2002 Mitsubishi Galant A/C leaking and heater not working

I’ve had my Galant since mid-May. I bought it in a rush as a replacement vehicle after a car accident. Soon after I noticed a damp/musty smell coming from the A/C. I read that changing the cabin air filter would fix the problem, but since the Galant doesn’t have a cabin air filter, I had a dealer use a foaming cleaning agent that was supposed kill off any mold that may have been present in the A/C system, the cleaner seems to have fixed the damp smell. Right before I had this done I noticed that the floorboards on the front passenger side were consistently damp. It’s been that way for about a month, and the A/C continues to leak. Now I’ve noticed that for the past few days when I’m trying to defog the windshield on my morning commute, the heater is blowing cold air even thought the A/C is switched off.

Are these these two problems related? Also, would I be able to repair them at home?

I’m pretty sure that car does have a cabin air filter.

Regardless, are you keeping an eye on the coolant level? That might be part of where both the smell and dampness are coming from. Yours may be designed with a cut off to actually stop the coolant from entering the heater core. Check the hoses where they enter the firewall, and see if there’s a mechanical stop there. It may be stuck, and/or it may even be blocked (defeated) with the hoses routing coolant just back into the engine, bypassing the heater core completely.

Yes, I check the coolant level regularly. Currently both the radiator and the coolant reserve tank are topped off. The smell did seem to dissipate after the cleaning. And, very rarely do I notice a fine mist coming from the cooling vents.

They’re topped off, now…how often do you need to add coolant?

The wet passenger floor and smell could be caused by a clogged evaporator drain. Hopefully this was checked and cured during the cleaning process.

As to no heat that could be low engine coolant level, faulty thermostat, or a blend door problem inside of the dashboard.
If the engine coolant is full and with the engine up to normal operating temps carefully touch both heater core hoses near the firewall. Both should be hot to the touch.
If they are hot and there is no heat then it’s likely a blend door fault.

As to whether you can do this repair I have no idea. That depends on the limits of your mechanical expertise. A manual (not a Chiltons) could guide you along the way.

I appreciate everyone’s responses so far. As for the coolant level, the dealership had the radiator flushed right before I bought the car in May. Since then I’ve put almost 4000 miles on the car, and have maintained the fluid levels between oil changes. To go off of ok4450’s comment, my engine temp has been pretty normal, halfway up the temperature gauge. I must also say that I’ve put this A/C through it’s paces this past summer as I live in Florida.

As far as my automotive repair abilities, I’d say I’m a novice at best, but I’m always trying to learn what I can do to repair and maintain the vehicle myself.

The first thing I would do is check both heater hoses at the firewall and make sure they’re both hot when the engine is warmed up. Do this carefully with a fingertip.
If both are hot then it’s probably a blend door problem and you would need a service manual to guide you through the steps.

My memory is very fuzzy on this but I think the early Galants used a heater valve (also called hot water valve, coolant valve, etc) but the later ones such as yours did not. This is where the blend door comes in. Some doors are a pain in the neck and some not so bad. It usually involves removing the glove box, center console, etc. at a minimum and on some cars may require removal of the entire dashboard.

Sorry I can’t be of more help on this problem. I have a Chiltons only manual and like most Chiltons manuals they’re near worthless as far as useable information goes. The only thing shown in that book is the fact that the car does not use a heater valve.