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

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71 votes
6 answers
396k 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 ...
polarbear's user avatar
  • 813
24 votes
3 answers
112k 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 / ...
Drise's user avatar
  • 592
22 votes
1 answer
2k views

A/C loses chill when turning on blower. Why?

Following the guidance from this Q&A, I measured the output temperature of my 2012 Town and Country A/C. Under the test conditions proscribed, with outside temperature of 87°F and 55% relative ...
bishop's user avatar
  • 871
20 votes
2 answers
37k 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 ...
Robert S. Barnes's user avatar
18 votes
6 answers
21k 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 ...
Jez's user avatar
  • 283
15 votes
5 answers
100k 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 ...
vlsd's user avatar
  • 1,009
15 votes
4 answers
177k 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 ...
Cognitive Hazard's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
16k 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 ...
Wilbur Whateley's user avatar
14 votes
6 answers
9k views

What is most fuel efficient at 130km/h? [duplicate]

Suppose a very hot summer day, driving on a long straight highway at 130 km/h. What is most fuel efficient solution : Driving with AC on and closed windows? Driving with AC off and four full opened ...
user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
47k views

Is it okay or useful to run heat and AC at the same time?

Most cars that I've seen in my life have a heat slider or dial, which goes from coldest to hottest, and also a button or switch that is labelled "AC". When the heat dial is set to cold, turning on the ...
snetch's user avatar
  • 233
13 votes
3 answers
10k 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 ...
JMC's user avatar
  • 231
12 votes
7 answers
45k 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 ...
saurabh64's user avatar
  • 1,072
12 votes
2 answers
24k 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 ...
Stephen's user avatar
  • 235
12 votes
2 answers
143k views

What temperature should the A/C blow?

The A/C output temperature on my 2012 Chrysler Town & Country feels diminished, especially in the rear seats' A/C vents. So, I had the refrigerant drained, measured, and topped off (dealership did ...
bishop's user avatar
  • 871
11 votes
2 answers
74k 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 ...
purpleACR's user avatar
  • 707
11 votes
3 answers
12k 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.
Paul C's user avatar
  • 460
10 votes
8 answers
199k 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 ...
temporary_user_name's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
ClayHoon's user avatar
  • 101
9 votes
3 answers
1k views

Are A/C Control Panels Universal?

Are A/C Control Panels (the panel that controls the: Fan Speed, Temperature, and Head/Foot air flow direction) in cars are universal, similar to USB connections are for computers? For example, I would ...
Munstr's user avatar
  • 91
9 votes
2 answers
2k 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, ...
R.. GitHub STOP HELPING ICE's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
26k 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 ...
MT_Head's user avatar
  • 1,122
9 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Morgan 's user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
10k 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 ...
Scorb's user avatar
  • 378
9 votes
1 answer
12k 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 a ...
Zaid's user avatar
  • 39.2k
9 votes
1 answer
6k 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. ...
NULL's user avatar
  • 301
8 votes
6 answers
4k views

Using sunshine to cool down the car

Why can't the sunshine (that turns a car into an oven) be used to run the aircon? Or at the very least, a fan? For example - a long thin fan that fits into the top of the window - preventing it from ...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
205k 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?
studiohack's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
6k views

A/C not cold when idling

I have a Honda Odyssey 2019. The a/c blows ice cold… as long as I am actively driving. Once I come to a stop and begin idling, the air is no longer cold. Of note, I can get the air to be a bit ...
VioletHeart's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Vehicle AC works initially, but after driving for a while (hour+), the airflow drops to the point being ineffective

I have a 2004 Ford Excursion with the 6.0 powerstroke. Most the time, the AC works fine, but after a long drive in hot weather, the front AC barely blows out of the vents. The rear works fine, in fact,...
Alex Estrada's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
18k views

How do A/C professionals dispose of refrigerant?

The ubiquitous advisories and legislations against releasing A/C refrigerant into the atmosphere are well known - if you need to discharge R-134a or R-22 from your A/C system, have the gas evacuated ...
Zaid's user avatar
  • 39.2k
8 votes
3 answers
745 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 ...
DucatiKiller's user avatar
  • 32.9k
8 votes
2 answers
106k views

Is it possible to charge car battery through cigar lighter socket?

I plan to modify my SUV into a camping car. Can I charge my car battery through cigar lighter socket with a 13.6 voltage when my engine is off? Also, can I power the air conditioning compressor and ...
Superuser's user avatar
  • 183
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Will running engine after replacing A/C components ruin the new compressor before system is recharged with freon/oil?

I have replaced the air compressor (which came oiled from factory), condenser, evaporator, and expansion valve on a 2002 Honda CRV. I also replaced the alternator. I want to turn the engine on to ...
EthanT's user avatar
  • 81
8 votes
6 answers
33k views

When idling, AC does not work and engine overheats. What's the cause?

I drive a 2013 Chevy Sonic. Basically, the air conditioning does not blow cold air if the car is idling, only when in motion. It seems to blow the coldest during long periods of driving fast, such as ...
Robin's user avatar
  • 83
8 votes
1 answer
6k 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 ...
Richard Sayakanit's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
28k 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 ...
ItsJason's user avatar
  • 277
8 votes
1 answer
23k 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 ...
Zaid's user avatar
  • 39.2k
8 votes
1 answer
4k 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 ...
ethesx's user avatar
  • 355
8 votes
1 answer
449 views

Exactly how much refrigerant is in there?

A concern that comes up regularly when troubleshooting A/C problems is whether an A/C system has too little refrigerant (hello leaks) or too much of it (hello overcharging). The traditional way to do ...
Zaid's user avatar
  • 39.2k
8 votes
1 answer
4k 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, ...
Classified's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Would it be harder to install a new AC system if the old one is ripped out already for a long time?

I have a Hyundai Excel 96 sedan, the AC is not working any more. I will eventually have a new AC system installed, but not now because it does cost some bucks. I'm planning to have it removed since ...
chip's user avatar
  • 227
7 votes
3 answers
21k 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 ...
Steve Jackson's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
13k 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 ...
Ian Boyd's user avatar
  • 297
7 votes
4 answers
61k 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 ...
Lazy Hazy's user avatar
  • 171
7 votes
2 answers
34k views

To Use Max AC or AC

If I understand properly, setting your vehicle in the AC setting will cycle air from the outside into your vehicle attempting to cool it before it is pulled in. Likewise, MAX AC only recycles the ...
user2676140's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
11k 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 ...
Hᴇʀʙɪᴇ's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
6k 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 ...
Kevin Howell's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
20k views

Why does the Air Conditioner compressor cycle on and off even when it is hot in the car?

I have a 20 year old Subaru wagon, and the A/C seems to work fairly well except when it is extremely hot outside (> 100 F / 40 C - which happens a lot in the summer here). What I wonder about is that ...
user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
26k 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 ...
Thomas Stringer's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
4k views

Does a constant blown fuse always indicate a short?

My wife was driving our 96 Ford Windstar recently and she said right after she hit a bump in the road the ac stopped working and the instrument panel lights went out. I found the fuse from the wiring ...
James-Jesse Drinkard's user avatar

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