This car sits under a cover for an unfortunate amount of time. It's a 2007 and only has 39,000 miles, if that's any indication. It probably only receives love during the summer and sporadically throughout the year - it goes as long as 4 months without being touched.
Last time I uncovered the car, there was this awful mold/mildew smell coming out of it. Now, I live in a forest on the Eastern Shore of MD, so that's not too unreasonable. My father & I have tried a few things so far:
- There was a lot of pine needles / dirt / debris in the little nooks under both the trunk lid and the hood (think door jamb but for trunk, can't think of the name). We vacuumed this all out and this had the largest (positive) impact on the smell.
- Cabin air filter is whiter than my socks
- Spare tire compartment is as clean as the day we bought the car
- We've cleaned all over the (visible) interior of the car, but we haven't taken anything apart.
My dad also noted that when he drove this car regularly, he always left the A/C on "Max A/C" which leaves the recirculate feature on. As I understand it, this could have let mold build-up in the A/C system. However, I usually drive without A/C, and if I haven't used the A/C all day (windows down) and come back the next morning, the car still smells.
The smell is limited to the interior and the trunk. It's definitely not too severe (it was plenty worse before we cleaned out all of the pine needles). My dad think's it's concentrated in the trunk. I don't agree (but thought to offer his opinion in case it leads to something else).
Any advice on what to look at next would be greatly appreciated.