2010 Air Condition Condenser Drain Plugged - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-11-2011, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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2010 Air Condition Condenser Drain Plugged (Problem Solved)

My 2010 Malibu leaks water into the passenger foot well.

I have inspected drain under heat shield. I it is clear.

This is not the "water goes back up drip tube" problem

With car standing still, and air running, water drips from high
up under the dash.

When I turn the car, I can hear water hitting the blower fan blades.

What can be blocking condensate from draining?

Thanks
Carl

Last edited by cds57004; 08-14-2011 at 07:11 PM. Reason: problem solved
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-11-2011, 08:48 PM
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Re: 2010 Air Condition Condenser Drain Plugged

If this is happening in dry weather conditions meaning it isn't raining, there is no other place for plain water to come from so the evaporatoe drain IS clogged. How did you determine it wasn't clogged? Did you stick something in the drain? You need to be careful but if you use something semi rigid, a drinking straw maybe and gently push it in the drain a ways, you should find something blocking the drain. If it's let's say tree debris, needles, decaying leaves, which we see here in PA fairly often, you'll nudge it loose and it'll rinse out on it's own hopefully. A guy in my shop did have an '09 or '10 Malibu with a recurring drain clog and after removing the HVAC case and opening it up, he found a sticky build up all over the inside of the case. No idea how it got there or when. Cleaned it up and no more problems. Taking out the HVAC case requires basically gutting the interior from the front seats forward so it's no weekend warrior job unless your fairly mechanicly minded. If you're getting water in the fan motor, don't let it there, take the motor out and dry it and address the drain issue. The motor will corrode over time and the water won't dry on it's own very quickly. Good luck.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 06:00 AM
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Re: 2010 Air Condition Condenser Drain Plugged

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodents View Post
Did you stick something in the drain? You need to be careful but if you use something semi rigid, a drinking straw maybe and gently push it in the drain a ways, you should find something blocking the drain.
Is a plastic drinking straw long enough ??

I was thinking a plastic "zip tie" should work pretty good; stiff but flexible and no sharp points or edges. They come in various lengths and are handy for other things too.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 11:39 AM
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Re: 2010 Air Condition Condenser Drain Plugged

The straw I'm thinking of is like you would get with a Coke or Pepsi, a good 10" long. Zip tie might work, needs to have enough rigidity to break up some debris but not enough that you inadvertantly puncture the evaporator core. It would take a good hit to puncture the core but since most people have never done this, I'm trying to keep it to a point you can't do harm to the core that's why I went with a straw. I just had a heater core out of an Equinox this week, no fun. Not like the old days when you could have one out and in with a couple hours. Progress I think it's called.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 03:59 PM
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Re: 2010 Air Condition Condenser Drain Plugged

The drain is just above the right side, looking from the drivers seat, of the heat shield. I can see the end of the drain on mine from the top. I can't say for sure if that drains straight out or turns a 90 degree turn to run on the splash shield and to the ground. I tend to think it makes a turn. The heat shield is sharp so be careful if you stick your hand down there. It's a tight fit on the V6 but I'd try from the top first and if all else fails look from underneath. I don't have my bay open at the moment or I'd throw mine up and look at it. You might be able to get that shield out of the way, I don't know that I'd take it out all the way, a pain to put back in. If you get a steady stream of water coming out, I don't know that I'd worry about it a lot, but it's your call, so if you want to toy with it, have at it.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 08:08 PM
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Re: 2010 Air Condition Condenser Drain Plugged

There is at least one other thread on this subject.

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-13-2011, 06:40 AM
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Re: 2010 Air Condition Condenser Drain Plugged

Interesting. I never noticed the bulletin but here it is. Worth a look. If you want pictures, email me and I'll send you a .pdf file with the whole bulletin including pictures.

#09-01-37-002D: Water Leak into Front/Rear Passenger Floor and/or Carpet Wet (Inspect White Plug in HVAC Evap Drain and Apply Sealer to Front of Dash) - (Sep 27, 2010)


Subject: Water Leak into Front and Rear Passenger Floor and/or Carpet Wet (Inspect White Plug in HVAC Evaporator Drain and Apply Sealer to Front of Dash Area)


Models: 2008-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt

2008-2011 Chevrolet HHR, Malibu

2008-2010 Pontiac G5

2008-2009 Pontiac G6

2008-2009 Saturn AURA




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This bulletin is being revised to add the Pontiac G5 model. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 09-01-37-002C (Section 01 - HVAC).


