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Old 02-12-2016, 04:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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We discovered yesterday that there was a considerable amount of water under the front passenger seat of my wife's car. This is a relatively new (2012) SX4.

I suspected the air conditioning 'leaking' (i.e. drain blocked) and have read numerous postings related to this in the past, HOWEVER I'm now somewhat confused because other postings seem to have mixed up the drain hose from the air filter, with that from the bulkhead, and that from the aircon and/or heater.

I've checked the bulkhead drains, they're OK and I'm pretty sure it's not the heater as the water seems 'pure' (i.e. no coolant in it).

So, if it is the aircon, where exactly does the drain start/finish ? References in previous posts to the aircon filter don't seem to make any sense - why would the filter cause a leak/blockage.

I'm also a little confused by the fact that the worst of the water seems to be under the passenger front seat and not in the front footwell, although I suppose it could have drained away from the footwell into the lowest place.

Any help on this greatly appreciated.. seems to be a common problem.
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Old 02-12-2016, 08:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Your confusion seems to be contagious - I was thinking air filter drain hose ?!? - but it appears that you may be thinking air conditioner filter drain hose.

If that is the case, let's get some 'concepts' in place...

Most (but not all) air conditioner equipped vehicles have what is known as a "cabin" filter, and yes, it's an air filter that filters the air that the air conditioner circulates, it's usually behind the glove box, and located in the "flow path" between the evaporator and the HVAC plenum.

The "drain" is usually located in the bottom of the evaporator housing and it's purpose is actually to drain the condensation that forms on the evaporator as a part of the air conditioning process. The evaporator is usually located behind the glove box and completely enclosed in a plastic housing, and the evaporator drain is usually a short piece of rubber hose, about a 1/2" in diameter, and usually somewhere low down on the passenger side firewall - you're looking for something that looks like a 2" stub of hose just sticking out of the firewall - if you have found that and probed it with a piece of coat hanger wire and found it to be clear, it's unlikely that a clogged drain is your problem.

You can also eliminate the heater as the source as for there to be a considerable amount of water collected, you would either be having an overheating problem or at least know about it because you would be constantly topping up the coolant, neither of which have been mentioned.

Can I assume you're in the northern hemisphere, and in the middle of winter? Have you considered the possibility of ice/snow being tracked into the vehicle by the occupants and then melting & collecting over time?
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordem View Post
.....Can I assume you're in the northern hemisphere, ...
This is a reminder to everyone coming new to the forum that the place where you live CAN make a difference in the interpretation of a lot of problems....so PLEASE fill up your profile
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Old 02-13-2016, 04:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Live in U.K. Northumberland so no snow or ice to speak of (this year anyway) but did have torrential rain a couple of weeks ago, although unlikely that this would get into the car as there's never anyone in the passenger seat.

Trying at the moment to dry it out but other than taking up the carpet (which means removing the seats etc etc) can't think of an easy way to do this - I'm just mopping it up with towels at the moment - there's no standing water anymore but the carpet and underlay very wet.

I've located the aircon drain, but it's totally impossible to reach without putting the car up on a ramp so I guess it's a trip to the dealer.

Thanks for the replies

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Old 02-13-2016, 07:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have bad news for you - the amount of water you've described, you'll need to strip the interior - there is no easy way. Underneath the carpet is a felt "wadding" that will retain the moisture and unless you take that carpet out, you'll never get it dry, and the floor will rust out.
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Old 02-19-2016, 05:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Faced with the prospect of stripping the whole interior, I cut a square out of the carpet. Sure enough the wadding underneath was sodden.
However, the water is almost all at the back part of the rear footwell, adding to the mystery as I can't think of any way for it to get into that location.
I have it drying out now, then will run the car for a while to see if it was a 'one-off' and if it stays dry I'll put back the square of carpet, and cunningly hide it under a mat!
By the way, the floor itself seems very well sealed so even if the water remained I doubt it would cause any rust..
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Old 02-19-2016, 07:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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There are "channels" in the steel floor pressing - they allow water to run to the "drain holes" which will usually have rubber stoppers in them, water anywhere on the left side can flow to any point in the area.
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Old 02-20-2016, 04:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by chrisletts View Post
However, the water is almost all at the back part of the rear footwell, adding to the mystery as I can't think of any way for it to get into that location.
Isn't there a raised section of the floor pan holding the front of the seat runners? That would tend to rule out leaks at the front being the cause. If your wife dumps the shopping on the back seat as I do, is there any chance that something slid into the footwear and leaked?
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default done it again

Eventually I had to cut out a section of carpet from the rear offside footwell and remove the underlay to allow it to dry out, then replace the section and hide it under a rubber mat !

HOWEVER after 8 months or so of being OK, all of a sudden the footwell is 1cm deep in water again.

This time I'm certain it was a very heavy rainstorm that caused it, but I can't see where that much water could get in (e.g. maybe a door seal but that wouldn't let that much water in)and there's no damp anywhere else in the car.

More ideas please !

When it's dried out again I'll see if I can replicate the problem by running a hose over the roof.
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Old 10-15-2016, 09:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Sorry that should be rear nearside (not that it makes any real difference !)
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