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Water leaking passenger footwell

4208 Views 21 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  j.andrew.mcentire
Hey everyone. I have water leaking in the passenger footwell of the car it looks it's about quarter cup. I'm thinking it might be the a.c . It's happening two days so far. Anyone experience this?
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20 Ruby Platinum HL, 19 Lexus UX200, 17 Yaris iA
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No, but some more details would help. Has been raining? Car washed? Does it have a smell? You do not see the typical AC puddle under the right side of the car?

It is NOT normal of course if large amounts of water have not been near the car.

I would be taking it to the dealer right away…..
 

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A new car shouldn't leak like that. It's under warranty, let the dealer handle it and have a document of it.

In an older car, if it's not coolant from the heater core, then most likely it's a plugged drain tube - either by leaves and debris from top, or spider webs from below. But not on a new car.
 

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I'm pretty sure it's the ac drain line I looked in that area and there's a drain line right there. I didn't use the ac today took it to the car wash no water leak. Than turned on the ac than saw some water leaking. Yeah I'm making a appointment with the dealer it's 2020 with 6000 miles it shouldn't be a problem.
 

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Hey everyone. I have water leaking in the passenger footwell of the car it looks it's about quarter cup. I'm thinking it might be the a.c . It's happening two days so far. Anyone experience this?
So did you take it to the dealership? I am not sure what you expect from us here? Have you ever given someone a hair cut over the phone? :D

Likely something broke under the dash, but all of us here won't know what really happened until you take it in and you tell us afterwards. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So did you take it to the dealership? I am not sure what you expect from us here? Have you ever given someone a hair cut over the phone? :D

Likely something broke under the dash, but all of us here won't know what really happened until you take it in and you tell us afterwards. :)
I didn't ask for help or a solution. I just asked if anyone had this problem before.

Just sharing my experience if anyone else if is having same problem
 

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Because going to the dealer is a major hassle, and unless it's a blatant problem that occurs all the time, there's a good chance they won't be able to find it. People post things here to discuss them and see if there's a simple solution someone else has found or else learn more about it so that they can tell the dealer something a little more specific to help them find it.

This issue happens to be pretty common across Toyota's entire product line. A blocked AC drain tube causes water to back up into the floor on the passenger side. It's been a problem for years; here's one of probably several TSB's about it. The OP figured it out in pretty short order.
 

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This post is interesting as it's the exact issue I am dealing with in my 2020 Highlander. I was about to post about it though I will add my thoughts and problem solving process here.

At first I heard a "babbling brook" sound coming from the front passenger footwell. Then I noticed growing wet spots in the carpet and then standing water in the floor mats. The babbling brook aparently is the fan cylinder interacting with trapped water in the fan cavity. Not good.

I pinged the dealer and a service manager stated that what they do with this issue is use compressed air to blow out the drain located under the car. I asked about other procedures and most of them involved removing the seats, carpet, padding, and cleaning everything though that is a last resort understandably.

I also asked about pressure values concerning the compressed air as I do not want to damage any internals, though the manager did not have any of that info.

I proceeded to first attempt to suck out the drain line with negative pressure using a shop-vac careful not to collapse the drain line itself. That did clear it with some water coming out, though did not completely solve the issue.

A few days later, I used compressed air to clear the drain line. Using a point tip trigger tool, I blew out the line from the outside of the car starting at 60psi. This resulted in more water coming out. I pulsed the air to create agitation within the line and a bit more water came out. I did this process 6 more times over the afternoon with little or no water coming out.

There was a very faint smell/musky odor though disappeared after I finished the steps mentioned above.

I am thinking of spraying 70% alcohol into the cabin filter housing to insure there is nothing growing in there, and doing the same with the drain line underneath the car. This should not hurt any internals as the fluid evaporates fairly quickly and it unfriendly to anything that may like to grow in those passages.

Thanks for posting as this shows others that Toyota probably has a design issue on their hands given this post, and other info I have come across online.
 

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I went back and check the ac drainage line again wiggled it and kept pinching the hose than water started pouring out the drain under the car.
Seems the OP sort of answered what the solution in the OP's case was.

The depicted stream is NOT normal. I think the leak came because the AC box was full of water and is not a water tight assembly.

The OP had a blockage. Bugs? Dirt? Crap left in from factory? Sabotage? Who knows.....

If you do not see a your car dripping from time to time, you likely have a blockage.
 

