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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my soul in May 2013, the car had a really nice "new car" smell to it but it only lasted for 4 months. Then the moldy/musty smell started getting really noticeable but only when the AC was first turned on. So I went and changed the cabin filter, replaced with a genuine kia one from the dealership.... but the smell still faintly there.... is there anything else I can do to fix this? I was thinking of using a rag with some Windex on it and shove it into the cabin filter compartment just to clean it out and replace the filter again and see if that does the trick.

Has anybody else experience a similar problem? what have you done to solve it after replacing the filter?
 

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That's an AC thing, not a cabin filter problem. Check that the drainage HVAC drainage tube isn't blocked up. There's also a deodorizer you can spray into the fresh air cowl to try to remove the smell... also, an activated carbon-impregnated cabin filter may help...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's an AC thing, not a cabin filter problem. Check that the drainage HVAC drainage tube isn't blocked up. There's also a deodorizer you can spray into the fresh air cowl to try to remove the smell... also, an activated carbon-impregnated cabin filter may help...
Thanks, I will look up how to find that drainage tube.

Spray into the fresh-air cowl? you mean the cabin filter housing? just remove and spray inside? should I wipe it or just spray?
 

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I also vote for clogged drain. Run your AC for a few minutes in a parked space - you should see a good drip of water coming out on to the ground just behind the passenger side front wheel, roughly near where the passenger's feet would go.

Your car is new - take it back for service. If the drain line got clogged, water will have backed up into the heater box, meaning that the mildew is going to be inside the AC box and on the evaporator, and there's no good way of cleaning that without taking it apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I also vote for clogged drain. Run your AC for a few minutes in a parked space - you should see a good drip of water coming out on to the ground just behind the passenger side front wheel, roughly near where the passenger's feet would go.

Your car is new - take it back for service. If the drain line got clogged, water will have backed up into the heater box, meaning that the mildew is going to be inside the AC box and on the evaporator, and there's no good way of cleaning that without taking it apart.
wow, good to know. I will do that and if I see it clogged I will take it back to get it serviced. Thanks for the suggestions!!
 

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A plain paper filter (OEM) will do Nothing to eliminate odors. If mold is actually growing in your AC unit, an anti-mold spray may take care of that.
(remove the filter and spray into that hole with fan on to draw the spray into the heating/cooling coils.)

On my last three cars, I've used nothing but the FRAM Fresh Breeze Cabin Air Filter.



Comparison.....



Unlike plain paper, the FRAM Filter has charcoal and baking soda, to help freshen the air.
I change mine, once a year.

Good Luck!
TechnoMage :cool:
 
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Spray into the fresh-air cowl? you mean the cabin filter housing? just remove and spray inside? should I wipe it or just spray?
The outside at the bottom of the windshield where the air actually goes into the vehicle...
 

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c82,
Thank you, for opening this thread. I was reminded that it's been a year since I installed my FRAM Fresh Breeze Cabin air filter.
I do like to replace those things once a year. My Gertrude just celebrated her 1st Birthday.

So I just went to Rock Auto's web page and ordered me a new filter. Yes the FRAM is the most expensive cabin air filter they sell,
but even with 1st Class Mail shipping, is was still less than a meal in a good restaurant. The filter will last a lot longer than that meal would,
and unlike the meal, the filter will be delivered right to my mailbox. :) For me, it's a Win, Win, proposition.

Thanks again!

TM :cool:
 
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run your heater for a little while on high to dry out the vents as well after you check to see if drain is clogged. seeing that you are from FL im sure you probably never even turned the heat on.:D
 

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generally most of the complaints on must a/c are from people living in areas where you are using it quite frequently, as was just mentioned use the heater occasionally and when you are using the a/c, shut it off a few minutes before you stop and leave it a few minutes before you have to activate when you start up instead of leaving it on all the time.
 

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Ugh, I never even thought about this frankly. Never changed a car air filter ONCE in 30 years of living in Florida and never had a noticeable problem. Hmmm...is there something about newer cars that requires this filter changing so often, such as every year or two?? I'm guessing I probably never had a noticeable issue is because I put on less than 5K miles per year on my cars, and keep my car garaged as well.
 

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My Soul has 52000 miles and I've changed the cabin filter twice.....nasty both times.... :eek:
 

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Also. I believe in the owners manual there is a section about using the recirculation too much it can give off an odor or something.
 

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Ugh, I never even thought about this frankly. Never changed a car air filter ONCE in 30 years of living in Florida and never had a noticeable problem. Hmmm...is there something about newer cars that requires this filter changing so often, such as every year or two?? I'm guessing I probably never had a noticeable issue is because I put on less than 5K miles per year on my cars, and keep my car garaged as well.
Older cars never had cabin filters, that's why. The first time I heard of it was when I bought my '08 Rondo. Not sure when they were introduced in vehicles but I would guess maybe about a decade ago. I think initially they were only the high end vehicles and then gradually went through the complete line up.

If it was not mentioned in your owners manual, or as a maintenance check then your vehicle never had it.
 

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Older cars never had cabin filters, that's why. The first time I heard of it was when I bought my '08 Rondo. Not sure when they were introduced in vehicles but I would guess maybe about a decade ago. I think initially they were only the high end vehicles and then gradually went through the complete line up.

If it was not mentioned in your owners manual, or as a maintenance check then your vehicle never had it.
Sounds about right. First car I had it in was a 2003 Matrix. I had at the time an older Ranger and a Mustang and neither of them had the filter in them. I "discovered" it in the Matrix when a mechanic at the dealership pulled it out and showed it to me. For sure it was a candidate for the black hole of Calcutta, I didn't even know it was there.
 

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Right... My grad school buddy decided to play a prank on me once and put a pile of fallen leaves on the cowl of my 89 Civic. I had crushed up leaves blowing out of my vents every now and then for the next several years. God knows what else made its way through the vent system into the cabin. Filter would have caught those bits... which is why you need to replace them now and then.
 

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Is that the correct part number for a 2013 Soul? I can't seem to locate the part number anywhere as I'm a DIY kind of person.
 
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