Air Conditioner


Asked by May 28, 2008 at 04:38 PM about the 2008 Toyota Camry LE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

After i turn off my air conditioner, if the fan is still on it smells like dirty socks. The air blowing from the vent is just smelly. What could be the problem? Is it something related tot he filter?

10 Answers


Your car is a 2008 if it smells that bad take it back to the dealer. Have them check it out. It could be just working itself in!!


try to change the a/c filter placed behind the glove box, and also make sure there is no forgotten stuff inside your car or in the trunk, like a piece of sandwich or something :-D

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Any new car that has a nasty smell should be taken back... especially 08s... Your AC filter should be changed out every year or so... it's not hard and it should be in the manual on basic maintenance. Smells can occur for multiple of reasons... 1. running the AC without airing it out... After running your ac it is wise to turn it off and let the hot air dry it up inside... if not you leave a compartment cold and wet... and then creating mildew... that's why they made filters. but not all cars have filters. 2. something died up in your engine compartment... it gets into the vents and can smell for a good long time. 3. Too much dust flying in the air and settles in the vents. Hope it helps!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Thanks a lot guys for the replies. I guess, I will have to take it to the dealer since its a new one! Appreciate the feedback:-)


bring it back we will disinfect the vents

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I also have a 2011 and have taken it to the dealer. I am furious! It is so embarassing to have a brand new car that smells so bad that you pull over to get out! Seems like a known issue that the dealership does not want to deal with. Really regretting buying a Toyota! I had a 2004 and never had one issue!

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have a 2011 Camry XLE, manufactured August 2011, and it has the bad odor problem also. It usually emits the odor when the car is initially started and the smell dissipates after a couple of minutes. This started between 13k and 14k miles on the odometer and 8 months into my new car experience. Took it to dealer for 15k service and ask them to check out this problem. Got the car back and was told that they could find nothing wrong with the A/C or the A/C cabin filter. Also, claim no water puddling problem. Now the smell is slightly worse than before they cleaned out the filter.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

I have a 2011 Camry LE and I have the same problem only my air conditioner smells like a dead rodent with the AC button on or off. My dealer can't find the problem and the service manager has been driving it all weekend to see if he can smell it because there is no sign of dead rodent and the smell doesn't happen every day especially the day I take it to service, of course.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

I refused to accept that they couldn't find anything wrong with My brand New Car. I realized that since the smell came after they did my 5,000 mile service. I think they used a Bad windshield wiper fluid and I might have to have that changed as well. They flushed out the air conditioner and I have not had any smell since; however, it hasn't been hot like it was when I first noticed the smell. Tell them to flush out your air conditioner and don't let them sell you the more expensive filter like they tried to sell me. I seriously doubt that a new air filter will help. My Toyota company tried to tell me that my noise was just more sensitive to smells..totally wrong.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

This action solved my issue in a 2000 Avalon and in a 2008 Lexsus ES 350 permanently. I didn't make a connection until today, 4/2016, but try this for thought. I had the mildew/mold smell in the Avalon when I purchased it at 19,000 miles. The dealer said it was a dirty cabin air filter and replaced it. Smell was gone for a week or so and then came back. Eventually the smell was gone forever (might have been a couple of years.) I had the same problem in the 08 Lexus that I bought several years later, also with several thousand miles. Of course I replaced the cabin air filter right away. Still had the odor and I chalked it up to some quirk that was probably present in all Toyota products. Within 3 months of buying the Lexus I was driving in a rain storm. I noticed that my left foot was wet and discovered that there was a leak in the front end somewhere. The dealer took it to a carwash and then power-hosed it to try to duplicate the problem without success. I was told that without knowing what was causing the problem, the dealer would not do anything and that I was out of luck unless I could bring it in at some time in the future as the problem was occurring. The next time I was driving in the rain, I drove it to the dealer. Bingo..problem identified and windshield was removed and replaced. No more leak. The mold/mildew smell disappeared without me being aware until today! What about the 2000 Avalon...I also had a windshield replaced after picking up a rock. Probably just before that smell disappeared. I never would have noticed the leak in the Lexus had the drip not hit my foot. In other words, I'm guessing many of these cars have a small leak that goes unnoticed. Dry conditions do not promote mildew/mold growth. Find the moisture and find the smell.....up under the dash somewhere. Possible bad seal in original windshield installations from factory.

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