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My 06 RAV has been doing this from day one and I have been meaning to ask some of you other guys but for about 5 seconds when I first turn the AC on, there is a funny smell that comes from the vents. It actually sorta smells like a burning smell, but after 3 or 4 seconds it goes away and the AC is cooling just fine. Also, it will only do this once a day, like the very first time it is turned on and after that it won't do it again until the next day. Should I be concerned? Like I said, it has done this ever since the day I bought the vehicle. Does anyone else have this problem?
 

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what you have is mold growing on the evap in the ac system. Try this .. After running the ac about a mile before you shut off the car turn off the ac button but leave the fan on. Do this for a full minute of two..Ill bet you will not small th esmel next time. This is common and you may need a shot of lysol to kill the mold to totally remove it. With the ac on (not on recirc)and fan on high empty a can of lysol into the outside air intake vent near the base of the windshield . The Rav is sopossd to have an anti bacteria coating on the evaporator to stop this too.
 

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Take it back to the dealer. They have a spray to kill mildew in the air ducts. It's a warranty item so let them get rid of it for you
 
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Thanks for the info. guys, I didn't know what the hell that smell was.
 
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Hmmm ... I have a similar experience ... but the opposite.

I notice a "musty" smell when I turn the AC OFF ... (not on)

It lasts about 30sec - 1 minute and smells pretty bad.

Maybe mold? :?:

Hmmm

I will mention it at the next service.
 

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Hey Everyone,

I was just going to make a post on this, but mine is the total opposite. I'm getting a weird disinfectant smell coming out-of the ac every so often. The ac setting is always set to recirculate the interior air, so it's not from anything on the outside. It lasts for about 10 seconds, then poof, all gone. It's not a constant thing, I'd say once every two days. Any thoughts?
 

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I just started experiencing a nasty musty/mold smell from my vents. Seems to happen when the car has been sitting in the hot sun for awhile. Pulled out that filter behind the glove box to see if maybe it had some mold or something on it but it looked pristine.


Called the dealer and took it in today. They sprayed down in the vents with some type of disinfectant. I'll have to see how it does...
 

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Spraying an odor killer into the vents will only partially help. The best solution (and this is what a good dealer will do) is to inject a foaming evaporator cleaner directly into the evaporator housing. That's where the moisture and the mold are. You can buy the stuff on the Internet (various brands) and do it routinely yourself.

Here's one:

http://www.ackits.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=AMA&Product_Code=48N-Cleaner

If you live in a humid climate it may be necessary to do this annually. Once the fitting is installed in the evaporator housing it only takes a few minutes. You will be amazed at the amount of dark glop that drains out of a neglected (older) car.

John Davies
Spokane WA
 

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I may have to look into that. My smell went away for about an hour after they sprayed whatever they sprayed in my vents. It then came back. I called the dealer and they told me I could spray some Lysol in the defroster vent myself to try and get rid of it.

I just tried that tonight. I'll see how it does tomorrow. I called and setup another appointment at the dealer anyway just in case. It really stinks (literally) to have this type of problem on a brand new car.... :x
 

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Well my vent smell has been getting progressively worse so I took it into the dealer again today with this post printed out as a reference. They wound up using and Evaporator Core cleaner and it appears to have worked wonders! The vents air now smells like a brand new car again. Thanks for all the insight! :D
 

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John E Davies. Thanks for the info. I need to look into getting one of those. Does the housing have to be taken apart to install the fitting? Would this also help to keep the drain plug from clogging? Just had that happen in another vehicle.
 

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al you have to bo is to get a can of Lysol and spray it into the air intake under the hool while the fan is on (ac too). Empty the whole can. It will solve the problem for $3.00
A buddy of mine helped me try that. The results were dissapointing. All it managed to do was stink up my car with a mixture of Lysol and mold. The evaporator core cleaner literally took it all away. However I have a residual sweet smell from the chemical for a few seconds when I turn my air on. Although I'm noticing that it's slowly dissipating...
 

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If that's what it takes I'm willing to try it. The guys at the Toyota dealership had no idea why it did what it did. They suspected the core got blocked somehow. Hopefully it will stay unblocked for some time to come. Plus winter will be here in a short while so I won't even have to worry about using the AC... :D
 
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Thanks for the Solution

This is why I signed up for this web site. I have been monitoring it for a long time now (2000). My car also has the bad AC smell so I will take it to the dealer and tell them the solution.

Thanks. :D
 
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