Questions about Air conditioning systems - other Heating and ventilation questions should use 'hvac'

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46
votes
6answers
169k views

Why does my A/C blow foul smelling air when it first turns on?

Most of the time when I first turn on the A/C in our 2008 Toyota Sienna, the air that blows out has a very distinct chemical - nasty smell. After a while it seems to go away. I'm not sure if I just ...
20
votes
3answers
32k views

Is starting your car with the A/C on bad?

I was always yelled at by my father when I was first starting to drive when I left the A/C on when I turned off the car, and then later turned it back on, with the reasoning that I was ruining / ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the dangers of refilling your air conditioner yourself?

Both of the Haynes manuals for my cars list refilling the refrigerant in your car as a do it yourself procedure. Both vehicles use R-134a refrigerant and the manual shows them being recharged with a ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is car A/C typically less reliable than fridges/freezers?

I just had the A/C in my car die on me again; air coming through the vents with the A/C is just as warm with it turned on as off. However, my fridge/freezer is something I've had for over 5 years and ...
11
votes
2answers
6k views

Why might I experience a power falloff after starting my car with the AC On?

I have a 2000 Chrysler Neon which generally runs well. I have noticed that if I start the vehicle, turn the AC on and reverse out of the driveway, the engine seems to struggle/sounds like it is going ...
11
votes
1answer
228 views

Does recirculated cabin air pass through the air filter?

In general, does air recirculated in the cabin (i.e. when the re-circulate button is engaged on the dash) pass again through the cabin air filter? I know that the cabin air filter filters outside air ...
10
votes
5answers
917 views

Can a car AC unit be run on just the car battery?

This might be a silly question but I was wondering if a car AC unit be run off entirely on battery or alternator? As this could help in Preventing power loss during important times such as ...
10
votes
2answers
258 views

Where can A/C condenser be located other than in front of radiator?

1953 F-100 w/ 428 Cobra Jet FE motor. I want to spare my grill and avoid putting the condenser in front of the radiator. Plus, it's already a beast to cool in hot weather, and I live in hell. (It's ...
10
votes
1answer
435 views

Volkswagen A/C Intermittent

I want to repair my Volkswagen Passat '07 A/C. I've taken it to two shops (dealer and independent) and they both say the entire a/c system needs to be replaced. The strange thing is, that sometimes it ...
9
votes
2answers
13k views

Huge puddle of water under car

I parked my Dodge Viper after driving for about two hours (in July, ~90°F, AC at full blast). Half an hour later I noticed a huge puddle under the engine, on the passenger side. I am pretty sure it ...
9
votes
3answers
532 views

What can I do to prevent my air conditioner from smelling moldy as the temperatures begin to rise?

What can I do to prevent my air conditioner from smelling moldy as the temperatures begin to rise? Every year someone I know or myself begins to get an odor from their air conditioner that's musty or ...
9
votes
1answer
100 views

My feet turn black

I left the pedicure salon, started my car and drove less than 3 miles to pick up something from the store, when I stepped out of my car my feet were black... and I don't meant just from dirt, It ...
8
votes
3answers
75k views

Why am I smelling exhaust inside the cabin of my car?

When I drive my car the first few miles, I smell exhaust inside the car with the windows rolled up. It happens when I have either the AC or the heat/air on... What's going on?
8
votes
2answers
179 views

Shutting off fans at highway speeds

On my vehicle (92 Civic) and most others I've seen, the condenser fan comes on whenever the A/C clutch is engaged. This seems like a waste of electricity (and thus fuel) when cruising at 60-75 mph, ...
8
votes
1answer
53 views

Ford Econoline Van AC Failing

If the vents start putting out hot air when accelerating or driving up hills but are ice cold when idling, is that a sign of a failing blower pump or leak? I am dealing with a Ford Econoline E350. ...
8
votes
1answer
391 views

How to get items out of the HVAC system from a 2003-2007 Honda Accord

Before I ruin my dashboard/car, I wanted to know if my approach is correct. I don't know much about cars but logically, it seems like a simple enough task to remove vents, reach in and grab items, ...
7
votes
7answers
84k views

How do you detect and deal with a refrigerant leak?

