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My 4Runner has an unusual odor, help!

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Old 10-10-2007, 06:13 PM   #1
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My 4Runner has an unusual odor, help!

Another slight annoyance with my new (to me) 99' 4Runner. It has an unusual odor. It's sort of a musty odor, best I can describe. Previous owner didn't smoke, truck is fairly clean and well kept, just has an unusual odor.

Someone mentioned it may have a cabin filter that needs changing. It does seem to be coming from the vents, more so when on heat than A/C.

Truck has 140K miles, cloth interior (if that makes a difference). I bought a bunch of air freshners, any ideas how to diminish this smell?

Thanks again!
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Old 10-10-2007, 06:39 PM   #2
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change the cabin filter, i believe its under the hood on the passenger side on the firewall
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Old 10-10-2007, 06:49 PM   #3
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I'm not sure that there is a cabin air filter (I hope that I'm wrong). My other car can get that type of odor from heavy use of the a/C leaving moisture in the duct work. I've heard people say you can spray lysol to clear it up, but I havn't had much luck with that. I think lysol smells worse!
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Old 10-10-2007, 06:52 PM   #4
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its a 99 right? i think a lot of stuff from 93 or 95 and up came with them.... id check anyway
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Old 10-10-2007, 07:17 PM   #5
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I'll check again. There is another thread that may be about this same thing that has some good information here.
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Old 10-10-2007, 08:07 PM   #6
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If it is a 99 then you do not have a cabin filter.
For the odour it may be due to dust in the ducts or mold/mildew.
You can try and clean your actual fan blower as stuff can get in there including mice (post on yt somehwere)
http://www.yotatech.com/f2/heater-ticking-sound-23595/
There are many types of aerosol sprays that you can spray into the ducts and into the air uptake when on recirculation.
As well you can spray some lysol into the air vents below the windshield as this is where air on fresh air is drawn from.
Ensure that the sprays are a fungicide or mildicide, as other air fresheners will merely mask the problem as opposed to treating it.

Last edited by Godzilla; 10-10-2007 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:38 PM   #7
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What year did the 4Runner start coming with a cabin air filter?
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:53 PM   #8
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Has your carpet got wet at all?
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Old 10-20-2007, 03:12 AM   #9
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I think the cabin air filters were a 4th gen thing.

My 4runner had a slight "old hotel room smell", I was able to get rid of it, or cover it up by putting some of my wife's un-lit sented candles in the little cubby behind the cup holders.

Now I ride around in the manly smell of "pumpkin spice".
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Old 10-21-2007, 06:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skjos View Post
I think the cabin air filters were a 4th gen thing.

My 4runner had a slight "old hotel room smell", I was able to get rid of it, or cover it up by putting some of my wife's un-lit sented candles in the little cubby behind the cup holders.

Now I ride around in the manly smell of "pumpkin spice".
Haha.....pumpkin spice
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Old 10-21-2007, 06:32 AM   #11
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try some fabbreeze
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Old 10-21-2007, 10:57 AM   #12
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You could rent a carpet machine too, then pull your seats out and clean it all real good
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Old 10-21-2007, 11:02 AM   #13
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Unbolt your blower fan too, its right below the glovebox. Clean it out real good with some hot soapy water, just be careful not to get water inside the motor.
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Old 10-26-2014, 02:47 PM   #14
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Hey guys, I know this is an old thread, but any one got this sorted? 2002 4 runner limited.

I had the same problem , and took the glove box out to monitor it. When going through the car wash, the blower was flooded and foamy water was dripping out the blower motor housing. This leads me to believe that fresh air duct ( or the gasket around it ) is at fault.

Anyone accessed the duct and has some tips?
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Old 10-26-2014, 08:38 PM   #15
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If your runner has AC check the drain from the evaporator area. Sometimes the drain will plug and then it fills with water and then your car doesn't smell amazing.
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:38 AM   #16
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Hey, I checked the drain, it's clean. Since I had the glove box out I also took off the temp module and poked around - all clean and good to go.

The water is definately coming into the fresh air duct when going through the car wash.
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Old 11-09-2014, 05:25 PM   #17
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I'd spray the door seals and hatch and windshield with water and look for a leak.
Any water trapped under the carpeting will stagnate and stink. Warm temps only make it worse.
The biggest offender if you camp are cheapo gallons of water.
Those thin gallons tend to spring leaks. I know from experience unfortunately because
I've had to pull my carpets for cleaning.

Last edited by sharrack; 11-09-2014 at 05:30 PM.
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2000, 4runner, air, cabin, cabine, coming, conditioning, eliminate, filter, mildew, mold, musty, odor, smell, toyota, truck, vents

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