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Fog from air vents and water in footwells



AndyPembs182

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio182
Two issues here:
1. After running the air con for a long while - and when it's working hard - I sometimes get fog coming out of the centre vents
2. The cabin has a musty smell and sometimes the driver's side mat is wet

I know about some drain holes in the scuttle, but are there others for the air con system?

If anyone can offer some hints and tips about these two issues I'd be really grateful!
 

Panda.

ClioSport Club Member
  850 T5
Different car, granted, but I had these symptoms when the condenser/heat exchanger in my volvo started to leak behind the dash. Musty smell and mist out of the vents and passenger footwell was damp…
 

banhama

ClioSport Club Member
This might help, my 182 has air con deleted, but the condenser is still in place. The photo shows that it's in the air duct in the 'scuttle' just downstream of the fan.
It will of course produce loads of condensation in this weather.
What I can't get a photo of is the rubber drain pipe that drops from directly under the condenser to the bottom of the bulkhead, attached to the bulkhead by a small locating pin.
My guess is that is blocked, but good luck getting to it! I cleared mine out when the engine was out.
20210721_202927.jpg
 

banhama

ClioSport Club Member
Correction! That is not the condenser, too many cold cans on a hot evening!
I'm not sure what this is officially called, I'd call it a cooling coil, but cooler matrix?
(The condenser which was at the front and cools the hot fridge gas has gone from my car)
 
  172 Ph1
Erm , looks like your air con is non functional ?
Is that correct .
Anyway moving on .
Mist coming from air vents with air con not functioning will 100% be coolant spray from a leaking heater matrix . The spray from a poss pin hole size leak is getting into the heater air flow and being blown out through vents .
Also the smell you go on about will be evident also.

If air con is functioning correctly , then same rules apply , but this time it’s a leaking evaporator giving the same symptoms and a smell.


So if the coolant level is going down ever so slowly and you can confirm the wetness on the floor is the same fluid that’s in you coolant bottle , then you’ve found the culprit.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

banhama

ClioSport Club Member
Erm , looks like your air con is non functional ?
Is that correct .

That is completely correct, the photo was just to show the rough location of the evaporator.

I may have this wrong, if so please tell me, but in humid weather with AC working the condensation produced by the evaporator needs to drain away, which is why there is often water under a car that has been stationary after the AC has been running??
If the hose that drains the condensation away is blocked the condensation will collect in the duct??
I thought it might just be worth checking the drain hose that runs down from just under the evaporator position.

From what you are saying though, that can't be the problem so the OP shouldn't bother checking that.

My experience of AC only comes from Building HVAC systems, so an education in auto AC would be welcome
 

AndyPembs182

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio182
Thanks for all the help here guys! My 182 has a working air con system: does anyone have a photo which shows
Erm , looks like your air con is non functional ?
Is that correct .
Anyway moving on .
Mist coming from air vents with air con not functioning will 100% be coolant spray from a leaking heater matrix . The spray from a poss pin hole size leak is getting into the heater air flow and being blown out through vents .
Also the smell you go on about will be evident also.

If air con is functioning correctly , then same rules apply , but this time it’s a leaking evaporator giving the same symptoms and a smell.


So if the coolant level is going down ever so slowly and you can confirm the wetness on the floor is the same fluid that’s in you coolant bottle , then you’ve found the culprit.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
So mist from the vents WITH a working air con system…..? What would that be?
 

Green51

ClioSport Club Member
  Goodwood Green '01
Oh I see, you meant 'where would that be?', not 'what would that be?'
 

MLB

ClioSport Club Member
The evaporator is in the black plastic box where you change your cabin air filter. Take the filter out and you'll see the evaporator.
 

MLB

ClioSport Club Member
Not the picture I was looking for but it gives you a better idea. Arrow pointing at it, the whole thing includes the pipes sticking out the front circled in green.

20201128_124916.jpg


So it's basically in front of the driver but to be honest I don't think this would cause a wet mat on that side.

Condensation moisture maybe but definitely not refrigerant as a leak in the ac pipework would just empty your system, ac wouldn't work and the gas would evaporate.

The two pipes @banhama mentions is part of the heater matrix, which is connected to the coolant system for heating but a leak there would mean wet passenger side carpet.

I've had the evaporator out a couple of times when I reinstalled my air conditioning, so any questions let me know.
 

AndyPembs182

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio182
Not the picture I was looking for but it gives you a better idea. Arrow pointing at it, the whole thing includes the pipes sticking out the front circled in green.

View attachment 1550865

So it's basically in front of the driver but to be honest I don't think this would cause a wet mat on that side.

Condensation moisture maybe but definitely not refrigerant as a leak in the ac pipework would just empty your system, ac wouldn't work and the gas would evaporate.

The two pipes @banhama mentions is part of the heater matrix, which is connected to the coolant system for heating but a leak there would mean wet passenger side carpet.

I've had the evaporator out a couple of times when I reinstalled my air conditioning, so any questions let me know.
I removed the pollen filter and took this picture. You can see water around the pipes. Is there a drain hole? Or is there a pipe which drains the water elsewhere?
 

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MLB

ClioSport Club Member
At least you've found the source of the water.

Sadly the drain hole seems to be on the other side of the evaporator.

20201105_130233.jpg


What you could try is take out the wiper assembly, remove the alarm (if installed) and then remove the big plastic piece that directs the air from the evaporator in the car. You might get lucky and be able to see/reach he drain hole that way. Otherwise you'll have to remove the whole thing which means getting your airconditioning system emptied and refilled..

This is the plastic piece to remove.

01016724.png
 

banhama

ClioSport Club Member
Yes, finally! Very useful diagram @MLB
No17 is the hose I was trying to describe in my poorly executed initial reply.
It runs from where you show above, down past the brake servo to low level under the car.
If you can access it bottom end you may be be able to blow, or vacuum it clear without taking to much apart. Might be worth a go.
2 photos, the first with it in place, the 2nd where I have pulled it off its locating pin so you can see it.

20210801_161928.jpg


20210801_162013.jpg
 


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