Q: A/c check engine light on

asked by on

My wife was driving home with the a/c on. The a/c quit working, the check engine light came on, steam or fog type substance (she wasn't real sure which one) started coming from the a/c vents & the temp gauge went all the way to high & the car died. She said there is anti freeze everywhere. What could this be?

My car has 119000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

If there is antifreeze inside the passenger compartment a hose to the heater core and/or the heater core itself has developed a leak. If the antifreeze has instead sprayed into the underhood area, the leak would be in the engine compartment.

The fact that you state it "was coming from the vents" is suggestive of an inside the vehicle passenger compartment leak, although it is possible that an external (under hood) leak spraying forcefully near the cowl fresh air intake could entrain antifreeze into the A/C air intake if the A/C was set to outside air (i.e., not recirculation).

At any rate, the problem is resolvable and probably limited and thus you should contact YourMechanic who can diagnose the leak and put your car back together. If antifreeze got into the passenger compartment of the car, it will have to be cleaned by the way. Antifreeze is not a healthy compound to be breathing in.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. A/c check engine light on

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: There's a hose under the top radiator hose that seems to be leaking antifreeze. What hose is that and is it an easy fix?

Hi there. Usually the hose that's directly under the top radiator hose is a return surge tank hose; typically coming from the radiator overflow coolant reservoir. Since winter is coming around soon, the best way to diagnose a coolant leak...

Q: Check Engine and Service 4 Wheel Drive lights on.

Hi there. These issues that you are having would not be related to a tune up or oil change, though they should be done if they are over due. Since the check engine light is on you need to start...

Q: Why does the AC stop cooling the car once the car speed exceeds about 80 Km/h?

The A/C thermal expansion valve (TXV) most likely is the cause of the A/C system freezing up at higher engine or vehicle speeds. The TXV controls the flow of refrigerant through the evaporator and the valve can stick open causing...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...