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    1. #1
      Member gascos80's Avatar
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      White mist/condensate comes from the A/C vents

      Does anyone know what can cause the white mist/condensate coming from the vents?

      I asked my Indy, brought a car to the dealer - no answer...

      Apparently the air is too moist - jammed drain, bad dehumidifier (whatever it is)?...?

      2008 S80 3.2
      2008 S80 3.2; 2005 XC90 V8 AWD; 2003 S60 2.4T

    2. #2
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by gascos80 View Post
      Does anyone know what can cause the white mist/condensate coming from the vents?

      I asked my Indy, brought a car to the dealer - no answer...

      Apparently the air is too moist - jammed drain, bad dehumidifier (whatever it is)?...?

      2008 S80 3.2
      Lev,

      It is quite normal. If the outside air is not only very hot but also very humid (as it has been, uncharacteristically, here in SoCal), the inside cold air coming out of the vents will have more condensation, at least in the initial stages.

      It should go away, after a while. Or, if it really bothers you, turn on the recirculating button. You can see the same white mist coming out of the vents inside the cabin of an airliner while it is parked or taxiing on the ground. You will never see that while it is flying.
      2001 Volvo V70 T5 M SR, Classic Red/Graphite Lthr, TME Stage II ECU, 3" Downpipe w/ Cat-back exhaust from MTE, Volvo Roadholding & Lowering Kit w/ Nivomats, 17" PEGASUS, Rear Spoiler, Dolby Surround Sound
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    3. #3
      Junior Member madspeed's Avatar
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      Yep, i get it occasionally too on humid days here in Pa

      Yep, sent from my rooted, rommed Galaxy Nexus....
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    4. #4
      Member gascos80's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by GrecianVolvo View Post
      Lev,

      It is quite normal. If the outside air is not only very hot but also very humid (as it has been, uncharacteristically, here in SoCal), the inside cold air coming out of the vents will have more condensation, at least in the initial stages.

      It should go away, after a while. Or, if it really bothers you, turn on the recirculating button. You can see the same white mist coming out of the vents inside the cabin of an airliner while it is parked or taxiing on the ground. You will never see that while it is flying.
      I hear you Yannis, but this is rather new and the amount seems to be excessive.


      Let me re-phrase the question.

      What could cause the excessive amount of moisture retained in the airflow?

      Clogged drain, bad dehumidifier? Could it be the broken fan, the one that removes the moisture from the system after the engine is stopped? I do not remember hearing it anymore.
      2008 S80 3.2; 2005 XC90 V8 AWD; 2003 S60 2.4T

    5. #5
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by gascos80 View Post
      I hear you Yannis, but this is rather new and the amount seems to be excessive.


      Let me re-phrase the question.

      What could cause the excessive amount of moisture retained in the airflow?

      Clogged drain, bad dehumidifier? Could it be the broken fan, the one that removes the moisture from the system after the engine is stopped? I do not remember hearing it anymore.
      Not sure about the condition of the fan. Take it to Calabasas to have an overall check up and they should also look at your condenser (or have they, already) and/or the heater core for possible leaks.

      Without being a super technical expert, I still believe that the unusually high temps we have been having plus the unusual levels of high humidity we have been experiencing might be the cause of this but it does not hurt to have it checked out.

      Is the air coming out of the vents still very cold?
      2001 Volvo V70 T5 M SR, Classic Red/Graphite Lthr, TME Stage II ECU, 3" Downpipe w/ Cat-back exhaust from MTE, Volvo Roadholding & Lowering Kit w/ Nivomats, 17" PEGASUS, Rear Spoiler, Dolby Surround Sound
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    6. #6
      Member gascos80's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by GrecianVolvo View Post
      Not sure about the condition of the fan. Take it to Calabasas to have an overall check up and they should also look at your condenser (or have they, already) and/or the heater core for possible leaks.

      Without being a super technical expert, I still believe that the unusually high temps we have been having plus the unusual levels of high humidity we have been experiencing might be the cause of this but it does not hurt to have it checked out.

