air conditioning/ heat


Asked by Jun 05, 2008 at 11:16 PM about the 2007 Mazda MAZDA3 i Touring

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Does anyone ever notice after a while when you turn off the air conditioning and turn it back on that it has a funny smell to it? I had to pay 250$ to have that fixed and it still smells

23 Answers


is it standard? but i tihnk i may know of the smell your talking about. is it a bit.. musty?..ish?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

it was a TSB but it wasnt under warranty...but i've had the issue since i bought the car less than a year i dunno...but it is kinda musty and just makes me sick when i smell it...when i brought it back to mazda (it took me 3 dealers to diagnose this) they told me that it was filled with mold and mildew (my cabin air filter) and that they replaced it and it should be better but less than a month later it still smells i just wanted to know if anyone else has had this problem

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

hmm... cuz i get a bit of a smell too, but its not too bad at all. like, it'll smell funny for a second, but then its gone.


and the only thing i can really think of, is too re check your cabin air filter. but they're just such a bitch to get at. as i tihnk you have to remove ur glove box and a few other tihngs to get at...

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

they must be because whenever they would look at it my entire radio was reset and the first time someone looked at it, it actually stopped playing my CDs for about 3 would spit them out telling me to check the CD..i dunno i wish i could sell the car...ugh

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Hi, I just happened to stumble upon your question I am an auto tech and have been working on mazda, cadillac, hyundia , and most GM vehicles for about 10 years. You could have to problems with your car 1 is obvious that you have mold build up on your evaporator core which can be cleaned and coated with out dash removal this is the GM part number for the kit 12346391. I have used this many times it has worked well but may need to done more than once, but highly unlikely on your car considering the size of the system. Also on this system as moisture builds on the evaporator and sweats off it gathers on the bottom of your heaterbox where it has gotten moldy due to dirt and leaves that tendto get past your cabin filter begins to gather and clog the drain hole for the water leak out this should be checked when cleaning it out do not blew air into it, its is a one way valve so water from street does not enter best way is to use a screwdriver this drain is located on the outside passenger side of vehicle on fire wall just above the steering rack. hope this helps if you have any other questions feel free to ask. Brian

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

hi I just got your post now and when i brought my car back to mazda the first time it was just weeks after i bought the thing and they sprayed this stuff into the system and told me it was fine...the smell was still there but now it had a disgusting flower/dead persong spray...then i brought it back again and they took everything apart and broke my radio and sprayed it again and then i brought it back another time and they sprayed it and barely took the time to see if anything was wrong so i brought it to another mazda dealer and they finally looked and they verified that it was the cabin air filter and that it was a TSB and i would have to pay for it so i did and now it still smells a month or so later...its horrible and its not like that can just build up in seconds...i dont even use the air conditioning unless i absolutly have to and if i do i try not to turn it off because thats normally when it happens i wish mazda would've been completly honest with me and told me if i got one of the infamous wayne mazda flood cars (they had a huge flood right before my car was bought)


what you over paid sorry,this happens on new cars alot cause they sat befor getting sold(it happened to old cars also when new)go to the store and buy disinfectant spray(lysol or something on that end)spray it in the vents and let it sit for like a half a hour,then start the car and see the smell(you want the windows open for the first 10 min of driving but this works


yea....i technically didnt over pay kinda because mazda had given me 200$ in coupons instead of doing something productive about my car and i used that but im still super pissed because no matter what i do it still smells ill try that but a friend of mine suggested that it could possibly be mold build up in the condenser? i think thats what he said but he said the next time i call mazda to have them rip apart the dash (again) and try seeing if thats it...if thats the case then i just want something different...this car has been horrible and mazda totally doesnt stand behind their product let alone know how to treat people i would never recommend this to anyone

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

ya but they wont open the is mold and when they spray the disinfectant it will go away,also your car may have a pollan filter,replace it if its dirty(filters the air that comes in)you can put a parfum oil on them and it will help,but do what i said with the disinfectant spray,try to get it in the vents as far in as you can,

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


1 of 1 people found this helpful.

i wanted to but my parents said not to...technically mine is supposed to be under lemon law its been like 5 times that i've brought it back and its still not fixed and i called mazda motor corp and they did nothing they gave me a goodwill coupon that i used to buy this part and they were supposed to reimburse me but im still waiting for it im going to try and have my dad call and talk to them again because enough is enough i wish they would just take the stupid thing back and give me every cent i put towards this...i would never recommend this car to anyone even tho i am in love with my color and the way it just sucks


