How do you fix condensation inside a car?

Condensation inside a car

Condensation inside the car is something that affects all vehicles. We’ve put together a quick primer on what causes car condensation and how to reduce its effects.

What is condensation?

Condensation forms when warm air containing moisture comes into contact with a cold surface, such as your car window. When the warm air meets the cold air, the moisture in that warm air condenses on to that cold surface.

On a car windscreen, this moisture takes the form of hundreds of tiny water droplets that, from a driver’s perspective, looks like a fog.

Condensation inside a car

What causes condensation inside a vehicle?

One or a number of the following things could cause condensation inside the car:

  • Wet clothes/shoes/pets – water on these items will slowly evaporate into the cabin air or, if heavily soaked, cause the seats and carpet to become wet
  • Breath – when you or your pets breathe, that exhaled air contains a large amount of water vapour which is released into the cabin
  • Water ingress
  • No circulation of fresh air
condensation inside a car

Are new cars more prone to condensation build up?

Modern cars have much better seals, meaning they tend to be more water tight. This means that it is more difficult for any moist air trapped inside the vehicle to escape. If movement is created with a fresh air source, moisture levels will decrease.

Increased insulation also allows modern cars to stay warmer longer after being parked; the longer the air inside the vehicle is warmer than the air outside, the more condensation will appear on the cold windows of the vehicle.

How can I reduce condensation in my car?

As condensation collects in the air inside the cabin, the level of moisture will increase. If this air is not vented to the outside then the condensation problem will increase.

The most efficient way to remove moisture from the air is to use the vehicle’s air conditioning system. This system draws air from the cabin through an evaporator, which causes moisture in the air to condensate in a controlled way and drain out of the vehicle.

condensation inside a car

If the cabin air is not regularly refreshed then condensation will accumulate, as the moisture-rich air will not be removed. However, you can force this by changing the re-circulation feature from internal to fresh air.

condensation inside a car

Don’t forget the demister function, either. It’s designed to quickly clear the windscreen of condensation and works by blowing air directly over the surface, which has the effect of drying the inside of the glass.

condensation inside a car

If the features of the heater and air conditioning system are used as above, then the amount of condensation inside the vehicle will be reduced. However, it will never be removed – moisture will always be present inside the vehicle.

Believe it or not, one of the key ways to keep condensation at bay is by simply keeping the insides of windows, particularly the windscreen, as clean as possible. Thorough cleaning of the glass will lessen the likelihood of condensation forming, and ensures that any that does form is efficiently dried by the demisters.

Check out our official eBay store for useful accessories

You can also buy a car dehumidifier bag. This is a small bean bag full of silicone balls that sits on the top of your dashboard and soaks up moisture from the air inside your car at all times.

Read more: Toyota tyre pressure and size guide


  1. Every Toyota I’ve had 6 in total suffers from this my current rav4 and yaris still suffers, the trick is to buy a karcher vacuum window cleaner mist gone in seconds. But also think this is a poor and common issue with toyotas.

    1. Re: Condensation problems. If you turn off the engine with the HVAC on recirculating nice it will not help with condensation problems. Make sure it is in the fresh air mode before switching off the engine ie drawing air from outside not recirculating.
      Also, if it’s not raining, and you have a few moments to spare, leave the door/window open for a while to allow cooler air to enter the car before closing and locking and taking in that warm air…

  2. Whats going on Toyota. I used to have cHR the condensation was that bad there was mould in the car. I decided to give a yaris a go. First cold snap frozen inside again. I am so disappointed. As its a great car otherwise. Other brands don’t seem to have these issues.

  3. I was searching for car condensation issues and found this page. I am having the same problem with my 2017 Rav4. Last year I took it to my local dealership to check for any leaks etc as my windscreen was frozen solid inside (it was -7/-9 outside!) but they said it was fine. This morning I got into my car, it was 0 outside, and I couldn’t see for the condensation. I’ve never had this before!

    1. Hi, thanks for getting in contact.

      We are sorry to hear you have been experiencing these issues.

