2010 Air Condition Condenser Drain Plugged [Archive] - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums

: 2010 Air Condition Condenser Drain Plugged


cds57004
08-11-2011, 08:15 PM
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

Rodents
08-11-2011, 09:48 PM
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.

MalibuKen
08-12-2011, 07:00 AM
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.

Rodents
08-12-2011, 12:39 PM
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.

Rodents
08-12-2011, 04:59 PM
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.

DrivenDaily
08-12-2011, 09:08 PM
There is at least one other thread on this subject.

Link to other thread (http://www.chevymalibuforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2356&highlight=FULL)

Rodents
08-13-2011, 07:40 AM
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

cds57004
08-14-2011, 08:10 PM
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.

Rodents
08-14-2011, 08:24 PM
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.

cds57004
08-14-2011, 11:08 PM
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.

Rodents
08-15-2011, 07:10 PM
A little clarification of the A/C drain here. There is a white cap on the end of the A/C evaporator drain, the water is designed to come out the notch cut in the bottom of the tube, hard to see, I used my video scope. White cap, if it's there and water drains properly, I guess I'd leave it there. My '11 has a foam seal that seems to be pretty tight where the drain comes out of the firewall. Can't hurt to seal it by the bulletin in post 9 of this thread but it may not be absolutely necessary. I would think if an elbow was put on to cover the existing notch and turned down to exit lower into the heat shield, that would work as well.Just thought I'd let you all know what I saw.

infraruxx
02-20-2012, 07:20 PM
I’ve read and re-read this thread and other similar threads in trying to solve my current problem:
I thought I’d go into great detail with my situation in case anyone has any advice and so that others may learn. I’m about to set the record for longest post ever...so here goes...

The Facts/Situation:
1. 2008 Malibu LT
2. Water leak onto front passenger side
3. Only occurs when using A/C
(So it’s definitely due to condensation coming back in)
4. Leaks when stationary as well as in motion
(So it’s more likely a problem with HVAC drain blockage than with aerodynamics pushing it back into the drain.)
5. Water drips in from right around where drain hose goes out through the firewall.
6. Water also drips out to the ground underneath the car a few inches before the actual HVAC drain.
7. Was fixed once temporarily by “blowing out debris” from drain, started leaking again in 2 weeks.
8. There is no “white plug” on the end of the HVAC drain
(I’ve seen other pictures with it on , and some without. Is the lack of a white plug a problem?)
9. This is a used 2008 vehicle. There is no reason for me to expect warranty work from GM or the dealership. Any work will have to be done by myself or with my money.

Noticing the problem:
I first noticed the windshield fogging way too often, and then I noticed standing water on the floor in front of the passenger seat and in the back on the passenger side. Standing water on the carpet meant that all that water had already soaked through two inches of carpet padding. Eventually I pulled out the carpet and driver seat so I could see water leaking from around where the HVAC drain goes out through the firewall.

Pulling the Carpet:
Rodents:
“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.”

In my 2008 LT, the padding and carpet are combined into one piece. There are three sections of carpet: Front drivers side, Front passenger side, and rear carpeting. I had to pull all but front driver’s side.

In order to pull the carpeting (without destroying it), I had to pull the front passenger seat. I disconnected the battery so that the air bag didn’t blow up in my face when I disconnected the electronics under the seat. I had to get a T-50 Torx bit (because most bit sets only get you up to T-40ish) which was cheap enough at NAPA. The electronic connections were a little hard to dislodge until I started using a screwdriver.

Beyond the taking out the seat, I took off a bunch of the snap-in plastic paneling on the interior, the back cupholder/outlet in the console, and the back seat. All that stuff is pretty easy snap-in-snap-out stuff.

Currently, I’m still riding around with no carpeting and no passenger seat. The rear passenger seat has now become known as “super-shotgun”, and is preferred by those who ride with me. I put some chunks of wood under the front padding (right under the glove box) and rotate towels to soak up the water that gets through.

At the Dealership:
I took the car to the dealership, knowing full well that I had no warranty rights on this issue. I talked the head of the maintenance shop into taking a look at it after telling him a sad story or something. He took it back and brought it back out about 30 min later.