My heat works great, but my AC is nonexistent. Just blows out normal air, which in this weather is quite hot and unpleasant. I had the refrigerant refilled two years ago, but I haven't used the car ...
7
votes
3answers
7k views

What is involved to recharge the Air Conditioning System?

What is involved to recharge the Air Conditioning System? I believe you need a machine to do it, so I am guessing you can't do it yourself.
7
votes
3answers
92 views

How do I fix my Heater & A/C in my car, suspect vacuum problem?

I didn't see this question asked after a search so I thought why not. I have a 97 GMC Sonoma with 90k miles that I barely drive. Since the hot summer is coming fast I went to use the AC and I am ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What problems can come from AC not running for years?

I have an 81 Chevy C10 that I inherited from my dad. This truck has mostly sat for the last seven years, with me running it enough to keep it in condition. I've been using this truck mainly for the ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

AC: Fixing or Recharging?

I have Toyota Camry 2000. The problem is AC does not blow any cold air. So, I bought R134a and recharging it myself. It costs me about $12. However, it lasts for about a month. I checked with couple ...
7
votes
1answer
76 views

Measuring A/C refrigerant I got 96 PSI, is 96 PSI bad?

I bought a car refrigerant gauge online because my A/C is not cooling the air at all and the first suggestion was to check your refrigerant to see if it is empty or low. I found out where my car's ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Low-side and high-side pressures lower than expected after AC repair

I just did my first automotive AC repair, after the compressor in my 2004 Lancer 2.0 ate itself, cracked its casing, and blew all the refrigerant out. I think I did the repair & recharge ...
7
votes
1answer
295 views

2014 Subaru Forrester AC Compressor clutch noise, slippage

We have a 2014 Subaru Forrester whose AC Compressor clutch operation is unlike other cars I've ever owned. The video linked is from when the car is cold and AC is engaged. It appears that the clutch ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Why would turning on the A/C affect my alternator output voltage?

So yet another chapter unfolds in the A/C gremlin saga of my LS1 Chevy. Backdrop A/C compressor is relatively new (2 years old) One of the belts is squeaking (not sure which one) Recently performed ...
7
votes
3answers
12k views

How to fix leaking air conditioning schrader valve

I have a 98 jeep cheerokee sport. The air conditioning coolant leaks. After doing some diagnostics, I detected audibly a hissing sound coming from the low input port, leading me to believe the ...
6
votes
4answers
16k views

Easiest way to disable the A/C compressor

My A/C system has a leak in it and my compressor is making an awful noise: probably needs replacing. Winter is coming though, and I really don't want to spend any time or money on tracking down leaks ...
6
votes
2answers
193 views

Which knob setting best cooks the mold inside HVAC?

I am trying to eliminate odors inside HVAC by cooking the mold that is presumably causing them, as suggested in http://mechanics.stackexchange.com/a/146/15334 (which got 39 upvotes) However, I don't ...
6
votes
2answers
17k views

Engine Bogs down with A/C on highway

This started to happen relatively recent. It's 2003 Chevy Trailblazer. What is happening when the engine is idling and I turn the A/C on or the defroster (which also uses the A/C I believe), the ...
6
votes
1answer
112 views

Is it bad to mix different refrigerants?

I'm mainly wondering about different brands of refrigerants. In other words, mixing one brand of R134a with another brand, not mixing R12 and R134a (or anything like that).
6
votes
1answer
71 views

Does turning fan speed down affect AC compressor load

When I have my AC running, and I turn down the fan speed, does this also change the load the AC puts on the engine? Since the compressor puts load on the engine, and reduces fuel economy, I am ...
6
votes
2answers
45 views

1986 VW Westfalia van A/C

I had my AC refrigerant professionally changed to Red Tek in my van. It worked well for 2 or 3 years but then stopped cooling. I successfully refilled with difficulty and it was fine for a further ...
6
votes
2answers
608 views

Air Conditioning not cold on 2011 Honda civic

I have a 2011 Honda Civic LX with about 70k miles on it. As of a few weeks ago the AC really started having cooling problems; however, this all seemed to happen gradually. It seems to get a bit colder ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

