1. StephinLA2017

    StephinLA2017 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2021
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    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Four Touring
    I just inherited a 2017 Four Touring Prius. The previous owner had several large dogs and they were in the car quite often. There is a very strong smell that permeates the car when I turn on the fan. It is not as strong when I only use the AC without the fan. I am just guessing it is related to the dogs; I am not totally sure. Does anyone know how I can totally get rid of this odor? It is so strong I am considering not keeping the car if I cannot get rid of it.

    The smell:
    - is very strong and nauseating when I first get in the car
    - it's a heavy, somewhat floral/syrupy odor
    - it is overwhelmingly strong when I put on the fan
    - diminishes a bit with the AC on
    - will go away mostly if I leave fan off, the AC on, and keep the windows down for about 5 miles of highway driving (very inconvenient!)
    - is worse when the weather is hot

    Here are some things we have tried:
    - took out backseat leather and vacuumed dog hair from beneath seat covers
    - replaced cabin filter
    - sprayed Lysol into ventilation system (this worked for about 24 hours, but the odor came back)
    - had car deep cleaned (although not a thorough detailing)

    The car was not driven for about four months before I inherited it. It used to "live" in Washington State and now lives in Southern California. I have no idea if that provides clues or not!

    Any help in solving this would be appreciated!
     
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
    Staff Member

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    Oct 2, 2004
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    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    So it appears to be a HVAC issue? Perhaps some mildew remover might help?

    Since it's from WA state, it could be mould or mildew due to the humid climate (and the fact that the dogs were probably heavily breathing, increasing the humidity inside the car.

    Side note, there's an air filter for the HV battery fan. You might want to vacuum that as well in case there's dog hair trapped there. I think it's on the passenger side. The manual states how to remove the plastic cover (I think it's just a flatblade screwdriver to pop off the cover, then just simply remove the filter and vacuum).
     
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  3. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    Jan 8, 2017
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    Location:
    California
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Three Touring
    Toyota bulletin T-SB-0022-20, “HVAC Odor Maintenance” (PDF), March 10, 2020, offers some suggestions. If the Lysol spray worked temporarily, perhaps a more thorough treatment with Toyota’s A/C refresher kit (YouTube video), part number 00289-ACRKT—or a similar product sold elsewhere—would help.
     
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  4. Landon51

    Landon51 Member

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    Vehicle:
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    Model:
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  5. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Mar 31, 2018
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    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    "- it's a heavy, somewhat floral/syrupy odor"

    That fact might indicate that the previous owner went WAY overboard in trying to cover up the dog odor.

    I suggest, if you can, you leave it sit out in the direct sun with all the windows cracked open an inch or so for a couple of days.....or more if possible.
    Then maybe look for a company that does "restoration" on water damaged cars.
     
  6. krmcg

    krmcg Lowered Blizzard Pearl Beauty

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    Vehicle:
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    Model:
    Four
    I've heard great things about NuVinAir.com
     
  7. M92

    M92 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2021
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    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius
    Model:
    LE
    I just wanted to point out that a syrupy smell is the most likely indicator of ethylne glycol a highly toxic ingredient in coolant. The Prius has a separate coolant system for both the engine and the invertor for the battery. That both share one physical radiator which is divided into two parts the bottom quarter being for the invertor and transaxle coolant and the top 3/4 or so for the engine coolant. This radiator part is very close to the ground and the Prius has very low ground clearance in general. You should inspect the underside of the car to see if it has any indicator of damage to the plastic cover or bent metal.

    I am dealing with the exact same mystery issue as you in terms of this HORRIBLE odor the other symptoms I have are what feels like excess condensate from my AC. I believe it has something to do a large radiator leak I have not had fixed yet which is the result of crashing into a hidden curb that resulted in some damage to the radiator and possibly elsewhere. I don’t know if these things are all connected for sure but the timing does overlap and I have a 2020 Prius which is still all the same inside as yours but it seems odd. I came here hoping to get some more advice On the issue and find out how to disassemble my car to investigate the condensation issue when I saw your message and thought I should inform you that the syrupy smell is the classic sign of a coolant/antifreeze leak and should be dealt with urgently. Let me know if you find anything else about this issue like at a dealer bc I can’t go to one anytime soon.
     
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