Whats that drip?

I have a Saturn Ion 2003 4D Level 3 with 92000 miles. Recently, I noticed my passenger floorboard is always wet. Nobody seems to know why. The windshield leaking was the first suggestion, but there doesn’t seem to be any moisture in the car when its raining or dewey. Also, the drip seems to be behind the glove compartment (that is where it is wettest and the spot above it has been wet at least twice). Can anyone point me in a direction here? My car repair person wants several hundred dollars just to tell me whats wrong!!!

If the floor gets wet after running the air conditioning, the condensate drain under the vehicle for the AC is plugged. So the water ends up on the floor.


Switch from a “car repair person” and find a real mechanic. Anyone with experience knows that you have a clogged A/C drain and it can be cleared in a minute or two with a brief blast of compressed air. Costs should be minimal.

If this happens in dry weather the only options I can think of is the AC drain as mentioned, or it could be a leaking heater core, but then it should be coolant fluid leaking. If it is pure water it is most likely the AC drain.

As SteveF suggests, take this to a real mechanic…

Hmm…these both sound very plausible. Particularly since I have been losing coolant (about 1/2 cup every 1000 miles) for the past year. Any suggestions on the best/most economical way to proceed? The liquid has no smell, color, or oily texture.

Most of us handle this common situation ourselves. Lift the hood and locate the drain outlet. It’s a short rubber hose that protrudes from the bulkhead only about an inch or so and often bends to open downward. Poke the drain with a long flexible wire. A good choice is the plastic “string” that is used with weed whackers. This ought to clear the obstruction and allow the system to drain properly.

This solution, if it works for you, is definitely more economical than leaving your car with a… car repair person. Check back here for advice with other car problems.

Losing 1/2 cup of coolant every 1k miles isn’t overly worrisome, but keep an eye on the bottom of the oil filler cap for a milky brown substance. IF a manifold gasket starts to leak and allows the coolant to mix with the engine oil, this is how it shows. When this shows up, have a coolant pressure test done to verify the fault.

You MAY also have the start of a tiny crack in the bottom of the coolant reservoir that may account for coolant loss.