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Wet floor: Am I getting taken?

I have a 2005 Subaru Legacy wagon (about 50,000 mi), and every year-and-a-half, I get water leaking into the floor of the passenger seat. I’ve brought it in (to the dealer) each time this happens, and it’s been fixed twice, and now it’s leaking again. I’m told there was foam clogging the evaporator drain tube. The dealer insists that it is my fault, and no fault of the repair, because I must be parking under a tree (I park next to a sapling of a tree). I’m certain that many people park outdoors and do not have a leak so periodically. Is it my fault? Is it a fault of the design of the car? Is it just a lousy repair job? Should I continue to pay for the same service every 1.5 years? What can I do???

Cover the car, or the cowl (the air intake area at the base of the windshield)

There’s not a lot of “lousy” repair that can go on here. The drain is either clear or it’s not. I think you should maybe look in to opening up the cowl vents and vacuuming out any debris that might be in there.

A few things are unclear to me.
You did not state if you’re parking under a tree or not. Are you?
What is the reasoning behind the “foam” clogging the tube? What does foam have to do with a tree?

If you are parking in an area where you get stuff falling on your car (and doing in the vents right in front of the windscreen) you need to change where you park of plan on having it cleaned every so often.

I will suggest that I would not be taking my car to the dealer for this. Dealers are almost always more expensive than independent mechanics and neither type is “better” than the other. Dealers are good for warranty work that you don’t pay for.

The foam thing sounds like it should have been covered under the warranty unless you have foam falling from a tree into those vents. I would also want to know where that foam came from since it may be an important part of your car.

Whoa- if you have foam (the rubber type) clogging that drain, then you may have critters getting inside and chewing on the duct gasketing.

  1. So this only happens on hot humid days, not during rain or car washing, right? That would confirm that it is indeed air conditioner condensation.

  2. Doesn’t your car have a cabin filter (a.k.a.“pollen filter”). If it does, then where you park your car makes no difference. Nothing that comes in the air inlet at the base of your windshield can get past the filter and down to the evaporator drain.

  3. I wonder if the dealer is just lifting the car up on the hoist an poking a wire up the drain hose? If so, he is not cleaning it out, he is just re-arranging the debris that is clogging the drain so it works for a while.

You may have to take apart your dash/console area and clean it yourself to get it done right. You could try running the car up on ramps and finding the drain hose and rigging your vacuum cleaner to the hose to clear it.

This car has a cabin filter, and it may be falling apart by now. Here’s a link to a pdf that shows the process: