Just imagine this! You’re on your way to an important meeting, are already running late and suddenly you see smoke coming out of car vents. Disturbing, isn’t it? You might find it weird that smoke can come out of your car’s AC vents but it is a surprisingly common occurrence.
Are you in such a situation and don’t know what to do? Don’t panic because your guide is here! Just follow along this guide and we’ll tell you all about what you need to know. Let’s hop on!
Types Of Smoke Can Come Out Of AC Vents?
The features of the smoke from your car’s air vents are extremely helpful in ruling out the possible reasons behind it. So, let us tell you about the type of smoke you may need to look out for.
1. White Smoke:
This is the type of smoke that people generally complain of. Since it doesn’t have a smell, white smoke can be hard to detect initially.
2. Gray Smoke:
Unlike white smoke, this smoke appears with both color and smell, making it easily noticeable.
3. Blue Smoke:
The presence of blue smoke gives a clear direction to the issue you might be facing, pointing towards oil leakage into the hot part of your car’s engine.
4. Black Smoke:
This type of smoke indicates the possible burning of your car’s machinery. It is extremely toxic and must be acted upon immediately.
Why Is Smoke Coming Out Of The Car’s Air Vents? – 8 Reasons Behind It
While it may be difficult for us to list every single reason here, let us tell you about the most common ones in the list below.
Overheating is at the top of the list of all major problems and it is no different in this situation. When your car overheats, the water level decreases quite quickly, especially if you have been driving nonstop.
Overheating is at the top of the list of major issues, and it’s no different in this situation. When your car overheats, the water level decreases quite quickly, especially if you’ve been driving continuously.
2. Oil Leakage
Smoke with a foul smell indicates that you may be having an oil leak. This commonly occurs due to an issue with the oil reserve cap or a leak in the reservoir.
3. High Humidity
Lesser humidity around the AC as compared to the environment can cause a white fog to come out of the AC vents. This is totally safe and creates a cool environment.
4. Coolant Leak
Although coolant leak is one of the common problems but not unless you quickly switch from heater to AC.
The smoke which comes out of the vents has a pleasant smell and you might also notice the engine running hotter than it should be.
5. Low Oil Level
If you are someone who uses your car’s AC a lot then you must check the engine oil level frequently. Failing to do so will lead to the heating up of the vehicle’s internal component which causes the hot air to condense and come out of AC vents as white smoke.
Note: You may also like “Can I drive my car with 0% oil life?“
6. Clogged Drain Hole
Cars have a drain that lets collected water drain out from the heater box. If this drain gets blocked, water accumulates and then evaporates inside the AC. These vapors escape through the air vents.
7. Overused Heater
Frequent use can damage the heater core located in the dashboard and cause a coolant leak.
8. Worn Out Car Components
Have you taken your car out for maintenance? If not then the smoke may be a cause of wearing out of internal components.
Damage to cooling system components can lead to overheating and production of smoke. You may also come across a burning smell in your car.
5 Ways To Fix Smoke Coming Out Of Car Vents
Now that you have located the problem, let us move towards the solutions.
1. Check Engine Oil
Allow your car to cool down for a while and check the engine oil. If the oil level is low, top it up. Also, change the oil if you have not changed it for a long time.
Make sure that there is no leakage. You can always look at the floor beneath the car to check for a leak.
2. Check For Leaks
White smoke from air vents can occur due to a number of leaks. Whether the leak of heater core, coolant, or oil, all these problems need to be solved. You may even need to change out the older parts with new ones.
3. Change The Air Filter
If the smoke is coming out due to humidity around the vents, the only thing you need to do is clean the air filters.
4. Drain The Clogged Heater Box
Locate the drain pipe for the HVAC box, and check for water accumulation. Once you are sure of the issue, drain the pipe manually.
5. Fix The Car Components
None of the above-listed solutions seem to help. I recommend you take your car to a professional and get the internal components checked and if needed, changed.
Smoke coming out from air vents can be quite alarming but is not necessarily an emergency.
With this guide, I provided you with a list of all the possibilities that you should look out for and all the steps you can take to fix these possible issues.