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Discussion Starter #1
So I have noticed the last few weeks that my rav4 has had an odd smell inside in the mornings after sitting overnight in the garage. It is almost a mildew/stale smell. Kind of hard to describe. It does go away after a few minutes of driving but is annoying before hand. Anyone else notice anything else similar? I have checked the cabin air filter and don't see anything growing on it.
 

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Do you turn off your ac for a few miles before parking? That helps clear any condensation built up in the ducts etc. I usually turn mine off 5 minutes or so before I expect to shut the car off and turn the fan up to clear the system.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No, only having a short drive home from work in the summer I usually have it on until I get home
 

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To clean out the system I spray Lysol spray into the air intake with HVAC running. I also alternate the flow through the ductwork during this process. It is pretty effective in ridding the mildew in the dead areas within the ducts.
 

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Make sure your A/C drain hose is not clogged or you will get moisture from the resevoir leaking onto your carpet on the passenger side which can cause that mildew aroma too.

There?s a post here somewhere with pix I took.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
To clean out the system I spray Lysol spray into the air intake with HVAC running. I also alternate the flow through the ductwork during this process. It is pretty effective in ridding the mildew in the dead areas within the ducts.
Where is the air intake for the HVAC system? And I will look into the charcoal air filters to.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Make sure your A/C drain hose is not clogged or you will get moisture from the resevoir leaking onto your carpet on the passenger side which can cause that mildew aroma too.

There?s a post here somewhere with pix I took.
Mikey, I don't believe the drain tube is plugged since I am not getting any water on the floor, just the smell. But I may check it to make sure it is draining everything.
 

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Where is the air intake for the HVAC system? And I will look into the charcoal air filters to.
It will be along the bottom of the windshield, outside of the car. They likely make the entire length look like a vent but I believe it is just a small 6 to 10 inch section on the passenger side. Sorry I can't confirm for certain as my 2013 Rav is currently with my daughter.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll take a look this afternoon once I get out of work and see if it helps!
 

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Turning the recirc off isn't going to help much since it won't turn off the AC, internal parts of the AC system will still stay cold, when the air stops flowing, moisture condenses on the cold parts and eventually creates mold and allows bacteria to grow. The easy way to prevent it is turn the AC off for a while before ending the drive but leave the fan running to warm the internals up(and the car interior unfortunately) so they stay dry and don't collect moisture, I've been doing this for decades, have never had a stinky car due to the mold issue.


https://www.quora.com/Why-does-my-cars-air-conditioning-smell-bad-How-do-I-get-rid-of-it


Starting now, turn off the A/C at least 2 minutes before you shut off your vehicle - preferably 5 minutes - but leave the fan on. Just get in the habit of shutting your A/C off at a certain point on your commute. This way, your system will dry quite a bit before you shut off.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I will have to start making sure I do that! At least now with it cooling off I can get by without using it and hopefully get the smell cleared up!
 
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