I asked what he did, he said he “blew out the drain”. I wish I would’ve asked for more specifics, but I’m guessing he just used an air compressor to send a shot of air back into the drain.

This fix worked for about two weeks, and the leak started up again. I’m guessing this is because the debris was just pushed back into the evaporator case where it sat and waited to come back out and clog the drain again.

Any opinions on how you would “blow out the drain” or if this is essentially a temporary fix are welcome.

Self-Fix Attempt #1:
The HVAC drain is pretty easy to access from the top (with the hood open, of course) with the 4-cyl model. After reading a few descriptions of how to clear out the HVAC drain, I inserted a drinking straw into the HVAC drain to see if I was knocking anything loose. I hit a dead end about 4.5”-5” in. I then used two straws to see if I could apply more pressure.

So, is that the evaporator at 5” in, or is that debris clogging the drain?

Regardless, my attempts to fix via straws didn’t do anything. I may try blasting it with an air compressor just for a brief reprieve from wetness.

White Plugs, HVAC Drains, and Heat Shields
As I mentioned, my 2008 LT does not have the white plug on end of the drain. Is this something that wasn’t included on this model? Will the lack of a white plug lead to more debris?

One A/C guy I talked to suggested I try putting a small, downward-facing section of rubber hose on the end of the HVAC drain. I found that the drain was too big for 3/8” hose, and too small for 1/2” hose to fit snugly. Not sure if this has anything to do with my problem, though.

pdowling1:
“Today my dealer extended the hose out & down so it can't run back into the cabin.”

jdeasy:
“They put a longer pipe over the drain and ran it down the firewall so that the water had to go under the car. That's been almost a month now and it's been completely dry since.”

Most Recent Fix Quote:
I took the car in to an A/C specialist my landlord recommended and he originally quoted me with a $1,500 job, saying he would have to take out the dash and it would be a two day job. I think he was referring to the procedure Rodents mentioned in a previous post.

Rodents:
“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 you’re fairly mechanically 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 its own very quickly.”

This seems like a steep price, so I told him I’d think about it. If anyone has any information on how to do the job yourself (step-by-step stuff or otherwise) I’d be greatly appreciative.

Interesting Approach from jjackd6:
1. Pulled up the carpet and the padding to reveal part of the floorboard and the underside of the dash.
2. There will be some foam insulation glued to the upper part of the floorboard and the firewall as it angles up behind the dash. Using Hate and Rage, I pulled that stuff out.
3. The AC drain tube is hidden behind part of the lower dash. It’s basically plastic molding that holds some crappy foam disc in place intended to stop water from coming in. You could use a Dremel tool for this part, but at the time I only had my Gerber multi tool to pry away the molding to eyeball the drain tube.
4. That gap you see around the AC drain tube is where water would seep in and run down the firewall and pool in the back of the car. This is where I focused my attention.
5. I used the waterproof tape to bridge the open gap of the pre-cut hole in the firewall as best as I could. The space between the firewall and the dash assembly is very tight and I could only get my banana hands in so far. What I couldn’t completely cover with the waterproof tape, I figured I could get with a liberal application of rubberized silicone.
6. I coated the waterproof tape, applied some down around the AC drain tube and overlapped onto the firewall.
7. Let the silicone stiffen, replaced padding, carpet, seat. One year later, no more water.

Anyone have any opinions on this method? I suppose water can’t get in if you seal the bejeezus out of everything, but I feel like this means water is sitting somewhere else now. Unless it is enough to give the condensation no other choice but to go out the HVAC drain.

Alternative Solution Challenge:
While discussing this problem over a few beers, we came up with the idea that the easiest way to deal with this would be to inject a solution into the HVAC drain that would dissolve debris...like Drano.

I suppose I’d have to know what, exactly, I was trying to dissolve first (is it leaves? gunk? ghosts?). If anyone can think of a clever chemical to use or a clever way to apply it, I’ll send you a free pot roast in the mail.

Any opinions or advice anyone has on any part of this rant would be appreciated.

Rodents
02-20-2012, 08:12 PM
Iíve read and re-read this thread and other similar threads in trying to solve my current problem:
I thought Iíd go into great detail with my situation in case anyone has any advice and so that others may learn. Iím about to set the record for longest post ever...so here goes...
Any opinions or advice anyone has on any part of this rant would be appreciated.

