Find the source of the smell.
Newer Fords seem to be notorious for holding moisture in the A/C box. They
even sell a fungicide to spray through the vents (it has a long tube with
it). In warmer climates like where I live in SC, musty smells are almost a
way of life. The Mitsu I had before my Escape had a musty smell that came
from around the window seals- I'd roll the window down and, BAM, there it
was. I got rid of the smell with some Lysol concentrate and a sprayer.
Worked like a champ.
My Ford Escape occasionally has that musty smell if I've been running the
A/C and we have a damp, humid night. Usually goes away shortly after turning
the A/C on the next day.
One thing i do is turn the air off but leave the fan blower on vent for a short
time before i turn the car off. my theory is that this can remove some of the
residual moisture from the AC coil and cut down on the smell. Your mileage may
vary. Costs nothing to try.
I agree with Bob's solution since I also do the same thing. This trick warms
up the A/C system's cold surfaces before vehicle shutdown. It helps prevent
those pesky molds from having a big ol' population party inside your dash!
You can read more about this no-cost solution at:
Lastly, when I startup my 96 TBird in the hot days, the initial odor coming
from my dash when the A/C fires up is quite tolerable, and more brief in
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