Sam, I have a used 2004 Mazda 3 S. I can feel the smell you are talking about too for a couple of seconds, but than it's gone. In rest I don't have any problems... If this is the only problem you are having than deal with it, 'cause trust me, any other car you'll buy there's gonna be some glitch to it.... Nothing's perfect in this world unfortunately. My brother has VW Jetta diesel... and he has problems with transmission, air filters, lights, pumps all the time.... but it's just that... He won't sell it just because it still gives him the 45mi/gal... You should consider all the other advantages of your car, before singling out one small glitch and telling everyone that Mazda as a whole sucks, that's not fair.


honestly until you've been in my shoes and dealt with wut i have had to you would hate mazda too...because its not just my air conditioning...i needed an allignment as soon as i bought the car and then they broke my sway bar bushing clamps and then i started with the air conditioning and then i brought it back for yet another allignment and ordered a seat cover and a tire and that took months and then i brought it back because at less than 5000 miles my rotors were so severely warped that my car shook my entire body when i decided to stop and they fought me and told me that they were fine and that they couldnt feel a thing with it so i really dont wanna hear that im singling any sort of problem out so until you've been through all the crap that i have with them you would have a strong dislike as well.


As I said, I bought my car used, @ 36K miles; and I've had it for about 5 months now. Besides the air conditioning smell I haven't noticed any other problems. I am sorry to hear that you had so many problems with your car, but I'm rather inclined to believe that the dealership mechanics broke it than that it came so out of the factory. If you still have the car good luck with it, if not I hope your new car does not give you as many head aches as that one. Cheers.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Sounds like you had quite an unfortunate experience with your Mazda3 there...I know a trick about the aircon though if you don't want the smell to come back. Everytime you're about to exit your car after a trip (be it whether you've actually used the air-con or not), turn the fan to full blast and make sure you're drawing air from outside...this helps clear out your vents to prevent any mould forming inside which I think was what caused the smell in the first place so yeah...hate to say it but you could have saved the $250 :S

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

My 2005 Mazda3 will smell like mold/mildew if I use the MAX AC (recirculation) a lot. I use it a lot because the air conditioner generally doesn't work very well. But if I run the air conditioner without the MAX/recirculation turned on, the smell goes away and stays away until I use the MAX/recirc again. The AC is disappointing, along with the amount of suspension noise from the front of the car. But otherwise, I have liked the car. Good luck!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

i wish my smell didnt come on at all...whether or not i have the recirc button on it does it...i met with the district manager for my area yesterday and he smelled now next wednesday i go and pick up my rental car and leave my car to be ripped apart...


it is possible the drain hose is not connected and leaking all the condensation into the evap box. its not hard to removed the cain filters. there should be two behind and just below the golve box.


they ripped everything apart at mazda, and they still found nothing. i filed for lemon law and i took the worlds shittiest settlement ever of 4000$ and i cant sue them...MAZDA IS THE WORST CORPORATION EVER. i cant believe after all the bullshit and the proof i was just about forced into this settlement. my advice to any person is to think long and hard before you buy a mazda from wayne mazda..because of them im stuck with my stupid car til im done paying it off and all i got was 4000$ to try and shut me up.


If your problem cant be fixed by todays metheds,try somthing different and I know this sounds stupid but if you cant fix the prob cover it up with somthing,I had an old ford ranger with bad smelling a/c put a uranel cake in evaperator housing, or just break it up and pop it in your air vents ,beleave it or not you wont smell the a/c any more!

Is anyone having a problem with 2009 mazda 3, having a nasty odor coming our from the vents, when the heat is on? and only a smiggin , but goes away with air conditioner ? any help ?? im about to get rid of car, cuz the process to tear the inside dash out is $500 (6 hrs work) and then not sure ??

I'm not sure I want Lysol or urinal cakes in my lungs! I submitted an answer I saw on a (PBS?) car show many years ago, above. There's a product used in refrigeration for the very same reasons & it was a food safe & unscented product. This is what I wrote: "Many years ago I saw a fix for stinky (mold/mildew) vents and it was an easy fix. I've not needed it so far, so I've not tried it. If all air filters are clean and you're sure there's no malevolent person playing a prank on you or dead critters within, then: go to your nearest DIY/hardware store and look in the refrigerator maintenance department. There should be a spray can of stuff that is used to kill mold/mildew from circulating airways within a refrigerators system. (Sorry I don't have the specifics on the product, I'm just offering from a years ago memory.) If you get ahold of that or similar-something that'll do the job and is food/breathing safe, then turn on your car's HVAC so it's pulling outside air and spray the stuff into your air intakes near your windshield. Let it run thru for a bit then turn off engine let it sit (overnight?) and do it's stuff. If it were my car, I would then let it air out, out in the sunshine with the windows cracked or fully open so that any residue may be further evaporated by heat and fresh air. I'd also vacuum any debris from the HVAC intakes before spraying them. Hope that's helpful."

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