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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, now that I'm using my air/fan more, I notice that the air that comes out of my vents smells like someone's dirty feet. It's really disgusting. Weird thing is, is that I can't relicate it at will, it comes and goes. I took it to the dealership and they couldn't replicate it either. They said they checked and I have no leaks in my lines, and said that it was more than likely just condensation in the lines and that it was normal. Does anyone else ever have funky smelling air and is there a TSB or something???
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I have a 2000 Honda Civic and never had a problem like this. I see from many other threads that this has been discussed in the past, with two solutions: leaving the AC on fresh or spraying something into the air system. Do any these actually work?
 

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I have the same problem. I had it in my tC and the dealership said the only way to really get rid of it was to do a special anti-mold cleaning that naturally, was rather expensive. With the Rav I try to run the AC a little bit each week. (Soon it will be more often once the weather changes.) I find it makes a HUGE difference.
 
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I have used the spray before on 3 different vehicles and it worked
great for all 3 vehicles. It completely eliminated the odors.

I went to an auto parts store and had them order the spray in
for me as they didn't have any in stock.
It was cheap and will do several vehicles.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yeah it seems as if this is the only option available for me at this time as I can't afford to have the mold removed, nor can the dealership find the problem. Assuming the spray kills all of the mold, ho can you keep the mold from returning?
 

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Where's KNO MOLD when you need him??!

BTW I wonder, can't you convince the dealer to take care of this under the bumper to bumper warranty? After all it is a new car and shouldn't be developing mold....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Lol. Actually, I wonder if I know what caused my mold buildup.... I never really used the A/C or fans much, as I like open windows a bunch. Shortly before I started smelling the "dirty sock smell" in my Rav, I was driving across part of the country and spent the night in the back of my Rav. I recall that I mangaged to fog the windows up a good bit right before bed (not trying to be too graphic here :oops:), and the moisture was all inside the car when my wife and I woke up in the morning. Is camping in the back of the car a bad idea as far as creating a breeding ground for mold?
 

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to avoid having this problem, you should turn off the A/C a couple of minutes before turning off the car, and let the air come out the vent to dry them out before the car is turned off.

the reason you are getting mold is because when the A/C is on, the duct become very cold, and when you turn off the car, condensation will form inside the duct, and the humidity will help form mold. so by letting turning the A/C off, you will be drying the duct completely before stopping the car.
 

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bingo. Do this and you will never have an issue ever again. Turn off the ac and leave the fan on.. 3 miles before you shut it off. Get into this habit and it will be second nature.


Octane said:
to avoid having this problem, you should turn off the A/C a couple of minutes before turning off the car, and let the air come out the vent to dry them out before the car is turned off.

the reason you are getting mold is because when the A/C is on, the duct become very cold, and when you turn off the car, condensation will form inside the duct, and the humidity will help form mold. so by letting turning the A/C off, you will be drying the duct completely before stopping the car.
 

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I never had problems with AC smelling moldy/bad and never did anything special when operating it. I would start a log of how you use your Climate Control, and note when it happens, how long it smells bad , and when it goes away.
I take it your RAV is newer and under warranty? If you find yourself having this happen more than once in a blue moon and it lasts more than a short while I would call Toyota and ask them if it's correct to be having this happen and if they say no, ask them to refer you to another dealer to check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah I guess I'm so surprised because my car only has 19,000 miles on it. It seems too new to have mold. But maybe I was just spoiled by my Honda. I never turned my AC off in my Civic to dry out the moisture in my lines, and never had any funny smells like this car.

I guess one other thing I was thinking, was that it was odd that the smell would come and go. I would think that if it's mold, it would be a constant thing. Is this not the case?
 

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On my current vehicle the A/C runs a lot in the background for defrost and such when it's cold out so I would think mold would be happening to me also.

I would call Toyota, tell them your problem, tell them how you asked your dealer to fix it, they wanted to charge you and yet your vehcile is still under warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well I can kinda see why my dealership can't fix it, they can't replicate it. It's like most car problems, it annoys the heck out of you 99.9% of the time and when you bring it to the dealership you can't get it to do it lol.
 

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I was slow on the uptake here.

The way they designt he systems now you basically MUST run the AC. The "Mold" your smelling is more likely legionella or something of that nature. I don't think Toyota calling this mold is accurate. I run the a/c about 25% of the time, i usually can get rid of the smell fairly rapidly by running the AC.. I really don't know what the deal with this smell is, my ford taurus had the same problem when I didn't run the AC
 

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i run the a/c about 95% of the time that must be why i dont have this issue on neither of my rav4's..............
 

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ahunt01 said:
There is?
Yes it's from 1997 but probably still holds true today, I just found it in the TSB forum, under all tsbs. Click into 4.3 tsbs, then the please read first and then pick all tsbs, it's called AC Evaporator Odor. According to the TSB the dealer should check some things and if they can't find a problem still do the cleaning of the system.

Good luck!
 
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