AFTER SMELLING A DEAD ANIMAL SMELL FOR WEEKS IN MY 2002 CAMRY XLE, I FINALLY FOUND THE PROBLEM.
I LOCATED THE A/C FILTER BEHIND THE GLOVE BOX, AND PULLED IT OUT. WOW! PIECES OF THE FILTER WERE PULLED OUT, AND QUITE A NEST WAS BUILT WITH THE FILTER MATERIAL AND SEEDS FROM A MAPLE TREE.
THE FILTER WAS COMPLELY PLUGED UP.
THE A/C AND HEATER SEEMED TO WORK OK, THEREFORE THE FILTER WAS NOT SUSPECT.
HOPE THIS INFO WILL BE OF SOME INTEREST TO ALL.
A not at all uncommon issue. However one more reminder does not hurt.
Yep, and fresh air vents (directly below the windshield) and cabin filters need to be serviced at least once per year too.
If you look at the duct right above the filter, you will notice that it ends right up under the plastic shroud covering the windshield wiper area. Critters can crawl right up there and into the duct. A piece of metal window screen cut to size, folded over the duct and secured with a zip tie or twisted wire will stop them from getting in by the filter. The plastic shroud only has to be loosened in order to work on the top of the duct.
Your comments are greatly appreciated!
You are most welcome. I had EXACTLY the same problem on my 2003 Camry and haven’t had one since adding the screening. Good luck!