Why Fog Coming Out of Ac Vent in Car: What to Do with Causes

Introduction to the topic

When warm, moist air near your air conditioner meets cold, dry air, the result is fog or smoke flowing out of the vents. Fog or smoke can form if the ambient air temperature is below the dew point and water vapour in the air condenses into water droplets.

It could be made worse by factors like a dirty air filter or a too-slow fan. Due to the reduced circulation around the AC unit, the cold air is exposed to the humid air for longer or shorter periods of time. The fog or smoke may be more pervasive if the relative humidity of the room is high.

What is the steam like?

Fog coming out of AC vent in car

If the steam has a peculiar odour, or if it turns out to be smoke, then you have a far bigger issue on your hands.

Bill Allen, proprietor of Mechanics Plus in Casselberry, Florida, says that before air is released from the vents, it passes through a heater core and an evaporator core. Drivers may notice steam escaping from the vents if the heater core has a pinhole leak (a small leak usually caused by corrosion), but the air will smell like coolant. There’s a chance coolant will leak onto the passenger footwell. A thin mist of (refrigerant) could spray out of the vents if there is a small pinhole in the evaporator core.

“These two parts typically leak due to leaves falling in the vent intake situated near the base of the windshield,” he explained. Once the leaves become wet, they ferment into tea, and the acid in the tea corrodes the aluminium cores, resulting in pinholes.

Condensation or humidity may be to blame if there is no odour. Even though it’s unlikely that there’s anything seriously wrong with your car, it wouldn’t hurt to have it checked out just in case.

Where does the white mist come from when I turn on my car’s air conditioner?

Living in a hot climate makes air conditioning in a car a need. Almost nobody will get into a car without first turning on the air conditioning.

Therefore, they will experience significant worry when they realise that the air conditioning in their car is not functioning properly. The next time you switch on the air conditioner, what would you do if you noticed a white mist coming from the vents?

The a/c system in a car can break down in a number of ways, one of which is by emitting a white mist via the vents.

To investigate and fix this issue, you can try a few different things. The first thing you should do is inspect the vehicle’s air filters. Overheating of the engine is possible if they are unclean since the air conditioner will have to work harder to produce cold air.

What causes the smoking air conditioner vent in the car?

Therefore, it is crucial to know that smoking air conditioning vents are a cause for alarm on days when the temperature is not very low. Various forms of smoke or vapour may be seen coming from the air conditioning ducts, as listed below.

1. A flooded heater box

The white, odourless smoke or steam produced by your air conditioner is likely the source of the excess water in the box. Sign of a plugged little drain hole that needs clearing out. Condensed steam may have been expelled as smoke upon contact with cold air.

2. Condensation could be at blame

When cold air from the vents meets warm air, it causes moisture to condense into droplets. When the droplets are falling, they might create the illusion of a white mist.

3. Faulty compressor clutch

Smoke is often sucked into the AC vents because of difficulties with other parts of the car. This also occurs when a compressor clutch is giving you trouble. Overheating and smoke could be the result. Inhaling the smoke is an option.

4. Clogged air filter

It’s possible that the white mist or smoke you’re seeing coming into your automobile is just dust that the air filter is too clogged up to stop. Your car’s air filter needs to be washed.

5. The electrifying scent of burning wires

If the smoke is coming from the car’s air conditioning vent, this is a serious problem that needs fixing right away. It’s best to stay out of the automobile if this happens. Fortunately, this kind of electrical problem is extremely uncommon in modern automobiles. You should know that a musty odour and water leaks into the car could reduce the life of the electrical system.

There are multiple computers in modern automobiles, and the ones that are lowest to the ground are most susceptible to getting wet and failing.

6. The parts problem

It’s possible that the smoke is the result of a worn part. Rapid wear and tear causes overheating, which can lead to smoke. Obviously, the smoke won’t be odourless if this happens. There will be a strong, charred aroma. You shouldn’t keep driving if you come across the same, because it’s hazardous and for this reason.

7. Leaking coolant

White smoke will issue from the air conditioner vents if coolant or water is getting into the combustion chamber where it shouldn’t be. Fixing this as soon as possible is essential to prevent further engine damage.

How Safe Is It to Drive if smoke is coming out of my car’s AC Vents?

Fog coming out of AC vent in car

If the smoke is coming from the electrical system or the heater core, the response is a resounding “NO.” If you keep driving with these issues, you endanger your life or your health in serious ways. If you do this, your car could catch fire and be completely destroyed.

How to fix white smoke coming from the car’s air conditioning vents?

So that you can address the white smoke emanating from your car’s air conditioner, I will now outline the most typical and workable solutions to the aforementioned issues.

1. Replace the Freon

Keep an eye on the coolant level to avoid this issue. In the event of rapid coolant loss, having the core inspected is mandatory, followed by coolant replenishment once the problem has been fixed.

2. Fixing a faulty compressor’s clutch entails

The compressor must be replaced if the clutch is at fault. That’s because fixing it might be quite challenging. Even if you’re a parent, you’re probably going to have to deal with some other issues at some point. But it will just take around thirty minutes to swap out the compressor.

3. Maintenance: Oil Swap

The answer to this issue is straightforward. Specifically, the oil has to be changed. Oil levels can be easily identified and corrected because of the dashboard indicator they provide.

4. Open the blocked Drain

A technician can clear the obstruction here. It’s not like clearing out a clogged drain in your bathroom. Because of this, you should definitely get in touch with an expert.

5. Unclog That Filter

You should get the filter checked if this keeps happening. This issue can occur even if the filter is not clogged.

Watch Why smoke comes out of Car AC vents while driving | Video

People also ask questions and answers related to Fog coming out of AC vent in car

Is it common for air conditioning to produce white fog?

The white smoke you observe coming from the vents of the cooling system is probably not smoke at all. Assuming the white fog doesn’t carry any odour, it’s probably just condensation. As part of its cooling cycle, an air conditioner takes in heated air from the room and cools it down.

Why is steam coming out of the vents of my car?

Dave Carney, proprietor of Hillside Auto Repair in Torrance, said the issue typically occurs in older vehicles and that the smelly steam coming from the vent could be extra water pooling in the heater box, which could signal the drain hole is blocked and needs to be cleaned.

Why is my air conditioner producing fog?

In most cases, this is not indicative of a problem with your AC system. We’ll go into more depth about what happens when cold, dry air meets humid, warm air, but for now, know that the mist you see is simply condensed water vapour. After a couple of minutes, the fog usually dissipates on its own.

My air conditioner has started spewing white powder out of it—what gives?

White slime bacteria:
Your air conditioner not working properly is an indication that bacteria have gotten out of control. The air handler unit is contaminated with bacteria because of the condensate drain pipe. This bacteria attaches itself to the drain pipe and begins to spread outward in slimy tendrils.

What causes smoke to come out of my car’s air conditioner vent?

Stumped Drainage. An older air conditioner is probably the source of the odourless white smoke it emits. Condensation forms in all air conditioners. Modern systems capture this moisture in a tray and re-use it to cool the electronic parts.


Fog coming out of AC vent in car

To begin, relax if you notice smoke coming from the car’s air conditioning vent. You shouldn’t rush into fixing it, but you also shouldn’t ignore it. Problems with the electricity or air conditioning could result in serious injury.

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