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Smelly air from vents

  #1  
Old 11-02-2011, 09:25 PM
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Default Smelly air from vents

Hi all, I just purchased a 2005 Camry LE (4 cylinder) and am generally happy with it. During the test drive before I bought it I had the AC on with the recirculation on and there were no off-smells (which is still the case). BUT, when I turn off the recirculation and the car draws air from the outside there is a musty, nasty smell. Any other setting, such as defrost, floor circulation, etc. has the same smell blowing through the vents! I've changed the cabin filter on the hopes it would help but it didn't, and I've seen a forum posting where someone stated that there was a dealership service that would clean something off and re-coat it with a anti-mold chemical. Any help with this would be appreciated!!! Really, the smell sometimes reminds me of a dirty urinal!
 
  #2  
Old 11-03-2011, 08:29 PM
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If the car has a warranty take it back and complain. The dealer may have known about this, hence the air on recirc. They should have a disinfectant to spray into the ducting.

The ducting is under the dash, time consuming to get making cleaning the difficult.

Check the fresh air intake for signs of debris, mouse droppings, etc. Try washing the vent intake with garden hose. The vent is designed to allow rain and car wash water in, it drains down the side of the chassis and comes out the bottom. Make sure the water going is coming out and not backing up.

Do internet research on what is a good disinfectant to use. Smelly duct work is a common issue. Run the blower and draw it into the fresh air inlet.

Some auto shops and quick lube places have a service to disinfect ducts.
 
  #3  
Old 11-03-2011, 10:30 PM
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it's mold buildup in vents. was it flood salvage?

ownders make major mistake by not shutting a/c down properly. it needs to be truned off, but fan left to run for about 2 minutes, otherwise, humidity condensates on exchange radiator and mold develops.
simply buy 2 large cans of good strong spray cleaner, like Lysol products. Or What Odor? turn fan to max, and spray cleaner into outside vents intakes. be generous.
Also, most of internal vent grills can be very easily removed, and that allows you access to almost full depth into air dfucts. Spray as much in there too.
 
  #4  
Old 11-04-2011, 06:24 AM
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Thank you for the suggestions, sounds like I have a project this weekend! Unfortunately, the warrenty period is over and according to the carfax, the car was not a flood salvage. I will check to see if the intake area is draining properly. I don't have a service manual yet, is the fresh air intake right below the windshield on the outside next to the wiper arms?
 
  #5  
Old 11-05-2011, 08:59 AM
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1. it's FORTUNATELY, not unfortunately, that it was not flooded.
2. you will be much better off removing outside intakes cowl before you take on this job. you will have direct access to intakes and much less loss of cleaner.
3. I am seriously suggesting combining What Odor? with a strong cleaner.
btw, not to scare you - animals and critters sometimes nest under the hood and in vents. esp towards winter time, when car becomes a cozy warm area. my son had mice under the hood in garaged car. spiders and other bugs love this. nice, warm, and humid.
also, yours is not that bad. hopefully you will never see how chunks of black mold are blowing out of vents.
 
  #6  
Old 11-05-2011, 09:01 AM
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What Odor? - Official Company Website

I am personal user. it works. no, I do not have financial interest in it. but I do have some seriously smelly stuff I have to work with professionally.
 
  #7  
Old 11-06-2011, 08:06 AM
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Ukrkoz,
Thanks for the suggestions (and grammar correction!) which I will do today; is What Odor sold at places like Home Depot?
 
  #8  
Old 11-06-2011, 09:21 AM
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ha-ha. no offense was intended, folks usually are very sensitive to what they read on the screen. it's a car too young to have mold in vents, unless something went wrong.
look in stores that sell stuff "as seen on TV".
 
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