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old water smell?

Old 08-28-2009, 12:21 AM
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Default old water smell?

hello,

i have a 2007 TC i bought it brand new in 06 0 miles. just a few months ago i began noticing like an old water smell . i havent spilled anything and ive gone crazy looking for the source of the odor . i had all the rugs and seats professionally shampooed and everything and its still there!!!! theres no weatherstripping leaks that ive seen so i was just wondering if anyone had some insight into what it could be or a resolution?

thanks
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:47 AM
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Have you changed your cabin filter recently? If you bought in 06 and haven't changed it in 3 years, chances are that that is the source of your smell. Also, I can't remember exactly what it's called, but in your ac unit (condensor/vaporator, I'm not sure), there is a tray in there that needs to be emptied if it's filled up. This water can become stagnant or grow mold. I'm not an a/c guy, so I don't know what steps you should take, but I'd figure that jacking up your car and taking a look at your unit wouldn't be difficult at all. I'd suggest to start with that cabin filter first. Should be where your glove box is.

I speak from experience as I had this problem with my 08 xB. After replacing the filter, problem solved. It was weird, but I don't question it.
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:09 AM
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mold most likely
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Old 08-28-2009, 01:16 PM
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Evaporator has a drain pan with a small plug. Over time that plug gets clogged and will hold the water in side instead of routing it under your car. Sometimes it gets so bad the water overflows into the car, but most of the time I gets stale and will mold. Any shop with a half brained AC mech can unclog the plug and spray mold killer to clean the pan. Also change your cabin filter since the mold will grow on the filter if it is kept wet.

EDIT: Our car seems to have been designed by LEGO so you should be able to pull off the dash and glove box to see the filter and the evaporator box. No clue where everything is at on this car since I have yet to really tear mine apart.
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Old 08-28-2009, 02:55 PM
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yea i checked the cabin air filter, but there wasnt even a filter in there, which i heard is common, but ill check the evaporator to see it thats the source of the problem
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:24 PM
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tCs don't come with a cabin air filter, but do have the housing for those that want to install one. You can search for threads containing DIY instructions, including various types of filter elements people have used, as there have been plenty posted here.
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by nodsetse View Post
tCs don't come with a cabin air filter, but do have the housing for those that want to install one. You can search for threads containing DIY instructions, including various types of filter elements people have used, as there have been plenty posted here.
Napa has the model specific filter for the tC
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Old 08-28-2009, 07:05 PM
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Default lol. i jus solved that problem today.

got my oil changed n guy asked me if i need to change other things like tranz fluid, power steering fluid, blah blah blah, then he said cabin air filter. (hmm maybe thats y my a/c smells like a old wet rag) he pulled it out n NO FILTER WAS IN THE CONTAINER. to me thats stupid on scions part but n e way he put a filter in there n that water rag smell is gone. n the air finally smells like a/c air shud smell! clean.. btw it was 30 bucks. i think i got ripped off but watever im happy i fixed it.
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Old 08-28-2009, 07:10 PM
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pull out glove box n to far right side is a elbow/plastic piece u can pull out(might b 1 on left side also) but once u do that the glove box drops lower. n bingo theres ur cabin air filter container.
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Old 08-28-2009, 11:10 PM
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i guess ill go and buy the filter too see if it makes a difference
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Old 08-28-2009, 11:11 PM
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Dude. Here's what I did. I bought a good house filter from Wal-Mart, sized it up to fit, then sliced that crap apart and crammed it in there. I can get 4 cabin filters for dirt cheap out of a $13 house filter. Just keep your OEM one (provided you have one) handy so you can use it to size the other filters that you cut.

I better take a look at my drain plug, too, and see if I can drain it out. Anyone know where it is without me having to Google it?
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Old 08-29-2009, 01:09 AM
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06's didn't come with cabin air filters, the 08's did. The smell you smell is mildew, you need to spray some lysol into the a/c air box behind the glovebox. The air inlet is at the base of the windshield on the passenger side. Turn the fresh air on, fan on, spray lysol, it'll get into the a/c air box. Then turn the fan off, let it sit.. Smell will be gone.

also check that drain plug too, it's at the footwell of the passenger side, up where the carpet stops.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:06 PM
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FYI, if you have mildew in your car, don't expect the Lysol to kill it. Lysol kills common house germs, but is ineffective against molds and especially endospores. You'll just make it smell pretty. It's like putting perfume on Chuck Norris, but he actually prefers the blood of his enemies over fragrances.
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Old 08-29-2009, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by pyroman131 View Post
FYI, if you have mildew in your car, don't expect the Lysol to kill it. Lysol kills common house germs, but is ineffective against molds and especially endospores. You'll just make it smell pretty. It's like putting perfume on Chuck Norris, but he actually prefers the blood of his enemies over fragrances.
do you have the actual scientific research that proves Lysol does NOT kill mold and mildew?

