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Why does my air conditioner smell like mold and mildew...

Discussion in 'General Tundra Discussion' started by Tacogrande, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. Aug 30, 2016 at 9:48 AM
    #1
    Tacogrande

    Tacogrande [OP] New Member

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    My 2016 only has 9k miles and last week, when i get in and turn the a/c on, it smells like mold and mildew. The truck is kept inside. I have never had any vehicle a/c smell old and musty like this.
     
  2. Aug 30, 2016 at 9:57 AM
    #2
    TTU19

    TTU19 New Member

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    No clue, but have you checked and changed your in-cabin air filter?
     
  3. Aug 30, 2016 at 10:02 AM
    #3
    Nor7

    Nor7 Chilton Manual Guy

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    I read about this because it was happening to mine.

    It has something to do with the HVAC coils not getting enough fresh air. It's recommended to periodically run fresh air in from the outside or to run it for a few minutes before shutting the truck off. I started doing this when it's not too hot outside and I haven't had the issue since.
     
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  4. Aug 30, 2016 at 10:15 AM
    #4
    joonbug

    joonbug mmmm.....bacon...

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  5. Aug 30, 2016 at 10:16 AM
    #5
    Sean266

    Sean266 #ThinBlueLine Staff Member

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    Turn of the recirculation for like 5 miles and then turn it back on.
     
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  6. Aug 30, 2016 at 10:22 AM
    #6
    Nor7

    Nor7 Chilton Manual Guy

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    See attached from Toyota regarding HVAC odor.
     

    Attached Files:

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  7. Aug 30, 2016 at 1:43 PM
    #7
    MotoTundra

    MotoTundra Adrenaline Addict

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    Mine does this too, 2014 with 9k miles.
     
  8. Aug 30, 2016 at 5:10 PM
    #8
    Tacogrande

    Tacogrande [OP] New Member

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    So i need to drive with the AC on and in outside air mode for part of the time anytime i drive with the AC on?
    So i also need the charcoal hvac filter? Is this diffirent then the cabin filter? Why the hell would they not just ship these with the trucks if its a known problem? And its not covered under warranty so i need to pay for the filter.
    To be honest, it pisses me off. Like i said none of my other vehicles ever stank like this. GMC, Honda, and all my other Toyota trucks. Why in the hell would they build a system that stinks?
     
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  9. Aug 31, 2016 at 5:37 AM
    #9
    chphilo

    chphilo New Member

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    Not all Tundras have this problem. Mine (2010) never had an issue like this since I bought it in May of 2010.
     
  10. Aug 31, 2016 at 6:52 AM
    #10
    pauloantonio

    pauloantonio New Member

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    I just brought mine in for this issue and they said they recently changed the system and to do what @Nor7 said.
     
  11. Aug 31, 2016 at 4:58 PM
    #11
    SOCO Tundra

    SOCO Tundra When do you stop being the FNG?

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    Here one for you, if you want a smell story. Heading to school at Eglin AFB FL. in '88 from Colorado. I have never set foot around the ocean, or within a few hundred miles from the coast. Had an Pontiac Grand Am and took care of it, and I would hang my chamois in the trunk channel to dry. Well a few weeks later the car began to smell like a mix of ocean ass and shrimp. Never being around the coast I thought it was...normal? Soon it became unbearable and I began to take my car apart and noticed the chamois was nice and wet. It would absorb the humidity and drop in the trunk pan and rear seat pans. After about 2 gallons of standing water later, and a few days of sunshine drying it was gone.

    Yup, ditto on running the fresh air through the plenums, pipes and vents before shutting down.
     
  12. Aug 31, 2016 at 5:22 PM
    #12
    bandit

    bandit New Member

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    Duh Tundra
    Have you bathed recently.....?
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
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  13. Aug 31, 2016 at 7:04 PM
    #13
    owslystnly

    owslystnly New Member

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    Nothing yet
    My understanding is it that often it is a clogged AC drain. Auto detailing places can usually take care of it.
     
  14. Aug 31, 2016 at 7:50 PM
    #14
    Law323

    Law323 Pray for peace, prepare for war

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    3" Rough Country Level lift (front) 1" Toytec block (rear) 275/70r18 Toyo AT2 Info system mod 3D MAXpider Kagu floor mats LED interior lights 50% ceramic tint front windows 35% ceramic tint windshield brow Bed mounted YETI bottle opener Paracord wrapped oh Sh!t bars 3" stubby antennae Upcoming: LED backup lights/cargo lights OEM Backup camera Raceline Raptor? 18x9 wheels ICI magnum step bars TRD sway bar Toytec BOSS 3" suspension lift Trifold or roll up tonneau cover Tow mirrors????
    Never had a problem remotely like that. Maybe you held your farts in a few hours too much? That'll do it.
     