AC blower won't turn on after replacing battery

I have a U.S. 2011 Volkswagen GTI. After the car wouldn't start (starter would crank but engine would not turn on) I decided it's probably time to replace the battery, and did. Car starts fine, but ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Heater smells like sulfur

I drive a 2006 Toyota Sienna. When driving with the heater on I often smell sulfur. This is more common when I am driving up a hill, but if I turn the heater off, the smell goes away. What causes this ...
6
votes
1answer
30 views

2010 TDI Jetta Strange A/C Pressure Readings

I recently replaced the compressor and dryer at the suggestion of a nearby shop. I've charged the system and the high side reads a solid 100psi the low side cycles between 70 - 110. Cycle time is ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Air Conditioning Cools Intermittently

I have a 2001 Honda Civic. The A/C works pretty well - it comes on fast and blows cold. However, after 5 - 10 minutes it stops cooling and starts blowing warm air. If I turn the A/C off, after another ...
5
votes
3answers
12k views

How to recharge AC using booster from auto parts store?

The AC on my 2002 Chevy Cavalier stopped blowing cold in the fall and I had planned on getting it checked out and recharged once the AC check specials started. I saw this for $30 and it seems too ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

RPM bouncing when in idle, especially when AC in switched on

I have a diesel common-rail 1.5l engined car. Lately I am facing an issue where the RPM needle is bouncing in the tachometer when the car is idling. The normal idling RPM is around 820. When idling, I ...
5
votes
1answer
6k views

When I set the air flow to Defrost, it turns on the A/C?

On a 2001 Honda Civic. Having the temp dial to HOT. When I turn the air flow dial from FRONT to Defrost (windshield), it turns on the A/C button and the A/C motor kicks in also. It just started doing ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Heat only works when engine is revving and at full power

On a 2004 Chrysler Sebring, the air only works when turned up to maximum power. At any of the 3 levels below that, no air comes out. Additionally, when the heat is on, it only blows hot air while the ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

1998 Dodge Ram AC clutch won't engage

When I call for AC on the dash the clutch on the compressor doesn't engage. I disconnected the clip that connects the wire to the clutch and checked for voltage and there was none. People say that ...
5
votes
2answers
11k views

Honda Civic easily overheats with air conditioning on high?

I have a 2005 Honda Civic DX. I drove my car for about 10 minutes, with the air conditioning on the highest/coolest level. I then parked my car in direct sunlight for another 10 minutes, and kept the ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

My vents randomly switch between face / windshield… how do I fix this?

I have a 1998 Ford Windstar (more details on demand if necessary.) I rarely use any vent setting besides "face", and I try to avoid using AC because my gas mileage is already lousy. About two months ...
5
votes
1answer
330 views

15 ppm of CO levels inside car

I constantly measure 15 ppm of CO inside my car after a long commute (~1 hour of continuous driving, but the overall trip can take from 1.5 to 2 hours depending on my destinations before heading ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

How much isopropyl alchcol to deodorize AC ducts?

i'm looking to remove an odor from my Corolla's fresh air intake. There are products available where you spray the product into the fresh air intake (near the windshield wipers), while the fan is ...
5
votes
1answer
54 views

Should I use a shorter accessory belt?

I've had the A/C discharged on an older truck (2001 Grand Cherokee 4.7L v8), and soon I plan to remove the entire A/C system, specifically, the compressor. Is there anything that I should be ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

A/C does not cool when speeding more than 100kmph

I drive a 1.3 liter 2001 Mitsubishi Lancer. I have this weird problem with the a/c where it stops cooling when I try going above 100kmph. The a/c cools just fine under 100kmph. But when I go over ...
5
votes
2answers
425 views

Is it difficult to retrofit Air Conditioning?

Car: 2003 Opel Agila 1.2 I would like to retrofit Air Conditioning to my car, as I'm planning to travel to a hot place! My questions: Apart from charging and discharging the system, which I would ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

My AC works well at night only

I'm unhappy with the performance of my '04 Pontiac GTO's AC. Here are the symptoms: Cooling goes down to zero when the car is stationary, starts to cool after the car has been moving for some time ...