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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a very hot day with the A/C running full blast and I park my car in my garage, the next morning, on start-up, there's a musty smell. It doesn't last long and doesn't happen when it's cooler out. But it's offensive when it does. The dealer says they haven't heard this one before and wouldn't know how to fix it. I'm just wondering if anyone else has the problem.
 

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Do you know if it's something directly related to the AC system?

If it were up to me i'd try a couple other Acura dealers and even try contacting Acura USA to open a case with them.
 

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Here is an excellent article that explains what the musty smell is. I've had it in pretty well all of my vehicles at different times over the past 10 or so years. It always goes away after a few minutes. The worst was in my '06 Charger. For the Charger, there was a procedure that the dealer did which involved disinfectant. It worked for awhile but the smell eventually came back. One tip that is supposed to help is shutting the AC off a few KMs from stopping. I've never tried it to confirm that it works.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/glob...air-con-in-my-car-smell-musty/article4198341/
 

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I wonder if changing the cabin air filter will help?
 

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Particles pulled in with the outside air (bacteria, spores and dirt) typically drain from the vehicle along with condensation formed when the air conditioning is in use. When excess moisture is present, these particles instead settle in the warm, moist evaporator and case. It’s dark, and ripe for the growth of bacteria and mould.

To eliminate the smell, you have to get rid of the bacteria.
Makes sense to me.
 

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I would try to use the air recirc in the open/fresh air mode and also confirm that condensation is draining at the bottom of the car.
 

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Here is an excellent article that explains what the musty smell is. I've had it in pretty well all of my vehicles at different times over the past 10 or so years. It always goes away after a few minutes. The worst was in my '06 Charger. For the Charger, there was a procedure that the dealer did which involved disinfectant. It worked for awhile but the smell eventually came back. One tip that is supposed to help is shutting the AC off a few KMs from stopping. I've never tried it to confirm that it works.

Why does the air con in my car smell musty? - The Globe and Mail
I agree with andre12dbsi's tip. it helps get rid of any moister before you turn off the car. I think my nest thermostat does the same on my home HVAC(runs the fan for little longer to remove any condensation on the coil)
 

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I have not had any AC smell in any of my cars and not to conflict with the advise thus far but in my opinion I would NOT run the fan with the AC off prior turning off the car and here is why. Unless you run the fan with the AC off for 10-20 minutes there will still be moisture in ducts, condenser etc. In fact running the fan with the AC off when its humid out will create more moisture initally in the ducts and other areas. Remember if you do, you have just started to blow warm moist air through these cold ducts and guess what.. condensation forms and bingo you've just added more moisture to the system specifically in the ducts.

I seem to have had good luck running the AC with the fresh air intake open whenever possible, its killing me that the TLX seems to close it but then again maybe they know something I don't. Then I leave the AC running until I am about to shut down the car. As I've said I've never had any issues with smell in 6+ cars over the years.

If you do have a smell I wouldn't use any spray from the outside of the car but I would get to the air intake directly at the fan level... just after the cabin air filter. Remove the filter and spray in there, my thinking is that this is the best route to where any mold/moisture lives. There certainly will not be any moisture on the "outside" ducts of the system (i.e. pre cabin filter)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So I want to thank everyone for the advice. The TLX is only a few months old and has 6000 miles, but I suppose that's enough time for a bacteria build-up in the system. From your replies, this seems to be a fairly common problem, but it's the first time I've ever had it in any of my cars. I'll apply some of your advice and see what happens. Thanks again.
 

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So I want to thank everyone for the advice. The TLX is only a few months old and has 6000 miles, but I suppose that's enough time for a bacteria build-up in the system. From your replies, this seems to be a fairly common problem, but it's the first time I've ever had it in any of my cars. I'll apply some of your advice and see what happens. Thanks again.
Tell us what works and what doesnt please!
 

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@boblo - Thanks for all the info. I'm new to the forum, but I've had my TLX for about a year now. I live in ATL where it's super humid & muggy and park in a garage, so I've just assumed my musty AC was because of that (or pollen build-up, if that's a thing?).

What ended up being the fix for your AC issues? Any help is greatly appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It's very strange but the musty smell seems to be gone. Haven't noticed it since last summer.
 

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Had the same issue with my wife's car, dealer recommended that I turn on the outside air circulation when I'm parted. Actually works.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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You almost always get the smell after the car wash as well
 

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Yes! I have the SAME issue and now I have to take legal action. I've brought my car into my dealer soooo many times and they refuse to do anything. Now I have to get a lawyer. I literally cannot breathe when I'm inside my car. It smells like wet towels. I signed my lease in February 2015 and I started smelling a mildew smell toward the end of the summer. It subsides during colder days but it's very intense when it's warmer. My dealership totally abandoned me after I refused a new 3 year lease on a 2016. I want to be done with Acura when my lease expires in February of 2018. Hopefully legal proceedings will get me out sooner.
 

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Yes! I have the SAME issue and now I have to take legal action. I've brought my car into my dealer soooo many times and they refuse to do anything. Now I have to get a lawyer. I literally cannot breathe when I'm inside my car. It smells like wet towels. I signed my lease in February 2015 and I started smelling a mildew smell toward the end of the summer. It subsides during colder days but it's very intense when it's warmer. My dealership totally abandoned me after I refused a new 3 year lease on a 2016. I want to be done with Acura when my lease expires in February of 2018. Hopefully legal proceedings will get me out sooner.
Sorry to hear it. What did your dealer do to try and resolve the issue? Have you tried changing the cabin air filter?
 

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I currently have a case with Acura Client Relations for the mold smell in my vehicle. I called (800) 382-2238. When I spoke with my case manager, she said that Acura Client Relations only works as a "mediator" or a "liaison" or a "3rd party". My car smells so bad that it's giving me migraines every day and I have to ride with the windows open rain or shine. I ultimately want to get out of my car, but I'm stuck in my lease. My dealer offered me a 2016 TLX, but the deal was that I had to sign another 3 year lease. I'm already 16 months into my current 3 year lease with my 2015 TLX, and I don't want to sign a new one due to fear of the same thing happening again. I am going to file a complaint with the National Center for Dispute Settlement (NCDS) and see if they can help me get out of this car. I hope that my car qualifies as a lemon because I've brought it to my dealer 4 times for the same problem. The last time the dealership had my car, they kept it for 33 days, which may qualify my car as a lemon due to the New York State lemon law. This mold/mildew smell has been a nightmare. I encourage anyone that has this problem to please come forward because this smell could be making us sick. Please also feel free to reach out to me on this site and maybe we can put our heads together to come up with a way to get out of these toxic cars.
 
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