Water leaking car air conditioner can be a serious issue with the air conditioning unit of your vehicle.
Air conditioning systems are essential in the vehicle because a comfortable environment creates room for fewer driving errors, reducing the probability of an accident.
We must understand that the air conditioning system is still made up of mechanical components and can fail. One of the symptoms you would notice when your air conditioner starts to fail is water dripping from it.
In this article, you will learn more about what causes water leaks in the air conditioning system, and what to do if you face this issue.
Let’s get started!
Why is Water Leaking From Car Air Conditioner?
Several factors could cause your car AC to leak water – including low refrigerant levels, damaged components, plugged drain lines and filters, and even a leaking evaporator core. While some are easy to fix, while others require a full rebuild or the aid of a certified technician.
Here are some of the significant causes of water leaking from a car AC unit;
Loosed Attachments In The System
The condensate drain pipe might not be blocked but improperly installed, allowing water to leak out between the ventilation system and the condensate drain pipe.
To fix this issue, access the evaporator below the dashboard at the passenger’s seat compartment and properly re-attach the condensate drain pipe to the ventilation system.
The Condensate Drain Pan is Cracked
If your condensate drain pan has experienced structural damage and broken at a point, there’s a high probability that water will keep leaking out of that point until the fault is fixed.
The best solution to this problem is replacing the broken condensate drain pan. But before you do that, drive up to your local mechanic and have him check out the extent of the damage to your condenser drain pan.
You May Have Low Refrigerant
As mentioned earlier, a low refrigerant level will cause the evaporator coil not to freeze up the captured moisture from the cabin space properly, leaving most of it in liquid form.
The condensate drain pan system will get filled up quickly and leak water back into the cabin.
Once you notice your refrigerant levels dropping, visit your local mechanic immediately and have your AC system serviced. If there are any leaks, the mechanic will patch them up and top up the refrigerant levels.
The Drain Pipe is Blocked
A blocked condensate drain pipe is one common cause of water leaking from your AC into your car’s cabin—the condensate drain pipe channels water from the evaporator to the exterior parts of your vehicle.
Therefore, if the condensate drain pipe is blocked, water accumulates until it falls back into the vehicle’s cabin.
First, find the condensate drain pipe and continuously push out the debris blocking the tube with either a slender rod or a thin, long screwdriver to fix this problem.
The condensate drain pipe is usually on the passenger’s side, just behind the engine.
You must be careful when unblocking the condensate drain pipe to not damage other drainage system components.
Your Air Filter May be Blocked
A blocked or dirty air filter can also cause some trouble for you. There must be a continuous stream of airflow to transfer the evaporator coil’s cooling effect into the cabin. If the airstream is insufficient, the evaporator coil will develop a lot of ice around it. Once you turn off your car engine and leave the car for a while, the ice will melt and turn to water, overflowing the drainage system and leaking into your cabin space.
It is advisable to service your air conditioning system at least once every year to prevent your air filter from getting blocked or dirty.
Also Read: Does Coolant Affect AC? (Explained)
Water Leaking From Car Air Conditioner Outside the Car
Naturally, the Car’s AC unit is designed to drain water condensed at the evaporator outside. The water drained outside originates from the humidity condensed at the evaporator coil from the vehicle’s interior cabin.
Technically if the water dripping outside the car is from humidity gathered from within the cabin, there should not be much water being drained.
Therefore if you see a puddle underneath your car, it is advisable to check it out immediately and confirm if it is water or other fluids from your vehicle, like the transmission fluid or hydraulic.
Water Leaking From Car Air Conditioner Inside the Car
There are many causes of leaks within the cabin of the vehicle.
Water leaks can come from improperly installed windows, sunroof, or door seals that do not seal up completely; hence, if there is a heavy downpour of rain, water will get into your vehicle.
Another cause of wet seats or wet foot mats in the car is human actions, but if you notice water leaks in your vehicle on hot and sunny days with the location being close to the dashboard or beneath the dashboard, you most likely have water leaking from your AC.
The primary reason why water would leak from your AC is that the drainage system is blocked or has had structural damage. Whatever the case, you should employ the services of an expert to check it out.
How to Know if Water is Leaking From Car Air Conditioner
If there is a leak within the vehicle’s cabin, there will be increasing humidity; therefore, you will notice water condensation on the windshield when starting the engine and the AC is running.
In the passenger compartment, you will also notice moisture gathering on either side of the windshield, windows, or rear windshield.
If the cause of the water leak is a drop-in refrigerant level, you will most likely perceive a pungent odor whenever you sit in your car. You will also notice wet carpets and some moisture on your dashboard
Water Leaking From Car Air Conditioner Repair Cost
As we all know, there are many causes of water leaks in a car AC, which can cause variables in the cost of fixing an AC leak.
The cost related to fixing an AC leak will depend on what part got damaged and needs replacement.
In a nutshell, troubleshooting your air conditioning system to find the source of the leak should cost about $100 to $300.
For the Leaking Cost, If you are trying to prepare a leak in the air conditioning system, it could cost you $150 to $1000. This cost will depend significantly on the leak’s location and labor costs.
Lastly, installing a new air conditioning system, depending on the model, brand, and year of your car, can cost within a range of $1500 to $5000
Also Read: Why Is My Car AC Not Blowing Cold Air?
Frequently Asked Questions – Water Leaking From Car Air Conditioner
Is it normal for water to leak from Car when AC is on?
It is normal if the water is being drained outside the interior cabin space; however, you should understand that if your air conditioning system has a fault, water will mostly leak into the cabin space whether your AC is on or not.
Why would water leak from under the dashboard on the passenger side of a car?
Water is leaking from under the dashboard on the passenger side of your car because your car AC has a leak problem at the condensate drainage system.
How long does it take to fix an AC leak?
Fixing an AC leak should take a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of five hours if the problem is complex.
Conclusion – Water Leaking From Car Air Conditioner
If you ever find water leaking from your car, getting it fixed as soon as possible is always advisable. Reading this article should have given you some insight into how to prevent and fix water leaks from your AC unit. If you still do not feel confident enough to handle it, you could always employ the services of an expert mechanic.