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: 18,487,056 (5,000–1,087,811,699)
75 people reported this problem
47 people shared problem details
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.
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
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 Jetta80,000Visitor
Just stinks when the a/c is turned on.
2006 Volkswagen Jetta65,000Visitor
mildew smell coming through vents.
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
2011 Volkswagen Jetta88,000Visitor
Smells like sweaty feet. Nasty. Embarrassed to have someone ride with me.
2014 Volkswagen Jetta13,000Visitor
when my recirculate button is on, I smell this mildewy smell. Vw's solution is to not use my recirculate button. I actually have a 2015 vw Jetta, but that year is not available in the selection. I bought this car brand new. This shouldn't be happening!
The air conditon works fine on the driver side, but on the passenger side niether of the vents...
Even when air is not in hot heat comes out vents. No air conditioner for 2 months.
Engine emission odors come inside the car when I turn on the fan for heat or AC. Its not that the car floods with carbon monoxide, but it gets bad enough that I wont turn on the fan for anything. ...
My heat went out this winter, it will come on but not get hot. Now the A/C is acting weird; wil...
My son just bought 2008 VW Jetta -20,000 miles. What is problem? Should he return to dealer to...