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Old 06-13-2012, 02:00 AM   #1
projectsubaru
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Socal
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2000 OBS
SRP

Question musty smell coming from vents

So I purchased an 00 OBS about three weeks ago now, love it so far, but as with any used car, it came with a list of things that I want to fix on it. First and foremost, when there is a bit of moisture outside, or right after I wash my car, there is a musty smell that comes out of the vents. When I first experienced this I wrote it off as being an easy fix, thinking that I would just be able to drop the glove box and replace the cabin air filter. I went down to o'reilly auto parts and picked up a cabin air filter, but when I came home and dropped the glove box there was no place for a cabin air filter. Did a bunch of searches on here and rs25, and found out that apparently cabin air filters were an option on my car that the original owners opted out of. So now the question I'm left with is

Where else could the smell be coming from? To me it smells kind of like a dog bed or just old mildewy cloth...

Any ideas??

and as a side note, was wondering why the package from o'reilly came with two different size filters... any insight as to why that would be? kind of makes me hope that I was simply looking in the wrong place...
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Old 06-17-2012, 05:10 PM   #2
Fozze626
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If the vehicle never came with a cabin filter there's a good chance there is a lot of junk built up in the evaporator(hair,dirt,mold). First I would drop out the blower motor and see if you got a dead critter in there and clean it out. Then if your up to it remove and clean out the evap or try one of those little evap core flush things they sell online. Its a little can of aerosol foam but it can get a tad messy and doesn't really get everything. Or spray a crap ton of Lysol in to the blower and vents and see if that help. Check your A/C drain and see if its blocked up at all too. When the you run the AC a lot moisture builds up in the system and attracts dirt so its a good idea after running your AC for a while to let the heater blow just before getting out to help dry up any excess moisture. Also with any used car i rent one of those little carpet cleaners from the hardware store with the upholstery attachments and do the whole inside of the car. You'd be surprised how dirty it really is.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:55 AM   #3
Clute
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In order to eradicate musty from your home, the source must be eliminated.

2
Create a mixture of 1 1/2 cups of bleach to a gallon of water.
3
Spray the bleach solution on the areas where the previous damp or wet materials were located.

4
Clean the return and all the vents thoroughly using disposable rags that have been sprayed with the bleach solution.
if this not working then try this.
Your right this is a defect but there is no recall for it
No if you are up for a project fix it right remove the heat duct assembly and dismantle it
You will see where the water lays in the bottom and gets moldy now using fiberglass mesh and resin you need to build up that low spot and get the water to flow out all the way
It's a long job do you need any instructions to remove the assembly?
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:20 AM   #4
dosman23
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If you want to go the cheap route they also make a foam that you spray in through the ac drain that is supposed to foam all over the heater core and remove mold and dirt and debris. I had used it before in my neon and it seemed to help.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:13 PM   #5
larson701
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Check to see if the vent is jammed into the air recirc position. If the system is constantly in air recirc, water accumulates in the ductwork and eventually becomes moldy. I always run my vent system with outside air.
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:45 AM   #6
projectsubaru
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Thanks for all the help, it just so happens that it was jammed on the open circulation setting, havent had a chance to drop everything out, but I think I will start by trying to clean everything by hand that I can by removing assemblies and all that, and see where that gets me. thanks again for all the advice, I'll bump this back up to the top again if I cant seem to eradicate the smell using the methods described in the posts above
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