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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,
My Atlas gives off a garbage smell within 3 to 5 minutes after starting. It usually goes away in a few minutes, but it is driving me crazy and seems to be getting slightly worse. So far, I have sprayed Lysol into the vents, changed the cabin filter and dusted and rubbed baking soda into the carpets, left overnight and vacuum up the next day. No noticeable difference.
I have been reading older posts and I don't think it is a coolant leak, as I think it would be a sweet smell. I don't have a sun roof. I think it may be coming from the AC/ventilation system. One other bit of info is that the car sat in my garage on a battery maintainer for almost four months this winter while I was in Florida. I am going to borrow an ozone generator on the weekend and try to see if this clears up the issue. .
Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Today I turned off the AC and no smell. Turned it on and stinky again. I scanned it today and no fault codes. I guess I will make an appointment to take it in. Thanks for the feedback.
 

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Today I turned off the AC and no smell. Turned it on and stinky again. I scanned it today and no fault codes. I guess I will make an appointment to take it in. Thanks for the feedback.
Some Frigi Fresh might be worth the a try before paying for time with a mechanic/dealer. A technician friend of mine once recommended it to me. Light foam expands in your vent system and might be able to kill some of the mold that you probably have in there.
 

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I had something like this on my 2006 Jetta Gli that was mold in the canister around the ac evap…this was from slow / plugged ax drain from road grime.

All the dealer did was clean out drain and spray simple green into the area where the water condensate forms…

Lysol is toxic I wouldn’t be putting that in a closed space where my family is (don’t even use it in our homes). I don’t think it kills mold either-just has a fake chemical smell to cover up another smell. I use simple green for a lot of projects and always get good results.
 

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I had something like this on my 2006 Jetta Gli that was mold in the canister around the ac evap…this was from slow / plugged ax drain from road grime.

All the dealer did was clean out drain and spray simple green into the area where the water condensate forms…

Lysol is toxic I wouldn’t be putting that in a closed space where my family is (don’t even use it in our homes). I don’t think it kills mold either-just has a fake chemical smell to cover up another smell. I use simple green for a lot of projects and always get good results.
Lysol-ing your climate control/HVAC system isn't going to hurt anyone but if you don't even use it in your home well, not sure there....it certainly kills mold/mildew which is well known. I've used it in my cars in this manner for years with no drama. Turn car on, turn AC on full/vented, windows down, spray Lysol into the cowl/inlet until you get it coming out of your ducts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I used an ozone generator and the smell has gone away. I noticed that the smell dissipated after about 10 minutes of driving. Hopefully it won’t return.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think I found something that makes sense and needs to be addressed. If this is true, the mold has to be killed, as there are serious health issues possible. Watch the video at the end of the post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I can now confidently say that this has resolved the problem. Apparently, reading old VW posts back to 2005, this is a systemic design problem with the AC evaporator coils that are prone to develop mold and mildew.
Special thanks to the white Atlas owner who posted the Youtube video solution.
 

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I had this issue w/ 2012 Passat and dealer ruined the car using Friggi Fresh that crap was worse then the musty smell and never went away and did not solve problerm, That Friggi Fresh is the devil!! I since heard from others the same or similar thing that has to do w/ smaller air coil getting moldy especially down south in the humid environment To help prevent this was told to turn off AC before you get home and just let the fan blow to help dry out thinga before you park and the car sits, So I started doing that w/ 2018 Atlas which has ocassionaly had that mild musty gym sock wet dog smell smell when I first start using the AC in spring, sure hope it does not get worse ..read other places you can get coil ckleaned out but that nis a couple hundred bucks, I like the vifdeo but we are very sensitive to chemicals and fragrances..often times cure is worse, hard to fiind a fragrance free disinfectant..I am suprised more VW service advisors and mechanics are not aware of this issue seems pretty common
 

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Hi Everyone,
My Atlas gives off a garbage smell within 3 to 5 minutes after starting. It usually goes away in a few minutes, but it is driving me crazy and seems to be getting slightly worse. So far, I have sprayed Lysol into the vents, changed the cabin filter and dusted and rubbed baking soda into the carpets, left overnight and vacuum up the next day. No noticeable difference.
I have been reading older posts and I don't think it is a coolant leak, as I think it would be a sweet smell. I don't have a sun roof. I think it may be coming from the AC/ventilation system. One other bit of info is that the car sat in my garage on a battery maintainer for almost four months this winter while I was in Florida. I am going to borrow an ozone generator on the weekend and try to see if this clears up the issue. .
Any ideas?
You did not mention the year of your atlas. There was a recall for the a/c drain tube. If it is not draining it could cause mold to develop.
 

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Hi Everyone,
My Atlas gives off a garbage smell within 3 to 5 minutes after starting. It usually goes away in a few minutes, but it is driving me crazy and seems to be getting slightly worse. So far, I have sprayed Lysol into the vents, changed the cabin filter and dusted and rubbed baking soda into the carpets, left overnight and vacuum up the next day. No noticeable difference.
I have been reading older posts and I don't think it is a coolant leak, as I think it would be a sweet smell. I don't have a sun roof. I think it may be coming from the AC/ventilation system. One other bit of info is that the car sat in my garage on a battery maintainer for almost four months this winter while I was in Florida. I am going to borrow an ozone generator on the weekend and try to see if this clears up the issue. .
Any ideas?
There is a recall in the HVAC system drain tube. Get it checked out ASAP, as you probably have a mold issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
At the dealer. They are going to redo what I already did and change the refrigerant and it’s not covered under warranty with 24k miles on it. This will definitely be my last VW. Six years/72 k miles warranty my ass!
 
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