AC/fan problem with 2001 Toyota Echo


The other day, I drove for the first time in a few days, and as I rounded a corner I got a stream of icy cold water dumped on my right foot! Well, it was just after a heavy rain, so I didn’t think much of it… but it’s happened again three times since, and as of this morning, I also no longer get any cold air blowing into the car, whether the AC is on or not.

I take it I have sprung a leak somewhere, but then why can’t I get any air to blow at all? Any thoughts on what might be wrong, how long it might take to fix & how expensive?

Of course this had to happen during a really busy week, and right before I have to travel for Father’s Day. grumble Any assistance is much appreciated. TIA.

You did the opposite of springing a leak, you have clogged a drain.  

The condensation drain for your A/C is clogged.  On most cars it comes out under the car in front of where the passenger puts their feet.  A small rubber tube usually is there and using some string trimmer string you can usually un-clog it easily.  You might also try some compressed air.  

Once the water is drained, everything MAY return to normal.  Let us know what happens.


Thanks for the quick response, Joseph. I’m stuck in the office now for the rest of the day, but will try what you suggest tomorrow morning. I would be delighted if the fix is this simple! :slight_smile:


Well, Joseph, you were right about the clogged drain. The bad news is, it wasn’t just the clogged drain - the water shorted out the blower motor and resistor too. Seems that somewhere along the line, someone took out the filter that’s supposed to keep junk out of the AC drain, and never put it back. sigh


Those so-called “filter bandits” can be very costly. I had to repair a HVAC system that has been run for years without a filter. The evaporator coil was almost completely plugged up and the heat exchanger was destroyed. The system was quite old so I ended up replacing it.

As for the motor, check several HVAC supply stores in your area. The motor might be a little expensive, but consider yourself lucky that you caught it before the evaporator coil froze up and slugged the compressor. Resistors are sealed pretty well so it might just be fine. They’re cheap from a local electronics parts store so you might as well just replace them, though.


You’re right about the cost of the motor, but I just looked up the compressor now too - yowza! Now I really feel I dodged a bullet.

Do people actually steal those filters? I was thinking that the last people to work on my car (who had the dashboard off trying to fix a light problem) might just have done something harebrained, but now I wonder…


The most common problem is simply failing to clean or replace the filter. Either that or they skimp by not using a filter. I have never heard of anyone stealing a filter on purpose, but a technician could have removed it for other work and forgot to reinstall it.

BTW, in HVAC, “bandit” can also mean someone who rips off a customer by not doing work right. If you’re curious, search for “bandit” at .