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Thread: Musty odor when AC is on

  1. #1
    Banned HondaSUV Newbie
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Default Musty odor when AC is on

    Hi I own a 2000 pre owned CRV. Every time I turn on the AC, there is a musty odour. I read that this is caused by bacteria in the evaporator. How do I remove the bacteria?

  2. #2
    FFNC Site AdminHondaSUV Elder Racoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    A cornfield near Music City...


    I'd start with checking the A/C filter. It might never have been changed. Here's a link to some instructions about how to change it:

    97-01 Honda CR-V A/C filter change

    The Racoon

    White Diamond Pearl 2014 CR-V EX AWD (Gen 4)

    Accessories: splash guards, body side molding, moonroof visor, Weathertech Window Deflectors, Weathertech floor mats, Weathertech cargo tray

    Milano Pink 1999 CR-V EX 5 Speed (Gen 1.5) - SOLD at 127,997 miles
    Silver Moss Metallic 2006 CR-V EX 5 Speed (Gen 2.5) - SOLD at 86,647 miles

  3. #3


    Try spraying some Wynn's AC deodorizer into the intake vents behind the hood.

  4. #4
    Junior Member HondaSUV junior in training
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Boulder City, Nevada


    Run the a/c with the air recirculate button off as much as possible if not doing so already.
    2001 CRV EX, 2007 Suzuki Burgman 400, 2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, 1964 El Camino, 1997 Geo Prizm

  5. #5
    Senior Member HondaSUV Senior
    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    I have asked the service dept about this at my Honda dealer and they told me that the problem is when the system is on in a hot day it creates condensation. This condensation can build up in the vents and when the air is not moving (aka car is off) it can mold and cause a mildew smell. To make this not happen they told me to always leave the car on outside air when I am leaving it parked for more than a few hours. This allows a vent to open and the air to evaporate to the outside instead of being stuck in the vent. They also told me to give the vent a few seconds to open before turning the power to the system off, I have been doing this for about a month and have not smelled anything since.

  6. #6
    Senior Member HondaSUV Mentor blucrve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004


    I get the bad foot odor smell not when turning the air on but after I turn the AC off and keeping the air fan on with the vents open. I tried the a lot of things, but I gave up because my wife won't cooperate. It her car anyway.
    My rides
    2003 Eternal Blue CRV EX-
    1999 Silver Dodge Viper -
    2010 Silver Pilot 4wd EX-L w/ RES -

  7. #7


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