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Condition
Some customers may comment that the front and rear floor carpet is wet on the passenger side.

Cause
This condition may be caused by a plugged HVAC evaporator Drain. In some cases, water from the HVAC system will drain back though the front of the dash.

Correction
Note: Reposition of the heat shield is not necessary on a Cobalt and HHR.

Verify the customer's concern. If there is water on the passenger side front floor area, raise and suitably support the vehicle. Refer to Lifting and Jacking the Vehicle in SI.
Inspect the operation of the drain.
Note: Make sure that small debris is not plugging up the drain.





Reposition the heat shield (1) in order to gain access to the HVAC drain.



Remove the white plug (1) and assure there is no debris in the drain tube and/or plug. If debris exists, pull from the drain tube (do NOT force back into evaporator case) and reinstall the plug.



Important: Do not get sealer on the heat shield, on the end of, or within the drain tube.

Mask off the areas (1, 2) by the HVAC drain using high-quality automotive tape.
Apply high tech seam sealer, Kent Industries P/N P10200*, to the front of dash area as shown in figure below.



Remove the high quality automotive tape and reposition the heat shield to its normal position.
Lower the vehicle. Let the vehicle run with A/C on.
Perform a final inspection for the A/C and verify that the system is draining properly.
* We believe this source and their products to be reliable. There may be additional manufacturers
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 2010 Air Condition Condenser Drain Plugged

Thanks Everyone

I had Two issues - The drain was plugged.

1 - The drain was plugged, after unbolting heat shield and jamming it out of the way, I was able to pull white plug and inset air hose into drain. I removed the blockage -( I hope) it does not come back.

2 - Solve drain leak back into cabin -

I would recommend that you all pull the for carpet up on the passenger side. and look for water.

My car has been leaking for so long that the thick paint on the floor is coming off the metal.
It took 5 days in the hot summer sun to dry the sound deadening material under the mats.
I vacuumed 1/2 gallon of water out of the foot well.

I made a ring out of thin aluminum, (beer can) 1-1/2 in diameter with a 1/2 inch hole.
I laid a 3/8 inch layer of RTV on the face of it, and slipped it over the drain. to seal drain pipe and body. I could just get my fingers onto the drain.
It took 2 feet of socket extensions to reach the heat shields nuts up the fire wall.

All the info on the drain leak ignores the fact that unless you remove the exhaust system, you cant get your hand into where the drain is. SO the GM fix is unreasonable.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 07:24 PM
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Re: 2010 Air Condition Condenser Drain Plugged

Replace the carpet padding, you'll never get the mildew out and it'll stink forever. The carpet should dry okay and not stink but sometimes they do. Most of the odor removers don't do the job which means a new carpet. Did you remove the loose paint and recoat the area? As long as the path to drain back into the car is sealed you should be good. The white plug, is that a solid piece or can water drain through it? I'm going to pull my carpet back and see what's what. Then I'll fix the drain while I'm there. Why GM didn't address this by now, I just can't understand. This bulletin has been revised 4 times since the original bulletin. This goes back two years and then some. A production line fix should have been implemented shortly after this was identified. Sometimes they do make changes, then other times this stuff happens. Well, at least you're issue has been identified and hopefully fixed.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 2010 Air Condition Condenser Drain Plugged

here's the deal

The drain faces forward, so wind under the car would push the water back up the drain tube.

The "white plug" plugs the end of the drain tube. The tube has a slot in the bottom, and the plug has a missing side, so the plug makes the hole for the water to leak out.

It is very hard to get to. you can see it, but it is 8 inches up from the bottom of the car.

You really have to manhandle the heat shield, to get it out of the way.
The heat shield is tucked under the suspension support, take the 6 10mm nuts off the heat shield, 4 on car bottom, 2 up fire wall.

It took me 2 days, 1 day to take apart, and think about, and 1 day to fix.
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