help - Mold \ Mildew smell after rain or car wash

Disclaimer: Links on this page pointing to Amazon, eBay and other sites may include affiliate code. If you click them and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission.

rxnate

Member
Joined
May 5, 2023
Posts
17
Reaction score
0
Location
Missouri
Hello lovely ladies and gentleman,

I purchased a 2018 f150 raptor about 6 months ago or so. It has 70k miles on it.

I've been desperately trying to find a solution to a problem. When it rains, or if I wash the truck, it gets a pretty bad moldy \ mildew smell in the car.
I've taken it to a local shop that is highly trusted and has done all my work for years and years, and they can't locate the problem either.
They have checked all the seals and rains, the party roof (top glass) isn't leaking. They said they checked the rear cabin vents between the cab and the bed. Cabin air filter is good to go. They even decided to do a long Ozone treatment on the car where they mostly seal up the cabin and pump in something to deodorize the truck. They thought it might have been the HVAC system, but that wasn't it.

To no avail, when it rains..... it smells like I'm bringing 2 week old dirty wet towels with me every where I go...

Anyone have ideas? : [
 
Last edited:

John813

FRF Addict
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Posts
1,029
Reaction score
715
Location
PSL/Jupiter
Any moisture near the floorboards after a rain? If you pull up the floor door liners do you see any water in there?

They checked the drains aren't clogged?

Next time it airs out, get a hose and just pour around the windshield for 5 minutes or so. See if the smell pops up.
If not, then try the roof etc..

I had a leak that initially stumped the "water guy" at the dealership I bought it from. It turned out it was a seal. Only noticed the leak after a huge downour and water was coming from the right oh shit handle.
 
OP
OP
R

rxnate

Member
Joined
May 5, 2023
Posts
17
Reaction score
0
Location
Missouri
I've felt all the carpet around the floorboards and can't find any moisture. They did confirm the drains are not clogged

That's a really good idea on the hose and specific areas. I cannot find this and it's driving me crazy. I'm also not very good @ working on vehicles.

Thanks so much for such a fast reply!
 
OP
OP
R

rxnate

Member
Joined
May 5, 2023
Posts
17
Reaction score
0
Location
Missouri
Any moisture near the floorboards after a rain? If you pull up the floor door liners do you see any water in there?

They checked the drains aren't clogged?

Next time it airs out, get a hose and just pour around the windshield for 5 minutes or so. See if the smell pops up.
If not, then try the roof etc..

I had a leak that initially stumped the "water guy" at the dealership I bought it from. It turned out it was a seal. Only noticed the leak after a huge downour and water was coming from the right oh shit handle.

Would you mind checking out this video and see what you think? So I'm in the back seat facing the back of the truck. I don't know whats it called, but the like vinyl roof is open exposing the sunroof area, sunroof is closed.
In this video, you can see some water dripping in. Is that expected though? Is this how it would drain and there is a drain under it and it's supposed to drain it out?
If I stuff my nose as close to this area as I can, I am definitely smelling what I described in my post. I tried to stick my fingers back there, and there is a little bit of water pooling up. Not sure how much.

Anyone, let me know your thoughts!

 
OP
OP
R

rxnate

Member
Joined
May 5, 2023
Posts
17
Reaction score
0
Location
Missouri
I found a video YouTube that shows issues with the F150 pano Roofs where the rails leaks. I'm wondering if I have a similar issue. It looks like based online.... a pano-roof is not meant to be water tight, so the water I am seeing is probably normal. However, I think the drains or the rails on the BACK side of the pano-roof are a problem some how. Doesn't look like the drain tube is clogged either, so not sure what to do. I think the smell is def coming from the rear and somewhere from the pano roof...
 

John813

FRF Addict
Joined
Feb 2, 2015
Posts
1,029
Reaction score
715
Location
PSL/Jupiter
I found a video YouTube that shows issues with the F150 pano Roofs where the rails leaks. I'm wondering if I have a similar issue. It looks like based online.... a pano-roof is not meant to be water tight, so the water I am seeing is probably normal. However, I think the drains or the rails on the BACK side of the pano-roof are a problem some how. Doesn't look like the drain tube is clogged either, so not sure what to do. I think the smell is def coming from the rear and somewhere from the pano roof...

Yea, the pano roofs are never water proof. going back to when Ford brought in the larger glass roofs for the F150's for the 2015+ F-150's there were tons of threads on water seeping through the glass during carwashes. Dripping is normal. Used to happen on my Gen 1 Raptors with the tiny glass roof too.

One thing I've always wondered is since the Gen 2's are now reaching 6-7 years old, is there a chance of the trucks in more humid climates to simply have mold grow in the sunroof drainage tracts if water were to simoly sit there depending on the angle your truck is parked. All it would take is a few drips of water to simply reactivate the smell but have no true leak.

Been debating using some type of mold killer on the tracts as being in Florida it's humid and rains a lot.

I know the Gen 1's had issues with leaks at the third brake light, but haven't seen as many posts about that on the Gen 2.
 

Irregular F150

its terrain good sir!
Joined
Oct 10, 2021
Posts
2,552
Reaction score
5,332
Location
a small town in way up northeast
xm gps antenna, rear window, sunroof/pano, 3rd brake light, windshield, door seal, the rear cab vents. These are all the places I’ve checked when i had a leak on my g1 screw (i know not quite the same)

I found a leak from a cracked sunroof tray (driver side) which then soaked the rear passenger side behind the seat(weird) i now have a xm/gps antenna leak im fixing. LOL old seals suck.

The ozone machine wont really help until the leak is fixed and the cab is dry. Itll just keep coming back. Definitely check all the carpet area from under dash to behind rear seats especially in the corners.

Good luck these leaks are a pita
 

FordTechOne

FRF Addict
Joined
Jul 29, 2019
Posts
6,470
Reaction score
12,651
Location
Detroit
Roof opening panels/sunroofs all use a wet seal design. Water bypasses the wet seal and enters the drain rails, then travels out through the drain tubes. You can test the drains by opening the panel and pouring water in the drain rail; if it pools up, the drain is clogged. The best way to clean them is with trimmer string.
 
OP
OP
R

rxnate

Member
Joined
May 5, 2023
Posts
17
Reaction score
0
Location
Missouri
Does anyone know how to access the rear pano-roof drains? Do you have to remove the headliner in order to see them?
I'm really starting to believe it's an issue with the pano-roof. Maybe it's not leaking, but maybe it's just really gross and grew mold if nothing else. I finally think I can isolate the smell to somewhere in the rear near the pano-roof.
I took about 32oz of water and poured it into the top of the rails from the top of the truck, with my truck on an incline. I had a little bit of water come in down the C column where the seat belt is. I can't tell if thats because I'm pouring so much water the channel is overflowing or not....

Anyone have thoughts?
 
Top