I actually read the whole thing. Well, you did your homework for sure. It sounds to me like you have the same type of issue I mentioned in one of the posts you read. Just throwing a bunch of sealer at it is only going to make the water pond more most likely but it's your final call. If blowing air in the drain opened it up for a brief time, there's something in there and your problem won't go away until whatever is in there is out of there. To take the HVAC case out requires gutting the interior. From the front seats forward, it all comes out. You have to recover the refrigerant, it's no small task. 1500 bucks is a pile of change I agree. You can call Chevrolet Customer Assistance at 1-800-222-1020 and tell them your story, a condensed version would be a good idea, and see what they say. They may be willing to assist and they may not. All it costs you is a phone call and some of your time. Don't think they'll cover the whole thing but some help is better than no help. Did you get a quote from the dealer by chance? I don't know what labor time is on that job, gotta figure 10-12 hours or so. Even at our shop rate of $90/hr and adding in a few shop supplies to clean the mess up, it leaves some room to get to 1500 bucks. The white plastic piece is probably not the source of your problem but you won't know that until you know what is clogging the drain. You're in a bad spot, if there's something I didn't address, let me know, otherwise, let us know what you come up with if you get it fixed.

infraruxx
02-20-2012, 09:00 PM
@Rodents
Thanks for the reply. The more I learn about this, the more I'm thinking that it's going to require pulling out the dash and cleaning out the condenser. I'll see if that A/C guy can drop the price, what the dealer quotes me, and what GM will be able to do.

And the part about having to recover the refrigerant is almost enough to turn me off completely to the DIY approach.

Rodents
02-20-2012, 10:01 PM
@Rodents
Thanks for the reply. The more I learn about this, the more I'm thinking that it's going to require pulling out the dash and cleaning out the condenser. I'll see if that A/C guy can drop the price, what the dealer quotes me, and what GM will be able to do.

And the part about having to recover the refrigerant is almost enough to turn me off completely to the DIY approach.

To clarify your terminology, the condenser is forward of the radiator. You're clearing out the evaporator case. No big deal really just thought I'd clear it up. Yeah, if you got to watch what all gets done, you'd be real glad it wasn't you doing the job. Not that it's really hard to do overall but the maze of wires and brackets and 'this' only goes one way while 'that' goes another can be frustrating. Obviously anyone could do it but you have to really enjoy that kind of stuff. Til you pay somone to evac and recharge the A/C system, a hundred bucks doesn't go very far. I was only guessing at the labor time, it's not gospel. I could be off either way. You have to figure at least an hour to clean out the evaporator case. I know when the guy at our shop had that nasty one, he was picking stuff out for a long time. Be sure to ask all the questions you can so there are less 'I wish I knew that before I said okay' moments. Once it's apart, you're there.

infraruxx
03-18-2012, 04:21 AM
A little update:

I contacted GM Customer Service, and even though the 3-year bumper-to-bumper warranty had expired, they said they would consider helping out with repair costs if I had a diagnosis conducted by a certified GM Service Center.

If the Service Center diagnosed that the problem was a manufacturing error, rather than a user error or environmental cause, GM Customer service would consider covering some costs.

So, I took it back to the dealership and explained the whole situation in exhausting detail (read my manifesto above). I proposed two solutions to two possible problems:

1) There is debris in the evaporator case that clogs the HVAC drain.
Solution: Access evaporator case and clean it out. Although HVAC drain can be cleared using an air compressor, this fix is most likely temporary as debris remains inside the evaporator case.

2) Water comes out of the bottom notch of HVAC drain, adheres to HVAC drain, rolls back against faulty dash/drain seal and comes back into the car.
Solution: Reseal the dash/drain seal area; add downward-pointing hose on end of HVAC drain to stop water surface adhesion.

The dealership didnít have the sealant described in the service bulletin, so they blew out the HVAC drain and attached a downward pointing hose for the time being. (For free...which was nice of them.)

http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/infraruxx/BeforeAfter2.jpg

Since the procedure stopped the leak (for now, at least), they didnít bother checking to see if there was debris in the evaporator case (which would have required a substantial amount of time).

