Camry Defrost Smell


Old 01-22-08, 08:05 AM
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Camry Defrost Smell

I've got a '98 Camry. When I turn on the defrost, I get a stale smell.

Any idea?
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Old 01-22-08, 03:16 PM
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There might be a in cabin filter that needs replacement. These are usually located behind the glovebox.

We are talking about the front defrost, and not the rear defroster?
Old 01-22-08, 05:45 PM
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But is the odor from the defrost only?, and not from the panel or heat vents?
Old 01-22-08, 05:58 PM
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From the front defroster (windshield). I didn't notice it when the heat only was on but it doesn't have this smell every time either. Just most of the time.
Old 01-22-08, 06:17 PM
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Maybe some vertical drop associated with the layout has allowed condensation or some other cause for water to gather in there and get stale. Have you tried to run it on high speed/hot defrost for a long time to try to clear it out?

If you have a/c maybe you could run it so it recirculates the air, with a odor neutralizer and or germ-killing or other type sanitizer sprayed in the car. If it is cold out, maybe someone else here could advise on any ramifications on running the a/c below certain outside temps. I'm not sure on this.
Old 01-23-08, 07:16 AM
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ecman51`, my manual for my 2008 vehicle says to run the A/C year round to keep the system lubricated, adleast once a week. Does not mention any issues with running in cold weather.
Old 01-23-08, 07:23 AM
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Most cars automatically run the A/C when the controls are in the "defrost" position in order to help reduce moisture in the car. Oftentimes, the evaporator can develop a musty smell if is not dried out after the A/C or defroster has been run.

The A/C does not run in the defrost setting when the outside temperature is very cold, such as below 32 degrees, so maybe that's why you smell a musty smell when using the defroster in milder weather, and not after you've used it in really cold weather.

You might try running the system in the "heat" position for a few minutes after using the defroster, to help dry out any moisture left on the evaporator coil.

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