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This post is interesting as it's the exact issue I am dealing with in my 2020 Highlander. I was about to post about it though I will add my thoughts and problem solving process here.

At first I heard a "babbling brook" sound coming from the front passenger footwell. Then I noticed growing wet spots in the carpet and then standing water in the floor mats. The babbling brook aparently is the fan cylinder interacting with trapped water in the fan cavity. Not good.

I pinged the dealer and a service manager stated that what they do with this issue is use compressed air to blow out the drain located under the car. I asked about other procedures and most of them involved removing the seats, carpet, padding, and cleaning everything though that is a last resort understandably.

I also asked about pressure values concerning the compressed air as I do not want to damage any internals, though the manager did not have any of that info.

I proceeded to first attempt to suck out the drain line with negative pressure using a shop-vac careful not to collapse the drain line itself. That did clear it with some water coming out, though did not completely solve the issue.

A few days later, I used compressed air to clear the drain line. Using a point tip trigger tool, I blew out the line from the outside of the car starting at 60psi. This resulted in more water coming out. I pulsed the air to create agitation within the line and a bit more water came out. I did this process 6 more times over the afternoon with little or no water coming out.

There was a very faint smell/musky odor though disappeared after I finished the steps mentioned above.

I am thinking of spraying 70% alcohol into the cabin filter housing to insure there is nothing growing in there, and doing the same with the drain line underneath the car. This should not hurt any internals as the fluid evaporates fairly quickly and it unfriendly to anything that may like to grow in those passages.

Thanks for posting as this shows others that Toyota probably has a design issue on their hands given this post, and other info I have come across online.
You too seem to have a blockage for whatever reason. Frequently a thin wire will dislodge dirt. Of course do not just jab a pointy wire up there. I like to do this sort of stuff on the hoist.

The leaking inside is likely due to the fact that the evaporator enclosure is not water tight. They are not meant to contain liquid. Some cars worse than others.

It can be a simple case of a label falling off an internal part. Or some assembly goo falling in. Some assembly line or manufacturing related process may introduce something that eventually clogs the little drain hose. Some cars have two drains. Not ours it seems.

In the old days, before cabin filters, I used to spray Lysol in from time to time....

It may be worth removing the filter. Look inside. Smell. Wipe it out. Spray something. Fabreeze, Lysol, Alcohol (as you suggest.)

Point is some cars have drains that are restricted or blocked. Look for the telltale drip. I look for it from time to time..... I have no weird smells....yet.
 

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You too seem to have a blockage for whatever reason. Frequently a thin wire will dislodge dirt. Of course do not just jab a pointy wire up there. I like to do this sort of stuff on the hoist.

The leaking inside is likely due to the fact that the evaporator enclosure is not water tight. They are not meant to contain liquid. Some cars worse than others.

It can be a simple case of a label falling off an internal part. Or some assembly goo falling in. Some assembly line or manufacturing related process may introduce something that eventually clogs the little drain hose. Some cars have two drains. Not ours it seems.

In the old days, before cabin filters, I used to spray Lysol in from time to time....

It may be worth removing the filter. Look inside. Smell. Wipe it out. Spray something. Fabreeze, Lysol, Alcohol (as you suggest.)

Point is some cars have drains that are restricted or blocked. Look for the telltale drip. I look for it from time to time..... I have no weird smells....yet.
You too seem to have a blockage for whatever reason. Frequently a thin wire will dislodge dirt. Of course do not just jab a pointy wire up there. I like to do this sort of stuff on the hoist.

The leaking inside is likely due to the fact that the evaporator enclosure is not water tight. They are not meant to contain liquid. Some cars worse than others.

It can be a simple case of a label falling off an internal part. Or some assembly goo falling in. Some assembly line or manufacturing related process may introduce something that eventually clogs the little drain hose. Some cars have two drains. Not ours it seems.

In the old days, before cabin filters, I used to spray Lysol in from time to time....

It may be worth removing the filter. Look inside. Smell. Wipe it out. Spray something. Fabreeze, Lysol, Alcohol (as you suggest.)

Point is some cars have drains that are restricted or blocked. Look for the telltale drip. I look for it from time to time..... I have no weird smells....yet.
I like to empirically check that the solution I implement has worked, so I have a small brushed cleaner wire (glorified pipe cleaner with a soft end) ready if the problem appears again, and am thinking of scoping the line upstream if it does. That should either show that the solutions worked, or show what the problem is. That being said, this vehicle is in warrentee so the dealer/Toyota is responsible for the fix. I will update this thread if there are any other developments that can help others solve this issue.
 

