Cross country in winter without A/C or heat


#1

This winter I plan to drive across country from California to Florida in my 2001 Mitsubishi eclipse, unfortunately it’s AC it out and the mechanics said it was the blower and possibly other things and it would coast at least 800 dollars. As I drive across the country in the winter I do not want my car the fog up and would like to keep my windows rolled down to keep air circulation going but if it’s going to be raining that option is out. I’ve searched many different sites online to find a side window deflector but it seems that there isn’t any for that year. If AC repair is out of the question, and a side window deflector doesn’t seem to exist for this model does anyone have a suggestion what to do?


#2

People drove before AC. So, just get the blower fixed and you should have heat. Run bilevel (heat plus defog) on outside air. It should work fine.


#3

Did you get an itemized estimate on the repairs? Could $700 of the total be for the AC and $100 to repair the fan? A good shop would offer all possible options.


#4

I’d get the blower fixed but you can buy one of those heater/fans that plug into the cig lighter. They aren’t very good but would clear the fog off the windshield in the rain. I used one in my diesel when the head gaskets were bad and couldn’t get any heat in traffic. Once you are on the open road though, you should get some heat coming out of the vents with no blower but I wouldn’t count on it.

But I’d fix it. I’ve been in California and Florida and even in March I’ve used the heat. Plus don’t think that sleet and snow enroute are not possibilities.


#5

Yes to above. I would ask the shop to give a price for the blower motor, and also ask if there is a chance the compressor will seize. If it did seize the belt would probably break, so anything else run by the same belt would cease to operate.
The blower motor for heat and defrost would be great! if that does not work out thy do sell little defrost fans that plug into a power point.


#6

Surely you can turn off the AC so the compressor clutch is not engaged. But I am a dinosaur.


#7

Advanced Auto parts has your blower with the squirrel cage for $100, and I would think that this is a pretty simple repair.
I have not worked on an Eclipse, but I presume the blower is under the dash near the glove box and is only held by three screws and an electrical connector.
Pretty easy repair.

At least you would have heat and defrosters.
Then if you unplug the AC compressor wiring harness at the pump, it will not cycle on and off.

Or if you are not handy, just have your mechanic replace the blower and unplug the compressor.
You can always have the AC repaired after the trip.

Yosemite


#8

I would get a second opinion from an independent shop on replacing the blower…That will give you heat and half-way decent de-frost…

If you are going on I-10, you might not need it much…


#9

When I drove truck in the days before a/c and with very weak heaters in -30 temps , we used to turn off the heater to stop from fogging and icing the inside of the windshield and just crack a window on whichever side was opposite the wind.
We also had no power steering so keeping the rig on the road kept us warm.


#10

If money is a problem buy one of those cheapo fans like Bing suggested and also keep a towel in the car so you can wipe any moisture off the inside of the windshield. It’s a PIA though, I’d get it fixed if it were mine. I replaced a blower motor on an old Accord once and it took me all day, lots of stuff has to come off. It’s a pretty simple job, just takes a long time. Oh yeah, buy a NEW blower motor, I’d hate to take it all apart and put it all back together with a used motor, too much work involved. Good luck! Rocketman


#11

I don’t recommend driving cross country in the winter without heat. Besides staying warm…heat is needed to keep the windows from icing up.


#12

“Surely you can turn off the AC so the compressor clutch is not engaged. But I am a dinosaur.”

You sure can. There is not a heater in the world that can turn on the compressor if you disconnect the AC compressor clutch plug.


#13

Far too often just as someone is stating they ‘‘can’t afford to fix it’’…all outside eyes are seeing the cold hard truth that they …
can’t afford NOT to fix it !


#14

I agree with you @“ken green” , you cannot afford not to fix it. It is way too dangerous to be driving without defrosters.

It may not be below freezing where he is traveling, but windows can fog up pretty quick and make it nearly impossible to see where you are going. And on unfamiliar roads too!!!

They could be recovering your body parts with a wad of absorbent towels at the bottom of some mountain cliff.

Yosemite


#15
It may not be below freezing where he is traveling, but windows can fog up pretty quick and make it nearly impossible to see where you are going. And on unfamiliar roads too!!!!

Around here…temps in the 40’s and raining…windows fog up very quickly.


#16

@Yosemite
"They could be recovering your body parts with a wad of absorbent towels at the bottom of some mountain cliff."

It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case your 20 words are worth a thousand pictures.

I’ve always wondered how the aftermath of Wile E. Coyote going over the cliff would play out and now I know! In the cartoons they don’t show what is underneath that anvil.

You made me laugh (I’m still laughing), but it wouldn’t be funny to drive around with broken safety equipment and crash, possibly hurting or killing yourself somebody else.

One must pick and choose where to save money on car repairs. Things like brakes, tires, wipers, ball-joints, defrosters… are not where to save a buck. Skip that wax job or pine tree air freshener or those chrome valve stem caps, but make the vehicle is roadworthy!

To borrow an admonition from aviation, “There are old drivers and there are bold drivers, but there are no old bold drivers.”

CSA


#17

DON’T DO IT!!!


#18

OK…I’ll jump on to the “Don’t do it” bandwagon as soon as someone will explain how a vehicle without AC can clear their windows. There are millions of them out there. Just curious.


#19

hot air. Hot air blowing on a damp window will warm the water and cause it to evaporate.

In more detail, even if the outside air is at 100% humidity, warming it will reduce the relative humidity to a lower number, say 70%. That allows that warmed air to pickup moisture from the window when it hits it.

b


#20

Thanks Bill but that was not the answer I was looking for.