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Debris coming out of defroster vents ?


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2002 911/996 with only 24 K on the clock,and garage kept. Tonight I noticed very small pieces of what appeared to be grey foam rubber, all over my dash board, that appeared to be coming out of the defroster vents, and blowing all over the dash ? Any idea as to what this could be and what caused it ? Thanks Dave

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LOL...welcome to the world of older model 996's (my 99 C2 with 122,000)! That stuff is the lining and vent flapper seals in the HVAC system. Mine has been blowing that stuff out for some time. It is worse when running the defroster for the first time in months. I figure it will eventually all come out and stop. I'm not interested in pulling apart the dash and entire HVAC system to correct the problem. My solution - get out the shop vac, run the car and turn on the HVAC system fan on high and start sucking all the stuff that blows out...repeat and live with it.

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LOL...welcome to the world of older model 996's (my 99 C2 with 122,000)! That stuff is the lining and vent flapper seals in the HVAC system. Mine has been blowing that stuff out for some time. It is worse when running the defroster for the first time in months. I figure it will eventually all come out and stop. I'm not interested in pulling apart the dash and entire HVAC system to correct the problem. My solution - get out the shop vac, run the car and turn on the HVAC system fan on high and start sucking all the stuff that blows out...repeat and live with it.

Yea I see what you mean. Thanks for the instructions, but I really don't want to pull all that apart, question is after I vacuum all of it out, will my A/C be affected , will it still cool ok ? I live in Florida, and A/C is a must. Will this missing foam affect the temps ? I can live with the pieces blowing out I'll just vacuum it out, but no A/C ? Uh oh !

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It will work pretty well, but not as well as when the foam seals are intact. With the pieces of foam breaking off, you don't get as good a seal. It's similar to leaky joints in air conditioning ductwork in terms of the effect. Some of the conditioned air "escapes", rather than gets directed 100% through whichever mode of venting that you select.

The rest of the A/C function (i.e., how cold it makes the air that is produced when the compressor is on) is unaffected.

Regards, Maurice.

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Ok well as long as it doesn't damage anything ? It has always cooled well, so I'll see when it warms up ?

I just don't want to bother with all that dashboard removal, it looks to be a real pain, and I can imagine what the dealer would charge ! As long as nothing breaks due to this foam missing ? Thanks ! DC

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For this particular fix (as detailed in rsfeller's excellent DIY), there is no need to remove the dashboard. All the access you need is provided from outside of the car, just in front of the base of the windshield. You have to pull out the heater core, but that is a very straightforward job which is also detailed in the Bentley manual.

If your foam keeps deteriorating, you may eventually lose enough of it to make the a/c (and heat) less than what you require.

I venture to guess that a dealer's charge for this repair would exceed $1000, easily. It would take you about 3 or 4 hours to do the repair yourself, if you eventually need to do it.

Regards, Maurice.

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Thanks again Maurice. I'm fairly handy for basic stuff. Any suggestions where to purchase a "Bentley manual" or best manual for a Porsche ? One for a 2002 911/996 ? I believe with a proper detailed manual, I could do a lot of this stuff myself ! I tried auto zone ,but they don't have it. Thanks Dave.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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