White specs of powder flying out of air vent? - Acura MDX Forum : Acura MDX SUV Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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White specs of powder flying out of air vent?

ok, something very disturbing just happened in a 2008 MDX. I normally have the A/C on pretty much all year round. Today, I decide to turn A/C off, keep circulation on (pretty much on all the time) and turn fan to full. Tons of little white specs of stuff started to fly out from the 4 front vents! Even after 4-5 minutes of cranking high to low and opening and closing vents, there is still some specs coming out once in a while. Looks like something has pooled back there. I thought it was just dust but upon further inspection, it is a fine powdery substance! A friend had this happen in an old CR-V and we thought it was age and some plastic was decomposing. Now this is happening in a 2008 MDX? Anyone know what this could be and how I can fix this? I am wondering if this is a known issue. What a nightmare!

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 05:44 PM
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Could be decomposing plastic/polymers as you observed, and be aware there could be long term health impact from that:

That New-Car Smell

I know your situation is not a joke but on a light hearted mode, you should also check if anyone has taken your car south of the border recently. ;-)

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 05:53 PM
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Has your cabin air filter been replaced on schedule so far?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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I am thinking it could be decomposing plastic as well but I did see some references online that it could be crystalization from the A/C being on all the time? Not even sure how to interpret that.

I just changed the cabin air filter a few days ago. I did not remember seeing any of this type of baking-soda-like powder on the Acura filter. It was just paper.

This is not a good sign. The health issue is my biggest concern right now. Anyone else seen this? Mind blasting your FAN on HIGH for me to test? Turn off A/C and turn on Circulation plz.

Add-On: Another person is now saying it could be an anti-mildew coating on the evaporator unit that is causing this "dust". Can anyone comment? Would love as much info as possible before taking the car in tomorrow. This better be under warranty!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 11:11 AM
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Is it there always or only on high humidity days?

Are you sure it is Plastic. Have you seen plastic residue in your car...after the AC is turned off? or is it Whitr color "fumes/smoke" consistency?

Do you see the white powder/fumes when the Enviornmental sys is ON but AC is OFF (there is an AC on/OFF button)?

If you do not have any plastic residue and it happens on high humidity days then it is water condensation and is normal.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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ok, I have had 2 days to test this issue. It is NOT condensation. I was at Acura today and showed the tech. Drove the car for 15 min without A/C and then parked for 5 min. Then it shows up, everytime.

Apparently, Toyota has a TSB for a similar issue. Evaporator is flaking off it's anti-mildew coating (aluminum oxide?). When A/C is on, evaporator is wet = no flaking. With A/C turned off, evaporator dries up and flaking starts to happen.

To quote the tech "Oh my god, it's snowing in here!".

Tech will call Acura tech line and see if there is an updated part. Word on the street is, Toyota is trying to move away from anti-mildew coated evaporators to prevent this problem from happening. The tech has been at Acura for 20 yrs and have never seen this problem before. Seems odd that only a handful of people have this issue. Guess everyone either NEVER use their A/C or has it on most of the time?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 10:56 AM
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I'm having this same issue. What was the final result/fix?

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 05:38 PM
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Interesting about the new-car scent, didn't know it was because of toxins. Won't stop me enjoying it though!

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 06:49 PM
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Did the car belong to Tony Montana? Probably left over coke in there
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