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Doug, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 8535
Experience:  Mitsubishi employed and Factory trained ASE certified technician
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2001 Montero Sport: water dripping from under the passanger side car

Customer Question

I just bought a used 2001 Montero Sport. I am noticing water dripping from under the passanger side car. It seems to be right under where the passanger would sit. It is a lot of water. Any idea where this would be coming from?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mitsubishi
Expert:  Doug replied 5 years ago.

Are you seeing the water dripping outside the car, or are you seeing it actually under the passenger seat?
Is the liquid clear water (no color, no odor etc)?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Outside the car. Under it. It is clear and no odor.

Expert:  Doug replied 5 years ago.

This is nothing to worry about. The water you see dripping is AC condensate exiting the vehicle.

When the AC system is one, the evaporator core that the air flows over gets very cold (around 30-40 degrees Fahrenheit). The warmer temperatures around the unit causes the core to sweat condensation which builds up inside the AC box. The AC box then utilizes a drain to deliver the condensation outside the vehicle to prevent the box from filling up with water.

The water you see exiting the vehicle near the passenger side of the occupant area is this condensation exiting the car. There is nothing to worry about here as this is normal operation. Depending on the outside temperature and humidity level, the amount of water dripping will change as different outside temperatures and humidity levels will affect the amount of condensation that forms on the core. This is the sign of a well working AC system.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I just bought the car today and I have not turned the AC on. Its only 50 degrees where i live. Any other ideas?
Expert:  Doug replied 5 years ago.
Have you turned the defroster on? The defroster forces the AC to on.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have not used the defroster
Expert:  Doug replied 5 years ago.
Hmmm. Is the water coming out in a steady drip/stream or is it random?
Does the water come out while the engine is running only, or even with the engine off? If with the engine off, for long after shutoff?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
it is a continous drip. I have had the car off for several hours and the drip has slowed but it's still going. It doesn't matter if the car is on or off.
Expert:  Doug replied 5 years ago.
And there was no rain occurring prior to this?

Can you open the hood and take a look at the coolant recovery bottle in the drivers front corner of the engine bay and make sure that there is fluid in there and that the fluid is not clear? (should be green or dark)
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

No rain. I will look and let you know. what does the coolant recovery bottle look like. I am not familiar with cars at all.

Expert:  Doug replied 5 years ago.
It is a opaque white jug right behind the drivers headlight. It has a cap on top, and there will be a rubber hose going from it to the cap on the radiator.

Just make sure there is fluid in there and it is green/dark in color and not clear like water.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
it is green in color however the fluid is down to the low mark
Expert:  Doug replied 5 years ago.
No problem as long as it is at the low mark (it will fill up when the coolant is hot and it expands). The big concern here was that it wasn't filled with plain water that was leaking out.

Can you go into the car and turn the ignition on (do not start the car) and see if the snowflake button on the AC control has the light lit up, and if so, what color it is lit up.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

no light lit up on the snowflake button

Expert:  Doug replied 5 years ago.
Okay. Is the fan turned on? If not, turn it on and then see if there is any change on the snowflake button.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

fan was already turned on and no change by turning it off or on.

Expert:  Doug replied 5 years ago.

Something is missing here. Outside of nature (rain collecting in the drain channels, sunroof etc), you only have three water sources in the vehicle.

AC Condensation
Washer fluid

The ac condensation will occur whenever the AC is on, which includes any time the defroster is on or the AC button is on even though the temperature knob may be set to heat. It will drip in the exact location you describe as well.

Coolant can drip in this same location, however it would have a green or dark tint, as well as an odor and stickiness to it.

Washer fluid may be straight water or concentrate, however it would only leak in this location after the washer pump is run... because it has to go up hill, it would not leak perpetually.

Can you please start the vehicle, set the fan speed to 1, and listen for any 'clicks' in the engine bay between 2 and 20 seconds after the engine starts. It will be an fairly loud click..
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

i started the vehicle and no clicks or anything.

Expert:  Doug replied 5 years ago.

And the fluid is continuing to drain out of the bottom whenever the engine is running and for an extended period afterward?

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