresh air mode. Which causes (in some cases like mine) mold to grow in the system. If you read your owners manual, it says that the a/c, for best results sould be use in fresh air mode. I thought the dealer was yanking my chain until I read it myself. I got lucky and they cleaned out the system for me as a "customer service warranty". I haven't had any other problems with it for almost two years now. I also tried the Lysol down the intake vent and it works for about a week and then the smell comes right back again. Gook luck with yours.

Try and shut the air conditioning (compressor) off while leaving the blower fan on high for the last couple of minutes before you shut the engine off. This will help in drying out the evaporator where the mold is probably growing. I had another truck with the same issue that was under warranty. The dealer installed "factory" fix was a relay that ran the blower fan for a few minutes after you shut the engine off if you had previously ran the a/c. It worked but was kinda weird hearing the blower fan all of a suden turn on after you shut everything off.
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