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Old 05-06-2018, 03:16 AM   #1
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Smoke coming from Dash A/C vents

Hey guys, I’m having a scary issue with my 986 04 Boxster. Yesterday I had A/C on Demist and I start smelling some weird and strong odor. It was like a burnt Antifreeze?! Or something. First I though it was the car sitting right next to me but then today it happened again. Then I thought it’s the Bad pollen filter but White smoke started to come out on the dash a/c vents.

No oil leaks(as far as I can see) and anti freeze level is normal.
Why is the smoke coming only from the center dash Vents? Also, while smoke was coming out, I opened the Pollen filter and I could see no smoke! So where did this smoke came from? Also, can I use the car today, without being too risky, until I get it to Workshop tomorrow morning?

Thanks !!
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Old 05-06-2018, 03:43 AM   #2
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Trying to remember, but I think a bad heater coil can cause that to occur. The seepage of hot water mixing with the cold ac makes a fog or smoke come out the vents. If its odorless then another possibility is a stopped up drain hole.

However, some much smarter mechanics will chim in here. Good luck. Check see if your enging coolant droped might help identify a leak if the coolant dropped.
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Old 05-06-2018, 05:27 AM   #3
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It only happens when A/C is on. Iíll check if there is any leak on the carpet inside cabin area.
Can I drive the car (like a grocery getter for today, I swear) until I drive it to Porsche tomorrow ?
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:32 AM   #4
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As already stated, it's condensation. If it smells like coolant, you may have a leak in the heater core. I would drive it and see if it happens again.
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:57 AM   #5
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As already stated, it's condensation. If it smells like coolant, you may have a leak in the heater core. I would drive it and see if it happens again.

Thanks. Well i did drive it couple hours ago. I had the FAN to "Off" all the time and it was fine. Then after i parked the car, shut down engine and was about to leave, "smoke" started to come out from the center vents. Im not sure how it smells, it smells mostly like Moisture or something close. I checked carpets and no leaks anywhere near the center dash.
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Old 05-06-2018, 10:01 AM   #6
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If it doesnt smell like coolant check your drain tube, could be clogged or have a pinch in it.
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Old 05-06-2018, 11:03 AM   #7
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If it doesnt smell like coolant check your drain tube, could be clogged or have a pinch in it.

Thanks but how would a clogged drain tube make smoke ?
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:55 AM   #8
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Diagnosed: Its the heat exchanger (heat core) that is "leaking" coolant. So ive ordered a new one, but its quite pricey. Im wondering maybe i could have gone aftermarket like this: https://www.design911.co.uk/fu/prod135732/Heater-Matrix----Heat-Exchanger-Porsche-996---997---Boxster---Cayman/ for (labour+parts) of ~280USD instead of 600USD.
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Old 05-07-2018, 07:59 AM   #9
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Thanks but how would a clogged drain tube make smoke ?
Same principle the moisture in the system. Glad you found the issue, I finally remember why i knew that problem. Was on family vacation driving to Garmisch, when my AC started same thing, call AA equivalent diagnosed the problem. Being a us car in germany no dealer so they transported my car to Ramstein, and provided a week rental no cost for being a member. That occurred 2 weeks after i joined the auto club, name slips my mind right now, but wow great service.
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