There has been no leakage for the past 3 days, but if it comes back Iím going back to the dealership to take the diagnostic to the next level. Donít get me wrong. If this fix worked and worked for good, Iíd be thrilled, but Iím not inclined towards such optimism.

Chevrolet Customer Svc
03-19-2012, 10:28 AM
A little update:

I contacted GM Customer Service, and even though the 3-year bumper-to-bumper warranty had expired, they said they would consider helping out with repair costs if I had a diagnosis conducted by a certified GM Service Center.

If the Service Center diagnosed that the problem was a manufacturing error, rather than a user error or environmental cause, GM Customer service would consider covering some costs.

So, I took it back to the dealership and explained the whole situation in exhausting detail (read my manifesto above). I proposed two solutions to two possible problems:

1) There is debris in the evaporator case that clogs the HVAC drain.
Solution: Access evaporator case and clean it out. Although HVAC drain can be cleared using an air compressor, this fix is most likely temporary as debris remains inside the evaporator case.

2) Water comes out of the bottom notch of HVAC drain, adheres to HVAC drain, rolls back against faulty dash/drain seal and comes back into the car.
Solution: Reseal the dash/drain seal area; add downward-pointing hose on end of HVAC drain to stop water surface adhesion.

The dealership didnít have the sealant described in the service bulletin, so they blew out the HVAC drain and attached a downward pointing hose for the time being. (For free...which was nice of them.)

http://i124.photobucket.com/albums/p12/infraruxx/BeforeAfter2.jpg

Since the procedure stopped the leak (for now, at least), they didnít bother checking to see if there was debris in the evaporator case (which would have required a substantial amount of time).

There has been no leakage for the past 3 days, but if it comes back Iím going back to the dealership to take the diagnostic to the next level. Donít get me wrong. If this fix worked and worked for good, Iíd be thrilled, but Iím not inclined towards such optimism.

I can understand your point of view about being optimistic at this time. I hope that the leak is permanently gone from your vehicle.

I have read that you have already contacted customer service so I will not step on your agent's toes, but I wanted to let you know that I am glad you are leak free so far.

I hope you have a great week.

Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service

infraruxx
03-20-2012, 12:08 AM
Update 2: I was contacted by Kevin from GM Customer Service who offered me a free 12 mo./12,000mi Standard Service and Maintenance Warranty for my troubles, so that was pretty nice of them.

The thing is, I WANT to like GM. My dad worked at the factory in Janesville, WI for 25 years and our family has had nothing but GM automobiles. But when something goes wrong with a 2008 model with 30k miles that has never happened to any of the previous GM cars you've driven well past 200k miles, it isn't good. I'm just glad that the only real expense incurred so far has been my time and peace of mind.

5 days leak free...here's to another 3650 (slams beer)!

Chevrolet Customer Svc
03-22-2012, 09:15 AM
Update 2: I was contacted by Kevin from GM Customer Service who offered me a free 12 mo./12,000mi Standard Service and Maintenance Warranty for my troubles, so that was pretty nice of them.

The thing is, I WANT to like GM. My dad worked at the factory in Janesville, WI for 25 years and our family has had nothing but GM automobiles. But when something goes wrong with a 2008 model with 30k miles that has never happened to any of the previous GM cars you've driven well past 200k miles, it isn't good. I'm just glad that the only real expense incurred so far has been my time and peace of mind.

5 days leak free...here's to another 3650 (slams beer)!

Thank you for the update. I am glad things are resolved at this time. I hope your Malibu remains leak free.

Please, don't hesitate to get a hold of me in the future.

Michelle, Chevrolet Customer Service

MalibuKen
03-22-2012, 09:51 AM
1) There is debris in the evaporator case that clogs the HVAC drain.

I think that a certain amount of "debris" that collects in the evaporator drain tray regardless of what make or model of car you have; some worse than others.

Your pictures are GREAT. Cudos for getting such good ones !!! :)

I would think that sucking on that drain hose with a shop vac, maybe alternated with some blowing from the vac would clear it better than just blowing alone.

