What with summer on the way I thought I'd just have a look to see what the evaporator was like in the Corolla (Seb).
After seeing some rather horrible examples on youtube on vehicles that never had cabin filters fitted (a damn good idea to have them) a lot of the blower fans, A/C evaporators and their casings are filled with crud.
I however didn't want to have to take the dash apart nor degas the system which you have to do if you want to remove the evaporator and wash it out.
Droping out the blower motor came first so first take the glove box out and the lower trim panel, easy as pie. Then came the blower motor and fan, three screws and a wiring plug and finally the fan resistor which was nearby and only had two screws and a wiring plug. Then I could see into the evaporator casing to see how things were.
- Blower fan: Not bad at all, a few little leaves and a coating of exhaust/pollution grime. So fan was removed, soaked in a household detergent, cleaned and put aside to dry.
- Blower motor: Felt some resistance in motion plus a raspy feel when turning the spindle, appears a bearing is going, I cleaned it up and regreased it. Spun more easily but still feels raspy and vibrates a little when tested but doesn't seem to get too hot and the spindle just feels warm. If had been hot then the bearing is probably going to seize in short order.
- Blower fan resistor: Looks like it needs replacing, the insulator is cracked and has lost a bit of material which was found in the evaporator casing. Made a note of it, cleaned it and put it aside.
- Evaporator and casing: Surprisingly clean, a bit of grime, dust and leaf matter. I made up an extension to the crevice tool on the garage vaccuum and putting it through the resistor mounting hole I removed the bits of leaves and dust I could get which turned out to be about 98% of it. Also included a very dead little huntsman, another good reason to have cabin filters and to turn the ventilation to recirc when not in operation.
- Using a household cleaner "Spray and wipe" which is a household kitchen cleaner and sprayed as much of the evaporator I could get to through the blower fan hole and resistor mounting hole. Also sprayed as much of the inside of the casing I could. After 10 minutes I used a hand held spray bottle filled with water, put a pan under the A/C condensation drain and turned the nozzle to not quite a jet and rinsed out the casing and evaporator. Finally I put a funnel into the resistor hole and poured 2 litres of water into the casing flushing any detritius out that was sitting in the bottom of the casing into the waiting pan.
Once I'd dried out everything I could reach, I put everything back and fired things up, the air flow seems about 20% stronger but I'm not sure, the A/C seems to get colder faster and puts out more chill but to be honest I'm going on feel. Tomorrow when I plan to wash the car it should heat up in the sun, I'll turn it on then and see what happens.
I will have to replace the blower resistor and motor, the resistor will disintegrate further and possibly block the A/C drain I give it 6 months or so given it's summer and the fan will be used more often. The bearing will go completely on that blower motor at some point but it'll probably last another 2-5 years.
Things seem surprisingly clean on this 16 year old car and it was interesting to see all the trim, casings, motors and electrics were made in Australia, or so the manufacturing stamps said. I would like to eventually remove the dash and redo the seals on the vents and ductings. I'm getting a bit of air leakage to the foot area when the controls are set to upper vents only, this is fine if I'm wearing shoes but if I have the A/C on and driving barefoot I end up with frozen feet XD