Have you ever before noticed vapor or vapor coming from your car’s air vents while running the air conditioner? It may have actually given you an initial shock, perhaps also leading you to wonder if the automobile was on fire.

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In a lot of situations, though, you deserve to organize off on calling the fire department. As lengthy as the heavy steam — or vapor — is odormuch less, mechanics say it’s nopoint serious.


A surprising number of vehicle drivers have actually reported heavy steam coming from their air vents, so we asked some automotive experts around the reason of the mysterious heavy steam.


Jim Coughlin, owner of Summerarea Automotive in Charlotte, North Carolina, sassist he’s had customers comordinary around heavy steam coming with the vents or water on the passenger side floor. This phenomenon occurs in the time of warm or humid weather and also is typically nothing to worry about, he said.


“The odormuch less vapor coming from the vent is probably excess water accumulating in the heater box, which may show the drain hole is restricted and needing cleaned.”


Dave Carney, president of Hillside Auto Repair in Torrance, said the difficulty usually occurs in older cars.


“There might maybe be some vapor or heavy steam from water that has actually built up by way of condensation somewright here in the mechanism and also is sitting at the bottom of the vent, and also when the air flow hits it, something that look like steam is developed,” Carney said. “I cannot think of any type of other opportunity.”


“There’s no replacement typically,” he sassist. “There have actually been a couple of (A/C systems) that have necessary to be repositioned with the years, however most simply must be cleaned out. I would certainly say we clean out at least one A/C drain per week.”


One DIY alternative, Carney said, entails running the fan consistently to see if the system dries out on its own.


If there’s a smell to the vapor, or if it’s actually smoke, you have a bigger trouble on your hands.


Bill Allen, owner of Mechanics Plus in Casselberry, Florida, sassist that air flows through a heater core and also an evaporator core prior to exiting the vents. If there’s a small pinhole — which is a little leak typically caused by corrosion — in the heater core, drivers may see vapor coming from the vents, but it will certainly most likely smell of coolant. Coolant may additionally drip on the passenger side floor. If the evaporator core has a tiny pinhole, it might spray a fine mist of (refrigerant) from the vents.

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“These 2 components usually leak bereason of leaves that drop in the vent intake situated at the bottom of the windshield,” he shelp. “As the leaves obtain wet, they rotate into tea and the acid in the tea eats at the aluminum cores, leading to pinholes.”


If there’s no smell, it’s probably simply an worry through condensation or humidity. You likely don’t have actually a severe problem, yet take into consideration having your auto inspected by a reputable mechanic.


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