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Old 08-01-2019, 11:43 AM   #1
dmax
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AC not always great--possible dirty evaporator

I wonder if my evaporator might be so gunked up that it's not exchanging heat so well. If so, I've read of some going behind the fsr to get to it...to disinfect it from the smell, but has anyone cleaned it...as in rinsed it off thoroughly? I have a pressure sprayer.

Is it possible to get in there and hose it down thoroughly and have it all drain down as the condensate would? Any thoughts, help, or random trolling?

For those of you in 100 degrees with the car outside all day, how has your AC kept up? Maybe I want too much.

On an 80 day it'll blow around 43-45 from vents...but on a warmer day, the vent temp rises. Could this be a clog in the system? For those who measure such things, what vent temps are you getting when it's baking hot?
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Last edited by dmax; 08-01-2019 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:52 AM   #2
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Baking hot? When I bake cookies, the instructions are always between 350f to 400f. So are you on mars? I can understand why your AC isn't working

I have a 2019 Camry right now as a rental. Its AC is ice cold. And that's even on speed 1. would you consider a new Camry? Or at least a Camry evaporator swap? You can even paint it green if you'd like.
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Old 08-01-2019, 12:14 PM   #3
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I think Mango's account has been compromised. Nowhere in his last post did he even remotely suggest replacing the entire cooling system, FCABs, or RTABs. I suspect hacked account.

Before my A/C failed I experience a weird issue with the LH side blowing cold air while the RH side blew warm. If that is the case with your car then I believe the issue was low refrigerant.

If you want to clean the evaporator you can also get at it from the engine side by removing the blower motor and spraying A/C coil cleaner on it.
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Old 08-01-2019, 12:27 PM   #4
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Oh, D knows. D knows. He's replaced most things on his cars. Except the rear bumper...
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Old 08-01-2019, 02:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dmax View Post
I wonder if my evaporator might be so gunked up that it's not exchanging heat so well. If so, I've read of some going behind the fsr to get to it...to disinfect it from the smell, but has anyone cleaned it...as in rinsed it off thoroughly? I have a pressure sprayer.

Is it possible to get in there and hose it down thoroughly and have it all drain down as the condensate would? Any thoughts, help, or random trolling?

For those of you in 100 degrees with the car outside all day, how has your AC kept up? Maybe I want too much.

On an 80 day it'll blow around 43-45 from vents...but on a warmer day, the vent temp rises. Could this be a clog in the system? For those who measure such things, what vent temps are you getting when it's baking hot?
I was thinking a similar thing about cleaning the condenser since it is in front of the radiator and takes the first hit from bugs, dirt and grime. Isn't the evaporator fairly protected behind the firewall? Although, I could see how after 300k miles it might become an issue anyways ...

If you can confirm drainage is good, then it probably wouldn't hurt to clean it. Some kind of foaming cleaner that you let work for a time, and then rinse off real well from the evaporator and surrounding area.

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Old 08-01-2019, 02:16 PM   #6
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Hey Dmax!

Im in Las Vegas and my 16 year old AC gets down to 45 even in 110 heat.

However when its super humid and 105+ its not super comfortable. Although I get cold air it feel like the humidity is still present. I bet where you live you have high humidity?

I have had to disconnect my water heat valve in the summer because it will not function to shut off heat to the heater core. I think I have an undiagnosed fault in the HVAC computer.

I thought about cleaning my evaporator as well. Maybe cleaning the condenser would help as well.

I would suggest checking your low side pressure to verify Freon, as a starting point.

Let us know how it works out!


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Old 08-01-2019, 02:27 PM   #7
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However when its super humid and 105+ its not super comfortable. Although I get cold air it feel like the humidity is still present. I bet where you live you have high humidity?


When it's humid have you tried using the recye button? Just keep re-cooling the same dryer air.

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Old 08-01-2019, 02:49 PM   #8
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However when its super humid and 105+ its not super comfortable. Although I get cold air it feel like the humidity is still present. I bet where you live you have high humidity?


When it's humid have you tried using the recye button? Just keep re-cooling the same dryer air.

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Yes that function works. When I had the cabin filter housing off I watched the vent doors open and close when I cycled the button.

Maybe it was the fact that I had direct sunlight hitting me from the left. That was on a road trip from Arizona. Here in Las Vegas the AC works great!

However, Id love to clean the system out thoroughly though one day.
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Old 08-01-2019, 03:06 PM   #9
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I cleaned my evaporator with cleaner when replacing the blower motor. You have a reasonably clear view of the top without the blower motor, just lather on the evaporator cleaner and wait. Believe I did a couple applications (using the full can) and don't believe rinse is necessary. The cleaner goes on as foam and then, after a few minutes, reverts to a liquid away carrying dirt, etc. There is a necessary trick to remove the blower motor; remove the front and passenger side covers and then move the motor sideways before bringing forward (otherwise won't fit).

