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Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 8532
Experience:  16 years automotive and OTR repair including specialized training from Toyota and Mitsubishi
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2002 Mitsubishi: carpet on the drivers side gets..hose

Customer Question

I have a 2002 Mitsubishi Spyder when I turn the AC on my carpet on the driver's side gets very wet, and no water is running out from under the car like it should when the AC is running. I'm sure it is a hose that is stopped up for the AC but only the middle of the carpet is wet can't find where the water is coming from and can't find the hose. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Doug replied 6 years ago.

This is very common on these vehicles and not terribly difficult to fix.

First, if the water is only on the driver side, and is not visible dripping anywhere, the cause will most likely not be a clog but rather a failed drain tube seal. I will provide information for both situations regardless.

The drain tube has a foam seal that is situated between the AC box and the firewall. When this seal fails, as water drips out the drain tube, it runs down the base of the tube and back into the vehicle. Picture trying to pour water out of a glass, and how the water runs down the side. This is what happens to the drain tube, but the 'side of the glass' continues right into the vehicle.

For repair.

You'll need to remove your intake air hose from the engine. It is secured with 10mm hose clamps on either end and one small air hose to remove.

Once out of the way, you will have access to the drain tube. Looking down the firewall, just to the side of the steering column opening will be the drain tube. You will need to grab the firewall insulation and pull the corner up and out of the way, or tear a small section off to gain access/visibility. The tube is just above the steering rack, very low.

At this point you can run a pipe cleaner through the tube to try to clean it out. Using compressed air is rather difficult from the top, but can be done form the bottom once you have pulled the insulation out of the way.

If attempting to clear the line has no effect, the seal is where your water is getting back in. Proper repair for this is to remove the dash/ac evaporator box and replace the seal. However it is common practice to seal up the outside with weather-sealant. Sometimes referred to as "dum-dum", the black rubber packing used for windshield sealing is perfect for this, as it is pliable and sticky and water resistant. 3M's name brand product for this is called "Windo-Weld".
Make a few pieces of this sealant into 2-3" long worms about 3/8" diameter and fish them around the drain tube, then pack them up against the firewall, sealing any gap between the tube and the opening in the firewall.

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