CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

2000 ford focus passenger side floor soaked with brown liquid

I have a 2000 ford focus. I noticed today that my passenger side floor was soaking wet with brown liquid. The liquid is watery in consistency, not slimy at all, and it has no smell. I also noticed the other day that my side windows were fogging up with the use of the defroster. I’m looking for some hope that this does not automatically mean replacing my heating core. Could it possibly be anything else? One more thing, when I notched this water today I was a 3 hour drive from home and was able to drive it home without it overheating.

I can think of three sources, rain water is leaking in there somehow, coolant is leaking from the heater core or hose connection, or somebody spilled a big gulp.

Are you loosing any engine coolant? Usually you could notice some “coolant” odor if it was that. hmmm … Maybe it is the door vents are clogged up and it is just rain water. It’s not possible to completely seal the windows (the ones that go up and down) from the rain, so the door is designed so any rain that gets past the window seal goes down through the door and back out through drains in the bottom of the door. Take a look at those.

It has been raining a lot lately. So it could be that. No one has been drinking big gulps in my car. So it’s not that. I’ll have to check the coolant level. I didn’t do that yet.

If the water has no smell, than it’s most likely not coolant, correct? Would the liquid have a slimy texture if it was coolant as well?

If it’s odorless and not slimy it’s unlikely it’s coolant (heater core leak), but check your coolant level anyway. Sounds like water is leaking in from the outside. Had it rained lately? The windows fogging up is probably just due to the extra dampness in the carpet.

With a 15 year old car water is probably leaking in from the outside if it has been raining.

the fact that the windows were fogging up with defroster use makes me think the heater core is leaking

This car is 14 years old. If the coolant is as old as the car, it might very well look like brown liquid by now

It’s also possible the ac condensation drain is plugged

Yes, first go to a shop and ask them to blow out your AC condensate drain hose with compressed air.

If that doesn’t solve it, then you have a more serious problem.

I also agree with db4690 that the AC condensation drain could bf plugged.

Thanks so much for the quick responses everyone.

Here’s something you can try, and it’s free

Go outside, run the engine and let it idle. Turn on the air conditioning to maximum fan speed, lowest temperature

After a few minutes, stick your head underneath the car, while it’s still idling

You should see water dripping. That would be the condensation from the air conditioning system. If you don’t see any water dripping, the drain may be plugged

The condensate drain elbow is usually buried in a hard to reach spot on the lower firewall/pass foot area. OP did not say where they live. Southern Cali? Arizona? Winnepeg? Sure evap may be full of water but when was a/c used last?

@‌ Cavell Some of these posts seem to have been delayed. In her second post the OP stated that it has been raining a lot lately. I was wondering about that too.