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Old 10-28-2004, 11:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default musty smell from vents

have a 2003 Pilot and am considering purchasing a second one. However, we are experiencing a musty, sour smell coming out of the vents at times--sometimes at starting up but sometimes just while we are driving. The dealer changed the HEPA filters and added something to kill mold, but the smell continues. The dealer is saying they have not had not a problem with other Pilots, but a friend has a similar situation.


Has anyone else experienced this problem? If so, any solutions? We have a baby so we are concerned about these musty odors.
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Old 10-29-2004, 12:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Don't have that problem with the Pilot yet, but I have that problem with my Toyota Tacoma. I think it is caused by condensation in the evaporator when the AC is turned off. You should run the system on high heat to get all the moisture out everytime you use your AC. You can also try something called Frigi-Fresh. You can buy some from the link below, it's the cheapest I've found.

http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...catalogid=3329

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Old 10-29-2004, 12:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Try changing the interior cabin air filter.

There have been many discussions on the changing of the interior cabin air filter. I had the same musty smell in my 98 Accord. Changed the filter and the smell was gone. I would do this if you haven't already. It should solve your problem.
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Old 10-29-2004, 02:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I think the HEPA filter she's referring to is the cabin filter behind the glovebox. If so, then just like me, she's still having the same musty smell I had.

I got rid of the musty smell when I used this spray product that was sitting on top of the toolbox of the technician who was performing the oil change on my Pilot at my dealer.

The lube department at my servicing dealer let's me go into the work area and observe and while I was there, I picked up this spray can that said something about air conditioner cleaner. It was made by Wurth, IIRC.

When I saw it, I asked the technician if I can use it on my car and he was all for it. After I used that, the musty smell has never come back, even after I turn off the A/C after I had it on a while and turn it off on a hot day. You usually get the smell when you turn off the A/C and just let the air come through the vents, but not even a trace of the smell comes through after I used that.

I'll be going back to my servicing dealer the week after to have my brake fluids replaced. I'll find out the exact name of the product and get as much info as I can. If it's really bad, I can call up the dealer for you and ask, if you want.

[Addendum]: Oh, wait, I just did a quick search over at Wurth's site and found it! Check it out here. It's the AC & Heating System Treatment.

I wish everything worked as well as this product. It's one of the few things I came across that did exactly what it claimed to do. I use it now everytime I'm in there getting my oil change. Anyway, track it down and see if it'll eliminate your smell as well as it did with mine. Let us know how you make out if you do find it and use it.
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Old 10-29-2004, 09:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Try this solution turn on your heat full with outside air button ON for about 5 mins on hi humid days and 3 mins on low humid days it will dry the evaporator coils and naturalize odor coursing bacteria,after AC use.AC & Heating System Treatment can be bought at Walmart,Airco supply,Johnstone supply and W.W Grainger's HVAC companies
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Old 11-08-2004, 02:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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This happened on my vw golf. The drain for the a/c had became clogged or mostly clogged. So there was always a little bit of water needing to get out. Of course I didn't figure this out till it became completly clogged and had wet floor mats . After I cleaned out the drain, located on the fire wall of my golf, no more wet floor mats and the sour smell when I first turned on the a/c or heater was gone.
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Old 11-08-2004, 03:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by RipRocK
I think the HEPA filter she's referring to is the cabin filter behind the glovebox. If so, then just like me, she's still having the same musty smell I had.

I got rid of the musty smell when I used this spray product that was sitting on top of the toolbox of the technician who was performing the oil change on my Pilot at my dealer.

The lube department at my servicing dealer let's me go into the work area and observe and while I was there, I picked up this spray can that said something about air conditioner cleaner. It was made by Wurth, IIRC.

When I saw it, I asked the technician if I can use it on my car and he was all for it. After I used that, the musty smell has never come back, even after I turn off the A/C after I had it on a while and turn it off on a hot day. You usually get the smell when you turn off the A/C and just let the air come through the vents, but not even a trace of the smell comes through after I used that.

I'll be going back to my servicing dealer the week after to have my brake fluids replaced. I'll find out the exact name of the product and get as much info as I can. If it's really bad, I can call up the dealer for you and ask, if you want.

[Addendum]: Oh, wait, I just did a quick search over at Wurth's site and found it! Check it out here. It's the AC & Heating System Treatment.

I wish everything worked as well as this product. It's one of the few things I came across that did exactly what it claimed to do. I use it now everytime I'm in there getting my oil change. Anyway, track it down and see if it'll eliminate your smell as well as it did with mine. Let us know how you make out if you do find it and use it.

So where do you spray? Is it easy to get to and spray?
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Old 11-13-2004, 12:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by tangotango99
Try this solution turn on your heat full with outside air button ON for about 5 mins on hi humid days ...
I don't know about you, but the last thing I want to do when the air temp. is 90 degrees and the dewpoint is 80 degrees is turn the heat on high for 5 minutes!

I'm not familiar with the product mentioned later inyour post, but I find that Lysol will do the trick. Just turn the A/C on with the fan speed on high (make sure the recirculate button is OFF), and spray the Lysol into the fresh air intake vents at the bottom of the windshield for a few seconds.

The Lysol kills the bacteria that are growing around the evaporator in the A/C system, though you may have to repeat this every so often.

It is cheap, quick, and hey, who doesn't love the smell of Lysol when it permeates everything in the vehicle?
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Old 11-13-2004, 12:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by RocketMan
So where do you spray? Is it easy to get to and spray?
Yeah, the instructions are very easy to follow and all's you do is basically just spray into the vents and wait for a few minutes, then turn on the fan at full speed for a couple of minutes. The instructions are very clear on the can.

Also, the technician suggested that I spray the stuff into the air circulation vent just beneath the windshield. You need to pop open the hood to get to it. Anyway, it's been months since I used that stuff and still not a trace of the musty smell. Rare to find things these days that does exactly what it says it's supposed to. Sure is nice when you find it though.

I have another oil change coming up soon, so, I'll try to locate that can in the work area and use it again when I'm at the dealer.
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