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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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Is your Air Conditioner freezing up / not cooling?

If you are having problems with your A/C freezing up, not cooling, etc. Currently, there is no known fix as of yet however...

As per the service tech at the smart center Dallas, Do NOT drive with the recirculation on for longer than 20 minutes. For extended drives, do NOT have the temperature set below 65.

On two separate, extended trips, my A/C froze up and left me without air for at least an hour (both times). On the way back from Dallas, following the techs' instructions, I had air the entire trip with no problems.

Again, currently there is no known fix for the A/C problem only this altered way of using it. The smart Engineers are working on finding a solution. If and when there is a fix, part replacement, repair or whatever, I hope they let me know. I do know that the service center did not close out my service ticket because of this problem, so, I am hopeful that I will hear about it when it is resolved.
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 10:17 AM
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Condenser freeze-ups can be caused by a low refrigerant charge. Something to check.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Condenser freeze-ups can be caused by a low refrigerant charge. Something to check.
In my particular case, I hope they checked that when they had it in their service bay for two hours...
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 11:05 AM
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Condenser freeze-ups can be caused by a low refrigerant charge. Something to check.
Generally, given the refrigeration system is properly charged, low air flow combined with high humidity will cause evaporator ice-up. This also reduces the size of the evaporator through which air can move, further compounding the problem. Try adding some heat to the air box by increasing the temp setting to 68 or 70 deg, and keep the fan on as high a setting as you can stand.

Low refrigerant charge usually results in temporary cooling and evaporator starvation and ultimately, warm air from the discharge vents.

Last edited by Dunerunner; 06-16-2008 at 11:08 AM.
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 11:27 AM
 
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Haven't really had a PROBLEM with my air, but while sitting in a demo at smartcenter Seattle with the air running, it seemed much, much colder to me and my wife than MY smart does. However, when I had my air checked to make sure, the air coming out of the vents was just where it should be! So I'm not sure what the deal was with the demo, but on that particular day, at that particular time, (meaning maybe ambient air, humidity, cloud condition were different), the air in the demo would FREEZE you in just a few minutes!
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 11:33 AM
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Perhaps a low fan speed combined with low relative humidity. The longer the air is on the cooling coil, the greater the amount of heat is removed. This only works when humidity levels are low. In a high humidity environment, low fan speed allows moisture to collect on the cooling coil and freeze.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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As I have posted back on the 6th (copy below), I spoke with the service tech and he said, like above, not to run the unit in Recir. for very long, just to get the interior cooled down at first. Actually, now with playing with mine (since it is hot here in Arkansas now) mine will kick in and out of recir. automatically as it needs to, to get the temp down to where it is set at. Oh, and the a/c freon (or whatever you call it now) level is fine.


Well, I have just arrived back from Orlando,Florida on a 1989 mile trip in the smart. It was a good trip and the smart performed as expected. No major problems at all. The only issue I had (and it was later in the first day of the trip), was with the a/c. When it got around 87 deg. outside I turned the a/c on and put it in recirculate mode with a fan speed of 1. It started cooling immediately and all was well till about 30 minutes later we noticed that it was starting to get warm in the car. The a/c was putting out cold air but was just not cooling down the car like it was before. Turning the fan up to high did not make much difference. I then turned the a/c off and left it on vent. Shortly we noticed that a fog mist started coming out of the vents and the air seemed to be blowing faster and faster. Long story short, it had froze up. It would appear that you do not need to run the a/c on recirc. with the fan speed set low and temp set very cold. We then just turned on the a/c in normal mode and put the fan on 2 or higher and never had any issues again. Oh, and with driving 75 to 80 on the interstate with a/c on I was still able to achieve 43.8 miles to the gallon. I am pleased. ALSO, we seen two trailer truck loads of smarts heading west out of Jacksonville Florida to their new owners somewhere. We only seen two other smarts being driven though, a yellow/black and a white/silver (like mine). I now have 10k miles on mine. Time for the first maintenance check.

Last edited by eqwalker; 06-16-2008 at 01:12 PM.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-16-2008, 09:57 PM
 
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Low air flow + very cold coils + humidity = freezup. Sounds like it's performing like the average home A/C, i.e. as designed. That's the nature of A/C. The refrigerant transfers heat from inside to outside via the coils, which are cold on one side and hot on another side. Airflow is the best thing for any A/C system; set it to 68 degrees at level 3 for the first few minutes and you'll do better than on level 1. Recirc shouldn't be used more than 20 mins or so anyway, because it's best to keep fresh air intake unless it's really hot out.

For me, I've found a mist blowing out of my car's front end if I turn on the AC after it's rained hard. About 2-3 minutes into my low-speed journey, I'll be at a stoplight, and the AC is on, clicks on the engine cooling fan, and I see what looks like steam come from the hood area. It probably is... I can imagine water hitting the hot side of the AC coil could generate steam.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 05:12 AM
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Is the A/C condensate drain clear, or is there a wine cork or piece of radish sandwich blocking it?

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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 05:37 AM
 
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The A/C on our Mazda 3 has the same problem, itis so underpowered that unless you baby it, it can freeze itself up. This is in comparison to the amazingly powerful A/C in my MX-5, which can cool you right down with the top up while doing 90.
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