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Musty "Locker Room" Odor

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Live_Wire, May 31, 2017.

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  1. Live_Wire

    Live_Wire Member

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    I have had my Model S for only a few months (new to me 2012) but I just recently noticed a musty smell in my vehicle. It does not come from the AC or vents like others have complained of and I cannot find any water intrusion coming into the vehicle from rain. I also had my rear appliqué upgraded to the new version about a month ago and I have not seen any water intrusion into the hatch like the other known problem. While my car was at the service center, the loaner I had been given had the exact same, except much stronger, smell. Does anybody else have a similar issue and/or have a resolution or possible causes?
     
  2. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 90D 2017.34 2448cfc

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    I know this probably doesn't help, but could it be someone who works at the service center?
     
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  3. Live_Wire

    Live_Wire Member

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    Lol not unless they are living in my car somewhere I don't know about. The smell comes and goes and there is absolutely nothing in my car that would give off that smell.
     
  4. Max*

    Max* Not Banned

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    Do you work out?
     
  5. Live_Wire

    Live_Wire Member

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    Not in my model S...
     
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  6. plasmo

    plasmo Member

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    #6 plasmo, May 31, 2017
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
    Have you checked your frunk to make sure you didn't leave anything in there?

    Did you try opening up the windshield wiper container and smell it to see if it is the same?
     
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  7. Live_Wire

    Live_Wire Member

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    Yup, nothing in the vehicle that could be causing the smell. I am pretty sure it is water intrusion but nothing is ever wet or smells up close and no signs of mold or anything anywhere.
     
  8. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Had that occur in our Model S in mid-2014; SvC changed out the air filter and added the activated carbon element that was not present in the early '13s - it cured the problem right away.
     
  9. Live_Wire

    Live_Wire Member

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    Awesome, thank you. I hope that does it but I am going to change it out asap and post the results.
     
  10. Cricket88

    Cricket88 Member

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    ive been to two different service centers and the loaners all smell like wet dogs. These are 2014-2015 models without AP. At first I thought maybe I was unlucky and received one that carried a dog from a previous customer but since, ive gone through quite a few other loaners and they all have the same smell (some stronger than others)... Im curious if this is the same smell you're experiencing and whether that filter and carbon element does indeed resolve this.
     
  11. Live_Wire

    Live_Wire Member

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    That is exactly the smell I am talking about, hopefully it's the filter.
     
  12. No2DinosaurFuel

    No2DinosaurFuel Active Member

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    Where is this active carbon filter for earlier model cars?
     
  13. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    On the shelf at the Service Center, most likely....
     
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  14. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    More detail: in ours, it was evident almost exclusively upon using the A/C, if I recall correctly. I'd forgotten you'd mentioned that distinction in your first post. Are your dirty socks apparent all the time?

    Regardless, activated charcoal is a great odor-eater; I hope this will cure it right up.
     
  15. thecloud

    thecloud As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive

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    Had a similar smell in my car, but it was definitely coming from the A/C vents. I got rid of the odor by manually switching to the fresh air setting before turning off the climate control and leaving the car. (I had previously left the climate control in AUTO all the time, which caused condensation inside the A/C system when the car was left in recirculated air mode in warm weather.)

    Since the OP mentions that the smell "does not come from the A/C or vents," it does sound like water got into the car somewhere. Do you frequently wash your Model S with a hose or at a car wash? Do you have a pano roof, and have you opened it up to air out any moisture which might be lurking?
     
  16. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    So, there's no way to tell you this without hurting your feelings @Live_Wire: you need to shower more than once a month. None of us knew how to approach you with this issue but since you're raising it - well - this bar of soap is my gift to you.
     
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  17. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    I am starting to get this issue in my car much to my dismay. I just had my 50k service, and it appears they put a carbon filter in and replaced the dessicant for the A/C, but I am now experiencing an odor.

    Mine smells when I turn it to fresh air and turn the A/C off. Noticed it after my car had been sitting at the airport for a few days. It smells like a car that has been rained in, then not dried out properly. I checked the weather, and it didn't rain on my car while I was away (it was in uncovered parking).

    We will see how bad this gets. I rolled down all windows and opened the pano while having recirc off and A/C off yesterday, which is how I figured out the vents smell when the compressor is off.

    I also disassembled my frunk enough to remove the microwave box and access what I think is the condensation drain. It was not plugged, but it appears to have a bad design in that it has a 90 degree bend at the end and it terminates above the battery case, so who knows where the water goes from there.

    Put everything back together and today the smell seems better, so maybe airing the car and vents out helped some. If it continues to be a problem, I will have to see if the service center offers a duct cleaning service.
     
    • Informative x 1
  18. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

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    After turning off the AC there is an influx of higher humidity air into the cabin that can result in a temporary, musty odor.
     
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  19. Live_Wire

    Live_Wire Member

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    So I installed a new activated carbon air filter today but when I pulled out the old one, I noticed it was also already activated carbon. I smelled it and it didn't have any bad smell but I changed it regardless. I am pretty sure this is not the issue at this point. It is the smell that az_rael describes like the car has been rained in. I have a pano roof...are there certain problem areas that are known for water intrusion with that roof? Keep the comments coming hopefully someone has the solution.
     
  20. Bound466

    Bound466 Member

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    I have the pano roof, and just recently had the issue of rain seeping into the right rear portion of the non-moving glass portion. This is the portion right above the rear seats. I would get that smell every time it rained - a mildew odor. A quick airing out of the car would remove the odor. It even stained a small portion of the headliner there.

    The last time I was in service I had them check it out and they determined it was due to a faulty seal/gasket at that location. They replaced the seal, but it is not an easy feat since that portion of the pano roof is glued into place. They also removed the stain completely.
     

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