water leaking on passenger footwell, accesing the evaporator? - Page 2 - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 10:47 AM
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Could there be another explanation to this problem?

I have a 06 OB and in the last week it has been raining alot here in chicago. I have not used my AC since July, and well I have water that is coming from the same location as stated in the other posts.

I have checked and cleared the drain hose and the water still comes in. So yesterday I pulled the drivers side carpet, glove box, paneling appart to see if I can find any incling where it is coming from. I found out that it is coming from the heater core housing (I thought it was the core itself but wait it is clear not antifreeze) so I left everything open and drove the car to work and home and to work again. Now it has rained overnight so I thought I would see a bunch of water but to my suprise nothing.

Drove the car to work this morining with one eye on the road and the other on the bare passenger side and nothing unitl I hit a puddle doing 20mph while taking a left hand turn and a waterfall did apear in the car. Pulled over and again it is coming from the heater core casing. Drove it the rest of the way to work and to my suprise every left turn with a bump it would leak.

So I ask could it be that the car has a gasket leak or something is plugged in the engine area and it is causing it to backfill throught the cabin filter location?

I am at a loss and I refuse to pay the dealership money so they could tell me that they can not find the culprit.

To be Continued.......
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by roaringsx
Could there be another explanation to this problem?

I have a 06 OB and in the last week it has been raining alot here in chicago. I have not used my AC since July, and well I have water that is coming from the same location as stated in the other posts.

I have checked and cleared the drain hose and the water still comes in. So yesterday I pulled the drivers side carpet, glove box, paneling appart to see if I can find any incling where it is coming from. I found out that it is coming from the heater core housing (I thought it was the core itself but wait it is clear not antifreeze) so I left everything open and drove the car to work and home and to work again. Now it has rained overnight so I thought I would see a bunch of water but to my suprise nothing.

Drove the car to work this morining with one eye on the road and the other on the bare passenger side and nothing unitl I hit a puddle doing 20mph while taking a left hand turn and a waterfall did apear in the car. Pulled over and again it is coming from the heater core casing. Drove it the rest of the way to work and to my suprise every left turn with a bump it would leak.

So I ask could it be that the car has a gasket leak or something is plugged in the engine area and it is causing it to backfill throught the cabin filter location?

I am at a loss and I refuse to pay the dealership money so they could tell me that they can not find the culprit.

To be Continued.......
I believe you need a longer flexible wire to reach the blocked location until the water starts come out from the drain tube, or try to blowing compressed air from the tube end. Water is staying on the drain pan so the turning makes its spillage.
Front Defrost will auto turn on the a/c, that you may not aware of.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 08:33 PM
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roaringsx, I have the same problem. I noticed a wet (and smelly) passenger floor mat a few weeks ago after it rained and thought the door window must have leaked or something. Today, same problem, absolutely soaking floor mat. I pulled the bottom of the dash down (the trim piece and the sound insulation were soaked) and found water drips from what appears to be a seam between the fan unit and the unit that directs air to the vents. Most everything else was dry. I will check out the drain tube, but I don't know why this is not a problem in the summer with the A/C running (and I do notice the drain tube draining underneath the car) but it is a problem when it rains.

Also, I undid the leaf guard on the cowl and felt around in there -- you can reach the cabin air filter that way -- bone dry, nothing at all coming in there. All plugs in the firewall seem to be solid, not wet, plugs on the passenger compartment side of the firewall also appear to be well sealed and dry.

It really seems to come from either inside the air director unit or somewhere above the whole HVAC system, dripping onto that "seam" I mentioned.

Any knowledge about this, suggestions, anything other than tearing the dash out would be great to know. This isn't a problem I can live with. The odd thing is, the car is over 4 years old and I have never noticed this problem before...
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 08:38 PM
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One more thing to see if those with this problem have in common -- we have had our windshield replaced about 4 times (when we lived in AZ, everyone seems to have their windshields replaced often there). Does this only happen in cars who have had the windshield replaced?
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-29-2009, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
I don't know why this is not a problem in the summer with the A/C running (and I do notice the drain tube draining underneath the car) but it is a problem when it rains.
Running the a/c (includes using defrost even though the a/c button is not pushed) when it is raining might generate more condensate than on hot, even high humidity, days. It could just be a matter of volume, especially if the blockage in the drain hose isn't 100% (which is a good possibility).

The joint between the fan air duct and the main box is a natural place for the overflow to come out. The water will collect in the main box under the evaporator. Making a left turn would tend to push the water toward the right, where the joint is located.

I doubt it is a result of changing the windshield, especially if the water is coming from that duct joint. A leak at the windshield would not be from inside the heater duct.

