strange smell


Registered User
Have started to notice when i first get in the car if i have been out for a decent time i.e overnight that there is a slightly fishy smell (i know) theres defo nothing under seats or anything like that as no food is allowed inside lol. Once i open a window and let the air circulate it goes away.
My missus says its something to do with the leather interior as she says leather hand bags can emit the same smell. Is this correct?

How do i sort it?


Registered User
Highly doubt it's the leather . My missus bought a bag in Spain and that did smell but a much different variety of leather.

Far more likely it's mildew / condensation in the air con matrix. Try running the air con at maximum heat for 10 minutes to let the dampness dry out .

Could also use an air con bomb.


Registered User
Had this too and if the above suggestion doesn't fix it check your windscreen wash reservoir. Was tearing my hair out and a guy on the RS3OC said it might be bacteria building up in the washer reservoir.
My car hadn't been used for a few weeks prior to the smell. Anyway I took the cap off the washer reservoir and removed the little plastic filter and the smell just about knocked me out. Emptied the entire contents of the washer and refilled with washer fluid and some Milton sterilizing fluid (The stuff used for babies bottles) and voila, smell gone. Couldn't thank the guy that suggested it enough. Worth a go.


Registered User
Happened to me.

100% will be the pollen filter needs changing.

I had mine changed and the garage sprayed a disinfectant air conditioner on the matrix.

smell gone