Also consider freon level, evaluating your heater valve, and cleaning the condenser. My heater valve issue was evident as outside air was warmer through the vents than outside the window. GL

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Old 08-01-2019, 04:21 PM   #10
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Thank you all for your thoughts. One that stood out was the heater valve...I forgot to mention I was thinking about that too. I thought about it also because I thought there was a door between the evaporator and heater core. The time I replaced my fsr I remember having an issue with a connection on a blend door motor but did confirm it was working...did not see if the door was actually fully closed.

So, how do I disable it? Just unplug it? Pull a fuse? ( I can hope it's that easy!)

Thanks again!
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Old 08-01-2019, 04:26 PM   #11
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I cleaned my evaporator with cleaner when replacing the blower motor. You have a reasonably clear view of the top without the blower motor, just lather on the evaporator cleaner and wait. Believe I did a couple applications (using the full can) and don't believe rinse is necessary. The cleaner goes on as foam and then, after a few minutes, reverts to a liquid away carrying dirt, etc. There is a necessary trick to remove the blower motor; remove the front and passenger side covers and then move the motor sideways before bringing forward (otherwise won't fit).

Also consider freon level, evaluating your heater valve, and cleaning the condenser. My heater valve issue was evident as outside air was warmer through the vents than outside the window. GL
The only thing about the heater valve is it is supposed to be open by default. The HVAC should be closing it.

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Old 08-01-2019, 04:33 PM   #12
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Thank you all for your thoughts. One that stood out was the heater valve...
In my case the failure mode of the heater valve was that randomly (usually during many short trips, e.g. running errands), the A/C would blow warm. The air was dry, but it was like someone had simply turned up the heat on the logicon. Other times it would blow ice cold. Does this sound like your issue?

My theory is that heat soak in the engine compartment affected the operation of the valve. Replaced it and haven't had the issue since. Cold A/C all the time.
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Old 08-01-2019, 06:01 PM   #13
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Maybe check your cabin filter.

I had an old Honda Pilot that was losing its ability to cool the cabin.
I yanked and replaced a very dirty cabin heater and the AC magically fixed itself.


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Old 08-01-2019, 06:07 PM   #14
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AC not always great--possible dirty evaporator

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmax View Post
Thank you all for your thoughts. One that stood out was the heater valve...I forgot to mention I was thinking about that too. I thought about it also because I thought there was a door between the evaporator and heater core. The time I replaced my fsr I remember having an issue with a connection on a blend door motor but did confirm it was working...did not see if the door was actually fully closed.

So, how do I disable it? Just unplug it? Pull a fuse? ( I can hope it's that easy!)

Thanks again!


Unfortunately I had to unplug the hoses and plug them with plastic caps and band clamps, AFAIK.

A new valve didnt fix the problem for me.
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Old 08-01-2019, 08:10 PM   #15
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Florida car, hot and humid, 250,000 miles. I had an issue with the A/C a few years ago. DEALER was doing the airbag, so I had them check it out, and prepared for big "gotcha". Turned out it just needed freon. $100 out the door. I'm still in shock.
Mechanic wanted to buy my car, lol.

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Old 08-01-2019, 11:38 PM   #16
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first thing is to check freon mayb it is a tad low. if freon is below a certain low threshold the ac compressor wont engage at all. btdt
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Old 08-02-2019, 12:23 AM   #17
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first thing is to check freon mayb it is a tad low. if freon is below a certain low threshold the ac compressor wont engage at all. btdt
without spelling it out, DMAX AC is working
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:06 AM   #18
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Can someone opine on the wisdom of just clamping off a water valve hose to test the theory that it's a bad water valve (possible a bad blend door) leading to my issues of periodic weak AC.

I want to clamp a hose going to the heater core...just want to ensure I'm not interfering with normal flow of coolant through the engine. Any thoughts on which hose to clamp?
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:09 AM   #19
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Check for debris between the condenser, leaves and stuff. and consider combing your fins. your car does have four million miles so that means lots of rocks over time have bent your fins. i'd brush it with soap and water and rinse it too to make sure heat radiates
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:18 AM   #20
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Check for debris between the condenser, leaves and stuff. and consider combing your fins. your car does have four million miles so that means lots of rocks over time have bent your fins. i'd brush it with soap and water and rinse it too to make sure heat radiates
I have flushed through the condenser thoroughly...with both soap spray and high pressure nozzle--

My refrigerant is good...likely everything is good...except for possible issue with blend door...which I hope to mitigate by closing off circulation to the heater core. I'm reading guys have put valves inline and do it manually...but if it is the heater valve failing, then my clamping off idea should show if it is the valve or not that's part of the issue.

I do not want to get into it deep enough to fix a broken blend door. I am suspicious of this valve--many have failed and replacement fixed the issue--but not in all cases. At my mileage, it's a miracle anything works.
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