Making sure that the drain hose is clear should be the first step. As has been suggested, blow air up into the hose from below-- but not too much pressure to avoid dislodging the hose from the outlet at the heater box -- (or use a wet-dry vacuum to suck downwards). If you are in quiet are, it should be possible to hear the air rushing out into the heater box (with the car door open).
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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-29-2009, 05:36 PM
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Well after 4 hours of tearing components out and well alot of swearing I came to a couple of conclusions about this issue.

1. Only take your Subaru to the dealer if you do not know how or do not want to work on your car
2. Bad placement of hoses and equipment will make issues like this arise
3. Putting electronic equipment under components that leak fluid is a big no no.
4. Blow out drain hose every oil change

I think the reason my floorboard was soaking wet and there was water coming from under the dash (ie, heater core, vents, switches, and any piece with a crack) is because the last time I took the car to the mechanic, aka Subaru dealer aka Satan for this exact same problem I come to find out that they forgot to put the drain hose on the pan my opinion. So tearing the whole compartment was not a loss. I did find out that water can leak in from the vent where the car gets it's air from under the leave guard under the hood but that would mean that the drain holes will be clogged.

After ripping the entire passenger area out of the car to find the leak I found out where the ECU is located, ironically it is under the kick plate on the passenger side of the floor board right under where a lot of water will collect is you drain hose clogs up. Also who ever designed the heater core unit mounting casing should be shot as there is one bolt that is at the top of the dash that only a 7 year old can fit his hand in there and if he does it will take him 15 minutes to unscrew.

This is still to be continued because I left the passenger side apart just to make sure that this was the culprit and it is supposed to rain tonight.

More to come.....
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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-30-2009, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
they forgot to put the drain hose on the pan.
Perhaps. But perhaps they used too much air pressure to clear the drain hose from below and blew the hose off the pan fitting.

My preference is to use a wet/dry vacuum to pull whatever is in the hose down and out. This ensures that the hose will not be inadvertently dislodged from the heater box. It also removes the blockage from the system rather than blowing it up into the heater box where it might eventually flow back down and block the hose again. (Of course, it does risk drawing something into the hose that gets stuck in the curves. But I doubt anything that large would be in the heater box, as long as the cabin air filter is maintained and intact.)
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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 07:25 PM
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Soaked carpet yesterday

Yesterday, I happened to go out to the parking lot to get something from the car and realized when I opened the passenger door that the carpet under my all weather mat looked strange. A quick inspection revealed it was saturated! so much so that I had to use the shop-vac when I got home and the underside of the carpet is still wet.

I blew out the drain hose after verifying that it was connected and drove the car 55 miles this morning. No leaks. Drive back 55 miles this afternoon and no leaks until....mile 49. Total volume was only a couple of ounces, but frustrating nonetheless.

So tonight I removed the top section of the hose and blew it out from the top down. Took it for a short drive and then let it run a few minutes in the driveway. Will check tomorrow for more water.

Side note: When I removed the plastic cover with the sound deadening material from under the glove box, it was soaked, puddled and starting to discolor in a couple of spots. This leads me to believe this is not the first time this issue has occurred.

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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 09:02 PM
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Let us know. It's possible blowing from the top down cleared the blockage. But there's a chance that the blockage was in the heater box fitting that the hose joins, in which case it might reappear.

With the plastic cover under the glove compartment removed, is the fitting on the box in full view? I posted a pic of the area (post 6 above) but didn't take down the cover and could only feel the end of the hose on the fitting. If it is, can you post a pic?
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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-17-2010, 05:06 PM
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Wanted to update on this post: I got our drain unplugged. I think it was really just a small rock in the drain tube, but I'm not sure.

The first thing I did was blow some compressed air from a can up the tube. A tiny road pebble (so small I wasn't sure how it even was stuck in there) came out and a small puddle of water (not the stream I was expecting). Unconvinced that this was it, I took a vinyl-coated length of cable from Lowe's and used it like a snake to go up the drain hose. I couldn't get around the sharp bend into the passenger compartment, so I went in from the other end. I took apart half the dash (it's really a pain -- center console had to come out, shift boot, trim around the radio) to get the other end of the drain hose off the HVAC unit. I snaked it all the way down almost out the other end. None of this created the expected huge wad of gunk or rush of water (considering the seeming gallons we could get in the footwell), so I put it all back together and hoped for the best. And I have got it -- not a single drop in the footwell, even on the hottest, most humid days. I think it was that tiny rock that I got out at the beginning.

So...as was suggested earlier in this thread, blow out the hose routinely, or at least do it at the first sign of leakage in the footwell.

By-the-by, guess what's under the carpet in the passenger footwell? The frickin ECU! Crazy. It could have gotten soaked under there. Plus, if Subaru had located it somewhere else, there would be about three inches more foot room for the passenger! But I'm sure they had their reasons for locating it thus.
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