Musty smell from cabin vents

Musty smell from cabin vents

This is a discussion on Musty smell from cabin vents within the Evoque Forum forums, part of the Evoque Discussions category; In the last few weeks I've noticed a musty smell from the cabin vents when the using recirculation mode (either when it comes on automatically ...

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  1. #1
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    Musty smell from cabin vents

    In the last few weeks I've noticed a musty smell from the cabin vents when the using recirculation mode (either when it comes on automatically or when I set it manually). It happens both with the A/C on and off, so I'm not sure that it's a/c related (mildew, drains etc). When recirc is off, there's no smell at all. Any ideas? Putting a new cabin air filter in maybe?

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisell View Post
    In the last few weeks I've noticed a musty smell from the cabin vents when the using recirculation mode (either when it comes on automatically or when I set it manually). It happens both with the A/C on and off, so I'm not sure that it's a/c related (mildew, drains etc). When recirc is off, there's no smell at all. Any ideas? Putting a new cabin air filter in maybe?
    I have a similar issue with my Evoque. In my case its mildew allowing for bacterial growth in the A/C system – making a smell that I can best describe as a combination of chocolate syrup and dog s_ _t. With the A/C turned to a maximum cold temp (with the fan on high speed) spray a disinfectant such as Lysol directly into the fresh air intake located beneath the front window passenger side (U.S.), also do the same with the heater setting at a maximum hot setting. This prevention works for several months until the smell reoccurs. The Lysol product is much cheaper than a disinfectant found in auto parts stores for the same purpose. Choose the disinfectant scent carefully or you may be switching one bad smell for another. This problem is quite common for all cars in humid hot climates. I live in humid New Orleans. Its unusual that it is occurring in Utah in what I would consider to be a dry climate. Doing an online search can give you more detailed instructions on this procedure.

  4. #3
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    Mstraka's advice is spot on.

    The other thing you can try, once the order is gone, is to turn off the A/C a minute or two before you reach your destination, but keep the fan running to dry out
    all of the condensation in the system, as the condensation is what is causing the problem. When you do this, make sure you are in the fresh air setting, and not recirculation

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  6. #4
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    I had the same issue. As others have stated turn the heat on high for as long as you can to dry out the vents and circ system.
    Even though doing this can help some cars, mine it did not as it was sitting for a few months on a car lot before I got the car. The dealer did a full air con clean and replaced the filters which eventually did the trick.

  7. #5
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    The weird thing with mine was that it happened whether or not the A/C was on. Utah is dry as Mstraka said, so I didn't think it was the a/c mildew thing. I changed the cabin air filter this weekend and the problem has gone now. I suspect the air filter was badly blocked and just not getting enough air across it or something. I know all the filters ingested a lot of dirt when I took it off-roading last year - I probably should have changed the cabin filter when I did the engine air filter but I forgot. When I took my old cabin filter out it smelled really bad. Good news though, on full fan now, the HVAC doesn't whistle any more. Symptom of a totally clogged filter.

    On a separate note : cabin air filter is a total bitch to change. 12 inches long with only 2 inches of clearance to get it out the side of the HVAC unit in the footwell. Nice. You can DIY but you will donate blood and/or skin to your car and there's a 50/50 chance one critical M10 bolt in the frame of the fuse holders will end up under your passenger side carpet, meaning a total disassembly of the plastics and carpet on that side to get it out.

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    Yes, cabin filter. Also check under the hood to be sure leaves are not piling up on the intake vents.

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    Has anyone else changed the cabin air filter and give us some advice to do the operation? Perhaps give us an experienced step by step set of instructions to avoid a first bloody and frustrating attempt? You-tube shows it done for a U.K. right hand drive Evoque but this doesn't work on our U.S. left hand drive Evoques. I'm suspicious that this is something that can be easily skipped by a 'technician', although it's spec'd to do, at periodic servicing at the dealer. There is a premium carbon impregnated version available, not the standard Land Rover spec, and I'd prefer to use this. All these filters are inexpensive on e-bay.

  10. #8
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    Actually that YouTube video is exactly right for the US spec one - that's what I have - just flip everything around left-to-right.

    )

    So it's still in the passenger side footwell.
    There's three clips like that video shows, that release the first cover. Then the fusebox cover - the plastic one, snaps out and hinges down. The video doesn't show one thing you really do need to do - where the plastic fusebox cover is, the left side of it clips into a white metal frame that is held on to the bulkhead with a single M10 bolt. (you can see it in the UK video on the right side). Undo that and move that piece of frame out of the way (it has two connectors on it so you'll need to zip-tie it out of the way). I don't know how the UK guy got his out without removing that piece of frame but I suspect it's closer to the air filter in the US version than the UK one.
    The cabin air filter cover is exactly as the video shows, as is the filter itself.
    Getting it out isn't too difficult because you can pull it out, around the corner towards the footwell and down to clear the glovebox. Getting the new one back in is an exercise in swearing and bruised/cut knuckles because you need to get your hand right up the top of the filter and try to guide it in pleat-by-pleat until it's nearly half way in. Only then can you really push it in the rest of the way.
    I knocked up this simple CG render of the angle you need to get the filter to go through to get it out and back in again. The purple box is the air filter housing. The white thing is the air filter. It has to be bent 90 degrees towards the back of the car and about 45 degrees down to clear the fusebox frame (when unbolted) and the underside of the glovebox. It's ridiculous.
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  11. #9
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    Thanks Crisell. That's a good explanation and the graphic you created is great. When moving the fuse box with the fuses exposed (cover off) and using care, is there much of a chance of accidentally shorting out and of the circuits by touching a ground?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstraka View Post
    Thanks Crisell. That's a good explanation and the graphic you created is great. When moving the fuse box with the fuses exposed (cover off) and using care, is there much of a chance of accidentally shorting out and of the circuits by touching a ground?
    You're only actually moving a bracket that has a pair of plugs attached to it so you're not touching the fusebox proper, so it ought not to be a concern.
    One thing to note - which I should edit my original - when you undo the M10 bolt, there's a 50/50 chance it will drop down behind the carpet in the passenger side footwell, requiring you to take all the plastic trim out around the bottom of the door to get the carpet up far enough that you can get your hand in and retrieve it ...

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