      Is the air coming out of the vents still very cold?
      I went to Calabasas before I asked the advice here. They found nothing, but a slight freon deficiency, recharged it, which made the issue even worse. I'll wait for the cooler temperatures to see if the issue becomes better and then I might go back there. I was discouraged a bit when I was told that a technician could not see the mist...I can, my entire family can to a degree of preferring older Alla's car and politely refusing to take mine...but...

      The airflow is cold, and re-circulation mode helps, but not always.
      2008 S80 3.2; 2005 XC90 V8 AWD; 2003 S60 2.4T

    7. #7
      Member matt1122's Avatar
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      This happened with my 850 back in the day. For the first 5 years, it never produced this effect. Then it started happening whenever the AC was on at full blast on a really humid day. It never caused any trouble and it shocked me at first, but the car is still running fine and the AC is still running fine and it's been another 12 years since then so...

    8. #8
      Member dhorvath's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by gascos80 View Post
      I went to Calabasas before I asked the advice here. They found nothing, but a slight freon deficiency, recharged it, which made the issue even worse. I'll wait for the cooler temperatures to see if the issue becomes better and then I might go back there. I was discouraged a bit when I was told that a technician could not see the mist...I can, my entire family can to a degree of preferring older Alla's car and politely refusing to take mine...but...

      The airflow is cold, and re-circulation mode helps, but not always.
      I experienced the same thing in another brand/model car on really humid days. It seemed like the air would become supersaturated (think "cloud") rather than collecting on the condensor (think "rain").

      With recirculation, there is less humidity in the air to begin with.
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    9. #9
      does it always do it, or take a while to start?
      sounds like your evaporator is stating to ice up....W.A.G. would be a evap temp sensor....but good luck getting your dealer to explore. Volvo doesnt pay unless you actually replace something.

    10. #10
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      Does it smell funny? Are you sure it's water/moisture and not a coolant leak? (busted heater core or hose)

    11. #11
      Member gascos80's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by garbergtsi View Post
      does it always do it, or take a while to start?
      sounds like your evaporator is stating to ice up....W.A.G. would be a evap temp sensor....but good luck getting your dealer to explore. Volvo doesnt pay unless you actually replace something.
      It starts right away heavily and then subsides, but does not go away. It is less prominent at lower settings (66, for example), but much more visible at 72 - really, like a steam coming from the tea pot, with visible water droplets on the vent's vanes. The re-circ mode helps a bit.

      I suspect that the blower that removes the moisture from the system, once the AC is turned off is not working. I cannot hear it blowing anymore. I was looking for a fuse, but the fuse is not readily accesible.
      2008 S80 3.2; 2005 XC90 V8 AWD; 2003 S60 2.4T

    12. #12
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      So, Lev...you should have this checked out again. If you do not wish to go to Calabasas, let me know. I can help you set something up elsewhere.
      2001 Volvo V70 T5 M SR, Classic Red/Graphite Lthr, TME Stage II ECU, 3" Downpipe w/ Cat-back exhaust from MTE, Volvo Roadholding & Lowering Kit w/ Nivomats, 17" PEGASUS, Rear Spoiler, Dolby Surround Sound
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    13. #13
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      It's possible that the afterblow feature was not turned on. I think that that's what you're talking about. I'm not sure the EUCD platform cars have this feature like the P2's do.

      Just keep it on recirc and auto. I always do that on every car.
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    14. #14
      Member gascos80's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by njb8199 View Post
      It's possible that the afterblow feature was not turned on. I think that that's what you're talking about. I'm not sure the EUCD platform cars have this feature like the P2's do.

      Just keep it on recirc and auto. I always do that on every car.
      Yeah, Nick,

      I am not sure that I ever heard it either...it could be XC90.

      Thanks for the line...recirc and auto it is...


      @Yannis,

      I'll try Calabasas once more next week, and might ask for your help, if they would not find anything...it would be a shame, I like their service advisors...
      2008 S80 3.2; 2005 XC90 V8 AWD; 2003 S60 2.4T

    15. #15
      Senior Member JRL's Avatar
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      None of the above
      You have a partial clog somewhere.
      If a line was completely clogged it would not stay cold, somewhere in the line it's partially freezing.
      I don't care if the humidity is 100%, if your A/C is working properly you should never see "smoke"
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    16. #16
      Member gascos80's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by JRL View Post
      None of the above
      You have a partial clog somewhere.
      If a line was completely clogged it would not stay cold, somewhere in the line it's partially freezing.
      I don't care if the humidity is 100%, if your A/C is working properly you should never see "smoke"
      What line, Jim? I'll ask my Indy to investigate then...

