One More AC Smell Thread: How to REMOVE (not prevent) smell? (class action lawsuit?)

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by westville, Oct 21, 2015.

  1. westville

    westville New Member

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    Hi all,

    Saw all the fantastic previous threads on this.

    Currently considering joining class action lawsuit: google toyota-hit-with-class-action-over-moldy-smell-in-camry-ac-system/

    Got a Prius (2) in LA in June with 5,000 miles on it. Stinks from AC nearly every start-up regardless of leaving vent open or not.

    Wife literally won't drive this brand new car.

    Took to dealer twice, they denied anything (shocking to me considering all the details on the form) then charged me $90 for a carbon filter that did nothing.

    Now, dealer offering to spray this stuff in there, not sure what the cost would be, but my question is

    WILL THIS REMOVE THE BAD SMELL?

    Has it actually WORKED for anyone who's had the bad smell, and then actually gotten rid of it.

    Most of the posts I've read seem to be talking about prevention, or by people in the midst of the smell but none saying "I fixed it".

    Incredibly frustrated that I'll have to pay for all of this, despite the lawsuit and the newness of the car.
     
  2. BZzap!

    BZzap! Senior Member

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    This is common in most cars due to the evaporator drain being plugged up and accumulating moisture in the bottom of the case. You would be surprised how much debris can collect in the there. The cabin air filter should prevent this but it does happen.
    BTW, there are hundreds of suggestions on the web on how to eliminate this odor. Lysol spray seems to be the most effective solution.
     
  3. Quattro

    Quattro Junior Member

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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome! they should do everything under warranty for a new car. have you started a case with toyota?i would jump on the lawsuit, before it's too late. never had the smell in eleven years. all the best!(y)
     
  5. solrunner

    solrunner Member

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    The manual recommends to leave the vent in the open/fresh air setting when you turn off the car. This is so damp air doesn't sit sealed in the system.

    I have 17,000 mi on mine and I occasionally notice a slight moldy smell from time to time but it's infrequent enough to not bother me.

    Am I the only one who reads the manual?! Haha
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i got about half way through.;)
     
  7. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    I'm sure that the bad odor intensify in humid or damp days.
    Has previously said, proper maintenance is the key to the problem.
     
  8. TCW1184

    TCW1184 Junior Member

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    I know I'm not helping too much but I see this type of topic come up occasionally and I'm curious if there are other factors at play that contribute to this. I live in Florida (where obviously hot and humid is the norm) and blast the AC every time I get in the car. I've never once switched to vent before it turned it off. Never had a problem with ac smell in any car.


     
  9. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    One possibility is that some how the drain tube from the condenser enclosure ( inside the cabin and below the paper media filter) is clog; hence not permitting it to drain it properly towards the outside.
     
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  10. Codyroo

    Codyroo Senior Member

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    I've noticed that if you run the A/C, and then turn off the A/C while keeping the fan on, that is when the moldy smell comes through. Ditto that if you run the A/C, turn it off, and then turn on the fan later (without the A/C) the smell is there.
     
  11. 4rpr15

    4rpr15 Senior Member

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    I have 3k miles on my '15 Persona and I am just getting this horrible smell. I leave mine on Auto at all times. What am I doing wrong?
     
  12. BZzap!

    BZzap! Senior Member

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    The "Auto" mode defaults the air doors to run the system in "recirculate". This setting does not blend outside air within the car. Try turning the A/C off and then set the fan speed to "high". This will cause the system to go to regular A/C which you will want to toggle off. Then your system will drawn in unconditioned outside air to dry out the evaporator housing. If you do this once in a while, you'll find that it helps getting the smell to go away.
     
  13. 4rpr15

    4rpr15 Senior Member

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    It blends the outside air once in a while. It's did it today automatically.
     
  14. creationsh

    creationsh Junior Member

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    if they can't fix it? its a lemon car.
     
  15. 4rpr15

    4rpr15 Senior Member

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    Lol, next.
     
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Do you have the AC button on (light on) or not?
     
  17. 4rpr15

    4rpr15 Senior Member

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    When I press Auto the a/c light always remains on. I use Auto 100% of the time.
     
  18. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    So you're using AC all the time. The cabin air is always being run through a small radiator in there that is cold, and just like a cold glass, water is always condensing on it. With insufficient chance to disapate, it's growing stuff.
     
  19. azroadposer

    azroadposer Junior Member

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    Move to Phoenix. Had this issue in Oregon. The dry heat fixes these issues.

    Air freshener will temporarily fix the issue for a couple days/week. Spray in the intake vent outside by the wind shield with heat on high and fan on high.

    I just stopped using the ac below 90F, not really needed up north anyway. Is there a vehicle that this doesn't happen to? My LX470 did this also.
     
  20. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    Once mould or mildew gets a foothold, I think you need to clean it thoroughly. Maybe even to the extent of disassembly.

    If it's a clean system, two measures will prevent it from getting started:

    1. Use AC sparingly.

    2. Don't "put it away wet", ie: turn AC off before your destination, keep the fan running, give the system a chance to dry out.
     
    #20 Mendel Leisk, Oct 23, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
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