Have you ever noticed heavy steam or vapor coming from your car’s wait vents while running the wait conditioner? It may have offered you an initial shock, possibly even leading you come wonder if the vehicle was top top fire.

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In most cases, though, you can hold off on calling the fire department. As long as the heavy steam — or vapor — is odorless, mechanics say it’s nothing serious.


A surprising number of drivers have reported steam coming from their air vents, so us asked some automotive experts around the cause of the secret steam.


Jim Coughlin, owner that Summerfield Automotive in Charlotte, north Carolina, said he’s had actually customers complain about heavy steam coming with the vents or water on the passenger next floor. This phenomenon occurs during warm or humid weather and is typically nothing to issue about, the said.


“The odorless heavy steam coming native the vent is possibly excess water accumulating in the heater box, i beg your pardon may suggest the drainpipe hole is restricted and needing cleaned.”


Dave Carney, president of Hillside Auto fix in Torrance, claimed the difficulty usually wake up in larger cars.


“There might possibly be some vapor or vapor from water that has collected by method of condensation what in the system and is sit at the bottom that the vent, and when the air circulation hits it, something the look like vapor is created,” Carney said. “I can not think of any other possibility.”


“There’s no replacement normally,” that said. “There have actually been a few (A/C systems) that have needed to be repositioned through the years, however most simply need to be cleaned out. I would say we clean out at least one A/C drain per week.”


One DIY option, Carney said, requires running the fan repeatedly to see if the device dries the end on its own.


If there’s a odor to the steam, or if it’s actually smoke, you have a larger problem on your hands.


Bill Allen, owner of Mechanics plus in Casselberry, Florida, stated that waiting flows through a heater core and also an evaporator core prior to exiting the vents. If yes a small pinhole — i beg your pardon is a small leak generally caused by corrosion — in the heater core, drivers may see heavy steam coming native the vents, but it will most likely smell of coolant. Coolant may likewise drip ~ above the passenger side floor. If the evaporator core has a little pinhole, it can spray a fine mist of (refrigerant) indigenous the vents.

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“These two materials usually leak due to the fact that of leaves that fall in the vent intake located at the bottom of the windshield,” the said. “As the leaves gain wet, castle turn right into tea and also the acid in the tea eats in ~ the aluminum cores, causing pinholes.”


If there’s no smell, it’s probably just an problem with condensation or humidity. You most likely don’t have a major problem, yet consider having actually your auto inspected by a trustworthy mechanic.



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