Cracked evaporator box on 2003 Corolla

toyota
corolla

#1

There is water leaking from the evaporator tube inside the car on the passenger side when A/C is on. The problem started few days after an oil change was done at the dealership. I was told that the evaporator box is cracked and it will cost close to $3000 to replace it. In the past I had some problems with the quality of service and I wonder if it is possible that the damage was done during the oil change. I have no idea if the part in question is anywhere in the vicinity of the evaporator. Could anyone provide some insight? Those things should not crack without a reason. Thanks!


#2

No, there is no reason to think an oil change can break an evaporator housing. This housing is under the dash behind the glove box. The technician should not have been anywhere near it to change the oil.

This is just a plastic box that covers the evaporator coils. I’d get a second opinion or have them show me the crack. It should be easy to patch with some epoxy and maybe a fiberglass mat. No need to replace an evaporator coil that is not leaking R-134a. It could also be a clogged drain line, and water is coming out of the duct seals. This seems much more plausible.


#3

Thanks for a quick reply!
They say it’s not a clogged line. I’m not sure exactly where the crack is on the box is but they did suggest an alternative to the replacement, i.e. to get a larger hose and some silicone as a patch up job for $150. I was in too much of a shock to do much more than have my mouth wide open:( I am bringing the car back tomorrow and will ask to see the crack, thanks for the suggestion. I don’t mind the patch up job as long as it holds.


#4

Oh, the drain line nipple broke. I’d use an epoxy, not silicone. Epoxy is stronger and a good one, like JB Weld actually has structural strength. Silicone doesn’t. The key is to properly clean and prep the surfaces to be joined, then letting it set-up and fully cure before hooking the line back up. Some of these epoxies need 24 hours to fully cure.

The only suggestion I have to the cause would be someone’s foot sliding under the dash and kicking this nipple, breaking it.


#5

Hmm, the tech said the box is cracked, no mention of the nipple…If that’s what it is, that must have been some kick! Yes, the tech said I will have to leave the car overnight. Will mention the epoxy to him. Will post back tomorrow about what I find out. You sound very knowledgeable, are you a professional mechanic or just a very good auto hobbyist?


#6

Thanks BustedKnuckles, you were 100% correct, the crack was somewhere around the nipple. I mentioned epoxy but the tech was worried that epoxy will be too rigid. I agreed because if it starts leaking again I don’t want them to fault the epoxy. It seems to be good for now.
Thanks again, you are brilliant!