      Your Toyota Centre are best placed to advise on this. We would recommend re-contacting them with this issue if it persists. You can locate your closest centre here:

      Please let us know if you have any further questions.


  4. I have had 2 chr cars and I am having trouble with condensation inside every winter ! It takes a really long time to get it dry but thought my brand new car which I purchased in June to be better ! Really disappointed cause the car cost me a lot of money! I do everything I’m told to avoid the situation but to no avail! If anyone can advise please do

    1. Hi Chrisann, thanks for getting in contact.

      We are sorry to hear you have been experiencing these issues. We completely understand your frustration.

      Your Toyota Centre are best placed to advise on this. You can locate your closest centre here:

      Please let us know if you have any further questions.


  5. I’ve found that during rain the windscreen starts to mist up which is easily cleared using the demister function but this means the air-conditioning kicks in and the heat to the feet stops. During cold periods this is extremely uncomfortable. How can I keep the heat blowing to the footwell as well as demisting?

    1. Hi Gordon, thanks for getting in touch.

      Please provide a vehicle registration so that we can look into this for you.


  6. I have realy bad condensation in my new toyota hybrid gr sports 2023 20ltre even drips of water inside window screen realy poor for a new vehicle

  7. I’ve had my CHR for 3 years. The misting up of the front and rear windows has been worse than any car I’ve had. This past few weeks it’s been worse than ever. I’m having to press the demister button every 1 – 2 minutes. Surely this can’t be normal?

  8. This article is good. But every response from Toyota is just “visit your dealer”, obviously, because they get more money that way.
    Toyotas are designed in Japan, which has nowhere near the moisture in the air as the UK and Ireland. I live on an island and the air moisture here is astronomical. The article mentions correctly that warm air (from heating the car, or from the sun heating it in summer) contains more moisture. When the outside temperature drops, that moisture suspended in the warm air makes contact with the cold air through the membrane of the glass, and cools, reducing its ability to suspend the water, so it forms liquid on the inside of the window.
    Yes, the best ways fix the *symptom* are to use the blower on high heat, open the driver/passenger windows as you do, and once the heaters are heated up, put up the windows and turn on the A/C.
    And, yes, one way to fix the *cause* is to use dehumidifier boxes from the pound shop. But here are 3 other ways to fix the cause.
    1. Park the car with the windows open a few millimetres. This will allow the warm moist air to escape, and create equilibrium between the outside and inside of the car. This works best if you have those speed deflectors on your side windows, as nobody would notice that the windows are open.
    2. The second option is to run through this process every time you park your car for the night. You’ve finished your journey… now turn off your car and open all windows, doors and boot. Allow the car to cool down. Once there is equilibrium in temperatures, close the car and lock it.
    3. You can add cat litter to a pair of women’s tights and place this in a tray in the boot of the car or under the driver’s seat. It’s excellent at drawing in excess moisture. You’ll need to change it out every so often.

    In both instances, leave the air vents set to draw air from the outside, not to recirculate.
    It would be awesome if Toyota could do something about this in cars. Examples are: when the car is stopped, detect outside air temp/humidity and if needed, run the cold air for a few minutes to cool the interior; on same conditions as above, run a dehumidifier for a few minutes occasionally when such conditions occur. Due point can be calculated from air temperature, air pressure and humidity. This is not hard for them to figure out.

  9. Hi my partner had a 2020 Yaris with no condensation problems she has just (October last year) renewed to a 73 plate and had nothing but trouble with condensation it’s still under warranty could she exchange for a car with no condensation?

    1. Hi David,
      We are sorry to hear about this.
      We would recommend discussing this with your Toyota Centre for further assistance.
      Thank you.

      1. This article on fixing condensation inside a car is incredibly helpful and informative! It breaks down the causes of condensation in a clear and easy-to-understand manner, making it accessible for anyone experiencing this issue. I appreciate how it explains the various factors that contribute to condensation, from wet clothes to breath and even modern car design. The tips provided for reducing condensation, like using the air conditioning system and keeping windows clean, are practical and actionable. Overall, this article has given me a better understanding of why condensation happens and how to address it effectively. Great job, Toyota Blog!

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