      I agree, the mist is not normal. I see it @77/dry ambient...
      2008 S80 3.2; 2005 XC90 V8 AWD; 2003 S60 2.4T

    17. #17
      Junior Member Ricket's Avatar
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      I just started having this exact issue a couple weeks as well. Same as gascos80 describes - I've had this car for over a year, NEVER seen any water vapor coming out of the vents (no matter how much rain or humidity), and then a couple weeks ago it started happening.

      I took it into my shop (they specialize in Volvo/BMW/Mercedes) and they also at first tried to convince me that it's normal and will happen on humid days - but again, I have never seen this before and it's very noticeable so I would've seen it. They took a look and found that I had too much freon by .40 lbs, so they corrected that and test drove, and said it was fixed. But within minutes of my drive home I noticed the vapor coming out of the vents again, so that definitely wasn't the problem.

      It doesn't have a scent. Water droplets collect on the vents. It happens every time I drive the car, whether in the morning (cool, maybe a little humid) or the drive home from work (hot after sitting out in the parking lot all day, not humid). I don't use recirculate.

      I'm going to call them later today or tomorrow and I will likely point them to this thread.

      garbergtsi mentioned an evap temp sensor - is this a real thing and is it something that can be checked?
      gascos80, you mentioned a blower that you no longer hear... I don't hear a difference in my system but maybe I don't notice. Did you make any other progress with that? Can someone else maybe confirm that this could be a cause?
      JRL mentioned a partial clog so I'll also ask about that. I imagine that wouldn't be an easy thing to find though, so it'd probably cost a good bit just with labor...

      Any other ideas? I'll keep everyone posted once this is figured out. gascos80, maybe by sharing the cause I can save you some trouble/cost, or vice versa.
      2005 Volvo S40 T5 AWD, silver, nav/fog/xenon/leather/rainsensor/powereverything/premiumsound, everything stock

    18. #18
      Quote Originally Posted by gascos80 View Post
      It starts right away heavily and then subsides, but does not go away. It is less prominent at lower settings (66, for example), but much more visible at 72 - really, like a steam coming from the tea pot, with visible water droplets on the vent's vanes. The re-circ mode helps a bit.

      I suspect that the blower that removes the moisture from the system, once the AC is turned off is not working. I cannot hear it blowing anymore. I was looking for a fuse, but the fuse is not readily accesible.
      i take back the evap temp sensor as a possibility if it happens from startup.
      i would guess some sort of drain issue like you were thinking...

    19. #19
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      With the frequent evaporator failures on 850's/x70's, (condensation was sitting in the evaporator, making them rust out) with the P2's, Volvo developed software where after the car is turned off, the climate control fans continue to run to eliminate this condensation. This is called "afterblow". I'm not sure if the EUCD cars have this feature or not but the P2's most certainly do.
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    20. #20
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      Had a similar problem w/ moisture (warm superhumid air clogging up the back windows) and white smoking intermittently coming out of he front vents on the XC70 (2008). The water / humidity didn't smell sweet nor was it "slippery" so I could rule out the core heater oackage. Coolant level has remained the same etc. Found in the thread above that it could be a clogged drain which turned out to be 100% correct. had the Volvo service team unclog the drain from the evaporator today and make sure that there is no debris in air intake / lines from ac to vents. So, after $135 spent, some unclogging made, no more moisture is coming out. So, i would like to say thanks to this forum for providing clues to what could be wrong saving me hundreds of $ spent in failure seeking / new evaporator etc. So, if you park on the street like I do (Missouri) under a tree, if you see smoke inside the car, check the drains. Thank y'all!

    21. #21
      Member gascos80's Avatar
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      It was the clogged drain after all. Newer cars have some strange check valve in the drain tube that stuck. We took it off and the cars is just as new again.

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      2008 S80 3.2; 2005 XC90 V8 AWD; 2003 S60 2.4T