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DooNorth 03-27-2012 11:31 PM

A/C smell and warm air
 
When I bought my Jeep used from a dealer the A/C worked great...for about a month or so. Then eventually started blowing warm. I did a system recharge, and it blew nice and cold with no smell, but that only lasted for about 3 weeks. I have limped through a summer with my windows down and sunroof open and don't want to do it again! Also, a strong odor comes from my vents almost like cow manure when the A/C is on or the blower is set below around 70 degrees. Is this a common problem in the WJ or did the previous owner leave me a present in the dash? I have read up on the Frigi-Clean products, but a lot of people say it doesn't work. As far as getting rid of the smell, I don't only want to mask it, but eliminate it at the root cause.
Thanks for any input!

Frango100 03-28-2012 07:35 AM

Re: A/C smell and warm air
 
The smell is coming from fungush which starts to grow on the AC evaporator core. You can buy a can of special spray for this, or bring it in to a specialized shop who does it for you. If you install the cabin air filter, this problem will be a lot less, because the filter will take most particles out of the air before it enters the evaporator.
This is not a specific jeep problem, but happens with all brands when no air filter is installed

Heelsparky0501 03-28-2012 10:41 AM

Re: A/C smell and warm air
 
As Frango 100 said its all that crap on your evaporater core.

There is a leak somewhere in the ac system, you can go to your auto parts store and buy some leak detector which will light up under uv light to try and find it your self. It can leak anywhere in the ac system, or maybe even the evap core if its starting to corrode. Good luck :)

DooNorth 03-28-2012 01:23 PM

Re: A/C smell and warm air
 
Any ideas as to how much replacing the evaporator core might cost me?

TJXJWJ 03-28-2012 01:43 PM

Re: A/C smell and warm air
 
I know this doesn't help...but I'd be willing to bet anything that dealer charged it up to sell it...knowing full well there was a leak. Aholes....

Evap cores aren't all THAT expensive to buy...it's the labor that kills. I was quoted $1200 for the core and the install on my old 98 Cherokee. I ended up spending $300 for a core and some other items and did it myself in 8 hours in my garage, then took it to the place that quoted me $1200 and had them charge it while I watched. Bitches...ahhahahha. It's not hard work, it's just very time consuming. Most of the dash needs to come out.

While you're at it, but a cabin air filter kit from JustforJeeps. I put one on mine...it's worth it to protect the system. You might want to check to see if maybe you have one already and it's just in desperate need of changing. It's under the plastic cowl between the windshield and the hood on the passenger's side. WJJeeps.com has pictures of it I believe so you know what to look for.

DooNorth 03-28-2012 04:43 PM

Re: A/C smell and warm air
 
That is surely what happened my friend... believe me I went back. They knocked off ~$300 I think but diagnosed the issue as the blower regulator (which did have a wiring short that I patched up in 20 min) but didn't have anything to do with no A/C!!
As for the Evap. replacement, I will probably have to leave that to my mechanic (who isn't even excited about doing it):lol:
OR I might just bump this to the bottom of the list and hope for a mild summer... :D Checked and don't have a cabin filter or mount.. might just get the filter/kit, so ~$60 there and try some Frigi Fresh for ~$10 for the time being. Would anyone recommend an Evap. cleaner such as Frigi Clean or similar or will it just likely be a waste of my time and money to help rid of the smell rather than mask it with Frigi Fresh?

Heelsparky0501 03-28-2012 04:58 PM

Re: A/C smell and warm air
 
Yea, it sucks the things dealers do nowadays. Im not too sure about an evap cleaner, but if you wanted to try and extend the time the system keeps its charge you can try a stop leak product with the uv dye already in it. Im usually against stop leaks but i know for a fact on my old 99 sierra when i had a leak it normally took 2 weeks to empty, after adding the stop leak it lasted 3 months.

It is no way a permanant soultion but its worth a shot if your not going to get the core done for a while. Basically its the same exact procedure for replacing the heater core because you need to get down to the hvac box. You might as well replace the heater core while its all apart just to be safe because its a 5-8 hr job. I did both the heater core and ac evap on mine and it was NOT fun lol.

DooNorth 03-28-2012 05:46 PM

Re: A/C smell and warm air
 
The stop leak sounds pretty tempting, but I have been told it causes a lot of other issues throughout the system down the road and makes the actual repair much harder because it "gums" it up or something??

Thanks for the help!

TJXJWJ 03-28-2012 08:04 PM

Re: A/C smell and warm air
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DooNorth (Post 602643)
The stop leak sounds pretty tempting, but I have been told it causes a lot of other issues throughout the system down the road and makes the actual repair much harder because it "gums" it up or something??

Thanks for the help!

I would avoid using over-the-counter products...your compressor needs oil and the products available at the "Zone" don't have that in it. You don't want to have a bad evap AND then screw up your compressor on top of it. If you can't swing it this summer, use the time to save up the $$$ to do it the right way. That's just my opinion.

And no mechanic in his right mind would be "excited" about this job...hahahaha...it sucks for sure. It's a whole day.

DooNorth 03-28-2012 10:07 PM

Re: A/C smell and warm air
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TJXJWJ (Post 602761)
I would avoid using over-the-counter products...your compressor needs oil and the products available at the "Zone" don't have that in it. You don't want to have a bad evap AND then screw up your compressor on top of it. If you can't swing it this summer, use the time to save up the $$$ to do it the right way. That's just my opinion.

And no mechanic in his right mind would be "excited" about this job...hahahaha...it sucks for sure. It's a whole day.


Is there a product you would recommend?

TJXJWJ 03-29-2012 06:53 AM

Re: A/C smell and warm air
 
I'd get it charged at a shop. They have the right equipment to read pressures and pull a proper vaccuum on the system to make sure any crap is out before the new freon goes in. Obviously if you have a leak though, it's not going to last very long at all.
I know I managed to find some oil for the system...I think it's called "PAG oil", but I'm not sure on that. I used it to lube o-rings at the connection points between the new evap coil and the vehicle's plumbing, and I'm pretty sure I added some to the system after doing a lot of research. This was my XJ though...and quite some time ago. All I know is that for 2 summers after I did that job, the AC ran GREAT on the original compressor. A lot of the AC system work is something (in my opinion) a good do-it-yourselfer can handled...but the actual pressurizing and charging of the system is best left up to the equipment at the shop. Too much or too little can cause damage, and the crappy gauges that come on the can o' cool you get at Autozone are just not accurate.
Before you do any repair work though, I'd really suggest that in-cabin filter. It's a cheap way to protect any new parts you put in there, and it's a super-easy job.

Frango100 03-29-2012 07:25 AM

Re: A/C smell and warm air
 
1 Attachment(s)
The special AC refill equipment is normally taking care of replenishing the lubricating oil as well. I would take it in to a good shop and let them search for the leak. It can be at any connection, hose or the evaporator core.
The oil used in the AC system is indeed called a PAG oil (PolyAlkylene Glycol synthetic oil). There are several PAG oils available, but the compressor in our jeeps need ND8 PAG. Attached the amounts for each component changed.
I donīt know why mechanics donīt like the idea of taking the whole dash out. If you like your job, nothing should be too much. Or is he doing it for free:confused::p


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