Mildew in the Lexus

Last summer my 2002 RX300 developed a distinctive moldy/mildew smell in the interior. I have

1.brought the car to the dealer for evaluation

2.changed the air filters

3.covered every square inch of the interior carpet

I cannot locate the source. Someone mentioned that it could be the water line to the rear windshield wiper is leaking?

Any ideas?

Has anyone checked the vent system for mildew growing in the air conditioning evaporator drain pan?


A clogged AC evaporator drain will cause this odor to develop.

You say this happened last summer. How does it smell now?

Before you answer; every time you use the"defrost" setting, which I’m sure you use a lot in Minnesota, the AC runs.

Now, how does the AC smell?

Have your ventilation system “disinfected”, a new service being offered by profit starved dealers. Or set the A/C on “outside air” or “normal” position and use a spray bottle to squirt Hydrogen Peroxide solution into the A/C air intake usually located near the base of the passenger wiper arm. Some people use diluted household bleach but this is a more drastic solution with oder issues of its own…

Check the area under the vents in front of the windscreen. It can collect leaves and such and block the drain. I may need cleaning much the same as the other common problem with the A/C evaporator.

During the depth of winter the smell faded; however, I parked the car indoors for several days at 70 degrees, without running the AC and the strong mildew odor returned.