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Old 12-26-2014, 01:16 PM   #1
TightAss
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Weird HVAC issue; anyone else seen this?

Today while driving to work the window suddenly started to fog up. As usual i had the defroster on with the fan on low. When I looked down at the controlls I noticed the recirculate button light was off indicating that fresh air was blocked from entering the car. When I pushed the button it would not change to fresh air mode, light stayed off. I fiddled with it a while and found that if I turned the multi-function knob from defrost to fully on floor mode I could then activate fresh air and the button light would come on. This does not help however when your windows are fogging up! I then found that if I turned the temperature control knob down to the halfway position or lower I could get fresh air even in defrost mode, but if I turned the heat up the recirculate light would turn back off and car would of course start to fog up again due to being in recirculate mode.

The bumper to bumper part of the warranty has expired since I'm at 43k miles so, I guess I will have to take it apart to see what is going on with the fresh air door and/or the control system.

This is the first problem I have had with the car since I bought it new over 3 years ago.


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Old 12-26-2014, 01:49 PM   #2
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I think you're confused. If the recirculate light is off, that means it is only pulling fresh air into the car - which is why it defaults to "off" when you enable the defrost. If the light is on, it's recirculating the air. Your car sounds like it's working as designed.

I think the issue in your case is actually the weather:
http://www.wunderground.com/history/...tory.html?MR=1

Humidity hovering around 96-100% and maybe something with the dew point being really close to the temperature outside?

Anyway, I could see it being a problem if your car hadn't warmed up yet. But if your car is warm, hot air + recirc OFF + A/C ON is your best bet. If all of that fails, you can roll down the windows as a temporary fix.

It's possible the recirc door actuator stopped working (happened on my buddy's Charger), but if you can hear the change in the noise of the blower when enabling/disabling it, I doubt that's the problem.
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Old 12-26-2014, 02:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PratoN View Post
I think you're confused. If the recirculate light is off, that means it is only pulling fresh air into the car - which is why it defaults to "off" when you enable the defrost. If the light is on, it's recirculating the air. Your car sounds like it's working as designed.

I think the issue in your case is actually the weather:
http://www.wunderground.com/history/...tory.html?MR=1

Humidity hovering around 96-100% and maybe something with the dew point being really close to the temperature outside?

Anyway, I could see it being a problem if your car hadn't warmed up yet. But if your car is warm, hot air + recirc OFF + A/C ON is your best bet. If all of that fails, you can roll down the windows as a temporary fix.

It's possible the recirc door actuator stopped working (happened on my buddy's Charger), but if you can hear the change in the noise of the blower when enabling/disabling it, I doubt that's the problem.
Thanks for the reply. I don't think I'm confused, but now you have me questioning myself. The manual does not clear it up for me either. I will have to make sure when I get back to my car.

Anyway, I am sure that the car has suddenly begun to malfunction. I have been driving it daily for the last 3 years. My temp fix appears to be to have the temp knob at half or less, then I am able to have fresh air enter the system and defrost the windows, as I have always done (living in the rainy NW).

You can hear the air flow change when I am able to change the air circulation mode so, I suspect a kinked vacuum line in the control system but I haven't had a chance to look at the repair manual yet. It's just strange that the problem has such exact conditions where the recirc button will work and won't work. I should also check for a TSB; I'm sure I'm not the first to see this.
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Old 12-27-2014, 08:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TightAss View Post
When I looked down at the controlls I noticed the recirculate button light was off indicating that fresh air was blocked from entering the car.
As pratoN said, when light is off it is drawing in air from outside. When the recirculate light is on it is recirculating inside air. So you seemed to be confused in the way you are saying it or the way you interpret how it works.
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Old 12-27-2014, 12:40 PM   #5
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You guys are both correct and to add to my embarrassment, the problem with the window fogging up while the defroster was on has stopped.

Maybe I imagined the whole thing while in sleepy haze on my way to work. If it is a real problem, it will be back. Thanks for the reality check. Still love my Focus!
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Old 12-27-2014, 03:31 PM   #6
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Turning on the AAC will remove moisture and defog windows faster. In some cars the ac pump comes on anytime defrost is selected.
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