Because I can find data that does prove Lysol will kill mold and mildew. And have already used it many times (unscented, by the way) to kill the mildew in the a/c box. So yes I know it works, but thanks for playing!

Last edited by sciontc_mich; 08-29-2009 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by sciontc_mich View Post
do you have the actual scientific research that proves Lysol does NOT kill mold and mildew?

Because I can find data that does prove Lysol will kill mold and mildew. And have already used it many times (unscented, by the way) to kill the mildew in the a/c box. So yes I know it works, but thanks for playing!
They make sprays specifically to kill mold. We got our house messed up by Ike and we sprayed Lysol. The mold removal guys can a few weeks later and said Lysol will work on some small stuff but on large areas and heavy duty mold it wont kill everything. It will mask it but you can still get sick from the mold spores. So yes it will kill mold just not tough mold or large mold cultures. For a small box like the a/c yes it will most likely work great. So you both are right in a way.
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Old 08-30-2009, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by sciontc_mich View Post
do you have the actual scientific research that proves Lysol does NOT kill mold and mildew?

Because I can find data that does prove Lysol will kill mold and mildew. And have already used it many times (unscented, by the way) to kill the mildew in the a/c box. So yes I know it works, but thanks for playing!
Who said the game was over? You? Now it's my turn.

Fact: Lysol is a very efficient sanitizer for killing common household germs and sanitizing most areas; However, it is relatively ineffective against some (keyword: some, not all) pathogens (disease-causing viruses, bacteria, fungi, spores), most notably endospores. (FYI - around 90% if not more microbes are relatively non-threatening, but there is still a large population that are resilient killers).

The reason why you want to be on the look out for endospores is because they are EXTREMELY difficult to kill. Some pathogens are actually chemophilic, thermophilic, and thermophobic, which makes them resilient to boiling (present in cooking food where pathogens infect the body and attack as parasites), cold temperatures, and neutralization through chemical means. Yikes!

Fact: in water purification plants, several processes are conducted to purify drinking water using microbes to attack most pathogens and then filtering the water through chlorine to kill any remaining ones; however, some pathogens are invulnerable to chlorine. Chlorine may indeed be a powerful chemical for killing most pathogens and parasites, but it is not foolproof. The same, thus, is true for the bio-engineered chemicals in Lysol. Chlorine won't kill endospores just as some molds and fungi are unaffected. [Want proof of this? You guys might not remember this, but in 1993 there was an outbreak of cryptosporidium in Milwaukee. This parasite is completely invulnerable to chlorine and was unable to be killed by the microbes used in the preliminary stages of the purification process in water treatment facilities.]

While indeed Lysol is one of the most common and effective household sanitizers, it will not always kill mold. For example, my drier recently broke and as such, I have been hanging my clothes to dry until I can replace it. I have been putting washed pants over the top of a door to let it dry. After several days, I noticed mold began growing at the top of my door and suddenly began to spread. I used Lysol at first to attack and kill the mold, but it was ineffective and still continued to spread. I assume that perhaps skin particles in the air were on the door and were used as nutriets for the mold. I had to BLEACH my door and strip the paint in order to kill the mold.

Lysol is heavily promoted because it sanitizes very well, but definitely is not foolproof. It is, after all, the safest, commercially-available product for sanitizing areas, which is why the FDA supports it as there are virtually no side effects from exposure to Lysol, but it is still recommended to be used in a well-ventilated area.

FYI: I am VERY into science and used to be pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in science at the University of North Florida. I was majoring in Chemistry with a focus in Physics and therefore, have performed many labs regarding pathogens and participated in several case studies, too.

I will not disagree that Lysol is a potent killer. But I assure you, it is not the most effective product against the stronger pathogens - molds, endospores, and fungi.

Here's an article link that displays a little comparison chart:
http://www.reuters.com/article/press...009+BW20090304

Note that Lysol does not kill pseudomonae or spores, common inhabitants in mold populations.

Just because you can't smell or see mold, it doesn't mean it isn't there. It's common misconception to smell something in order to detect mold or decay. Lysol may have freshened up your box, but chances are your mold population was not killed completely. It probably did a good job devastating some of it, provided it wasn't the body-building resilient pathogens that cannot be killed by heat or chlorine.

Final Note:
The chances of having dangerous molds and endospores in your a/c are slim to none. But I'm a quasi-germophone, ergo, do not wish to take chances. You should burn your car and start over. Make sure to douse the fire with chlorine to kill off what you can.

Seriously though, you'll want to actually attack the source of the mold directly with Lysol rather than arbitrarily spraying it in your a/c system. It's the evaporation process that actually kills it, so you're definitely going to want to wait at least one minute before wiping the contents away (such as on kitchen counters).

Last edited by pyroman131; 08-30-2009 at 04:24 AM.
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