2014 Toyota Avalon odor

Anyone have issue with car odor especially after rainy day & no sign of water inside car???
I have to leave windows cracked daily to keep smell under control.

What kind of smell, musty, moldy, etc?

Idk what mold smells like, but my first thought was a wet musty odor- but no signs of water. It really kind of reminds me of stinky gym-locker room /body/ stinky shoe odor. I even thought maybe a male cat sprayed my car… no cats around so idk. It comes and goes -like I said I have to leave the window cracked or it gets really strong…stronger in the trunk!

Thanks :slight_smile:

my husband says its a musty moldy smell.

any ideas of what the issue is?

It’s probably mold. Water or moisture is clearly getting in or got in at some point. I think you might wan to take it to be professionally detailed. They have access to heavy duty chemicals that you won’t have. If you want to DIY it, you need to let the car get completely dry before you hit it with any cleaning solutions. Depending on how far seeped in the moisture is, you may need to pull up the carpet and pad underneath to get everything dried out.

ok, thanks!

That’s where I left my limburger sandwich.


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Could have mold on the evaporator core

There are products available at most auto parts stores, which will combat the problem

Have you checked the spare tire compartment for water?

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have you changed the cabin air filter ever? they do have carbon coated models for “freshness”. as if that would help a mold issue in the vents

Nope, but I will check it out!


I’ll second that and also suggest you check the AC drain hose to make sure it’s not blocked. A piece of plastic string from a string trimmer (aka weed whacker) works well without potential to damage anything. One word of advice, keep your face away in case you unleash a deluge…

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if you use the a/c than there should be a wet spot under the firewall location on the ground from dripping. if its really humid you might get a big water stain. or a little stain if its not humid

If you got a small leak that allows rain water to get into the passenger compartment, often it goes underneath the carpet and you won’t notice it. But it will cause the carpet underlayment to get wet, and that will result in an off odor. The way to tell, you have to pull the carpet up the best you can to see if the underlayment or the metal floor underneath is wet. I had this same problem on my truck, and finally figured out I had to lift the carpet up a little here and there to find what was getting wet. From that clue I was able to discover where the rain water was getting in.

It’s possible also that something else is causing the odor, like mold spores from he AC system, and when the humidity is high is when you smell it the most. Mold spores probably become more active as the humidity increases.

ok, thank you very much.