Condensation in the heater case may cause a musty odor from the heating, ventilation and AC (HVAC) system after sitting for two hours or more. Our technicians tell us that a cleaner is available for the heater case and the drain system should be checked for debris.
Odor From HVAC Vents on Volkswagen Jetta
Average mileage: 19,826,387 (5,000–1,087,811,699)
71 people reported this problem
44 people shared problem details
I thought it was just me...but since we had this car when you turn on the air it smells just like dog shit....I am fed up with VW
Car began to have smell of sour feet pour out of vents, a little.. at 15k miles. Avoided using a/c much until smell was horrible at 27k miles. Had dealer replace cabin/pollen filter @ that time. Smell still occurs and is WORSE @ 48k miles. I had dealership replace another filter 11/22/11. TODAY,11/29/11 went back to dealer b/c of smell... stronger and nasty. They refused to fix or look at car w/out committing to $98 hourly fee to diagnose. I called VW and was told the same thing!! They didn't fix it while under warranty and won't take ownership of their issue and correct it now. We will have to trade in our 09 Jetta to get away from the STINK and NEVER buy a VW again. That's pretty sad, when you buy a car b/c of a reputation they can't hold up to.
2007 Volkswagen Jetta63,000Visitor
When you run the air conditioner, the initial air flowing into the car smells. I've replaced the cabin filter and the problem still occurs.
2003 Volkswagen Jetta70,000Visitor
Replaced air filter, smells like something died inside there, it comes on with heat and air
2008 Volkswagen Jetta41,600Visitor
the smell seems to go away after a few minutes but comes back if either heat or ac is turned off then on really suck amd smells bad i wish i knew what to do
2009 Volkswagen Jetta38,000Visitor
Just bought the 2009 Jetta 2 days ago from a dealer. The guy told us it was the wet carpets when we test-drove it. But since then we've tried airing it out and drying for hours with sun and wind, plus disinfectant, baking soda, vacuuming, cleaning carpets, with no improvement. As soon as you close up the car and get back in, it smells like a dead rat. Car is very clean in and out and detailed. So sad to spend $14,000 on a beautiful car and have it smell so bad!
2008 Volkswagen Jetta20,000Visitor
Air conditioning smells musty almost all summer!
2006 Volkswagen Jetta65,000Visitor
mildew smell coming through vents.
2006 Volkswagen Jetta80,000Visitor
Just stinks when the a/c is turned on.
Heater Trick! I clearer the debris, there wasn't any. I changed out the cabin filter, and the smell came back the same day. So, now, until I sell the car, I throw on the heater full blast for about 5min. That cures the musky smell issue until I use the AC again.
2008 Volkswagen Jetta70,000Visitor
Same issue as everyone else. At about 70k miles the vents started to smell. Mostly happens with AC, not heat. If I drive the car for a little while before turning the air on that sometimes helps.
2014 Volkswagen Jetta17,500Visitor
AC and heater stink
2014 Volkswagen JettaVisitor
Terrible stink in the car -- similar to a basement that is growing mildew and mold. Appears to be related to the air conditioning system. What a pity. An otherwise nice car -- that I don't want to get into anymore. I wish I could return it.
Musty or mildewed smell at startup of fan or AC.... 31000 miles.
2006 Volkswagen Jetta40,000Visitor
dirty sock smell when first turning on A/C, Replaced cabin air filter
2003 Volkswagen Jetta96,000Visitor
HVAC Vents have musty smell
2006 Volkswagen Jetta70,000Visitor
When turning o the A/C, it smells musty
2013 Volkswagen Jetta1,087,811,699Visitor
Car has a strong fishy smell as soon as ac is turned on. Especially after ac has been used. Service has recommended using air circulatory when using air conditioner. Never goes away. 1st Air Sept Treatment was warranted. Next time, the service department asked me to pay 165.95 cost. Defective engineering. Water pools inside the exchange valves causing stagnant bacteria. Customers may become a little lightheaded initially. Must get fresh inside car by opening windows.
2014 Volkswagen Jetta5,000Visitor
smell is like burning oil or electrial gets in the back of my throught bad taste service says will burn off I do not think so from what I have read
The air conditon works fine on the driver side, but on the passenger side niether of the vents...
Engine emission odors come inside the car when I turn on the fan for heat or AC. Its not that...
Even when air is not in hot heat comes out vents. No air conditioner for 2 months.
My son just bought 2008 VW Jetta -20,000 miles. What is problem? Should he return to dealer to...