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  15. Aug 31, 2016 at 8:18 PM
    #15
    Tacogrande

    Tacogrande [OP] New Member

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    I pull over to fart and if i smell like anything, its sawdust. I bathe in that everyday. So yea its the f a w k i n g truck. I ran the AC on non recurculate today and immediately smelled exhaust from the car in front of me. Nice design Toyota!:crazy:
     
  16. Sep 6, 2016 at 2:04 PM
    #16
    AnonVet

    AnonVet New Member

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    There's an in-cabin filter???:violent:
     
  17. Sep 6, 2016 at 2:08 PM
    #17
    AnonVet

    AnonVet New Member

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    Never pull over to fart, just own it brother!!!!
     
  18. Sep 15, 2016 at 8:02 PM
    #18
    Abrams65

    Abrams65 New Member

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    BS this is a cop out to not develop a fix.

    The cause of the odor I am going to same does not have anything to do with interior or exterior influences. This was a big problem in Volvo's in the early to mid 90's. The odor is mildew growth on the Evaporator coils.

    example.... You drive your truck for lets say 10-15 miles is hot out. You get home and shut the truck off. There is all that condensation that has built up on the coils still there, because the coil is cool it wont dry it just sits there and mildew starts to form. The only way to get rid of the smell is to remove the pollen filter and treat the coil with something that will kill the bacteria. This is only a short term fix.

    Toyota needs to come up with a fix that will turn the fan on approximately 20 min(After Blow function). after the engine has been shut down that will turn the fan on(HIGH) for approximately 3-4 mins aiding in the drying of the coils to prevent mildew formation. At least that's what we doing on the Volvo's in Europe. It was a simple relay installation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
  19. Sep 15, 2016 at 8:13 PM
    #19
    MotoTundra

    MotoTundra Adrenaline Addict

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    Has anyone with this problem changed their high performance charcoal filter aka cabin air filter that is mentioned in the TSB? My truck is still in warranty, I may call my dealership and see if they will warranty one. Those puppies are about $40 and my mildew smell is there everytime I start my truck for about 10 minutes or so. It's getting annoying, bothers me when my kids are in the truck, I don't want them breathing that in.
     
  20. Sep 15, 2016 at 8:19 PM
    #20
    Abrams65

    Abrams65 New Member

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    Bad thing is your not actually fixing anything with the filter just hiding it.
     
  21. Sep 15, 2016 at 8:23 PM
    #21
    MotoTundra

    MotoTundra Adrenaline Addict

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    True. Once winter rolls around the heat will be on frequently, humidity will be gone, maybe it will clear out.
     
  22. Sep 15, 2016 at 8:29 PM
    #22
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ Calm your tits

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    I never run the recirculation for the AC unless a class 8 truck is infront of me with a stuck injector. (The unburnt diesel smell burns my eyes) and then I get around them quickly.

    My wife has ran the recirc on the following vehicles and they smelled like a whore house on nickle night:

    2001 Suzuki Esteme
    Tacoma 2000 & 2014
    2006 limited 4Runner

    My Mom hates the smell of any exhaust. She always runs hers on recirc as well. Vehicle has always smelled like ass. She has owned many different brand of vehicles.

    None of my vehicles ever smell like this unless I run the AC on recirc.
     
  23. Sep 15, 2016 at 8:30 PM
    #23
    Abrams65

    Abrams65 New Member

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    True, but even in the winter the A/C is working....Every time you turn the defrost on.

    One thing I have done and try to do frequently is about 3-4 miles before I get home is turn the A/C of and turn the fan on high. This helps blow all the water out of the evaporator and aids in drying.
     
  24. Sep 15, 2016 at 8:31 PM
    #24
    MotoTundra

    MotoTundra Adrenaline Addict

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    I never run my AC on recirc and I still have it. Maybe from washing the truck, drying it, then parking in cool garage without driving it much?
     
  25. Sep 15, 2016 at 8:39 PM
    #25
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ Calm your tits

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    Do you have the carpet floor mats?

    Do they get wet?
     
  26. Sep 15, 2016 at 8:39 PM
    #26
    Tacogrande

    Tacogrande [OP] New Member

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    I still have the nasty smell and every day driving on fresh air. Its rediculous. I have driven with outside air on in ac and non ac mode as well as running the damn heater. Breating in all the outside crap SUCKS! Are there instructions on how to remove the pollen filter and clean the coils?
     
  27. Sep 15, 2016 at 8:42 PM
    #27
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ Calm your tits

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    Yeah, that would annoy me too.

    Time to buy a Ford I guess eh?
     
  28. Sep 16, 2016 at 5:04 AM
    #28
    MotoTundra

    MotoTundra Adrenaline Addict

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    Negative. Only exterior wash and I have Husky's and WT's.

    Yup, time to get an F-150.... jkjk
     
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  29. Sep 16, 2016 at 6:06 AM
    #29
    MotoTundra

    MotoTundra Adrenaline Addict

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    Update: My truck must have known I threatened to switch to Ford because today there was no smell at all. Go figure. It may have been bc I used my truck very little this summer, starting to use it almost daily now.
     
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  30. Sep 16, 2016 at 6:28 AM
    #30
    ColoradoTJ

    ColoradoTJ Calm your tits

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    Weird this is happening to some people.

    Personally this would piss me off to no extent.
     
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