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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The problem seems to get worse. Each time I turn on the a/c there is a bad smell coming from the vents for about 30 seconds. Could there be mold growing somewhere? I live in Los Angeles, CA.
 

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The problem seems to get worse. Each time I turn on the a/c there is a bad smell coming from the vents for about 30 seconds. Could there be mold growing somewhere? I live in Los Angeles, CA.
Is while driving? Ie you start it with ac on, turn it off then on for a bit?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is while driving? Ie you start it with ac on, turn it off then on for a bit?
Either way, in the beginning the a/c is venting smelly/moldy air. It doesn't happen with regular air, just a/c!
 

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Best way to prevent is to turn the airco off about 10min before you arrive at your destination, like this the tubes get "dry" ...also turn the blower up a bit...Smell will be gone in no time!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Best way to prevent is to turn the airco off about 10min before you arrive at your destination, like this the tubes get "dry" ...also turn the blower up a bit...Smell will be gone in no time!
I'll try that. Thanks!
 

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The problem seems to get worse. Each time I turn on the a/c there is a bad smell coming from the vents for about 30 seconds. Could there be mold growing somewhere? I live in Los Angeles, CA.
Do you park in a garage at night and at work? We had that smell on the Audi, and basically the core never dried out because it was always in a garage which was more humid than the outdoors. Once my wife started parking outdoors for work the smell went away.

To fix the mold smell, we had success letting the car idle for a half hour with the heat on high (without us in the car obviously). If that doesnt fix it, most dealers have a product that will fog the vents to kill the mold, I have read of trying to spray Lysol in the vents but have never tried it. Lastly, how old is your cabin filter?
 

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Hmmmm Mine is always parked in a garage... The old P2 xc70... Had that smell indeed!! Could also be a factor.
With the P3 no probs yet...

Yes, check cabin filter


XC70 2011 D5
 

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Best way to prevent is to turn the airco off about 10min before you arrive at your destination, like this the tubes get "dry" ...also turn the blower up a bit...Smell will be gone in no time!
^This. And you, OP, may benefit from more frequent cabin air filter changes.
 

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Either way, in the beginning the a/c is venting smelly/moldy air. It doesn't happen with regular air, just a/c!
Ah k... I've had vehicles where if you turn the AC off then back on again they have a musty smell. Have yet to experience that with our XC60 though.
 

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Best way to prevent is to turn the airco off about 10min before you arrive at your destination, like this the tubes get "dry" ...also turn the blower up a bit...Smell will be gone in no time!
Thanks for that tip, never considered it before.
 

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Best way to prevent is to turn the airco off about 10min before you arrive at your destination, like this the tubes get "dry" ...also turn the blower up a bit...Smell will be gone in no time!
Uh, not in my case. I have been having bad odor problems from my AC for a couple of months now (always garaged '14 S60, dry climate, AC on most of the time). It is really bad right after start up every morning, slowly bets better, but never 100%. I tried what you are suggesting multiple times (hot air with blower at max for 10min every night), it does nothing. I also tried to spray Lysol over intake vents under the hood with blower on full. Helps for a day or two (maybe Lysol smell just masks the odor), but then the smell comes back. I am taking the car in to the dealer tomorrow, lets see what they say. It could be an "afterblow" issue (search for TSB TJ17817-2014-12-17), or AC condensor tubing clogging up. Really killing my overall good experience from the car.
 

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Uh, not in my case. I have been having bad odor problems from my AC for a couple of months now (always garaged '14 S60, dry climate, AC on most of the time). It is really bad right after start up every morning, slowly bets better, but never 100%. I tried what you are suggesting multiple times (hot air with blower at max for 10min every night), it does nothing. I also tried to spray Lysol over intake vents under the hood with blower on full. Helps for a day or two (maybe Lysol smell just masks the odor), but then the smell comes back. I am taking the car in to the dealer tomorrow, lets see what they say. It could be an "afterblow" issue (search for TSB TJ17817-2014-12-17), or AC condensor tubing clogging up. Really killing my overall good experience from the car.
I got a 20 inch wall mounted fan in my garage towards the front of the car. When I feel the weather gets warm or the humidity is high, I turn the fan on for 15 minutes or so. I guess this may be helpful in cooling down the engine bay and also blowing away the moisture. This works pretty well for me.
 

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Had the same type of problem on my 2013 XC60. Dealer replaced cabin air filter and the bad smell is gone since then.
Well, my dealer did the same thing, and the smell is still there, maybe slightly less than before. Going back tomorrow - let's see what else they do. I really didn't expect the new filter to fix the problem - the source is somewhere else. Frankly I am starting to question my previously positive opinion on this dealer service department. This is the second time I had to come back to fix the issue properly (first one was a defective tire causing a pull). It feels like some mechanics are simply looking for the easiest way out, instead of properly researching the problem first, and don't even test if the solution worked. My other issue was persistent squeaking sound from B-pillar. The squeak is still there, after they "lubed the seals" last week.

PS. Latest update - brought the car back yesterday after the second visit. Looks like they did fix the issue for the time being, at least. Replaced the filter with the carbon one, cleaned the system again and activated "after blow" (blower turns on after the car has been off for a while, to blow out remaining moisture). Will see if this lasts. Also repositioned the rubber seals around the door, squeaking is gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the help!
 

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Well, the smell is back in my car, after a couple of weeks from the last visit to the dealer. Seems that replacing the filter did not address the root of the problem. I will live with it for now, but this is getting pretty frustrating.
 
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