Also the drain is large enough that one could spray some "disenfectant" in that way to try and kill (or cover up the smelll from) the mold that accumulates. I would think that approach would be MUCH more effective than trying to spray stuff in through the air intake........although a really thorough job might require attacking it from both sides.

Now if I could just find the drain hose on my Prizm.............:rolleyes:

cgeorge77388
09-12-2012, 03:12 PM
infraruxx

any idea on the part number or other identification on the downward spout they used?

How about the distance before making contact with the condenser when trying to unplug the tube with the straw?

In the process of trying to clean the drain tube...it broke off. Now the white plug will not stay in.

I have a 2008 LTZ V6.

Rodents
09-12-2012, 08:06 PM
White plug is not required. If you're using a plastic drinking straw, just be gentle. I'm not sure how deep you can go before hitting the core but a plastic drinking straw shouldn't damage it right away, or at all.

infraruxx
09-12-2012, 10:46 PM
I'm sorry, but I don't have any further info on the spout. Hopefully the pics will help.
Also of note: After the spout was attached, the dealership applied a sealant to the area where the spout seals on to the drain. That seemed to fix the leak for good. It's been dry for the past 6 months.

The straw only went in a few inches and then got stopped.

I never had the white plug to begin with.

greenman
09-12-2012, 11:22 PM
Toss the white plug in the garbage:
__________________________________


Service Information 2008 Chevrolet Malibu | Malibu (VIN Z) Service Manual | Document ID: 2195197
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

#PIC4896A: White Plug/Cap In The HVAC Case (Evaporator Drain) - keywords condensation core drain evap floor heater odor passenger water wet - (Sep 23, 2008)


Subject: White Plug/Cap In the HVAC Case (Evaporator Drain)


Models: 2008-2009 Chevrolet Malibu

2008-2009 Pontiac G6

2008-2009 Saturn Aura




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

This PI was superseded to update the removal of the drain plug and to update recommendation. Please discard PIC4896.


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

The following diagnosis might be helpful if the vehicle exhibits the symptom(s) described in this PI.

Condition/Concern:
This PI was created to inform service Technicians of a white plug/cap that is installed into the end of the evaporator/HVAC housing drain nipple. This plug/cap is part of the production design and intended to be on the HVAC drain for the life of the car. Its purpose is to prevent airflow directly into the HVAC case and aids in part of the "quiet car" initiative.

The HVAC/evaporator drains now through an opening in the bottom of the drain tube rather than at the end of the tube, as it has been previously.

This change was on any Saturn Aura, Pontiac G6 built since October 2007. The new 2008 Chevrolet Malibu since start of production will also have this plug/cap.

Recommendation/Instructions:
If there is water on the passenger side front floor area, check the operation of the drain. Make sure that small debris is NOT plugging it up. If so please "REMOVE" the white plug and discard it, to prevent any future reoccurrence of the drain plugging up.

GGG Nola
07-22-2014, 09:43 AM
I had the same problem with clogged HVAC condensate drain on my 2010 Malibu (first problem since new). I tried all the recommended remedies to unstop the drain through the firewall with no success. So I reversed the processes, made an improvised suction fitting for the hose on my 4 gallon shop vac, taping a strip of carpet padding around the end of it with Gorilla tape, so that the padding extended about a quarter inch past the hose. Turned on the car with AC full blast and pushed the "fitting" against the firewall, covering the drain. The carpet padding helped make a "seal" between the suction hose and the firewall. In seconds, water began to pour out of the drain tube, and whatever was clogging it was sucked into the shop vac. I repeated the process a few times, alternating "cleaning" the drain tube with stiff wire, and suctioning again. It's been about a week now, and water continues to flow so I am about to remove the towels from between the floor carpet and the foot wells which I had kept there to test for leaking water and to help dry those areas if my problem re-occurred.

Also, I was able to successfully dry underneath the loosened rear and front passenger carpet/padding by using two shop vacs BLOWING air far up under the carpeted areas with the windows only slightly cracked open in the 95 degree Louisiana sun. It was hot as hell in there, but the circulating air was like giant hair dryers. Still, it took about 24 hours of blowing to dry the thick padding. On final re-assembly, I plan to spray a little clorox on the floor before battening down the carpets again.

Worked for me (so far), hope it helps someone else.:)