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2014 Subaru Outback - Getting rid of mildew odor

How do I get rid of mildew smell coming from above headliner. Water got into the car last fall getting the right side rear seatbelt very wet. Also some water was dripping in the area in front of the sunroof but not from the sunroof–area around it was dry. Not sure how water got in. The windows were all closed. The car now has a strong mildew smell coming from above the headliner above rear seats.
Where do I take the car to get rid of mildew or mold that is above the headliner and to get rid of the smell? Any help would be appreciated.

Start calling detail shops and auto upholstery shops to see who can remove the head liner and kill this mold . I doubt if your full coverage insurance will be of any help but you can ask.

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Be sure to figure that out and correct it before dealing w/ the moldy-roof problem; otherwise you’ll have to do the job for mold problem again. Rain water could get to the headliner area from these areas

  • Side windows
  • Sunroof
  • Windshield seal nearest the roof line.
  • Anything fastener penetrating the roof panel, like screws for a roof-rack, etc.

Given your description of the strength of the mold-odor I expect the entire headliner and its backing board is going to have to be removed and cleaned, or replaced. It might be possible to remove the headliner’s backing board out the rear door. If so, that’ll save you a few bucks in labor.

Follow the others’ advice on determining the source and thoroughly removing the mold/mildew, you’ll need professional help.

One potential entry point you can check yourself is clogged sunroof drains which will cause the sunroof gutters to overflow. To check, park on level ground and open the sunroof. Slowly pour water into each of the gutters and look for proper drainage, be sure the water is distributed to the drains on all sides. If not draining, stop before overflow and remove the water up with a rag or wet vac. The water should drain to the pavement, under the drain outlets (learn where these are for your car). If the water drains but doesn’t appear under the car, you may have a disconnected drain hose. Its good practice to flush the drains periodically, they can be clogged by debris, insect nests, etc. Drains often can be cleared by pushing a length of weed whacker (plastic) “string” of appropriate gauge through them, working from either direction. Don’t use a lot of force and avoid pressurizing with air as these can force a hose from a fitting.