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Do I need to clean the evaporator from the outside?

U-96 on Mon July 07, 2008 7:52 PM User is offline

Year: 1995
Make: VW
Model: Golf Mk 3
Engine Size: 2.0L
Refrigerant Type: R134a
Country of Origin: United States

Thanks to the advices from the amazing people on this forum (special thanks to bearing01 ! ), excellent service from the and my own mechanical ingenuity my A/C blows cold air again!
While working on the A/C the following thought crossed my mind: for some reason Volkswagen engineers skipped putting an air filter on the A/C air intake on my car. So all that dust and pollen that is blown through the evaporator is liable to mix with the water condensate and to turn it into dirt, greatly reducing the A/C performance. If this is what actually happens to the evaporator over time, is it possible to clean it? I would have to take half of the interior off to get to the evap.

TRB on Mon July 07, 2008 8:46 PM User is offlineView users profile

DWD2 works pretty good.


When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you:

Edited: Mon July 07, 2008 at 11:32 PM by TRB

U-96 on Mon July 07, 2008 11:19 PM User is offline

Originally posted by: TRB
DWD2 works pretty good.Well, the link points to a nice picture of the biceps muscle, but I think I've found the cleaner you mentioned. Thanks!

TRB on Mon July 07, 2008 11:33 PM User is offlineView users profile

LOL, I'm having knee trouble again and must have not copied the link like I thought. I fixed my post to link to the DWD2 product.


When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you:

newton5 on Mon July 07, 2008 11:39 PM User is offlineView users profile

Hey Tim,
I know AC service isn't exactly brain surgery, but arm surgery???

I'm sure you'll fix the link , I'd like to know about DWD2 myself.

U-96, due to the location of most evaporators, they rarely get cleaned unless there is an airflow concern or if there is an odor that external measures can't remove.
You are correct that dirt, dust, pollen, pet hair and all sorts of grundge can plaster itself to the evaporator. When there IS an airflow problem, actually lack of airflow, an externally plugged evaporator is high in the list of suspects. Cleaning it as a PM measure is is never a "bad" idea, it just depends on how hard you want to work to clean it.
I don't know about your Golf specifically, but on many cars, you can remove the blower motor, blower resistor, or some ductwork to at least partially expose it for cleaning. Many older GM cars had really easy access from under the hood. It all depends on the application and it helps if you are creative.

On my Fathers 92 Cutlass Ciera I took out the blower resistor and adapted a piece of 3/8'" convoluted tubing to my shop vac. I could see part of the evap through the 1'X3' hole. I vacuumed as much as I could then sprayed Purple Power cleaner around until I felt it was soaked. I then adapted a piece of 3/8" hose to the garden hose and gave the whole area a flush (a poor mans pressure washer ) Repeated with the shop vac to remove any chunks that might plug the drain and life was good. I followed up with a spritz of bleach water to help kill any mold. I expected the interior carpet to be soaked, but an hour with a fan and the doors open dried the little bit of water right up.
The airflow was better than it had ever been and the moldy smell that had always been there was gone.

Good Luck, U-96.

On an unrelated, but really weird, note; I hate that 92 Ciera! I can't stand driving it, I can't stand working on it, I hate the sound it makes when I hear it coming up the driveway. I've never felt that way about any motor vehicle (or any other inanimate object, for that matter) except that one. Something about that car just makes me cringe and get angry. I get PO'd if I have to so much as check the oil! (No, my Father never beat or molested me, nobody ever died in it, and it sure doesn't fix itself spontaneously like a certain Plymouth Fury). My Aunt bought it new and when she replaced it my Dad bought it from her, there's nothing funny about it's history. It's never growled at me in the driveway or shown any signs of being possessed, but did have a hell of a time finding molded heater hoses that fit it once. When I'm near that car I just want to light the cutting torch and just ...

It's actually kind of comical, but weird nonetheless. When I did the above repair, I made sure nobody was home to get offended. I cussed and complained out loud through the whole thing, I even threw some tools! The whole procedure went really easy in retrospect, but I was in total Hell while doing it. I wish I could explain it, if even to myself? Hmm, I wish Rod Serling was still around.

TRB on Tue July 08, 2008 12:05 AM User is offlineView users profile

Link is fixed now.


When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you:

NickD on Tue July 08, 2008 9:28 AM User is offline

Depending on the vehicle have even added 1/4" chicken screen under the fresh air intake grille, leaves drop in, chopped up by the blower motor and deposited on the face of the evaporator. Even used a leaf blower duct taped to an open grille, need a vacuum to open that vent, remove the blower motor and put in a large shop vacuum hose in the blower motor hole to back blow the system.

The blower motor actually isn't that, ha a conspiracy by the EPA as the inlet to it is actually a vacuum cleaner to clean up the face of the earth, the recir door is yet another inlet. That squirrel cage is actually a chopper and your evaporator is actually the filter and you can find just about anything on the face of the evaporator except money.

Didn't you read that part where you are not suppose to remove a vehicle from that air conditioned filtered air showroom?

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