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Smoke coming thru ac vents

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 30 Jan 2014, 12:26 am
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Default Smoke coming thru ac vents

Smoke will occasionally come out of the a/c vents, without the a/c or heater being on. I then turn on the heater or a/c for a minute or so and then it stops. (sometimes a burst of smoke comes, but then stops) Doesn't seem to happen when it is warm outside, or maybe I just can't tell. And it isn't overheating, just FYI.
Any suggestions will help, I have been looking online and I keep seeing it might be the heater core, but I watched a video and it seems to be a huge undertaking. Hoping there is an easier/cheaper solution. Thanks!

Last edited by SaraT; 30 Jan 2014 at 12:33 am.
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Old 30 Jan 2014, 12:53 am
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Default Re: Smoke coming thru ac vents

sound like the heatercore is bad or going bad. Do you smell anything when this happens? Antifreeze has a sweet smell.
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Old 30 Jan 2014, 05:49 am
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Default Re: Smoke coming thru ac vents

Leaking heater core - burnt sweet smell.
Burning blower motor - burnt electrical smell.
Leaves against heater core - dry/burning leaf smell.
Mouse against heat core - cooked mouse smell.
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Old 30 Jan 2014, 07:55 am
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Default Re: Smoke coming thru ac vents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
Leaking heater core - burnt sweet smell.
Burning blower motor - burnt electrical smell.
Leaves against heater core - dry/burning leaf smell.
Mouse against heat core - cooked mouse smell.

Ah yes, the faint, but enticing aroma of Mouse a L'Orange as it wafts through your PTS interior!

Seriously though, it's the mice in your hvac tract doing their early morning doobies that you're smelling. That's legal in several states now.

Jerry
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Old 30 Jan 2014, 01:17 pm
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Default Re: Smoke coming thru ac vents

Thank you for the replies. Is this something serious? How fast should I have it repaired?
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Old 30 Jan 2014, 02:05 pm
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Default Re: Smoke coming thru ac vents

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaraT View Post
Thank you for the replies. Is this something serious? How fast should I have it repaired?
If it is antifreeze, it will likely get worse and will let the engine overheat if the antifreeze level gets too low in the cooling system. It may also start leaking antifreeze into the floor of the PT.

If it is the blower, it will likely eventually fail and you will not have heat nor AC. There may be a minor fire hazard but the circuit is protected by a fuse. So the blower should just quit if there is an electrical short.

If it is leaves, mouse or other trash or vermin, it will likely just smoke and smell bad for a while and then taper off. But some stink may remain and grow worse in warm and/or wet weather.

Since you don't sound like you are very familiar with this type of mechanical issue, you might consider going ahead and taking the car to a trusted mechanic to check it out. You don't necessarily need the Chrysler dealer for this, so any good mechanic should be able to root out the cause for you and remedy the problem.

Also, when you get it repaired, ask the mechanic to install a cabin air filter. All PT's except the 2001 model have a cabin air filter housing under the cowling beneath the windshield wipers on the right side. But very few actually came from Chrysler with an actual filter in it. Adding this inexpensive item will help keep things from getting into your ventilation system.
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Old 30 Jan 2014, 08:50 pm
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Default Re: Smoke coming thru ac vents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post

Also, when you get it repaired, ask the mechanic to install a cabin air filter. All PT's except the 2001 model have a cabin air filter housing under the cowling beneath the windshield wipers on the right side. But very few actually came from Chrysler with an actual filter in it. Adding this inexpensive item will help keep things from getting into your ventilation system.
82206886 New Mopar Passenger Cabin Air Filtration for PT Cruiser | eBay
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Old 30 Jan 2014, 08:55 pm
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Default Re: Smoke coming thru ac vents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
Mouse against heat core - cooked mouse smell.
mmmmmm.....cooked mouse~
drooling_homer-712749.jpg
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Old 30 Jan 2014, 10:20 pm
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Default Re: Smoke coming thru ac vents

Again, thank you for the replies I got a few laughs and info! I'm pretty sure it's the heater core, not rats smoking doobies or any of the other suggestions So I got a couple of quotes to replace the heater core (one was $1200 , one was for $965.00) and I will be having it repaired next week, hopefully. Was just wondering if I should have anything else replaced while they are in there? And a p.s. The a/c hasn't worked in a few years, not a big deal since I live in Northern CA, but I was thinking maybe I should fix that as well, if it was too expensive. I had the air conditioner recharged last summer, and that didn't fix it, we had a few weeks of unusually hot weather, and I thought I would give it a try. That was a hundred bucks down the drain Again thank you for the suggestions and any others you might have will be very welcomed. I am not very knowledgable about cars, but want to learn as much as possible. I love this website! I bought my cruiser (original owner) ,in 2001 and hope to have it for as long as possible
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Old 30 Jan 2014, 11:53 pm
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Default Re: Smoke coming thru ac vents

in the same area as the heater core is the a/c evap core. might as well have them replace that as well. not saying that's going to fix your a/c problem but if it goes bad, there's another grand because the have to go through the same procedure to get to it.
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