Toyota Tundra Air Conditioner Bad Odor/Smell

tundra9tundra9 Member Posts: 1
edited April 2014 in Toyota
I have 2000 Tundra Limited Ext Cab. Everytime I turn on the air conditioner, there is a bad odor coming from the vent and it smells like dirty rag with molds. Talking with Toyota people, especially the dealer is very disappointing because they are clueless. I tried cleaning the car very well and used all kinds of air freshner, including Ozium. No luck. I even tried to talk to Gulf states toyota and they say it is not covered in warranty and no clue either.

Can anyone help me????? Thanks..


  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    condensation is plugged causing mold/mildew buildup in your a/c condenser. This is common depending on your driving conditions.

    I would suspect that the a/c unit would have to be serviced to rid you of this smell. Which would probably include replacing the dryer and condenser (big bucks). That's probably why your dealer can't find the solution. Any half decent mechanic could figure it it's just a matter of convincing the dealer to clean it up under warranty.

    Maybe you could take the truck to another Toyota dealer and hope they would be more helpful. Another option is to file a complaint with the BBB as it usually gets any manufacturer and dealer out of their denial tactics. Been there done that. Good luck.
  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    Another unhappy Chevy owner posting in a Tundra topic!

    The dryer should be in the engine bay, as are the condenser coils (front of radiator). The evaporator coils are the ones where the mold/fungus would build, behind the dashboard, where the condensate forms.

    True ozone would probably kill the fungus and mold. Too much would also disintegrate the interior, fabrics etc.

    Paging Bama!!!!!!!

    Bama, how'd you get the stink out of your truck, or do you still have this problem?
  • ratboy3ratboy3 Member Posts: 324
    spray Lysol disinfectant on the grill at the bottom of the windshield (outside obviously).. where the windshield wipers are sticking out from.. as far as I know this happens to every vehicle
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    You're right...evaporator coil...that's what happens when posting at 5:00 am. Had to give it a second thought before answering cause I knew someone would take a pot shot at it sooner or later today.


    Lysol? why not spray arid extra dry? same thing...just covering up the odor...what about all that fungus and mold growing in there causing the odor, think the lysol is going to kill it? Would you bet your respiratory system on the sick truck syndrome? Not flaming, just wondering where the idea came from for the lysol.
  • ratboy3ratboy3 Member Posts: 324
    I saw that 'fix' on TV hehe.. said that Lysol will kill the germs (fungus/mold???) eliminating the smell and the source.

    So far has worked for me. Of course replacing the parts that have been 'damaged' would be the best way to take care of the problem ;)
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    on TV? I think one of those ionizer units from Sharper Image would probably work ridding the smell and the organisms.
  • redsilveradoredsilverado Member Posts: 1,000
  • ratboy3ratboy3 Member Posts: 324
    on TV that's why I drive one now! haha!

    Those ionizer units would probably work better.
  • ryanbabryanbab Member Posts: 7,240
  • obyoneobyone Member Posts: 7,841
    you believe everything you see on TV. Don't you get it?
  • eric2001eric2001 Member Posts: 482
    Having the unit cleaned? My uncle's car had mice build a nest every year in his a/c unit. Used to run a few hundred to have everything removed just to get at the unit (buried in dash), but it always worked fine & didn't smell afterwards. How difficult is it to get to the housing (evap coil / heater core)? Any chance you could verify your drain isn't plugged - they normally drain out through the fire wall - not sure on your truck but it may help.
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