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Condensation inside of car
05-28-2011, 11:05 AM
Post: #1
Condensation inside of car
2003 Mitsubishi Galant ES - I noticed an odor coming from inside the car yesterday. Condensation appeared underneath the mats on the driver side and driver side rear passenger. What could this be from?
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05-28-2011, 12:53 PM (This post was last modified: 05-28-2011 12:55 PM by Rupe.)
Post: #2
RE: Condensation inside of car
Sounds like a water leak and if you don't get it dried up soon (under the rugs too) it will get rather musty / moldy and you may never get the smell out.

If it's only on the passenger side I would suspect the AC unit is not draining properly so find the drain hose (against the outside of the firewall) and make sure it's clear. Run the AC for a bit to check that it's draining freely afterward.

If you don't have access to shop air try using a wet / dry vacuum to suck out the clog. If it's in a tight space you can rig up an extension with a piece of heater hose and work that around as best possible.

Let us know how you make out.
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05-28-2011, 01:24 PM
Post: #3
RE: Condensation inside of car
(05-28-2011 12:53 PM)Rupe Wrote:  Sounds like a water leak and if you don't get it dried up soon (under the rugs too) it will get rather musty / moldy and you may never get the smell out.

If it's only on the passenger side I would suspect the AC unit is not draining properly so find the drain hose (against the outside of the firewall) and make sure it's clear. Run the AC for a bit to check that it's draining freely afterward.

If you don't have access to shop air try using a wet / dry vacuum to suck out the clog. If it's in a tight space you can rig up an extension with a piece of heater hose and work that around as best possible.

Let us know how you make out.
OK...I had some guy put it up (for free-shocker) and he says the drain tube is not clogged. Also, the AC is working still so he said if its not the evaporator it could be the heating core.

Any thoughts?

Thanks for your help. Much appreciated.

Mike
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05-28-2011, 02:06 PM
Post: #4
RE: Condensation inside of car
If it was from the heater core it would be a slippery substance and the windows would probably fog over with something that will smear when you try to wipe them.

Back to the idea that it's only on the passenger side (?) it could also be rain water that backs up inside the cowl area. (where the wiper linkage is) Years of debris (leaves, pine needles, and such) can clog the drains and when you drive around a corner it spills over into the fresh air intake for the blower.... then onto the floor.... and under the carpet. The fix is to remove whatever is necessary to gain access to that area and clean it out, then flush with clear water. After that you will still need to remove the carpets for complete drying.
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05-28-2011, 02:37 PM
Post: #5
RE: Condensation inside of car
It's actually on the DRIVER SIDE and REAR Driver Side Passenger.




(05-28-2011 02:06 PM)Rupe Wrote:  If it was from the heater core it would be a slippery substance and the windows would probably fog over with something that will smear when you try to wipe them.

Back to the idea that it's only on the passenger side (?) it could also be rain water that backs up inside the cowl area. (where the wiper linkage is) Years of debris (leaves, pine needles, and such) can clog the drains and when you drive around a corner it spills over into the fresh air intake for the blower.... then onto the floor.... and under the carpet. The fix is to remove whatever is necessary to gain access to that area and clean it out, then flush with clear water. After that you will still need to remove the carpets for complete drying.
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05-28-2011, 02:57 PM
Post: #6
RE: Condensation inside of car
Doh! (hand slapping forehead) I was so focused on something else that part went right over my head!

OK that clarified, it's most likely a water leak from either a window, door gasket, or trunk gasket. It could also be a seam leak between two body parts if there was any of that work done over the years and things were not sealed up properly. Last but not least I have seen water follow a wiring harness or leak in through a rusty inner fender as the tire throws it while driving. BTW, years of built up crud around body gaskets can cause them to leak so don't overlook the obvious.

The next part is where it gets hard and you will probably need to disassemble the interior of the car (at least for drying purposes) and then start the detective work begining where the wet spots are and following any trails to their source. (see above)

The bright side is that during this operation you may find money under the seats or some other long lost artifacts. You may also remember loaning the car to someone who left the window open during a rain storm. OTOH, you still need to get things dried out or it will stink forever!
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05-28-2011, 03:01 PM
Post: #7
RE: Condensation inside of car
OK...we were hit in the trunk back in September. They replaced the back part of the car. Could it be from that? Should I go back to the shop that did the work?


(05-28-2011 02:57 PM)Rupe Wrote:  Doh! (hand slapping forehead) I was so focused on something else that part went right over my head!

OK that clarified, it's most likely a water leak from either a window, door gasket, or trunk gasket. It could also be a seam leak between two body parts if there was any of that work done over the years and things were not sealed up properly. Last but not least I have seen water follow a wiring harness or leak in through a rusty inner fender as the tire throws it while driving. BTW, years of built up crud around body gaskets can cause them to leak so don't overlook the obvious.

The next part is where it gets hard and you will probably need to disassemble the interior of the car (at least for drying purposes) and then start the detective work begining where the wet spots are and following any trails to their source. (see above)

The bright side is that during this operation you may find money under the seats or some other long lost artifacts. You may also remember loaning the car to someone who left the window open during a rain storm. OTOH, you still need to get things dried out or it will stink forever!
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05-28-2011, 03:16 PM
Post: #8
RE: Condensation inside of car
Good chance that is the culpret but before you walk in pounding your chest asking for a pound of flesh do yourself a favor and lift up the trunk mat to see if it's wet back there. If it's wet then you are probably correct in asking for a fix, especially if it was an expensive repair and you paid full price. (not cut-rate) Hopefully they will stake their reputation on the work and make good.

Let us know how you make out.
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05-28-2011, 07:12 PM
Post: #9
RE: Condensation inside of car
OK...now I am confused. I just wenty to a service shop. They said that the CONDENSATION would be coming from the PASSENGER SIDE - FRONt/BACK if it was the HEATER CORE CASE. They also said that the CONDENSATION would be on the DRIVER SIDE - FRONT/BACK if it was an A/C issue.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

Mike



(05-28-2011 03:16 PM)Rupe Wrote:  Good chance that is the culpret but before you walk in pounding your chest asking for a pound of flesh do yourself a favor and lift up the trunk mat to see if it's wet back there. If it's wet then you are probably correct in asking for a fix, especially if it was an expensive repair and you paid full price. (not cut-rate) Hopefully they will stake their reputation on the work and make good.

Let us know how you make out.
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05-28-2011, 07:21 PM
Post: #10
RE: Condensation inside of car
On 99% of cars (even imports) in the USA the AC unit is on the passenger side. Unless the floor of the car is almost completely flat (like a mini-van) the trapped water will tend to stay on one side but can migrate from front to back as you accelerate and brake. Water leaks in the trunk are similar in nature and tend to stay mostly on one side or the other. Opening the trunk for a look may help confirm things. Also try reaching into that "pocket" inside the trunk and behind the rear tires. If the drain hole is clogged that can hold lots of water.

BTW, the most common trunk leak is around the tail lights so using a drop light look closely on the inside for trail marks in the dust. You may need to remove trim panels to see it but these are usually easy to come off.
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