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Car Smells Whenever Moonroof Is Tilted


LexKid630
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I was reading a post in another part of the forum involving new car smells, which made me think of an ongoing problem we've been having with our RX300. Ever since we got it in june '05 i've notice a strange, musty smell whenever the moonroof is tilted.

The moonroof must be tilted for this odor to appear, not open, not with the windows open, everything must be shut with only the moonroof "tilted".

I can't really describe the odor, the best i can do is "musty". The car's always had a "similar" lighter odor ever since i bought it as a cpo car in '05. But when that moonroof is tilted, BOY does it get worse! Often times i need to open the rest of the windows a crack just so i don't pass out. I thought it was coming from inside the roof liner, but i tried putting my nose up there, with no signs that's the source.

It gets worse when it's raining out (i usually tilt the moon roof with it's raining just to get some fresh air without the H2O) and it's mostly gone when it's really hot and sunny. I'm thinking it's a "mold-related" odor? It has always been in the car since we got it, so you'd think if it was mold, it would have time to dry up and die in the past 3 years we've had it... but NOPE

When i sniffed around the rest of the car, i found a hot spot in each door panel. I'd put my nose near the window switches and it seemed very strong. I pried out the wood piece with the window switches, and like a punch in the face, the odor is definitely living in there. It's in all 3 passenger door panels as well. What the heck??

People i've let smell the car all tell me it's "mold" related and that the car was probably flooded, but i highly doubt that since there aren't any other signs of flood. I've never noticed this smell in any of the other RX300's i've owned or been in, so there's something fishy going on- no pun intended.

Any input on what i have growing in my car, or what i can do about it would be greatly appreciated!

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Check that the drain holes on the bottom of the doors are open. Could be the water is just pooling in there.

i also continue to deal with an odor on my 2007 rx 350 we bought it new and dealer said it was cosmoline, makes us sick too.

wish it was just with the moon roof open but it is all the time.

i was told that the cosmoline was put on the parts prior to manufacture and was not removed from the parts that noone can see.

looking for a resolve too.

was told put air on recirculate, fresh air, drive with windows open, it will go away etc,

after 9,000 miles has not gone away.

still looking for help.

just the rx 350.

no problems with our other lexus, different model

.dcj

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Thanks for the replies, daughter's got the car for the day, when she gets home i will check. I just find it odd that it's all 4 doors. I could see if it was one that had a leak...

Also, no body work has ever been done to the door panels. I thought maybe if they were repaired or something there could be leaks, but there's no sign they've ever been damaged.

Also, why do you think the smell is more evident when the moonroof's tilted? Just seems odd to me that a smell INSIDE the door panels could appear when the moonroof is tilted.

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Thanks for the replies, daughter's got the car for the day, when she gets home i will check. I just find it odd that it's all 4 doors. I could see if it was one that had a leak...

Also, no body work has ever been done to the door panels. I thought maybe if they were repaired or something there could be leaks, but there's no sign they've ever been damaged.

Also, why do you think the smell is more evident when the moonroof's tilted? Just seems odd to me that a smell INSIDE the door panels could appear when the moonroof is tilted.

When the moonroof is tilted the air flow from the interior flows upward and right past your olfactory lobes. When the moonroof is completely open the air circulation is far more violent and complete so the odor may not be noticed.

I'm surprised that nobody has suggested that you check your fresh air filter behind the glovebox. Other posts have indicated that this is sometimes a problem.

Do a search of this site for "odor", "smell", or "stink" and you'll be surprised what comes up.

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Thanks for the replies, daughter's got the car for the day, when she gets home i will check. I just find it odd that it's all 4 doors. I could see if it was one that had a leak...

Also, no body work has ever been done to the door panels. I thought maybe if they were repaired or something there could be leaks, but there's no sign they've ever been damaged.

Also, why do you think the smell is more evident when the moonroof's tilted? Just seems odd to me that a smell INSIDE the door panels could appear when the moonroof is tilted.

When the moonroof is tilted the air flow from the interior flows upward and right past your olfactory lobes. When the moonroof is completely open the air circulation is far more violent and complete so the odor may not be noticed.

I'm surprised that nobody has suggested that you check your fresh air filter behind the glovebox. Other posts have indicated that this is sometimes a problem.

Do a search of this site for "odor", "smell", or "stink" and you'll be surprised what comes up.

Thought of that already, it was replaced last year and the problem still persists :(

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