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I like to empirically check that the solution I implement has worked, so I have a small brushed cleaner wire (glorified pipe cleaner with a soft end) ready if the problem appears again, and am thinking of scoping the line upstream if it does. That should either show that the solutions worked, or show what the problem is. That being said, this vehicle is in warrentee so the dealer/Toyota is responsible for the fix. I will update this thread if there are any other developments that can help others solve this issue.
Welp, if you already cleared the drain, what is the point of taking it to the dealer since the problem is cleared? But, I may be misunderstanding your response also.

I forgot about scoping. An excellent diagnostic idea.

Butt, and it is a big smelly one, you have odors now. YOU need to address those, ASAP. Health hazard. The dealer will NOT remove your condenser box. (HUGE job.) They will wipe, rinse, and spray, just as you would. Since you are in there already, might as well go for the full Monty.

Personally, I would not have messed with it at all rather straight to the dealer. Let it be a documented issue. Not sure you can do that now until (if) it clogs again.

What a pita! But a quite common problem over the years for many cars....

NOTE: I recently installed a Vintage Air AC / heater into my VW Multivan. I have $2K in parts alone and a few weeks of tedious labor to wedge it in. The vans typically do not have front AC and the heaters are prone to failing too. So now I just cross my fingers the system does not begin to do weird things like getting smelly since it is all aftermarket stuff. BUT, I sure am happy to have AC in the front of that big box car.
 

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You too seem to have a blockage for whatever reason. Frequently a thin wire will dislodge dirt. Of course do not just jab a pointy wire up there. I like to do this sort of stuff on the hoist.

The leaking inside is likely due to the fact that the evaporator enclosure is not water tight. They are not meant to contain liquid. Some cars worse than others.

It can be a simple case of a label falling off an internal part. Or some assembly goo falling in. Some assembly line or manufacturing related process may introduce something that eventually clogs the little drain hose. Some cars have two drains. Not ours it seems.

In the old days, before cabin filters, I used to spray Lysol in from time to time....

It may be worth removing the filter. Look inside. Smell. Wipe it out. Spray something. Fabreeze, Lysol, Alcohol (as you suggest.)

Point is some cars have drains that are restricted or blocked. Look for the telltale drip. I look for it from time to time..... I have no weird smells....yet.
I would avoid using anything in your a/c coils that is not specifically designed for that function. Search Google and YouTube for "car air conditioner cleaner foam". Many choices so you you would need to do some research. Over the years my previous car, a Kia Optima, had to have the drain blown clear 3 times over 9 years but it never developed any noticeable odor. I know that Kia sold a foam you sprayed up the drain hose but I never had to resort to that.
 

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No, but some more details would help. Has been raining? Car washed? Does it have a smell? You do not see the typical AC puddle under the right side of the car?

It is NOT normal of course if large amounts of water have not been near the car.

I would be taking it to the dealer right away…..
I had this same problem 21 xle i was just approved lemon law after failed attempts to repair and days it took for the repairs
 

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I just turned my 2020 hybrid after two dealer try to fix 3 times. I will have my 2023 hybrid tomorrow. I can't stand the moldy scent anymore, two year with this problem is too much. We don't have lemon law in Canada, but at least the dealer is bought me back the car the same price I paid in 2020. But, sadly they will probably sell and they probably won't repair it ! Anyway, I wish my new one won't have this problem. Water leak are so bad ...
 

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Considering how many vehicles have this issue, does Toyota do anything about it? Do customers just have to have the vehicles serviced and deal with water intrusion and musty smells? A friend just bought a 2022 Highlander, she's had it for 6 months but drives for Lyft so has a lot of miles. The dealership is basically refusing to do anything due to the mileage despite this being a very common and known design issue. We're SOL?
 

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Considering how many vehicles have this issue, does Toyota do anything about it? Do customers just have to have the vehicles serviced and deal with water intrusion and musty smells? A friend just bought a 2022 Highlander, she's had it for 6 months but drives for Lyft so has a lot of miles. The dealership is basically refusing to do anything due to the mileage despite this being a very common and known design issue. We're SOL?
How many miles? If it is still within the mileage limits of the factory warranty, the dealer should deal with it. Has Toyota Corp been contacted?
 
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