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Mold Smell When Windows Down?

Any idea on how to get rid of a mold smell emitted from front passenger and driver doors? The smell only exists when either of the windows is open. Had the dealership look at it years ago and they pretty much blew it off as a non-issue.


Water gets into the doors when it rains. The windows don’t seal water tight. There are drain holes in the bottom of the doors to allow the water to escape. If the drain holes in your doors are clogged there may be water trapped in the bottom of the doors, which would allow mold to grow.

I suggest you inspect and clean the drain holes. Get down on the ground and look at the bottom of the doors. You will see the drain holes.

Worst case scenario is you’ll have to remove the inner door panels to see if there’s debris or something preventing the water from draining out of the doors.

Odd, however, that you’d only smell this with the windows open. Are you sure the odor is from the doors? Could it be coming from the car’s vents? Opening the windows may allow air to flow more freely though the vents. Once again, a clogged drain (the AC evaporator drain) could be the culprit.

I would believe mcparadise is correct, but I will offer one suggestion. Next time, don’t open the windows, but turn on the vent fan. Don’t turn on the heat or AC. If you get it then, I would suggest the problem is mold in the air intake. With the windows closed you don’t get much air flowing in the air intake as it has nowhere to go, but open a window and it will suck it is as mcparadise explained and also through the vent system.

Thanks mcparadise and Joe. I’ll get under each door and look at each door’s bottom three drain holes closer.

It’s definitely the windows as when they’re down (fully open) the mold odor can be smelled strongly as you sniff at the base of the window opening. When the vet fan is on without heat nor A/C and the windows are closed, there’s no noticeable mold smell.

Although I didn’t want to have to remove each door panel, seems as if I may have to in order to find this odor - it drives my wife nuts… me, I just think of it as part of the van’s character. :wink: